As expected, video game retailers are not pleased by a New York Assemby bill which would make the sale of games containing “depraved violence” a Class-E felony.
The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), which represents video game retailers, issued a stinging criticism of the NY Assembly following passage of A08696 yesterday by an overwhelming 130-10 vote.
Said EMA President Bo Anderson (left):
This bill is ill-conceived and unconstitutional. The proposal to jail retailers and clerks for up to four years for selling certain video games to persons under age 17 is apparently based on misunderstandings about what retailers are doing currently.
The requirement that video game consoles include parental controls ignores the fact that the new generation of consoles include them already…
This bill is impermissibly vague. A8696 seeks to apply real-world standards of violence to the fictional and fanciful world of video games, an environment in which they have no meaning. As a result, retailers and clerks will not and cannot know with certainty which video games could send them to jail under A8696. It was depressing to hear members of the Assembly note the constitutional problems with the bill and then state that they were voting for it.