11 U.S. State attorneys are taking a stand behind legislation in California that would ban the sale of games with an M or Ao Rating to minors. Recently struck down by an appeals court the potential law will get a new hearing in front of the Supreme Court.
The states involved backing this are Virginia, Texas, Mississippi, Minnesota, Michigan, Maryland, Louisiana, Illinois, Hawaii, Florida & Connecticut. They have filed a join brief with arguments to the Supreme Court hoping they can “inform” the upcoming decision.
I never knew, but I guess our States are “vitally interested in protecting the welfare of children and in helping parents raise them,” and the recent appeal that was struck down “unreasonably restricts their authority to do that.”
Attorneys are stating that if the law passes it will “prevent minors from buying or renting without parental approval a defined class of video games which invite players to commit digital homicide, torture, and rape.”
If you live in the great state of Connecticut then it may be interesting to know that your attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, who has ambitions to be a US Senator, is calling upon the video game industry to “play fair”. “Protecting children from digital danger requires proactive parents — but they need and deserve help,” Blumenthal said. “The video game industry should act responsibly — play nice, not nasty — and agree to sensible self-imposed restrictions that block children from buying the most violent games. I am calling on the video game industry to follow the leadership of the motion picture industry, which sensibly stops unattended children from viewing violent or graphic movies.”
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has given video ratings glowing reviews; “video game industry outpaces the movie and music industries” when it comes to “restricting target-marketing of mature-rated products to children, clearly and prominently disclosing rating information, and restricting children’s access to mature-rated products at retail.”
If the law passes it would mean anyone who rents or sells a violent video game to a minor could be fined $1,000. Of course parents are still able to buy those games for their kids if they want.
Personally I don’t see any problem with restricting the sale of mature games to kids. And if the kid really wants to play the game and their parents don’t care about the content, then the kid will get just need an adult to purchase the game for them.
Let me know what you think about this law, maybe I am not seeing the whole picture here, but these types of restrictions are already in place with music and movies, why not games?