Oh, Bobby Kotick, you certainly know how to get yourself involved in some big topic issues don’t you? First, Kotick slams every developer besides their newly acquired Bungie and now it looks like he is jumping on the bandwagon of another hot button issue. Kotick has now come out to say that Activision Blizzard is against California’s legislation that would restrict sales of violent games.
While this isn’t something altogether new, as Governor Schwarzenegger has been working with this legislation for some time, Kotick’s decision to speak out against it is. As a violation of a minor’s first Amendment rights, Kotick states:
"The argument that video games present some kind of new ominous threat that requires a wholesale reassessment of one of our nation's most treasured freedoms and to take that freedom away indiscriminately from an entire group of our population based on nothing but age is beyond absurd.”
Schwarzenegger’s violent video game law was signed back in 2005 but was since ruled unconstitutional in several courts of law. Many organizations involved with video games came out against the law supporting the thought that it violated a citizen’s rights.
The question here is why is Kotick jumping on this idea so late in the game. Is he attempting to do some damage control after insulting many of his colleagues? What we do know is that Kotick would rather money be put into educating parents about the ESRB’s ratings claiming:
"Instead of tampering with the nation's Constitution and wasting taxpayers' money on setting forth unenforceable regulations during budgetary crisis, California could and should have adopted any number of measures and campaigns designed to ensure even higher rates of parental understanding of, and reliance on, the industry regulation system.”
As the legislation enters the Supreme Court it doesn’t look like this piece of legislation will be going into effect any time soon so breathe a sigh of relief young gamers of the world. And take comfort in the fact that you have a whole slew of video game professionals, including Bobby Kotick, in your corner working to protect your first Amendment rights.
What are you feelings on Kotick’s support for this legislation in light of how he has painted himself recently? Do you think this is public relations damage control or a topic he feels passionate about?