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Oklahoma introduces violent videogames bill

The latest in the seemingly relentless political attacks on the videogames industry comes in the shape of a new violent videogames bill from the State of Oklahoma, which has successfully passed a Senate hearing.

The latest in the seemingly relentless political attacks on the videogames industry comes in the shape of a new violent videogames bill from the State of Oklahoma, which has successfully passed a Senate hearing.

Echoing the "games as porn" bill put forward by Utah Representative David L. Hogue, which sailed through the House of Representatives by a vote of 56-8 before being canned when the State Senate failed to vote on the bill, The Oklahoma legislation would make it a felony to knowingly exhibit or sell violent video games to minors.

Seeking an amendment to existing laws that are intended to regulate the distribution of pornographic and sadomasochistic material, the new bill proposed by Senator Glen Coffee once again encompasses as broad and vague a definition of what constitutes a violent videogame as possible, ensuring all the bases are covered, but opening the bill up to scrutiny and dismissal on First Amendment grounds.

According to GamePolitics.com, the bill was unanimously approved by the House in March, and was approved by the Senate on Monday with a vote of 47-0. However, due to an amendment by the Senate, the bill, which defines "inappropriate violence" to mean when "video game or computer software which is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is suitable for minors," will need to go back to the House for further approval.

If the House approves the amended bill, it will then pass to Governor Brad Henry for consideration. Henry will then have five days to sign the bill into law, and if he does, it will become a law on November 1st. This doesn't take into account intervention by the ESA, and the newly merged IEMA/VSA trade bodies, which have successfully secured both temporary and permanent injunctions against similar bills in California, Illinois and Michigan, in addition to protesting against the failed Utah bill.

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