ESA sues Minnesota

Industry trade group wants recently adopted fine for minors caught buying adult games declared unconstitutional, EMA in agreement.

Last week, Republican Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty signed into law a measure that will impose a $25 fine on minors who purchase games rated M for Mature or AO for Adults Only and require retailers to post signs notifying customers of the fine. The Entertainment Software Association promptly announced its intent to sue the state, and the trade group said it filed the suit this afternoon.

"The bill's tortured effort to end run the First Amendment by punishing kids directly fails under the Constitution because children have rights under the First Amendment, like all other citizens," ESA president Doug Lowenstein said in a statement. "The State is attempting to impose liability on children because they know that courts have consistently held that they cannot penalize retailers. We believe that the courts will agree that fining children violates the First Amendment as well."

Lowenstein questions how the state expects to enforce the law and collect the $25 fine from minors. In a recent interview with GameSpot, the bill's author, Minnesota State Senator Sandra Pappas of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, said the state didn't actually plan on prosecuting children under this law, that the retailers' warning signs could be enough of a deterrent for minors, and that "the whole goal is just to educate parents."

The ESA isn't the only trade organization speaking out against the law. Bo Andersen, president of the newly formed Entertainment Merchants Association, is siding with the ESA.

"Legislators in the state of Minnesota have enacted a video game restriction law that they apparently do not want enforced and understand cannot constitutionally be enforced," Andersen said in a statement. "Unfortunately, as a result of the legislature threatening to impose penalties on the children of Minnesota, it will be the taxpayers of the state who pay the penalty when this law is overturned, as it must be."

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175 comments
soulreaper187
soulreaper187

INCASE YOU READ THIS FAR BACK THIS IS FOR NEOJEDI IF YOU CAN'T TAKE A LITTLE CRITIC THEN MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T POST ANY MORE BECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT. YOU SEE THATS ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS ABOUT THE USA WITHER YOU WANT TO HEAR IT OR NOT WE THE PEOPLE ARE FREE TO EXPRESS ARE OPINONS FREELY WITH OUT FEAR OF PERSICUTION AND I AM JUST AS PROUD OF BEING A AMERICAN

soulreaper187
soulreaper187

THIS IS FOR ALL THE PEOPLE THAT THINK THIS LAW IS GOOD OR IS NO BIG DEAL!!!!!!!! MAYBE YOU ALL HAVE HERD THE STORY OF PANDORA'S BOX? IF NOT IT GOES A LITTLE SOMETHING LIKE THIS PANDORA WAS INTRUSTED WITH A BOX THAT HAD ALL OF MANS DESIRES WANTS AND NEEDS IN IT AND WAS TOLD BY THE GODS NOT TO OPEN IT BUT SHE DID AND RELEASED ALMOST ALL EXCEPT ONE HOPE BEFORE SHE MANAGED TO CLOSE THE BOX AND FOR THIS TRANSGRESSION SHE WAS CURSED BY THE GODS THE POINT I AM TRYING TO MAKE IS THIS ONCE YOU LET A LAW LIKE THIS PASS THEN IT IS TOO LATE MORE AND MORE LAWS AND RESTRICTIONS WILL BE HANDED DOWN UNTILL ALL YOUR LEFT WITH IS NUMBER SOLVING GAMES

00Rambol00
00Rambol00

I think that its the parents fault, they're too stupid with their kids and some kids are bloody spoiled rotten, mua hahaha

Zombie-hulk
Zombie-hulk

So wait, I'm confused...If kids aren't supposed to be able to buy "M" games, how could this preposterous law EVER work? If the retailer won't allow kids to buy "M" games, how can they be fined for buying them unless they are sold the game? Would the clerk sell them the game and then say, "Oh, and that'll be an extra 25 bucks for the fine."? My opinion: people are stupid and need to stop blaming everyone else. The kid buys "M" games, who gave them the money? THEIR PARENTS! (most likely, though this is not always trye.) I'm so SICK of parents blaming everybody else for not parenting their children for them! It's like with Seaseme Street. the Cookie Monster is no longer The Cookie Monster, because parents said that he was the cause of their child's obesity because HE made them want cookies...WELL WHO THE HELL DO THEY THINK WAS BUYING THE GODDAMN COOKIES IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?!?! SUCH a large majority of this country's population needs a MAJOR lesson in responsibility, and another large part needs to read the constitution.

HavePainkillers
HavePainkillers

When I was a kid my parents sat me down and told me I should never repeat what I saw in Video Games and Movies because it was fake and I could hurt someone.... In honesty I think alot of parents need to have this talk with their kids considering I grew up in the days of Nintendo Entertain System and Sega Genesis.

visul
visul

Selling a M game to a minor? and giving a fine to him... stupid. Ask for a god damned ID is that simple. I dont see how this is the sellers fault? And you think this will keep a minor from getting what he/she wants, please?

El_Diablo96
El_Diablo96

That Law is Bull and if it ever makes it to canada i can garuntee there will be a riot

Sweet1337
Sweet1337

I think its a very precious measure. I think children should be playing children games and being well behaved. We all knkow that video gaming is one of the many catalysts for violence and social unrest particularly in the US where minorities are more subceptable to violence lustful influences. If we start young, we can curb the lustful tendencies away and set the youth on a righteous path. I abhor games that involve violence and lustfulness. We need games that encourage love and peace and understanding and tolerance for all. So I support any and all gaming legislature.

ssj5_nick
ssj5_nick

This is great, now all of the whiny liberals are going to complain about how are rights are flying out the window because little Johnny can't play Grand Theft Auto. My party has only signed a few bills against games (and yes they are pointless). The party of the whiny liberals are completely trying to outlaw games. I am 17, and thanks to Jennifer Granholm, the Democrat Govenor of my state Michigan, I can't buy a M rated game. Even though the package of the game cleary says 17+. Having said all that, this is a dumb law with good intentions. If the retailers did their jobs these things wouldn't happen. All they have to do is check the I.D.'s. If the kids want it badly enough, they can have Mom get it. Those ratings are their for a reason.

zero_simoleans
zero_simoleans

wasn't rock and roll supposed to be bad for you too?? and, why didn't anyone fine people for watching Power Rangers?? also, as I proved yesterday (Wooo! The Omen), if minors (like me) want to get something that Big Brother has forbidden them from getting, those minors will find a way to obtain it. No matter the humiliation of, let's say, asking a stranger to buy you tickets and then asking a different person to lead you into the room....

MichaelMorbid
MichaelMorbid

legislation will never pass that punishes parents for having their kids buy violent video games. we all know that it's the parents responsibility, but we're going to see more and more legislation against retailers, publishers, and even as unenforceable as it is, children in this case. don't think politicians will ever target the core problem, the parents, ultimately because that is who is voting them into office. something to think about.

zero_simoleans
zero_simoleans

dude, when I was youger (I started playing games at the tender age of 8) I happened to be able to tell the difference between reality and whatever happened in the movies (video games weren't as realistic back then, so i'm not counting 'em). I honestly can't believe there are people stupid enough to do whatever it is they see on the various media they might encounter... the examples we see of those morons on the TV, those are a few kids, out of millions.... Why ruin everything for everyone because of a few dumb idiots??

komali248
komali248

Just goes to prove, S*** rises!

Fuuuuureakkkk
Fuuuuureakkkk

Xwing20 "oh yeah you know why this is uncosttitional it is because it's hipacritcal and immoral. let me ask are you going to fine some 6 year old kid for not knowing that a game is not ment for there age." Agreeded, the person who should be blamed is the clerk for not stopping it and being a utter dumb A**

RawStorm
RawStorm

Question. Are minors fined if they BUY a M-rated game, or for TRYING to buy an M-rated game? Question 2. If their fined for BUYING an M-rated game, does that mean they can still keep the game but just pay $25 more? Funny part is the Senator said they don't plan on enforcing the law, so now this law will get thrown out of the court, cause what's the point of a law when you publically anounce you wont enforce it.

prima771
prima771

I have to say, I am shocked that the bill was even considered. I live in Minnesota, and I love alot of things about it, but then there's these little things that come out of nowhere, and then, what can you do? Once you elect them, you have no power over them. But that's beside the point. the problem that I see here is the parents, but not in the way that most often comes up. It's not the parent's fault because they're not watching, it's because they don't want to have to spend the time and effort to raise their kids by themselves. This is just like the CPSC's attack on amateur chemical sales. If parents would just teach their kids why some things are ok and others aren't, there wouldn't be a need for laws like this. think about the old proverb "Many hands make for light work". If each family raised their children themselves, as opposed to having the gov't. raising them all, it would make everyone's life alot easier.

juffalo
juffalo

ya i think that is odd giving fines to minors cause they cant fine the retalier

thicknick
thicknick

ok like so many have said kids have always been unable to purchase M rated video games. This is the way it should be. There is no reason this bill needs to be passed into law. It is silly, and clearly unconstitutional (from a political science major's perspective). Children cannot be held responsible for any contract, including purchases, and if the child successfully purchases a game rated M, it is his parents' fault for not being there and figuring out what he's playing, and it is the store's fault for selling it to a minor. So why illegally charge a kid with an unconstitutional fine because he wants to play GTA? Let his parents be the judge and jury, and if they don't do their job, too bad. No one else should have to.

Chrismudge1
Chrismudge1

thank god im canadaian, and dont have to deal with this **** stoopid american government

vegedus
vegedus

Ah, I love reading these "protect the children" cases. Why? Because everytime I do, it reminds me of all the great things of not living in america. We don't even have an adult only rating over here, and no stupid, blown up scandals either.

ChiefHunter1
ChiefHunter1

They should let kids buy whatever games they want. This fine will not deter kids who are determined to get a particular game but are underage. This is just wasting time and effort and will be a pain for retailers but nothing more. They will never enforce these laws in reality. Im 16 and I have always been able to buy M rated games without a problem.

Stevio
Stevio

Well somebody needs to be punished. I say fine the parents for leting thier kids play these adult games.

kingjeff2004
kingjeff2004

good god, thats stupid. let the kids play their video games in peace, please

mezonesxbox
mezonesxbox

A CHOICE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT of HAPPINES.. A choice, is one of the most wonderful gifts of the democratic world. The choice to select which content is right for you and not to be penalized for liking racing, shooting or any kind of game. The world is all about variety and not a narrow view of a small group of people that want to say whats good and bad when in reality they have no idea of what they are talking about because we are HUMAN. We learn and experience, we are all different like a rainbow filed with colors. And what one may think is acceptable can not be imposed to others.

CDWJUSTIN
CDWJUSTIN

Great 100 million dollars down the drain for bull crap...

nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim moderator

Pardon me while I stifle a yawn. Face it, my fellow gamers, much like other media before video gaming, we are being used as the scapegoat for poor parenting. One of these days some smart politician will find a way to fine parents for ****ty parenting. There is your real culprit right there. If you raise your kids right, then it doesn't matter if they get exposed to Grand Theft Auto. They still know right from wrong.

TJsimulation
TJsimulation

*Before anyone reads this, note that this is MY OPINION. Also, I am not stating parents as a whole, so before anyone takes offense to this, comprehend what I'm trying to say* nuck44: "There's no first amendment right to not obey the law. M rated games means no one under 17 should have a right to buy them." I agree, and some parents don't pay attention to the rating or don't care about it, and then when the kid starts imitating bad things from the game, then it's the ESRB's fault because their rating system is flawed? IMO, it seems like some parents are just being lazy, and don't want to take the time to look at a rating (even with the descriptors summarizing the nature of the game) and say, "Hmm, this game isn't for my child." I'm not even the proper age for M rated games, and my dad is making me wait until I turn 17 later this year. Now I'll be honest, when I was a few years younger, I was jealous that my friends could have M rated games and I couldn't, but my dad wouldn't give in (which is what some parents do). It's amazing that it's still happening, even with all of the commercials the ESRB have in stores and on certain TV channels sometimes.

Legaias
Legaias

This is the most reasonable solution I've seen in ages. I don't understand why it's being attacked. If a kid or parent can't pony up an ID (to be swiped and verified) proving they're 17 or older, they can pay a fine to get the game. Simple as that. I overwhelmingly support this bill in MN or any state...though I'm a little disgruntled that the state didn't hold it's ground.

rothkoran
rothkoran

so if this "law" were to be approved, must likely some day i'm gonna have to go and pick up my 10 year old son at a jail, and see him sitting next to a assasin pedophile named mad dog just cause he bought a violent game??

Nick_Cave
Nick_Cave

Did anyone of u read the comment that Zane182 did? I suppose not... Please read what he has to say it's what is all about...Politics...

MichaelMorbid
MichaelMorbid

fxck censorship. cultural policing is bullshxt.

damien6977
damien6977

eljono "For those of you who thinks this has anything to do with the seperation of church and state...get a clue and an education noobs" this issue stemmed from the fact, in the grand scheme of things, that this IS about church and state. always has been and (although they will never admit it) always will be. i do agree with you that parents need to regulate games (as i am a parent), but are you even old enough to remember how this whole controversy started? meaning the whole videogames are corrupting our youth bit. before you start spurting that people need to "get a clue", educate YOURSELF and realize that the only problems the videogame industry have ever really had to deal with are the smear tactics of right wing politics and religous moral views(one or both). as a parent i want to be able to control my household without having to deal with the stupid government getting involved eveytime my kid wants to play a game in which THEY, not neccesarily I, deem inappropriate. i'm not an idiot, i see the ratings, i grew up with videogames, i eat, sleep and breathe them. so i can figure out what MY kid can and can't play. For those parents who don't know what videogames are and their content, read the box. how hard is it really? plus, check on them once and a great while. take time from your busy life schedule and see how your kids are (since you decided to bring them into this world). if you see something their playing that you don't like, or that you believe the content isn't age appropriate, grow some balls. take it away and tell them why you don't want them to play. that's all it is. always remember that kids will be kids. they will figure out how to get something no matter what the laws are. too much censorship equals a nation without a clue. oh yeah by the way, anyone remember the movie american psycho? yeah that was rated R. remember the sex scenes and violence in it? yeah, pretty f-d up. now think about gta:san andreas. it's rating is equivalent to an NC-17 movie. where's the balance? i'd rather have my kid playing the game then seeing that movie.

kidokoro
kidokoro

Damn Republicans, stop ruining our country

aliabbas123
aliabbas123

Well it seems that decisions are being made without appropriate or practical thought. They seem to presuppose that the video games themselves are inherently evil while failing to realize just how essential the labels they receive are. For example, M for mature could mean a bevy of things ranging from bloodshed to exposed body parts (which assumes that the body is an evil thing not to be viewed

MysticGenie
MysticGenie

So, not only are they passing silly laws, but they're trying to undermine the rule of law by explicitly not enforcing them at the same time? WTF is up with this? Do they not realize that there are consequences after November's elections?

JUBEI86
JUBEI86

First of all, minors don't have the same rights as adults. That's why they can't vote. Second, minors can't buy R movies, so why should they be allowed to buy M video games. But, it all really falls back on the parent. Like all those stupid people who blame school shootings and such on video games. In those cases, if the parents had really been doing their job, by monitering what games their kids were playing and what activities they were involved in, then a lot of that stuff most likely could have been avoided. None the less though, minors still shouldn't be able to buy M video games.

20Minutes
20Minutes

apparently the parents of Minnesota can't parent their own children. That's like saying a kid that buys alchohol needs to be penalized because the store didn't card him. That's the dumbest...most ignorant sh!t i've ever heard. why are some adults so f*cking retarded? RAISE YOUR KIDS! jesus christ.

Lyten
Lyten

I work for Target in MInnesota, and when a young person tries to buy a muture rated games i personally ask them for ID. Parents get angry when little " Timmy" plays violent video games and they blast the company for making them. So we get ESRB, and parents are angry about Modded Grand Theft auto. Why does anyone need to blame the company for people modding the game? people modded, and not the corperation, but still parents are mad at video game industry! What is wrong with the parents? This is why I ask the young people for thier ID, because of uneducated parents give video games bad names. I honest don't see this law to be bad, since it will not be enforced. This law is made that dumb parents can educate themselve, and try to play the blame game. I am honestly mad that parents blame video game for their child's actions. I honestly think parents should grow up or grow some brain in their empty heads, and stop blaming video game company for getting creative.

hausekid
hausekid

Why is it that this country is still blaming video games for violence. Yeah... it has absolutely NOTHING to do with good parenting right? *cough cough.* Really, what is wrong with these people... if a kid wants a video game, they'll definitively get it, because their parents will give it to them (unless of course, the parents are one of these people who think video games are bad for you). You know what, all of you who agree with this law, read a freaking history book and you'll realize that violence from children has been going on for ages, way before video games.

Siborge
Siborge

America is based on violence people...kids learn about violence in schools..if it wasnt for violence we wouldnt be where we are today..what are we going to teach kids in school George Washington kindly asked the british army to stop invading America? Come on people get real dont fall for the political circle jerk these politicans are starting... people that agree with this bill are only becoming their pivot men..

3_Simple_Words
3_Simple_Words

It's down to corruption. American Liberals don't want businesses fined because they want big businesses to prosper. So the buyer gets screwed over. They should take a look at the Wall Street crash and how only supporting big businesses turned out.

robertmattingly
robertmattingly

Hmm, is there a law that fines someone for purchasing an M rated movie if they area underage? If a parent were to find an M rated movie in their child's possession, wouldn't they just take it away from them? I personally don't see any problems with the current rating system being enforced at the game stores I shop at. Sheesh, I'm 25 and I've been carded when purchasing M rated titles. Maybe this is just a problem with dishonest merchants. I mean, I used to buy cigarettes illegally when I was a kid and if the merchant got caught, the store got it's tobacco license suspended or the merchant was fined. Shouldn't this be handled the same way? Oh, and can anyone tell me why the merchants can't be fined as I read in previous posts?

foxhound_fox
foxhound_fox

Games rated M are for individuals aged 17+. This should be changed to 18+ so there is no argument over whether kids can play it or not. And if Walmart denies to carry the games, well then their loss [they carry movies rated R?]. Fining the children is the stupidest idea I have ever seen. The games should not be sold to them in the first place and parents should be more in control of their children, and stop using video games as babysitters.

Siborge
Siborge

OK..this is stupid first of all im about to turn 17 so this dosnt even really affect me...but its dumb as hell..iv been playing mature rated games since freakin 10 and im an honor student with a 4.0 gpa and a perfect attendance record..i have had no problem with police or any trouble in school...this is dumb most kids that play video games dont do violent things...bcuz they are home playing the **** games...this is a waste of time..if a child wants the game let them..or is the legislature going to stop kids from browsing the web and watching tv too.... these kids will see violence it dosnt matter if its from a game or not..if they block this y not block everything...this is **** stupid

KingOfTheBlind_
KingOfTheBlind_

So they plan on putting through a bill that they dont plan on enforcing? Where is the sense in that. A little sign is not going to be a deterrent for minors to buy "M" Rated video games. Especially if it isnt going to be enforced. On top of that I don't agree with the bill in the first place. Knowing what games a kid plays should be the parent's responsibility not the government's. The bill is BS.