Delaware Seeks To Brand Violent Games As Obscene

Video Game Law Blog

March 22, 2006

Delaware Rep. Helene Keeley, the sponsor of a similar bill that failed in the past, has renewed her efforts in the state congress to prevent the sale of violent games to minors. This time, Rep. Keeley hopes that, by classifying violent games as obscene material, the amended Delaware bill HB360 will successfully avoid any of the Constitutional challenges that have prevented similar bills in other states from becoming law.

This tactic was similarly used and abandoned in a recent Utah bill, after it met with heavy fire on the basis of free speech and other like Constitutional issues.

Bill HB360 is currently being challenged in committee hearings by the Motion Picture Association of America and the Video Software Dealers Association, which denounce the bill as unconstitutional. While the bill could potentially be defeated outright in committee hearings, it has garnered support from such figures as Deputy Attorney General Paul Wallace and anti-game crusader Jack Thompson, who said to the Delaware News Journal that "[Games aren't] even speech. This is software that enables a machine to allow a player to play a game".
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