June 20th, 2006

Judge Blocks Jack Thompson Video Game Law From Taking Effect

A federal judge in Baton Rouge has issued a temporary injunction which blocks Louisiana's new violent video game law from taking effect. As written, the measure would have been in force immediately upon becoming law late last week. A hearing on the matter is scheduled in Baton Rouge for June 30th.

As readers will recall, GamePolitics broke the news that Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D) signed HB1381 into law on Thursday evening. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Roy Burrell (D) and largely drafted by controversial anti-game attorney Jack Thompson, seeks to define violent games as "harmful to minors," using the same legal standard by which obscenity is determined.
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ESRB, Senators to Announce "Commitment to Parents"

This just in...

According to an ESRB press release, the video game ratings organization will announce a new "Commitment to Parents" initiative tomorrow in Washington, D.C.

Although details are sparse, the press release describes the program as an "unprecedented commitment on the part of leading video game retailers to enhance compliance with store policies regarding the sale of Mature-rated video games and educate customers about ESRB video game ratings..."

Joining video game industry officials for the announcement will be Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA, seen at left), George Allen (R-VA), and Mark Pryor (D-AR). The ultra-conservative Santorum is currently locked in a desperate re-election struggle against Democratic challenger Bob Casey, Jr. Virginia conservative Allen is often mentioned as a 2008 presidential hopeful.

On hand from the industry side will be ESRB President Patricia Vance, ESA boss Doug Lowenstein, and EMA honcho Bo Andersen, as well as representatives from major video game retailers Wal-Mart, GameStop, Blockbuster and Circuit City.

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