US: State support grows for Schwarzenegger law

New legislation proposed by Californian Governer Arnold Schwarzenegger that would see the sale of violent games to US minors outlaw has received the official backing of 11 US states.

Gamasutra reports that a brief has been filed by the attorney generals of Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia.

It argues that the legislation, if passed into law, will not threaten the First Amendment and can constitutionally 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”.

Connecticut’s attorney general Richard Blumenthal added that: Protecting children from digital danger requires proactive parents—but they need and deserve help.

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.”

No doubt the ESA would argue, as it has done before, that the industry already operates by a strict code of self-regulation which sees retailers voluntarily vetting who they do or do not sell mature games to.

Earlier this month leading publishing execs such as John Riccitiello, Jack Tretton, Strauss Zelnick and Graham Hopper voiced their concerns about the proposals.

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