Game Developer, Stardock
failed attempts at videogame laws
Published on August 6, 2008 By CharlesLentz In Gaming

While it never comes as any surprise to people that actually play video games, various state Governments continue to waste tax dollars by drafting laws to regulate the sale of videogames, only to have them deemed unconstitutional.

You've probably read elsewhere about how this has happened in Minnesota, and New York.  In 2005, California Govenor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law that fined anyone found selling violent games to minors.  That law has since been overturned because it is unconstitutional, based on the first amendment.  Because of this, the state of California (with money from its tax-payers) had to reimburse the ESA $282,794 (USD) for its court costs.  What a waste.  You can read more about it here.

Let your voice be heard.  Speak up and spread the word that you are a gamer and a voter.  Check out the video game voters network for more info.

~C


Comments
on Aug 06, 2008

I am so glad that that law that common sense (and the law) prevailed, and that law overturned.  Im glad that the hipocrisy of this individual who made himself what he is thanks to violent movies and violence in general passing such law has been shown.

on Aug 11, 2008

these failed law attempts are such a waste of time do the politicians forget it is the largest growing entertainment media?

on Aug 11, 2008
I work in a computer games shop in the UK, and over here we have very strict regulations on the sale of games.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) ratings are law, and any sales assistant caught selling an age rated games to someone under that age can face a £5000 fine, loss of employment or even prison time.

I know that it may seem unconstitutional in the States, and dont get me wrong I think your constitution is a fantastic document, but im all for age restriction of violent games. I dont think 10 yeard old kids should be playing games like GTA, or other excessively violent ones.

We also have the PEGI system, which is a general European rating system, which is not legally binding, but its only used for games rated 16 or less.

Just my 2 pence
on Aug 12, 2008
I dont think 10 yeard old kids should be playing games like GTA, or other excessively violent ones.

We have the ESRB rating system, under which games like GTA are rated "M for mature". This rating is to signify that the game is most likely not appropriate for younger people (like the 10 year old you mentioned).

Also, if you have a current-gen console, and create a username for that 10 year old, then he/she automatically can be kept from playing games that are rated above their age range. This is a good (optional) thing. Does your DVD player protect your kid from playing an "R" rated movie? No it doesn't, nor does there need to be a law requiring it to. Parents themselves should set a rule about whether their kids can watch those types of movies.

We do NOT need laws for this type of thing. The ratings systems and consoles with parental controls are things that have come about WITHOUT a law that requires them. And my opinion is that anytime there are less laws about things that common sense can dictate, the better.  
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