Like clockwork, the Entertainment Software Association's Doug Lowenstein has issued a statement regarded the passage of Oklahoma's HB3004, a bill that, by classifying them as "harmful to minors," would restrict the sale or rental of violent video games to minors*. GamePolitics has reprinted part of Lowenstein's statement, in which he writes:
"The ESA is deeply disappointed by the actions of the Oklahoma Legislature. We believe HB 3400[sic] will restrict the First Amendment rights of Oklahoma's citizens, and intend to file suit in Oklahoma federal district court shortly, asking that the state's new video game law be overturned..."
"We do sincerely appreciate and respect the concerns that these legislators have. However, six courts in five years have struck down similar laws, ruling that they were unconstitutional and rejecting the unpersuasive claims made by states that violent video games cause aggression..."
"We hope that sooner or later state legislators and candidates will stop trying to seek headlines by subverting the constitution and frittering away desperately needed taxpayer dollars and instead enter into a constructive partnership to educate parents about the tools available so they, not government, can raise their kids as they see fit."
*To answer the inevitable question of "What's wrong with keeping little Billy from killing hookers?" we'll direct you to star commenter 32_Footsteps' explanation: "the consequence of such laws will be that manufacturers will self-censor in order to prevent running afoul of the law. When a content producer self-censors to make something accessible to a wider audience, they risk losing something in the game."
Legislation may result in new retail environments that would force publishers to reconsider the content of games or risk financial inviability. That means adults wouldn't be able to play GTA either. The ensuing discussion in this post is well worth your time. Thanks, guys!
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