Minnesota fines minors $25 for M-rated games

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Christopher Grant
May 22nd, 2006
In this article: ESRB, HF1298, Laws, Minnesota, Politics
Minnesota fines minors $25 for M-rated games
Despite constitutional setbacks regarding similar bills across the country (most recently in Michigan), Minnesota state representative Jeff Johnson seeks to limit the sale of violent video games to minors with a new approach: fine the underage consumers of M or AO-rated games and not the retailers. Bill HF1298 also requires that retailers display signs explaining (the evidently not self-explanatory) ratings system that prominently marks (mars?) the packaging of every game sold in this country.

While the bill has passed the Minnesota House, it still requires the signature of Governor Tim Pawlenty before it becomes law ... and before the gaming industry mounts its challenge. Speaking with GamePolitics, Johnson was cognizant of the constitutional issues saying, "...we are using the ESRB ratings. I can see a court saying you can't use private industry to create the law, but there's no way around that because everything else anyone has tried has been unsuccessful. The other piece is that so far no court has found a strong enough link (between game violence and youth violence)."

I would urge Representative Johnson so consider why that is. It's not for lack of trying.
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