GamePolitics broke the news over the weekend that Oklahoma governor Brad Henry (D) threw his John Hancock on HB3004, a little piece of legislation by Rep. Fred Morgan (R) that, by classifying them as "harmful to minors," would restrict the sale or rental of violent videogames to minors effective November 1st. Now, I understand that Oklahoma is sort of flat, but that's one slippery slope they've gotten themselves on.
In a short statement, the governor wrote, "The violence in videogames has grown to epic proportions. Some video games glorify violence to a degree seldom seen in even the bloodiest movies. While parents have the ultimate responsibility for what their children do and see, this legislation is another tool to ensure that our young people are not saturated in violence. This gives parents the power to more closely regulate which games their children play."
But that's not even the best part! The Oklahoma Senate took the opportunity to tack on some "unrelated language ... regarding signage around strip clubs and porn shops." Cause they're all the same thing right? How long before some pol tries to pass laws regarding gaming retailers? GTA in brown wrap? "I'll take, uh, that one ... on the top shelf. No, the tooop shelf. Yeah, with the hookers in it."
While no lawsuit has been filed by the ESA, an "industry source" told GP, "ESA and EMA have vigorously responded to each of these laws that has been enacted, and they have been successful in every case. No one should expect a different course of action or result in this instance." Let's review:
St. Louisunconstitutional Indianapolisunconstitutional Washington Stateunconstitutional Illinoisunconstitutional Michiganunconstitutional
- Maryland (doesn't really count, so we'll let you have it)
- California (currently under review by Federal District Court Judge Ronald Whyte)
- Minnesota (lawsuit has been filed following passage of the law)
- Oklahoma (lawsuit anticipated)