Remember back when the great
state of California, at the behest of then-Governor Schwarzenegger
and State Senator Leland Yee, tried to pass that law restricting the
sale of violent videogames to minors – only to have the Supreme
Court rule such a law unconstitutional? Well, all that adjudicatin'
don't come for free, and now the state has agreed to reimburse the
Entertainment Software Association $950,000 in legal fees.
The ESA had initially lodged a request for the state to repay the full $1.1 million in legal
costs, but $150,000 between friends is chump change. After all, take
into account the legal costs of the two earlier rulings in
California's lower court, and the state will have reimbursed the ESA
a total of $1,327,000. The Association points out that similar
reimbursements from other states have netted a total of $3.1 million
in legal recompense.
The proceedings, which were
carried out against the backdrop of a long-lamented budget crisis for
the state, “wasted more than $1 million in taxpayer funds at a time
when Californians could ill afford it,” says the Association's CEO,
Michael D. Gallagher. He stressed, however, that his Association
would continue to work with states to educate consumers in
self-regulating measures such as the ESRB rating system.
The ESA also
announced that a portion of the reimbursed legal fees would be put
toward developing after-school projects in the poorer areas of
Oakland and Sacramento. The programs, which will launch in Spring of this year, will appeal to what the ESA calls a "natural passion for playing and making video games" in the state's youth, "connect[ing] them to the development of critical 21st Century job skills."