GamePolitics has confirmed that, last night, New York Gov. David Paterson (left) signed video game legislation passed by the Senate and Assembly into law.
UPDATE: We've obtained a copy of the Governor's press release on the video game bill signing:
Governor David A. Paterson signed a package of bills, many of which are focused on public safety and protecting the rights of New York residents. [One of these will] ensure the State will explore the negative effects of violent video games.
“We have the obligation to be constantly vigilant about amending our laws to protect the residents of New York State. Many of these bills will do just that by closing loopholes or creating new laws to enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers,” said Governor Paterson...
...other bills signed by Governor Paterson are directly aimed at protecting children... A.11717 / S.6401-A [the video game bill] establishes an advisory council to conduct a study on the connection between interactive media and real-life violence in minors exposed to such media. This bill will also require new video game consoles to have parental lockout features by 2010, and mandate that games sold at retail disclose the ratings obtained from the gaming industry's voluntary rating system.
GamePolitics has received this comment from Richard Taylor, Senior Vice President of Communications and Research for the Entertainment Software Association:
The state has ignored legal precedent, common sense and the wishes of many New Yorkers in enacting this unnecessary bill. This government intrusion will cost taxpayers money and impose unconstitutional mandates for activities and technologies that are already voluntarily in place. It also unfairly singles out the videogame industry over all other forms of media. One wonders where this overreach by government in New York will end. If New York lawmakers feel it is the role of government to convene a government commission on game content, they could next turn to other content such as books, theater and film.
Will there be a court challenge? We've put this question to the ESA; they've told us that they are reviewing their options. For a variety of reasons, the main one being that the bill has no real teeth, it's entirely possible that the industry will just live with it.