Thursday, January 15, 2009

Law Proposed to

Gamasutra, an industry site for video-game companies, reports this:

A New York assemblyman submitted a new legislative proposal aiming to prohibit the sale of video games containing negative racial stereotypes and/or actions toward a specific group of persons to minors.

The measure was proposed in the New York Assembly and referred to the Assembly's Consumer Protection and Affairs Committee.

If passed, it would prevent children under the age of 18 from purchasing video games with a rating that "reflects content of various degrees of profanity, racist stereotypes, or derogatory language, and/or actions toward a specific group of persons."

The proposed bill would also requires retailers or rental outlets to ask for identification from customers attempting to buy or rent video games with a "mature" or "violent" rating. A bill similar in this aspect that would have imposed fines on violators became law in California and was later ruled unconstitutional in 2007 -- opening the door for the Entertainment Software Association to ultimately collect $280,000 in legal fees from the state.

Manhattan Democrat Keith L.T. Wright, who submitted the proposal, previously put forward a similar bill in 2007 that failed to pass, according to a report from political gaming weblog GamePolitics.

According to the measure, "Video games containing purely adult images, situations, and scenarios are far too readily available to children who often purchase these games without any resistance from sellers. ... The bill would take a step towards preventing our children from being influenced by the glamorization of violence portrayed in such video games."

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