The new politics of video games does not always translate to legislators versus the game lobby. Sometimes it's as simple and old-fashioned as Democrats versus Republicans.
As reported by the Columbia Missourian, House Minority Leader Jeff Harris, a Democrat, is, for the second year in a row, struggling to get his bill, HB1467 heard. Like similar proposals in other states, Harris' bill would make it illegal to sell games rated "M" or "AO" to anyone under 17.
"These games unnecessarily show graphic violence and graphic sexual situations," he said. "This is one step that we should take to protect kids and support parents."
Harris bill hasn't moved to a committee vote yet, a situation he blames on the Republican-controlled State House.
"Evidently, the governor and the speaker simply don't have any inclination to move this legislation," Harris said. "I think it's good, common sense, bipartisan legislation. I would hope the governor would embrace this and we could get things moving."
Republican House Speaker Rod Jetton (left), however, claims to support Harris' bill.
"You think, 'well, it's just boys playing games,'" Jetton said. "But they've got some pretty graphic and really not very good things on there. I thought his bill was a good idea, I'm very supportive of it. For minors, it's very appropriate to limit those kind of things."
Harris' bill is now before the House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee. As previously reported by GamePolitics, the bill will die in committee if action is not taken by May.
The Missourian also checked in with Jason Della Rocca, executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), who pointed out, "During his time, Shakespeare wasn't regarded as the literary genius (that he is) today. He was seen as trash and inciting the masses. It would seem that games are the next generation in that regard."
GP: In the interests of disclosure, GP points out that he is an IGDA member.