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Californian violent game bill passed on reconsideration

A key House Committee in California has voted to pass a controversial bill which would punish retailers who sell M-rated games to minors, reversing its decision to strike down the legislation earlier this week.

A key House Committee in California has voted to pass a controversial bill which would punish retailers who sell M-rated games to minors, reversing its decision to strike down the legislation earlier this week.

The House Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media passed the bill on a 6 - 4 vote on reconsideration, reversing the 5 - 4 defeat which it suffered on its previous reading.

The bill, which is being proposed by San Francisco assemblyman Leland Yee, a child psychologist whose previous efforts at legislation against violent games have largely met with defeat in California, will now move forward to the full Assembly.

"For the same reason we don't allow kids to buy pornography, cigarettes, or alcohol, we shouldn't allow them to go to stores and buy video games that teach them to do the very things we put people in jail for," Yee told news agency Reuters after the vote.

He went on to list such crimes as "abusing women, joining street gangs, killing police officers, or even assassinating President Kennedy" - presumably a reference to a spate of copycat presidential assassination crimes we've previously been unaware of.

The Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA) has consistently opposed Yee's legislation on this issue, arguing that it is unnecessary since its members are voluntarily introducing carding systems which will prevent the sale of violent games to children - as well as pointing out that in several states, such legislation has already been ruled unconstitutional.

"Retailers are making their best efforts to ensure that their stores are complying with their policy of carding for Mature-rated games," IEMA director of government relations Marie Sylla commented earlier this week, "and would like to be given the same opportunity as the movie theatre owners and music retailers."

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Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.