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Louisiana prohibits "violent" video games from minors

Written by Matti Vähäkainu (Google+) @ 20 Jun 2006 2:18 User comments (39)

Louisiana prohibits "violent" video games from minors Governor Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana has turned against rental sale of violent video and computer games to minors. The original bill was sponsored by Rep. Roy A. Burrell with an activist and Florida attorney Jack Thompson, who is known for his previous acts against video game industry. The "violent" content here is defined by the Miller obscenity test, which states that "whether speech or expression can be labeled obscene, in which case it is not protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and can be prohibited."
The law, signed by Blanco, takes effect immediately, but the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) will fight the law in federal court. The law, or Act 441, denies the sales of video games to minors in case,
"The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the video or computer game, taken as a whole, appeals to the minor's morbid interest in violence."
"The game depicts violence in a manner patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is suitable for minors."
"The game, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artist, political or scientific value for minors."

If retailers are caught and found guilty in terms of Act 441, the fines will be "not less than one hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than one year, or both." The ESA has stated that the constitutional protections are violated by this law and that the law makes sure video game developers stay out of Louisiana.


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39 user comments

120.6.2006 2:57

A year in prison and up to $2000 in fines for a videogame??? I wish someone with a DUI got at least half that.

220.6.2006 4:10

Yes our legislature has nothing better to worry about than violent video games. The Gov just sent the national guard in to New Orleans to stop the murder wave going on since the dregs have returned to the city. Some judge has already stepped in and stopped the video madness. Let the lawyers decide this. Too bad they started the problem themselves and they can't be put into some of the violent games and dealt with that way.

320.6.2006 4:34

wow i guess pot smokers aren't the only ones that are high and i do mean high and do you really think this law is going to do anything hell no some kid will just take his 18 year old freind with him to purchase the game instead this has to be the most stupid law in history it shows in a state where half of you population cannot even read you have to place the worlds most dumbest laws wow this brings people with sticks up there bums versus video game industry to a new low

420.6.2006 5:09

"lacks serious... political... value"? wtf? The rest, I can see as some sort of "educational academic stimulation", but "political" value? Maybe they're talking about Command & Conquer, Civilization 3, or Sid Meier's Pirates? Maybe the Prince of Persia: 2 Thrones? No? No thanks, then. Lots of games are using more and more physics-based systems. Does that qualify as a scientific value? No? Well then off with you. Literary... hmm, does that only qualify for rpgs or something? So... this is a joke, right?

520.6.2006 5:20

it might be good that kids 10 and under dont get k-18 games but who cares if 15 old kid want to have k-18 game.. if they can´t buy it from store they will get it from another way... whose gona monitor how old downloads k-18 game/movies from internet? and WOW $2000 and year prison... bit extreme? Just proves that crimes where computers are involved fines are atleast 10 times too high. Probably because those who make laws dont understand computer "world"

620.6.2006 5:36

Everything in our society is violent in nature, I doubt this bill will make a significant difference.

720.6.2006 6:19

Come on already. This won't do squat for Louisiana. It is up to the parent to teach the kid right and wrong! I'm pretty sure if the parent doesn't want to buy a game because the game contains objectional content the kid thinks is okay to emulate, then the parent WON'T buy it! I hope the ESA fights a tough battle against this. Even Harry Potter has a little violence in it. But do you see states signing a bill like the Underage Violence in Books Exposure Act? No. And neither should they try and stop the video games's violence exposure rate. No matter how many bills and laws they try to legislate, kids will continue to play stuff like Tekken and Mortal Kombat! Kids will get exposed to violence sooner or later. Might as well be video games where they see the imposible combos. All this video game violence reminds me of the big controversy over Power Rangers (and it still is showing new episodes every week)! A bill that will stop kids from playing violent video games... I think not!

820.6.2006 8:07

Well...i dont live in Louisiana...but seriously this is unenforcable how are they gonna know if they are playing these games in the first place? And even if they do the parents could just say it was for themselves and they would not be able to prove otherwise... so...think before making uninformed pointless bills!

920.6.2006 10:02

sorry but Louisiana is not the redneck hillbilly state you want to think, sure the education system is lax compared to the northern states, but just as many can read there. and its not as consrevative as you would believe, neither; when I grew up there you only had to be 18 to drink beer and wine, so I am sure the residents of that fine state are just as humored by this as you are.

1020.6.2006 10:12

Federal judge issues injunction against new Louisiana video game law 6/20/2006 12:21:19 PM, by Eric Bangeman About two weeks ago, the Louisiana state legislature passed a law barring the sale of violent video games to minors. Governor Kathleen Blanco signed it into law late last week. Behind the legislation was anti-gaming-violence crusader Jack Thompson, who helped write the law and trumpeted its passage by saying that it addresses "all the complaints raised by federal courts which have struck down other video game laws." That may not be the case after all. Late last week, the Entertainment Software Association and Entertainment Merchants Association sued the state of Louisiana, arguing that the law was unconstitutional. Judge James J. Brady of the US District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana today issued a temporary restraining order (PDF) barring its enforcement. A hearing on the possibility of granting a preliminary injunction will be held on June 30 (not the 27th, as stated in the order). In a brief interview, Thompson said that he was not surprised by the judge's action, saying that it is normal for a judge to preserive the status quo prior to the passage of the law when litigation is brought. He said that he and the state of Louisiana were "marshaling our facts and our cases." He feels strongly that the law is constitutional as written, but remarked that it is impossible to "predict what a court is going to do." What is particularly interesting about the Louisiana legislation is that it tries to respond to previous court rulings by attempting to address First Amendment concerns raised in judicial review of other legislation. In particular, it uses the Miller test, which defines obscenity as something that by contemporary community standards appeals to the prurient interest; depicts sexual content specifically defined by state law in a patently offensive way; and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. Typically, the Miller test is used for pornography or other sexual content, which is protected by the First Amendment as long as it is not considered obscene go here to read it all http://news.ars/post/20060620-7091.html

1120.6.2006 11:01

Boils down to midterm elections, sucking the teat of the conservative bible belt and in essence being a nuisance. So they may not be able to rebuild New Orleans or have a decent judical system (with an amazing high crime rate), piss poor public education (even by United States standards), rampant poverty with no help for the middle or lower class, systemic failures and scandals in regards to their Senate and house members... but by God, they will stop violent videogames.

1220.6.2006 17:52

Politics and censorship, politics and theology, politics and youth, politics and corruption, politics and scandals, politics with all the above and more... Minors will still play violent video games, they will get it off their older brothers and sisters, father or mother by nagging them to death, grandfather or grandmother, uncle or aunt, cousins, hobbo's with stolen games, etc.

1321.6.2006 4:31

ok first they complain about salesslum and now they want to cause the workers for retailers to card everyone for a video game . the market is on a down ward slide due to sales drop because kids cant buy the games they want... next the kids will have to go to flea markets or garage sales to buy games dont they relise they are cause ing a black market to be created? this is why the econamy is failing there are just to many people sticking their noses into everyone lives... the government want to regulate everything you do but they want your money while they tell you what you can do... god this is really starting to sound like comunist america... in third world countrys kids have real guns and my child cant have one on a video game what ever happened to the constatution or has the government repealed that as well... video games created in the usa are about our only export that is thriving and now the government wants to regulate it to the high est degree... and no I dont think hidden game file should be alowed in kids games but come on dont we have better things to deal with like the pervets the government has working in home land security?

1421.6.2006 8:41

I reality, kids can buy almost anything that an adult can buy. Adult games to alcohol to drugs to porn, altho who would waste money when it's free on line. The laws are feel-good for the parents. Kids are ingenious in their cunning. I know I used to be one myself, but the bad stuff wasn't around much then.

1521.6.2006 16:29

Its kinda old news been on GP and its not only Louisiana thats puling this BS. mystic even still the game industry is doing a better job at protecting kids from M rated stuff than the Moive indusry is *L* its just a sad state off affairs to see the pandering going on...

1621.6.2006 18:17

Nobody can control kids nowadays, even their parents have a hard time with them. Violent video games were sold at walmart to minors, and they did a reporting on the issue. Made a difference, no.

1723.6.2006 16:43

"The law, or Act 441, denies the sales of video games to minors in case [...] The game, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artist, political or scientific value for minors." What video game HAS serious literary, artist, political or scientific value for minors??? And what minor would WANT to buy a game WITH literary, artist, political or scientific value?

1823.6.2006 21:15

Steve83 ou have a point but at the same tiemthe same can be siad for books and moives,banning games or violance as porn with only restric its sale devs will stoping trying to make whole game and we get soemthign Politcilty Correct like Beast machines *L* that BS suxed its Like Transformers Beast wars without the weapons,chatatcer devplment,charatcers,and will dissmate the industry sicne some citys and states will just permaban ALL gameing 0-o it be like the 50s for blacks and gays but it'd be just for gamers...*shudders*

1924.6.2006 6:51

Dear Johnodd4, It's "their bums" not "there bums", mr. harvard educated, I can read so well. Put down the bong and get a F--- dictionary. Looks like you got out of public education just what you put in to it. "World's most dumbest laws"? Grammar for dummies won't get you through life, are you really from here? So I guess Louisiana has no monopoly on morons, you've proven they're (not there) everywhere!

2024.6.2006 12:59

bushfilm quit being an ass it makes the place smell....with the stress of this assine world alittle pot for all is a good thing ><

2124.6.2006 21:24

I think Louisiana should be considered with the levies rather than some pointless video games. Louisiana is still at risk, politicians are such useless scoundrel at times, I swear.

2224.6.2006 21:25

should consider the levies, I can't believe I just wrote that, lol.

2325.6.2006 2:45

hot_ice Its called slight of hand politions do it when they are pandering for votes look at what bush dose he has a war in one hand and gay marriage in the other...unfortuntely it only dazed and confused the religouse zealots to vote for him and his...everyoen else sees it as acts of despreation!

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

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2425.6.2006 8:22

Hi ZIPPYDSM, Well, it's spelled "asinine" not "asine", but I gather from your other posts that spelling and writing with good grammar don't really matter much. You know, I just get tired of people who can't spell or write, knocking Louisiana as some kind of home for idiots. There are plenty to go around everywhere, and I bet if you checked your own state legislature, you'd find at least one dumb law, trust me. Have a nice day, and stop picking on Louisiana, people here are just like people everywhere else, even in the legislature.

2525.6.2006 8:26

And HOT ICE, it's "levees" not "levies". Jeeez..can no one spell at all anymore? But hey, I'm sure I'll get a brilliant, misspelled flame for this, so go for it guys.

2625.6.2006 8:44

bushfilm *burries you in my dead brain cells* I gave up being perfect long long ago,I gave up speliing awhile back grammer just goes with incoherance witch I seem to ahve taken/tooken to a new art ^^

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

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2725.6.2006 9:10

@bushfilm I am in Louisiana and for far too long. My whole life save a few early years and college. We have more than our share of idiots in this state. The legislature included, hell start with the Governor. The two laws that where pushed, one about the video games and another about mandatory pet evacuations from hurricanes(I can just see the pit bulls in the shelters); just two prime examples while New Orleans festers in it's own rotting trash. They are just now removing abandoned autos. So far they are on a fast track to rebuild New Orleans worse than it was before Katrina. They've just called in the National Guard. So until wholesale changes are made at the top of Government on down, then outsiders are going to coninue to laugh at us. But other states have their share of idiots as you say. Ours just make bigger headlines. Where do you live?

2825.6.2006 9:30

Bushfilm, you're making a big deal out of a single mistake, I wonder, does someone have a sudden craving for attention? Lest I forget, you are perfect, as such, you are entitled to your crown, O' venerable king of superiority. I am not really known for my sense of humour, but I know a sick joke when I see one. Good day.

2926.6.2006 10:29

Hot Ice, What single mistake are you talking about? No, not perfect, just willing to make the effort to write a coherent sentence with most of the words spelled right. Point here is, and lets all pay attention, Louisiana has some dumb legislators who pass some pretty dumb laws from time to time, but I think you can find some dumb laws and legislators who pass them, just about everywhere. For some reason, people just like to jump on Louisiana and I don't think its deserved, nor is the timing particularly appropriate. Got it? Thanks, now I'm off to correct all the flaws on some other forum.

3026.6.2006 15:44

@Bushfilm "What single mistake are you talking about?" Don't play coy with me Bushfilm. You know exactly what I'm referring to, you prevaricating fefnicute. "just willing to make the effort to write a coherent sentence" What a mendacious statement: logically speaking, if my sentence was incoherent, then how is it, you would know I was referring to levees in my sentence? Oh! That's right, you have telepathy. "Got it?" No. Come again? "Thanks, now I'm off to correct all the flaws on some other forum." If you have that much time on your hands, do something constructive with your time, and stop being an abrasive character with others. Thank you, come again.

3126.6.2006 15:49

I take back the words, "prevaricating fefnicute", but everything else fits the circumstances.

3226.6.2006 16:31

*blink blink* what kinda fight is this? is this how peole with an IQ fight? 0_o *gasp* *dies laughing* god...kami san...I NEED A BRAIN!!!! ><

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

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3326.6.2006 16:41

@Zippy That's hardly a fight, bushfilm, just likes to badger people senselessly.

3426.6.2006 16:54

hot_ice *tugs on uurrr pant leg crying insanely* BBRRAAIINNNSSS!!!! 0-o

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

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3526.6.2006 17:13

@zippy Where are you from by the way, I don't believe I ever asked...? I am curious.

3626.6.2006 18:34

hot_ice Tennesee one of the burbs thats near chattnooga thats not been bought by chattnooga *L* Tennesee where theres more trees than people and more guns than trees!..or is that texas *L* Currently livieng near Dade county (sicne my parents passed away last year canser and lung desiase) they tried to ban gays from thier city 2 or 3 years about a bunch of monkeys(the city leaders)...oy vay

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

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3727.6.2006 8:29

My condolences for your parents Zippy.

3827.6.2006 8:35

hot_ice life giveth and life taketh away..mostly taketh the funny farm...the happy home...where life is beautiafull all the time 0-o mew *L*

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

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3927.6.2006 9:08

Zippy is poetic, well I've seen it all. hehehe

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