Legislators in Oklahoma are apparently in consensus when it comes to video game violence. A bill proposed by State Senator Glen Coffee (R, seen at left) passed 47-0 yesterday. The measure's next stop is the desk of Governor Brad Henry, a Democrat.
HB3004 is the same bill which, as reported by GamePolitics, passed the Oklahoma House, also unanimously, in March.
State Rep. Fred Morgan (R) is the original author of the bill, which takes the "games as porn" approach, amending an existing Oklahoma statute defining those things deemed "harmful to minors." HB3004 would add what it terms "inappropriate violence," to the banned-for-minors list, applying "contemporary community standards" to any such judgment.
Games-as-porn is a recently-developed legislative tactic which is popping up in state assemblies with increasing frequency (Utah, Delaware, Louisiana) as legislators seek to navigate a path that avoids the well-publicized First Amendment failures such bills have experienced recently in Illinois and Michigan.
If Gov. Henry signs the bill, HB3004 will become law on November 1st.
UPDATE: We spoke with Gov. Henry's office this morning and learned that an amendment added by the Oklahoma Senate will cause HB3004 to go back to the House for approval before it is delivered to the Governor for consideration. Once the measure arrives on his desk, Gov. Henry will have five days to sign the bill.
UPDATE 2: A well-placed source told GP that, while the Guv's legislative staff would need to review whatever final version is passed by the legislature, he would most likely be inclined to sign the bill into law. That, of course, would trigger the video game industry's next First Amendment battle.