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Delaware Paper Zings Video Game Bill, Thompson's Testimony

For such a small state, Delaware has received much scrutiny of late in the video game world.

The unusual level of attention is explained by a controversial piece of video game legislation now before the Delaware House. In recent days GamePolitics has extensively covered the efforts of Rep. Helene Keeley (D) to legislate sales of violent games to minors. The issue has also drawn the attention of local news media.

An editorial in this morning's Delaware News-Journal comes out squarely against Rep. Keeley's bill and calls into question the testimony given by Jack Thompson on behalf of the proposed legislation. Here is an excerpt:

"A proposal before the House would stop anyone under 17 from buying the more violent games. Most responsible people agree children should not be allowed near them. In fact, no one should. But do we need a law to enforce good taste and common sense?"

"There's no doubt that these games are gory, disgusting and degrading to women. It is reprehensible that police officers are targets in some of the games and that ethnic stereotypes are exploited in others. But should the state government get involved in what really is a parental responsibility?..."

"It is also a little too much to blame the tragedies at Columbine High School on video games, as one witness [Thompson] did. Not too many years ago critics were blamed teen violence on rock and roll. Plenty of children have played these video games without any effect -- other than wasting time. To link an argument about the proper way of raising children to a claim about brain waves does a disservice to the argument. Human beings, even young ones, are more resilient that that."

"The responsibility belongs squarely on the parents... And if the state takes over this function, what kind of police powers would be involved? Will the state be supervising play dates? ...Video-game supervision belongs in the family, not in the halls of the legislature."

Tags: delaware, democrats, helene keeley, jack thompson, legislation
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