CA may ban violent video games sales

October 29, 2008 12:44:39 PM PDT
Governor Schwarzenegger and a Bay Area State Senate leader are leading the charge to stop retailers from selling violent video games to minors. The battle is playing out in a federal appellate court.

Democratic State Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco is in Newark for a conference, but he is thinking right now about what is going on in Sacramento in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. They are hearing arguments about the legality of the state's ban on ultra violent video games.

Senator Yee is hoping for a different result from what he got from a district court judge last year. That judge threw out the law, and the law would fine retailers up to $1,000 to people that sell or rent video games to people under 18. Those include games that depict serious injury to people that is especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.

Yee said that the judge that threw it out said that a law against ultra violent video games would be OK, but the state feels that what it needs to do is prove that the games are bad for kids.

"What we are going to argue is that in fact there is sufficient data that demonstrates that there is a connection between the ultraviolent video games playing and actual behavior. And that's what we are going to establish in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals," said State Senator Yee.

A number of groups oppose this legislation, including the National Coalition Against Censorship, the music and movie industries and the Entertainment Consumers Association. They say: "The way this law is drafted comes up against hundreds of years of First Amendment issues."

The movie industry is concerned that movies such as "Saving Private Ryan" and the violence in that movie would come under the jurisdiction of this law, and they are concerned about that.

Right now, a Federal Appeals Court is hearing this in Sacramento and both sides agree that whoever loses is going to appeal this thing is going to end up in the United States Supreme Court.


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