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Yee attacks games industry following AB1179 challenge

New outburst at publishers as ESA prepares to drag new law through the courts

San Francisco assemblyman Leland Yee has once again launched an attack on the videogames industry in the wake of the news that the Entertainment Software Association is to mount a legal challenge to his recently-passed bill prohibiting the sale of violent games to minors.

The bill, AB1179, was signed into law by Californian governor Arnold Schwarznegger almost a fortnight ago, and has been met with anger from bodies representing videogame publishers and retailers.

Responding to the news of the legal challenge, Yee said that "the $31 billion videogame industry is not concerned with the health and welfare of our children; they are simply concerned with their own financial interests."

"History has proven in cases of child labour and physical assault on children we can and should pass laws to protect them," he continued. "I am a strong believer in the First Amendment and in free speech, but when a game allows a player to virtually commit sexual assault and murder, as a society we must do what we can to protect our children, as we do for alcohol, tobacco and pornography, among other items."

Yee firmly believes that the ESA's bid to have the bill struck down as unconstitutional will fail. "The new California law has been drafted with the help of constitutional experts to pass such a challenge," he explained, "and I expect the courts to agree."

As for Governor Schwarznegger, he too is giving his full backing to the law - even though insiders suggested that he was reticent to sign it in the first place, given his own background in the entertainment industry.

"Ten days ago I signed into law legislation that requires violent videogames to be clearly labelled and prohibits their sale to children under 18 years old," he explained. "Many of these games are made for adults and choosing games that are appropriate for kids should be a decision made by their parents."

"I believe strongly that we must give parents the tools to help them protect their children," he continued. "I will do everything in my power to preserve this new law."

Author
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.