Minnesota game bill signed into law

[UPDATE]: ESA to file suit over law that imposes $25 fine for minors purchasing games rated M or AO.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

In recent years, a number of states have passed laws regarding violent games, most of them looking to fine retailers who sell violent games to children. Now Minnesota has a law that fines children for buying violent games from retailers.

Minnesota's Republican governor Tim Pawlenty has signed into law SF 785, which imposes a $25 fine on minors who purchase games rated M for Mature or AO for Adults Only. While it doesn't punish retailers for selling such games to children, it does require them to post a sign notifying minors that they could be fined.

[UPDATE]: The bill is scheduled to go into effect August 1, but it could be pushed back or struck down entirely. The Entertainment Software Association today has announced its intent to file suit against the state. A statement from ESA president Doug Lowenstein expressed deep disappointment in the actions of the Minnesota governor and legislature.

"We believe that SF 785 is unnecessary and will restrict the First Amendment rights of Minnesota's citizens," Lowenstein said in a statement. "To enact 'feel good' bills knowing they're likely to be tossed by the courts is the very height of cynicism."

In this case, one person's cynicism can be another's idealism. Last week, GameSpot interviewed the law's co-author, Minnesota state Senator and member of the Democratic Farmer Labor party Sandra Pappas. When asked why she believes this measure is constitutional when so many others have not been, Pappas said, "Legislators don't worry too much about what's constitutional. We just try to do what's right, and we let the courts figure that out."

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Discussion

261 comments
bulletsword
bulletsword

25 dollars.... adding 25 to a regular average rated M game today.... so that means that if a minor bought a rated M game, that minor would be buying something roughly equal to a PS3 game. Anyways, I'm glad this got struck down. ...for some reason, saying "Struck Down" sounds so cool

soulreaper187
soulreaper187

for all the people that support this bill on this sight YOU FAIL TO GRASP THE BIG PICTURE HERE ONCE YOU LET THE GOVERNMENT PASS A LAW LIKE THIS IT WON'T BE LONG BEFORE ALL YOUR LEFT WITH IS PRESCHOOL LEARNING GAMES BECAUSE THE FIRST AMMENT JUST GOT SWEPTED UNDER THE RUG AND IF ANY OF YOU THAT SUPPORT THIS BILL ARN'T AMERICAN MAYBE YOU SHOULD TAKE THE TIME AND LEARN ABOUT OUR HISTORY A LITTLE BEFORE YOU MAKE ILL INFORMED DESISSIONS

flashtek
flashtek

Parents should be fined as well.

princeofgames90
princeofgames90

wow man i mean in my country even a six year old can by an AO

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

$25 fine? is it even worth being a law?

Avaker
Avaker

Gov. Pawlenty did a good thing. Those who say censorship takes away from first amendment rights are silly. Freedom of expression should not mean that you can freely express whatever the H you want in front of me. I really don't need to be VIOLATED by what you have to show. You know, if parents really don't care what their kids see, then let them buy the game. On the other hand, parents are ignorant of the game world, so they need need prompting to look carefully at what these titles are promoting. I'm in my 30's and I loved Chronicles of Riddick, but its sad that an elementary school student can get their hands on that game or others without their parents knowing what the game is about. Finally, I think parents who buy M rated games should be forced to ready GAMESPOT daily in order to EDUCATE themselves! GAMESPOT RULES!

Flimsyfishy
Flimsyfishy

hahaha, sucks for those 12 year olds that want to get halo 3 without their parents consent... i know that they would have signed this into law in this state. i'm sorry, but i had this feeling that it would get signed, because i know the government system in Minnesota... the liberals and the conservatives would pass this in a heartbeat here. well, all i can say is that kids need to be wise. besides, i think the clerk takes the 25 bucks and sends the kid out...

TNAROKS
TNAROKS

do you get to keep the game if you pay the 25 because oblivion is worth it

sargentpsgamer
sargentpsgamer

man gov is going way to far, video games are one thing kids have rights too, andj ust because a few are idiots and blame video games everyone gets punished? but thats no big deal still buy the game if no cop or anybody is sitting there and then later say your parents bought it.

Superlegtesta
Superlegtesta

Now that's a typically liberal way (and not as in socio-democratic way) of settling a problem : "you, yourself, are the only one responsible for your actions". That's a great way of taking the responsability away from parents and sellers... What prevents you from buying the game as a kid? Just add a maximum amount of 25$ to the game you want to buy and there you go. For exemple, a Collector's Choice game can now be bought for its release price... Good idea, badly put into place.

maverick21311
maverick21311

This is just another case of the nanny state. It should be up to the parents. I think the fine should be doubled to twice the price of the game. However it ultimatly comes down to the parents. Still the government has no business being in the personal lives of these people. Unfortunatly if the parents refused to do their job the government shouldn't take over. The problem is that we have taken away the concept of resposibliity from these kids. If they go out and reinact a scene from a movie or game who is resposible? Hollywood? the Game manufacturer? No its the person who commited the act. Hollywood and the game manufacturer did not hold a gun to the persons head and force them to commit a crime. If the person can not tell the difference between fantasy and reality then maybe they should be in a rubber room some where. The sole responsibility lies on the individual who commited the crime period. It is no different then if someone gets hurt imatating a jackass stunt. Jackass as assinine as it is is not resposible. It is the absolute moron who decided to reinact the stunt.

t_walk1
t_walk1

Agreed WR_Platinum I don't know about the rest of you but I grew up ahead of the age restriction curve so it never was an issue with me. But I a couple of cousins (8 and 10 yrs old) who have hacked versions of just about every M game out there and if they know how to get them no legislatural move by some guy who is probably up for re-election is going to change the ease at which kids can get at these games. This whole situation is like haveing a building on fire on one side and a campfire on the other. All laws like this do is put out the campfire while the building burns on.

Tekenshin
Tekenshin

To all the kids out there. Might as well forget about your M-Rated games and purchase Legp Star Wars. You can use that $25 to buy some pokemon cards.

jaefrmbk2k
jaefrmbk2k

i stay away from mature games cuz mommy sez that in mature games ppl run about with their bit's an' pieces showing :O

WR_Platinum
WR_Platinum

The Law is becoming more ridiculous to make a move like that. They should think more about the issues of the war than what should kids play, DAMN CENSORSHIP LOVERS! lol Kids will get the mature games anyway, so its just a BIG waste of time.

cmhawk
cmhawk

its not gonna change anything, cuz they will just get sum1 old 2 buy the games 4 them. thats how little kids manage 2 get hold of ciggarets and booze etc. plenty of times when ive gone over the shop - theres been young children standing out side offering adults money 2 go buy them booze etc.

stiker71
stiker71

Three words:Buy it online!

Zero254
Zero254

That guy looks not smart.

Ultramarine
Ultramarine

u know what this might actually work to some extent. Trust me I work in retail that deals with games as well and I can tell u as a fact that 1 out of 2 kids will get any game they want despite their age. We do our best to insure ID is checked and refuse games to many kids that aren't old enough but only to have them turn around and ask their moms or dads who don't care and get it for them anyways. fact is the issue is exposure of violence to minors. so if the parents aren't going to be responsible and do it, then its sad the government has to step in and take on these parenting responsibilites.

supanova8716
supanova8716

hmmm, I wonder what is so damn hard about retail clerks saying two simple words.... "ID, PLEASE?" idiots, lolerpop.

quietguy
quietguy

Omfg. This just proves my point one more time how incredibly sentimental and idiotic how the whole system works... even better, how politicians do their jobs. The entire damn thing is in reverse; ITS THE OTHER WAY AROUND!

MarneBabe
MarneBabe

This is so infuriating. No wonder this country is so hated; the government is more worried about what little Timmy is playing in the next room while 200,000 people in Iraq are dead and gone becuase of government lies. I will never understand it.

xray5656
xray5656

once again, wasn't the ratings system of the ESRB created to help parents choose the right games for theier child(ren), so where are the parents??? maybe the parents should be fined the $25, not the kid...

supa_strife
supa_strife

Oh man, I just hope none of this happens in Texas..since I'm 13. I mean, I play Halo and Devil May Cry, but those games don't send me into violent rampages or tempt me to do something stupid..

jrapczak
jrapczak

That's great. No kid needs to be getting these games anyways. Conversely, what kid doesn't know someone that WILL purchase these rated games FOR them.

bildo2020
bildo2020

lol id love to see what happens if people dont pay up hahahahahaha! dumb anti game laws

Flakor
Flakor

That's bull! So why can the retailer still sell M and AO games WHEN THE SIGN IS IN HIS STORE! It should be a fine towards the Retailer becuase he is gettin profit from it! And if this person is a minor its usually going to be a 12 year old right? And how many of them are going to have $25 just lying around?

cr250bronco
cr250bronco

i believe we need to fine the stores! I am 18 and i have played games that are now beginning to look like real life (call of duty 2 and Advanced war fighter both for 360). Some of the younger kids might be "persuaded" by these games, they might not kill someone, but they might be a little on the "crazy side".

LordBrittish
LordBrittish

"Legislators don't worry too much about what's constitutional" WTF?!

deadmen316
deadmen316

i can picture it now: "In today news, a nine year old boy arrest in his household today because he refuse to pay his $25 fine." Mamma said" I was totally unaware of such fine. let go of my BABY!!!!!! YOU MOTHERR-------. NO!!!!!!!!". "thank you for watching ABC news and have a good night everybody." news man say.

DownWithGTA1990
DownWithGTA1990

As you all said, it'll be far too easy to circumvent. If I see a 12-year-old in jail or juvie because they refused to pay the fine, I'll be severely angered by the proposers of this law

capthunt
capthunt

I knew our governor was gay, but this just proves it. Fining children is just so F**KIN stupid.

XtremePhsyco
XtremePhsyco

so i dont get it if i really wanted an m game i can have it just for 25 dollars more? (GTA)

tylerbbadd1
tylerbbadd1

DAMN GOVERNMENT STOP MESSING AROUND WITH VIDEO GAMES!

bulletsword
bulletsword

I live in minnesota. since i can't walk in and buy one, i'll just ask my cousin to ask my older cousin to buy a game for my cousin to give to me on my birthday. either that, or christmas. Or I'll buy myself a gift card and order off the net. There can't be a law against minors playing rated M demos. they certainly didn't ban Google Image Search.

dieboybun
dieboybun

it's nothing, it just double the price of one game

IcemanX5
IcemanX5

Dumb@$$ Fine the store who sells this games to kids and not the kids. By doing that your saying is ok to buy just dont get caught. Think, It wouldnt hurt to have some common sense.

rynmls
rynmls

well i think both of them should be punish...

doom3kjc
doom3kjc

This is all supposed to be the ESRB's job. What's the point of making an entire law when the back and front of the box CLEARLY states the exposure it contains....M, AO, etc. Buying an M or AO game should only require you to be with a parent/guardian to get it (unless you are 18 or 21) and if no one's with you, you don't get it...simple as that. I don't see the point in making a law and a fine for something that can be fixed so easily.

xfactor225
xfactor225

Suck it up minors. I am 17, and I make 18 Sunday. I had to wait, so you will too. Man, just get your parent to get like me. Dang! I had to wait until I can get into the clubs down here, you can wait to play a mature rated game.

el_fuzzo7
el_fuzzo7

This bill will never be kept, it's a load of Bull****.

xXg4m3rXx
xXg4m3rXx

hah just look at that guy you can tell hes a virgin and thats why he charges extra money to kids that can see tities or something before him..lol

Dr-Strangelove
Dr-Strangelove

...and the world became sterile and pure hallelujah... -_- it's a cheap trick for republicans to appeal to parents who don't understand why their kids wear dark clothing.

Usefulidiot038
Usefulidiot038

they shouldn't be messing with video games kids don't become violent from playing a game they become violent when stupid laws get passed that censor them

kabloo12
kabloo12

LMAO!!!!!!! All you need to do is have an extra $25 to pay for the fine and there you go.