Game Politics (gamepolitics) wrote,
Game Politics
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Iowa Joins Video Game Legislation Bandwagon

A group of Iowa legislators proposed video game legislation in that state yesterday.

As reported in the Des Moines Register, HF 2104 would restrict minors from buying violent or sexually explicit games. Violations would subject retailers to $500 fines.

The Register reports that Iowa's bill is modeled after contested laws in California and Illinois. As GP readers know, California's legislation has been enjoined by a federal court pending a final decision on whether or not it is constitutional. The Safe Games Illinois Act, of course, was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in strong language last month.

The bill's primary sponsor, Rep. Janet Petersen (D-Des Moines), told the newspaper, "Parents are looking for help in dealing with parenting kids in today's technology... A voluntary (rating) system doesn't necessarily always work. Do we really want kids spending their free time trying to decide who they want to murder and how they want to murder them?"

However, House Majority Leader Chuck Gipp (R-Decorah), voiced concerns about the proposed bill.

"I don't think there is anybody that supports violent video games and sexually explicit material being sold to minors," he said. "However, how do you do it? Who is the one that determines what is and what is not (inappropriate)?"

The Iowa bill does not rely on ESRB ratings. Rather, it defines as "violent" any game that contains violence against a person "in which the player of the video game simulates killing or causing serious physical injury."

For a complete reading of the bill, click here.

GP: Kudos to the Des Moines Register for presenting a well-balanced report.

UPDATE: The Register has issued an editorial labeling Rep. Petersen's bill as "well-intentioned," but "bad law."

Tags: democrats, iowa, legislation, petersen, violence
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