Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has finally signed the Safe Games Illinois Act into force. Illinois will now limit the sale and rental of games with 'violent and sexually explicit"? content, and retailers who sell or rent such games to people 18 or under are subject to fines. The Act becomes effective on January 1, 2006.
The Electronic Software Association, the Video Software Dealers Association and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association have since filed a lawsuit trying to prevent the implementation of the Illinois legislation. The lawsuit claims that the legislation directly prevents fully protected expression, and will cause a further chilling effect because it is vague and unclear. Since similar legislation has been overturned elsewhere, this will be an interesting fight.