Illinois Loses Video Game Law Appeal - Read the Ruling Here

November 28, 2006 -
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has affirmed a 2005 ruling that a video game law passed by the state of Illinois is unconstitutional.

As originally reported by GamePolitics, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kennelly threw out the entire "Safe Games Illinois Act" late last year.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich (left) ordered an appeal on portions of the legislation regarding sexually explicit games as well as a requirment that retailers label such games with a four-inch square sticker displaying the number "18". The court found the labeling requirment objectionable:

Indeed, at four square inches, the “18” sticker literally fails to be narrowly tailored — the sticker covers a substantial portion of the box.The State has failed to even explain why a smaller sticker would not suffice. Certainly we would not condone a health department’s requirement that half of the space on a restaurant menu be consumed by the raw shellfish warning. Nor will we condone the State’s unjustified requirement of the four square-inch “18” sticker.



The Illinois law's concept of what makes for a sexually explicit game was also dismissed by the court, which gave much consideration to Sony's PS2 epic God of War:




The game God of War... is illustrative of this point. Because the (Illinois law) potentially criminalizes the sale of any game that features exposed breasts, without concern for the game considered in its entirety or for the game’s social value for minors, distribution of God of War is potentially illegal, in spite of the fact that the game tracks the Homeric epics in content and theme. As we have suggested in the past, there is serious reason to believe that a statute sweeps too broadly when it prohibits a game that is essentially an interactive, digital version of the Odyssey.


Similarly, it seems unlikely that a statute is narrowly tailored to achieving the stated compelling interest when it potentially criminalizes distribution of works featuring only brief flashes of nudity.



Illinois did not appeal a portion of the 2005 decision which held restrictions on violent video games unconstitutional. Read the 7th Circuit's ruling here.

Posted in

Comments

About ps3: yeah, it's backwards compatible except for the games that look for rumble packs during boot, or look for the ps2 hdd. It's better than the emulators out there, but it isn't perfect.

I really don't see how restricting videogame sales to children is censorship. The games themselves aren't touched and I've heard a lot less about games being altered to fit certain ratings than I have movies in the US being altered to fit in with the ratings there.

There just seems to be a complete lack of middle ground. Either you want videogames banned, or you think they should be freely available to everyone.

@BigJonno...

Come to think of it, about restricting the sale of video games to children... that really should be in the hands of the stores themselves and NOT the government. That may sound a bit oversimplified, but that's just my thought about what you just said.

@BigJonno

Just because a law only effects minors doesn't mean it's not censorship. It still is censorship, as the government through law is deciding which Free Speech materials are appropriate or not for dissemination to minors.
Minors, especially older minors and teenagers Do and Should have the right to form there own viewpoints based on unrestrcited and uncensored access to information, ideas, messages and opinions brought forth within Free Speech materials.
The only speech materials which can be constitutionally barred to minors are materials that fall under the legal definition of "obscene to minors" as obscenity isn't protected by the First Amendment or; if there is a legitimate proscription such as an absolute proven harm caused by the material. Of course there is no proof of this when it comes to violent video games beyond some extremely weak, inconsistant, incredibly flawed and biased studies that at most show only a weak correlation or use rediculous or dubious proxies to determine aggression behaviour.

This is where I think the exact terminology of the law gets interesting and very important. There is nothing preventing a child of any age playing GTA (to use the classic example.) They're just not allowed to walk into the store and buy the game. My mother never refused to buy me an age restricted game and I always made sure she knew exactly what was in them (though the only ones I actually remember having were Mortal Kombat and Doom, not exactly sensationalist stuff by today's standards.) I'll certainly let my son see stuff when I think he's ready and not slavishly follow any ratings system. However I am glad that when he's of an age where he can take the bus into town and spend his money himself, he's not going to be able to buy anything that I might deem unsuitable, remote as that chance might be.

I don't believe that violent media makes people violent or anything that extreme, but our experiences do have an effect on us. A scary movie or game can give a kid nightmares. Exposure to sexually explicit content can severely warp a child's mind. I work in education and I can tell you that seeing a 10 year old with advance sexual knowledge is extremely disturbing.

I'm just a firm believer in parental responsibility. Anything that puts the decision in the hands of parents while at the same time not allowing excuses for bad parenting is a good thing in my book.

Incidentally, I'd like to thank the people I've had dialogue with here. It's refreshing to have a mature conversation on this subject.
 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
black mantaVox Day has openly stated his support of GG many times. And both they and the Sad Puppies essentially want the same things (i.e. purging video games/science fiction of SJWs whom they believe are threatening the genre.)06/30/2015 - 12:08am
Goth_SkunkHowever, The notion that GamerGate and Sad Puppies are the same perpetrators is preposterous.06/29/2015 - 11:24pm
Goth_SkunkIdeologically. Additionally, libertarians can be both left and right leaning, and as Allum Bokhari has shown, people supporting GamerGate overwhelmingly tend to lean left-of-center politically.06/29/2015 - 11:18pm
black mantaAlso, the quote from Vox Day there (as well as an advertisement for his books) just tells me all I need to know. And that GG and the Sad Puppies are connected.06/29/2015 - 10:49pm
black mantaIt is still a fringe group. If it is Libertarian (and i can see its Libertarian appeal) it leans more to the right side of it.06/29/2015 - 10:48pm
Goth_Skunk"GamerGate Came To Life When It Was Declared Dead" - http://ow.ly/OXOm806/29/2015 - 9:10pm
Goth_SkunkAnd, like the microtransactions in Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age: Inquisition, completely optional and voluntary. http://ow.ly/OXIRH06/29/2015 - 8:12pm
PHX Corphttp://www.gamespot.com/articles/halo-5-guardians-dev-clarifies-how-microtransactio/1100-6428510/ Apparently 343's Smoking Something, They tried to Clarify the microtransactions side of multiplayer unaware that Microtransactions in $60 Games=BAD06/29/2015 - 7:54pm
MattsworknameGoth, add vox, polygon, and most print media to that list for me. Also, add msnbc to that list, as long as they have people like shults, matthews, sharpton, hayes and so forth, will not watch06/29/2015 - 7:33pm
Goth_SkunkThat's fair, I treat every article from 'The Mary Sue' in the exact same manner. As well as Polygon, Kotaku, and Gamasutra, to name a few others.06/29/2015 - 7:17pm
Infophile"www.breitbart.com..." and I'm done reading. Got better things to do with my life.06/29/2015 - 5:40pm
Goth_SkunkHarping On: The Hypocrisy And Lies of Twitter's Most Notorious 'Anti-Abuse' Activist, part 1 of 3: http://ow.ly/OXsfP06/29/2015 - 5:12pm
ZippyDSMleeGot another weapon finished up ^^ http://zippydsmlee.tumblr.com/post/122614396265/zippylabs-rushhour-automatic-poison-dart-gun06/29/2015 - 4:37pm
ZippyDSMleeI wish they would revive Shining Force as a decent Warcraft clone with TB option...06/29/2015 - 4:15pm
ZippyDSMleeFrom my genisis days the only other TBS I enjoyed was Sorcerers Kingdom and Warsong The only down side to Shining Force as a seriers they took out towns on the Sega CD ports and later games....06/29/2015 - 4:13pm
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: Shining Force is awesome the aera damage done by mages,ect really make it shine. I miss that in ZOE:Fist of mars where there is no aera damage but you have a neat real time targeting system.06/29/2015 - 4:11pm
Goth_SkunkShaved my head for the first of many times in my life today. I refuse to bear a receding hairline: It's all-or-nothing for me with regards to my hair loss.06/29/2015 - 3:52pm
james_fudgeEZK: great game06/29/2015 - 2:51pm
E. Zachary KnightBack to my initial question, I started playing Shining Force 1. So far a pretty cool tactical RPG. I am looking forward to playing more.06/29/2015 - 1:27pm
PHX Corphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_euReGOTGk Arkham Shite (The Jimquisition)06/29/2015 - 11:55am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician