Friday, June 09, 2006

Louisiana and Video Games

I've been a big fan of video games ever since I was a kid. While some people are quick to quip that video games perpetrate violence, I feel as though in most circumstances, it helps to deter it. I cannot count the number of times playing a video game has calmed me in a moment of anger. It's almost therapudic.

Millions of Americans play video games every day, but only a few cases of "video games violence" are reported every year. A few extreme cases shouldn't be much of a concern, correct?

However, Roy Burrel seems to think otherwise. He has wasted your tax dollars writing and pushing anti-game legislation that cannot possibly be implemented:

Written by Representative Roy Burrell (D-District 2) and Thompson, HB1381 would make it illegal to sell, rent, or lease a game to a minor if it met three conditions. First, if the "average person" would think "appeals to the minor's morbid interest in violence." Second, if it "depicts violence in a manner patently offensive to prevailing standards." Lastly, a game would only qualify if it "lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors." Violators could be fined between $100 and $2,000 and sentenced to up to 12 months in a state prison.

Okay, what constitutes the "average person"? And who decides whether or not the game "lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value"? How in the world could such a law be implemented with such vague and ambiguous terms? I know that my idea of violence may be different than someone else's. Who in their right mind would approve such a measure?

Don't worry. The Louisiana State Senate wouldn't possibly approve that bill. Right? Right?

After being approved by a key committee last week, HB1381 was passed last night in a 35-0 vote in the Louisiana State Senate, according to watchdog site GamePolitics.com. The bill will now be presented to Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco, who made national headlines during the disastrous aftermath of Hurricane Katrina last fall. The Governor is expected to sign the bill, given the unanimous vote and the recent linking of games and teenage murder suspects in the Louisiana media. If that happens, expect an ESA legal filing to follow shortly.

D'oh.

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