If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

ESA files lawsuit to overturn Oklahoma games law

The Entertainment Software Association has filed a lawsuit seeking the overturning of Oklahoma's recently signed games law, ESA president Doug Lowenstein estimating a half million in costs for the taxpayer.

The Entertainment Software Association has filed a lawsuit seeking the overturning of Oklahoma's recently signed games law, with ESA president Doug Lowenstein estimating a half million in costs for the taxpayer.

"Legislators have sold parents a bill of goods for political expediency," Lowenstein stated.

"They know the bill will be struck down, they know itâs based on bad science, and they know it wonât help parents do their jobs. What they wonât tell voters: we just picked your pocket to the tune of a half million dollars, the amount the state will have to reimburse the ESA after the inevitable decision is made to strike down the law," he continued.

Oklahoma's games bill, which was signed into law earlier this month and is set to take effect on November 1st, will make it a felony for anyone in Oklahoma to sell, rent or display games to minors which contain "inappropriate violence" - forcing retail stores to keep such games hidden in a similar fashion to pornographic material.

"The lawâs definitions are so vague and imprecise that no video game retailer could ever know whether a particular video game is covered by the restrictions," added Bo Andersen, president of the Entertainment Merchants Association.

"No retail clerk should suffer the ignominy of a criminal record where no reasonable person could determine whether a particular video game may legally be sold or rented to a minor."

The law echoes similar failed legislative proposals in the state of Utah, which suffered harsh criticism from First Amendment experts for it vagaries and unconstitutional approach, before being canned by the state Senate.

Reiterating the fact that similar laws have been struck down as unconstitutional by six federal courts in five years, the ESA is supremely confident of another legal victory - but also immensely frustrated that both legal precedent and common sense appear to have been ignored in the passing of Oklahoma's controversial new law.

Author

Paul Loughrey

Contributor