As GamePolitics and other news outlets have reported, the ESA is suing the Chicago Transit Authority over the agency’s ban on M and AO-rated video ads.
Here are excerpts from the justification section of CTA Ordinace 008-147, the document at the heart of the ESA lawsuit:
WHEREAS… the Chicago Transit Board established advertising guidelines permitting certain advertising in or upon Chicago Transit Authority vehicles and facilities; and
WHEREAS, According to an August 2008 Chicago Sun Times article at least 36 Chicago public school students have been killed since September 2007; and
WHEREAS, There is a demonstrable correlation between intensely violent video or computer games and violent or aggressive behavior (see "Video Game Violence and Public Policy" by David Walsh, Ph.D. and "The Effects of Violent Video Game Habits on Adolescent Hostility, Aggressive Behaviors, and School Performance" by Gentile, Lynch, Linder and Walsh; and
WHEREAS, There is evidence that many of these violent video or computer games are marketed toward children under 17 years of age (see Federal Trade Commission study, September, 2000)…
The 2000 FTC report is, indeed, an indictment of video game industry marketing practices. On the other hand, the industry has made remarkable strides since then in restricting the access of minors to violent games.
In its May, 2008 report, the FTC found an 80% overall compliance rate in retail ratings enforcement, with top performer GameStop achieving a 94% compliance rate. Given that the CTA ordinance was passed in November, 2008, it’s unclear why the 2000 data was used.
The full CTA ordinance may be found as "Exhibit 2" in the ESA’s lawsuit. Click here for a copy of the 70-page PDF.