Retailers unhappy with CA violent games law

President of IEMA chastises Schwarzenegger for failing to take the politics out of lawmaking.

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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger last week signed into law AB1179, legislation that will make it illegal for retailers in the state to sell or rent violent games to minors. It also requires that all such games be labeled with a 2-by-2-inch sticker with a "solid white '18' outlined in black" on their front covers.

Hal Halpin, president of the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA), weighed in on the matter today.

"We were disappointed that Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB1179 into law," Halpin stated. "Given his tireless speeches about taking the politics out of lawmaking and prohibiting government waste of valuable taxpayer dollars, this decision seems counter to that message. It is clear that this course will lead only to this law, like all previous efforts to alter the First Amendment regarding violent video games, being overturned--yielding no significant change and squandering much-needed resources."

Within hours of the bill's signing, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) confirmed that it is planning a lawsuit to have the bill declared unconstitutional.

"IEMA retailers are already voluntarily committed to inhibiting the sale of Mature-rated games," Halpin continued, "not unlike the successful self-regulatory efforts of the motion picture business. We would have hoped that legislators would work proactively with the industry to help educate parents about the ratings system, and are disheartened to learn that this politicization of the issue is instead becoming an opportunistic trend. We remain supportive of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board and stand ready to aid the ESA in their lawsuits, as we have done in the past."

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