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IEMA opposes California's violent videogames bill

The Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association has issued a statement expressing strong opposition to AB1179, a bill designed to restrict the sale of violent games to minors in the state of California.

The Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association has issued a statement expressing strong opposition to AB1179, a bill designed to restrict the sale of violent games to minors in the state of California.

According to the IEMA president Hal Halpin, the bill is "impractical" and "unnecessary" and would essentially create "a California-only class of products requiring retailers to buy, warehouse and distribute California videogames separately from other inventory."

Halpin goes on to argue that IEMA members have already offered their commitment to a scheme which would require consumers to show proof of age, and that AB1179 is "clearly unconstitutional."

At present, the state government imposes no restrictions on the sales of other forms of entertainment and the IEMA claims that: "Time and again courts have uniformly held that videogames, just like books, movies and music, are expression that is fully protected by the First Amendment."

The bill has already been endorsed by the Californian senate and assembly and is now awaiting approval from the state Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"We refuse to believe that the Governor will allow this matter to become further politicised and divisive - leading only to a course which would inevitably cost the taxpayers valuable resources," said Halpin.

"We instead hope that he will veto AB1179 and ask that the State work more closely with the games industry in much the same way that it does the music and movie businesses."

The bill is also opposed by the ESA, which represents game publishers in North America. The ESA's general counsel, Gail Markels, has claimed it represents an attempt to "subsitute the government's judgement for parental supervision."

Governor Schwarzenegger has until October 9 to either pass or veto the bill.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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