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Senator dumps Tennessee games ban proposal

Tennessee Senator Tommy Kilby has withdrawn his controversial anti-violent videogames bill following concerns over its legitimacy under the First Amendment.

Tennessee Senator Tommy Kilby has withdrawn his controversial anti-violent videogames bill following concerns over its legitimacy under the First Amendment.

Arguably taking the hardest line in a continuing run of governmental legislative proposals purportedly for the protection of minors against the harmful effects of violence in videogames, Senator Kilby's bill proposed an outright ban on the sale of violent videogames throughout the state, regardless of consumer age.

The bill was deemed unlikely to withstand any legal challenge from the industry, particularly given the precedent set by several noticeably less drastic proposals in other US states, all of which have been struck down by the courts on grounds of a breech of First Amendment rights as well as the fact that the evidentiary support for the legislation is speculative and subjective at best.

Senator Kilby appears to have taken the most logical action under the circumstances, preventing a costly legal battle that, as has been shown in various states across the US of late, is extremely likely to result in the court's dismissal of the bill.

The controversy over governmental control over the sale of videogames in the US continues unabated however, and new efforts are being made in spite of the recent legal victories for the industry.

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a new bill last week which proposes petty fines for consumers - not retailers - found to be knowingly renting or buying M or AO rated software whilst under the age of 18. Whilst the ESA has not commented specifically on the Minnesota bill, a further legal challenge - at the expense of the US taxpayer - seems likely to follow.

Author

Paul Loughrey

Contributor