by Mike Masnick
Fri, May 9th 2008 10:51am
At least 10 states have tried to ban the sale of violent video games to kids, and in each and every case, the laws have been found to be unconstitutional. Yet that doesn't stop state governments from trying... and apparently the politicians at the federal level (election year!) want in on the action too. They're proposing a bill that doesn't exactly ban the sale (which is probably how they hope to get around the Constitution questions) but which requires stores to ask for an ID as well as to post details about the ESRB ratings. This seems like yet another "protect the children" political move by politicians up for re-election. But, it's becoming increasingly clear that these types of laws aren't necessary, no matter what constitutional questions they may raise. Beyond the absolute lack of evidence concerning problems from kids playing violent video games, it appears that the industry has taken care of the problem by itself. Self-regulation by stores has resulted in a significant decrease in underage kids being able to buy mature video games. But don't let facts get in the way of those pushing for these types of laws. They're applauding the new bill, just as they demonstrate that they don't even understand what they're campaigning against.
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