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Game Politics

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.

Echoing Lowenstein's concerns with the new law is Bo Andersen (left), president of Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), who said, "Despite what the legislature has been told, the Louisiana video game restriction law is not unique - a very similar measure was passed in Michigan and promptly overturned in federal court.

"The Louisiana law suffers from the same constitutional defects as the Michigan law and the five other video game laws that have been enjoined on constitutional grounds. It will meet the same fate, and the taxpayers of Louisiana will end up having to pay for the legislature's reckless gamble."

GP: No word yet about an injunction, so we assume that - at least for now - Louisiana's video game law remains in force.

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Tags: bo andersen, doug lowenstein, ema, esa, first amendment, hb1381, legislation, louisiana
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