June 16th, 2006

BREAKING Louisiana Guv Signs Jack Thompson Video Game Bill Into Law - Industry Lawsuit Expected

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.
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Entertainment Weekly Names GamePolitics to List of "100 Websites to Bookmark Now"

For once, GP is speechless...

We've just been notified that Entertainment Weekly has named GamePolitics to their 2006 Best of the Web list. The complete list will appear in the next issue of EW, which hits newsstands nationwide on Monday, June 26th.

If you're too impatient to wait - or too cheap to buy the magazine - you can see the entire list here. Other game-oriented sites honored by Entertainment Weekly include Joystiq, GameVideos, Penny Arcade and GameSpot.

The selection process gave EW's top 25 website picks the opportunity to name three favorites, so we owe our place on the list to Joystiq Managing Editor Christopher Grant.

Many thanks to Christopher and to Entertainment Weekly!!

Honestly, we are humbled...

Want to talk about it? You can discuss this story via the "comments" feature (click below), or in the new GamePolitics Forums...

Video Game Industry Files Suit to Block Louisiana Law

This just in...

According to an ESA press release the video game industry (ESA & EMA) has filed suit to block implementation of Louisiana's new game violence law. The enabling legislation, HB1381, was signed last evening by Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D) after unanimously passing both the Louisiana House and Senate. The law took effect immediately.

"We are confident this bill will be found unconstitutional," said ESA president Doug Lowenstein, "as have similar statutes in other states... Legislators know full well that this bill is destined to meet the same fate as other failed efforts to ban video game sales."

Addressing Louisiana's situation directly, Lowenstein added, "HB 1381 also directly undermines efforts legislators started after enactment of tax credit legislation less than year ago designed to lure video game development and production to Louisiana to generate needed high-paying technology jobs. Signing this bill into law would no doubt hurt the state's economy, essentially hanging up a 'Stay Out of Louisiana' sign on the state's borders for video game companies."

Lowenstein is referring to a tax credit bill passed last year, as reported on GamePolitics.
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