As of today, there is a violent video game law in effect in Louisiana.
GamePolitics has confirmed with her staff that Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D, seen at left) signed HB1381 into law last night. Under terms of the legislation, it takes effect immediately. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Roy Burrell (D) and drafted by controversial Miami attorney and anti-game activist Jack Thompson, defines violent video games as "harmful to minors" in much the same way as pornography.
Using language from the well-known Miller test of obscenity, the new law prohibits sales or rentals to minors of games which a judge has determined meet these conditions:
"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, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors."
The video game industry is expected to appeal on First Amendment grounds. GamePolitics is seeking comment from the ESA at this time.
Attorney Thompson circulated an e-mail on the new law this morning, calling the signing of the bill "personally gratifying" and alleging a harassment campaign against him on the part of the videogame industry.
"This law is constitutional," Thompson continued, "as it addresses all of the complaints raised by federal courts which have struck down other state video game laws. It is unique in its approach, as it borrows a time-tested three-prong approach approved by the US Supreme Court in obscenity cases."
With Gov. Blanco's signing of the measure, Louisiana becomes the third state this year - along with Minnesota and Oklahoma - to adopt sales restrictions on violent video games, thus equalling 2005's record setting total.
Want to talk about it? You can discuss this story via the "comments" feature (click below), or in the new GamePolitics Forums...