Oklahoma 'Games As Porn' Bill Signed Into Law ESA Quick To React


We reported, in April 2006 (click here ), that the Oklahoma House of Representatives was considering a new bill that would redefine a list of items, such as hardcore pornography, which are deemed 'harmful to minors"?, to include video games which use 'inappropriate violence"?. It has now been announced that Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry has signed into law this State-specific bill.

The video game industry was quick to react to this news and the ESA has already officially voiced its opposition to the new law, stating that it intends to contest its constitutionality. The new law, which is set to come into effect on November 1, 2006, would make it a felony for anyone in Oklahoma to sell, rent or display games which contain inappropriate violence, with stores required to keep such games hidden in a similar manner to pornographic magazines and videos. The bill ignores the ESRB age rating for games, and instead makes its own definition of inappropriate violence.

This definition considers inappropriate any game which 'lacks serious literary, scientific, medical, artistic or political value"? and which features glamorized or gratuitous violence; uses that violence to shock or stimulate; features violence that is not contextually relevant to the material; has violence so pervasive that it serves as the thread holding the plot of the material together; trivializes the serious nature of realistic violence; does not demonstrate the consequences or effects of realistic violence; uses brutal weapons designed to inflict the maximum amount of pain and damage; endorses or glorifies torture or excessive weaponry, or depicts lead characters who resort to violence freely.

The ESA's legal challenge can certainly not be said to be baseless, since the ESA has recently succeeded in having a similar law overturned, in Utah, on the basis of free speech.

For coverage http://shorl.com/gutenistutyde and http://shorl.com/gibrekybystyhy

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