February 24th, 2006

Mississippi Video Game Bill Stuck in the Mud

SB2082 is dead on arrival.

The measure, introduced last month by Mississippi State Senator Gray Tollison (D, seen at left) would have imposed $100 fines for retailers selling M- and AO-rated games to minors.

The bill also mandated signage explaining the video game content rating system. However, SB2082 failed to clear its first hurdle, getting placed on the calendar of the senate's Judiciary Committee.

We've updated the Legislation Tracker map to reflect the demise of Tollison's bill.

Utah House Overwhelmingly Approves Games-as-Porn Bill

If Rep. David Hogue (R) has his way - and so far he's on a roll - it will soon be a felony to provide a violent video game to a minor in the state of Utah.

As reported by the Salt Lake Tribune, Hogue's bill, HB257, passed the state House of Representatives by a 56-8 vote yesterday. The measure equates violent games with pornography, and would add such games to a Utah statute normally used only to prosecute those who provide smut to kids.

Hogue linked violent games to school shootings, including Columbine.

"Would these same kids have done this anyway without watching violent videos? Maybe not."

Hogue also mentioned Resident Evil 4, the Grand Theft Auto series and Rockstar's upcoming Bully to the Tribune.

"You can get even with bullies. You take a baseball bat and beat up their heads," he said. "It is going to show kids how to respond in school. Is this what we want our kids doing?"

Games which violate the proposed law would need to be "patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community" and lack any serious "literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors."

Republican Rep. Scott Wyatt opined that only the "most depraved" video games would fall under this bill. However, Republican Rep. Margaret Dayton and Democratic Rep. Ross Romero had concerns over the bill's constitutionality.

For his part, Hogue expressed confidence the measure would survive First Amendment challenges. "It will set an example that Utah is a family state," he said.
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