My Tax Dollars At Work: Paying the ESA’s Legal Fees

gavel.jpgI’m in an interesting bit of inner-turmoil right now. As you probably know, the Entertainment Software Association recently took the state of Michigan (where I live) to court in an attempt to overturn a new law that would restrict the sale of violent video games to minors. The court found the state’s case to be rather weak and ruled that the law was unconstitutional. Yay for the first amendment!

Overturning this law was not cheap and as a result, the ESA again took Michigan to court to get their legal fees reimbursed. Yesterday the ruling on that venture came back and Judge George Caram Steeh ordered the state to pay the ESA a total of $182,349.14. This was actually reduced from the $220,000 originally requested as the court felt that since much of the evidence presented in the Michigan trial was reused from the ESA’s previous trial against the state of Illinois, they shouldn’t be awarded the full amount.

As a Michigan taxpayer, I’m rather conflicted. On one hand I’m glad that the ESA was able to present a strong case against restricting the sale of games, however I’m not happy about my tax dollars going towards their legal fees when it could be used on other things, such as getting a road crew out here to fix the giant hole where my driveway meets the street. I suppose in the end I should be angry with the Michigan legislature because none of this would have happened if they didn’t attempt to step in and do the job meant for responsible parenting.

About the Author

Having over 25 years of gaming experience, Zach knows a thing or two when it comes to one of his favorite entertainment activities. Additionally, he has also written many articles previewing and reviewing titles which can be found in various places around the net, including