Last week, the New York state Senate passed a bill that would ban the sale of certain video games to minors, ignoring the small matter of unconstitutionality that's seen the laws struck down by the courts in other places that have passed them. Now, the State Assembly is working on its own video-game ban law, and it goes even further than the Senate version by making retailers that sell games with "depraved violence and indecent images" to minors subject to felony charges. The bill also requires video game consoles sold in the state to feature some sort of parental-control technology (which GamePolitics notes the current major consoles already have), and it would give the state's attorney general the power to stop sales of machines without it. For some unexplained reason, computers and handheld devices are exempted from this part of the law, when it would seem that they pose just as big a "threat" to the youth of New York as consoles. Perhaps the biggest change is that this bill includes a severability clause, which says that if a court finds any part of the law unconstitutional, only that portion will be struck down, rather than the entire law. That sounds like little more than an attempt to skirt the Constitution by lawmakers who know the law will fall foul of it, but all it really does is increase the amount of taxpayer money the state's going to have to waste defending the law in court before it's inevitably struck down. Update: Well, that didn't take long -- the Assembly passed its bill in a single day. Now the two bodies have to patch up the differences between their two bills.
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