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NY Bill Might Keep Nasty Games in a Locked Container

The New York legislature has a fondness for video game legislation, it would seem.Last year New York became the first state since 2006 to pass a video game bill and have it signed into law by its Governor. The New York video game statute lacks teeth, however, and the video game industry has not opposed it.

As GamePolitics reported earlier this month, Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright (D) introduced a bill aimed at shielding minors from games containing profanity and racist stereotypes.

In addition, Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R) has submitted A2837, which seeks to block minors from any game that “glamorizes… the commission of a violent crime, suicide, sodomy, rape, incest, bestiality, or sado-masochism…”

Kolb’s bill also requires warning labels on such games; violators would be subject to both civil and criminal penalties. Fines of $1,000 are spelled out in the bill.

But Kolb isn’t finished - not by a long shot. Retailers would be required to keep such games either in an area “inaccessible by the general public” or “in a sealed and locked container.”

Retailers would also be mandated to make copies of the offending games available for examination by parents.

A similar measure proposed by Kolb in 2007 failed to move out of committee.

GP: While Assemblyman Kolb no doubt has good intentions, his legislation clearly has constitutional issues. For example, deciding whether a game “glamorizes” any of the activities enumerated by Kolb would seem to be a highly subjective endeavor.

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Posted by: z36
Date: January 28, 2009

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