Constitution Day Bonus! Oklahoma Video Game Law Ruled Unconstitutional

cauthron.jpgAccording to the ESA, a federal court judge has issued a permanent injunction against Oklahoma’s 2006 video game law.

Here (20-page pdf) is the ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Robin Cauthron (left).

Mark Methenitis has a legal analysis at the Law of the Game.

Meanwhile, we have reaction from Bo Andersen, president of the Entertainment Merchants Association:

 

It is fitting that this ruling was issued on Constitution Day… The decision is a ringing affirmation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of expression. 

 

Judge Cauthron’s opinion makes abundantly clear that the Oklahoma legislature overreached in attempting to restrict the distribution of video games containing fantasy violence to minors, in part because there was no evidence that the games are harmful to anyone. The judge also correctly noted that there is no way for an ordinary person to determine which games were covered by the Oklahoma law and which were not.

 

It is time for lawmakers to stop targeting video games and the retailers that sell them. They should recognize that all video games are rated, retailers are choosing to enforce the ratings in their stores, and the new PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 video game consoles and Vista computer operating system all allow parents to control the types of games that can be played on them. These voluntary steps, not government regulation, are true to the spirit of the American Constitution… 

 

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