Friday, May 26, 2006

Maryland Law HB707

It seems Maryland is the first state to get videogame legislation somewhat correct. Instead of banning sales of explicit videogames to minors, imposing a new ratings system or fining retail stores, as other states have done, Maryland Bill HB707 adds sexually mature and explicit games to a broader media group that already contains movies and books.

Entertainment Software Association president Douglas Lowenstein had this to say of the bill and the ESA's support of it:

The Entertainment Software Association supported the passage of HB 707, which adds video games to the existing 'harmful to minors' obscenity law in Maryland, and which already covers movies and books.

The ESA has always been supportive of the inclusion of video games to 'harmful to minor' statutes that meet the Supreme Courts obscenity standards -- we believe that video games should be treated in the same way that books and movies are treated under the law. Where we draw the line is when the law is a violation of the First Amendment, as was Maryland's HB 75, which attempted to add violent video games to the 'harmful to minors' statute, a direct violation of citizens' constitutional rights.

Ultimately, we hope that state legislators and candidates will enter into a constructive partnership to educate parents about game content and tools available to them so they, not government, can raise their kids as they see fit and buy the games that are right for their unique families. We believe it to be far more productive for all parties -- industry, retailers, government, parent groups, health groups -- to work together to educate parents about the ESRB ratings and content descriptors and the parental controls available in all next generation consoles. As always, we welcome the opportunity to work with any and all of those who care about these important issues.'"


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home