Media watchdog group the Parents Television Council has applauded Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review a federal court decision striking down California’s 2005 violent video game law as unconstitutional.
While video game industry lobbyists and video game consumer group the Entertainment Consumers Association criticized Schwarzenegger’s decision, PTC President Tim Winter (left) praised the California appeal in a press release:
There should be no question that unaccompanied minors should be kept from purchasing adult video games that research has shown can be harmful to them, just like there are reasonable restrictions on other products that can cause them harm. This California law was designed to enforce the video game industry’s own voluntary retail guidelines… Our own research found that video game retailers sell M-rated video games to minors 36% of the time. Clearly, this law is needed…
The industry doesn’t follow its own rules, and they don’t want a consequence for violating them. Video game retailers, developers and publishers actually profit when their age restriction policy is ignored. This creates an inherent and unworkable conflict of interest.
We hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case and rule in favor of the families and children that this California law was intended to protect.
Winter is referring to the PTC’s 2008 secret shopper survey, which found that underage buyers were successful at purchasing M-rated games 36% of the time. A survey released by the Federal Trade Commission earlier in 2008 found only a 20% success rate for underage buyers.
FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.