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California on brink of wholesale videogames restriction

Go to a sex shop to buy Half-Life?
Mon Sep 12 2005, 13:20
THE STATE of California is close to following the state of Illinois by signing a violent videogames bill into law which would effectively see the sales of all violent videogames restricted in the same devastating manner as happened to GTA: San Andreas.

The bill was passed by Californian legislators and only now waits to be signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger, according to Games Daily Biz, here. The bill will see all videogames with violent content receive an extremely large, 2"x2" 18 sticker and the sale of them will be highly restricted in the same way as adult movies are.

This means that while the intended purpose of the bill, to stop children from being able to get hold of these games, will be carried out, it also means that large retailers such as Wal Mart will probably not carry the games.

It's raising something of a kerfuffle in the States concerning first amendment rights in the constitution, though we say that the videogames industry really should have moved faster to address these concerns itself.

In Japan the videogames body imposed self-regulation in order to avoid first state-level and then federal level restrictions by entering into a deal with retailers to ensure that over 18 games were sold only to over 18's or minors with their guardians present. If the videogames industry in the west could not follow suit, especially after the Hot Coffeegate fallout, then it really can't come crying to us at this stage of the game. µ


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