Oklahoma Video Game Violence Law Struck Down

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Oklahoma is the latest state to have a video game law permanently thrown out. Following a preliminary injunction against the unconstitutional law last year, the court has issued a new decision to permanently enjoin Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry's law, which singled out video game companies for games with "inappropriate violence" while not putting such restrictions on other media.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) passed along the news today that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has issued a permanent injunction against Oklahoma's recent video game law that was supposed to have gone into effect on November 1, 2006. A preliminary injunction was initially issued last October.

The law sought to ban the dissemination to minors of any computer or video game that contains any depiction of "inappropriate violence," which was defined by depictions that fall into any one of nine broad categories. Violators would also have been subject to fines of up to $1,000.

Unsurprisingly, the law was found to be unconstitutional, like many similar laws that have been shot down in other states. The Honorable Robin J. Cauthron said that video games are a form of creative expression entitled to protection under the First Amendment, and that there is no "substantial evidence" that video games are harmful to minors. Judge Cauthron added, "...[T]here is a complete dearth of legislative findings, scientific studies, or other rationale to support passage of the Act."

It also seems in some way that the law singled out the game industry, since according to the court decision, the law was found to be underinclusive meaning that a minor might be prevented from buying a video game with "inappropriate violence" but may still legally buy or rent the book or movie on which the game was based.

"We need to move past unconstitutional attempts to circumvent Oklahoma citizens' rights. This bill was clearly unconstitutional and we now need to develop a public/private partnership that meets concerned parents' needs," said Michael D. Gallagher, president of the ESA. "State officials and policymakers should work together with our industry to educate parents about game ratings and the parental controls available on all new video game consoles."



Posted by laurim on 2009-10-27 13:43:15
i like this game
Posted by laurim on 2009-10-27 13:48:09
i like this game


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