ESA Sues To Overturn Oklahoma Video Game Law

Video Game Law Blog

June 27, 2006

We recently reported on the State of Oklahoma's new video game law and on the computer and video game industry's intention to contest this new law ( here ). Well, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) recently made their opposition official by filing a lawsuit in order to have the Federal Court strike the law down as unconstitutional.

The ESA is fairly confident in its chances of success in this case, since similar laws have been overturned by six federal courts in five years, all of which rejected the claims made by states that violent video games cause aggression.

Of note is the fact that the Oklahoma law criminalizes the sale or distribution of violent video games to minors, even by their own parents. By subjecting a parent to criminal liability for providing a video game to their child, the State of Oklahoma is the first in the country to pass a law that takes the unprecedented step of telling parents that the government knows better than they what games their children should play.

The ESA has stated its disappointment over the fact that the legislature opted to enact the bill rather than pursue constitutional and effective ways to work cooperatively with industry, retailers, government, parent groups, and health groups to educate parents about the ESRB ratings and content descriptors and the parental controls available in all next generation consoles.

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