Connecticut Files Amicus Brief in Support of California Videogame Law

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D), who is running for Chris Dodd’s vacated U.S. Senate Seat, has joined a "multi-state coalition" seeking to restrict violent videogames. Blumenthal, in his capacity of Attorney General of the state, brings Connecticut into the fray alongside nine other states, siding with California in its upcoming Supreme Court battle.

In an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court, Blumenthal and nine other states are defending California’s right to enforce a law prohibiting the sales of select videogames to minors. The law was struck down by the California Appeals Court, but the Supreme Court announced earlier this year that it would review the case.

In a press release issued by the Attorney General’s office, Blumenthal’s brief states that California’s law does not seek to "broadly prohibit" minors from buying "violent games," but rather a subset of titles that "encourages players to commit graphic acts of homicide, rape, and sadism."

"Parents deserve tools to protect children from games that showcase digital decapitation and rape,” Blumenthal said. “Certain games dangerously desensitize children with simulated homicide and hate crimes, turning graphic executions into entertainment. In the face of continued industry inaction — enabling unattended children to buy such games — states must preserve their critical right to protect children."

Oddly enough Blumenthal said "voluntary restrictions" by the video game industry like those adapted by the movie industry for R rated movies (that require a parent or guardian to be present) would be "ideal." The Entertainment Software Association ratings system, the ESRB, a voluntary, self-imposed rating system, does a good job of doing just that, even according to the Federal Trade Comission, who have said in the past that the system works better than both the Movie industry’s and Music industry’s system for keeping adult materials out of the hands of minors.

Connecticut does not have a law prohibiting the sale of videogames, but Blumenthal joined the brief on behalf of Connecticut because he believes that "it is critical to preserve the state’s right to impose such limits."


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  1. Erik says:

    How is it that so many people in government are so ignorant of the law on these matters that they think that the MPAA ratings have any sort of legal weight whatsoever?  If Best Buy wanted to have a sale on R rated movies to those 17 and under there would not be anything that the MPAA ratings could legally do to stop that.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  2. gellymatos says:

    My money’s on "grossly misinformed".


    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

  3. Andrew Eisen says:

    Well, Blumenthal, you’re either grossly misinformed or a repugnant liar.  Which is it?


    Andrew Eisen

  4. nightwng2000 says:

    You know, if this is the quality of the "Parenting" skills of the states, the use of lies, deceit, and misinformation, I have to ask:  What evidence is there that the states, as entities, are BETTER qualified to make "Parental" decisions for the children?

    Whether it’s Yee, the various state AGs, supposed "moral" groups like the Eagle Forum, or any number of other individuals, what kind of "Parents" are these? 

    They condemn violence in video games.  But, is knowingly and intentionally lying to and deceiving ACTUAL Parents:

    about what information individual products exist for individual and/or Parental examination

    about the existance of Parental Controls on a variety of technology

    about retalier enforcement of their own voluntary policies

    about the ACTUAL level of what exposure to ANY one thing has, or doesn’t have, on any given individual

    and more, is that REALLY a sign of good "Parenting"?  Is that really a good sign of a good "role model"? 

    I would rather have a well informed, intelligent Parent making decisions as to what is or is not appropriate for their own child rather than having said individuals and/or entities making those decisions for myself or MY child.  Said individuals seem to be rather unfit as "Parents" in regards to OTHER Parent’s children.


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

  5. black manta says:

    What the hell?!  Maryland is in on this?  They’d be one of the last states I would think would want to be part of this.  Who’s the AG that’s casting his lot in with these clowns?  That article doesn’t specify.

  6. nightwng2000 says:

    It’s apparently 11 states:

    "An amicus brief obtained by Gamasutra was filed today by the attorneys general of Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia."


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

  7. hellfire7885 says:

    If he is referring to the Wtich he’s an idiot as the Witch is clearly clothed unless you use a certain mod.

  8. Cheater87 says:

    In Postal 2 you can piss in people’s mouths and have them voimit then light them on fire and watch them run around on fire with a trail of puke following. XD

  9. jccalhoun says:

    Wow, this guy is really ignorant or just making stuff up.

    Attorney General Richard Blumenthal joined a multi-state coalition today seeking to uphold states’ rights to restrict video game sales to minors that feature extremely violent content — including games where players burn people alive with gasoline and urinate on people to make them vomit.

    So with the gas thing he’s talking about Postal 2 and I know you can pee on people in Postal 2 but what game has you pee on people to make them vomit?

    The law prohibits children under 18 from buying the most violent games, including those where players decapitate people with shovels, beat police to death while they beg for mercy and slaughter nude female zombies.

    I guess the beating police to death thing is either Postal 2 again or GTA? but what game has you "slaughter[ing] nude female zombies?" The Witch in Left 4 Dead? 

    California’s law doesn’t broadly prohibit minors from buying “violent” games — but a subgenre of games that encourages players to commit graphic acts of homicide, rape, and sadism, according to the brief.

    So are we going to make a distinction between games that encourage homocide and games that encourage manslaughter? Or a game that "encourages" that or simply "allows" it?

    Of course the "rape" thing is probably about Rapelay or he’s thinking that you can rape people in GTA. I made a post on my site about the fact that you cannot rape anyone in GTA and I still get hits from people searching for things related to "rape GTA." 

    Protecting children from digital danger requires proactive parents — but they need and deserve help. The video game industry should act responsibly — play nice, not nasty — and agree to sensible self-imposed restrictions that block children from buying the most violent games. I am calling on the video game industry to follow the leadership of the motion picture industry, which sensibly stops unattended children from viewing violent or graphic movies. …The industry has agreed to Blumenthal’s repeated demands for labeling, but should extend such voluntary steps to include sale restrictions similar to the movie industry.

    What? The gaming industry already does this. So what does he want? (besides people to vote for him because he "cares about family values")



  10. MechaTama31 says:

    The only time I’ve ever been ID’ed at a movie, it was an absolute joke.  First, a bit of background, in this state (Washington) if you are under 21, your drivers license is printed in a portrait (vertical) format rather than the traditional landscape (horizontal).  This makes it instantly and totally obvious that someone is or is not over 21.

    So, I’m 24 at the time and I’m going to see some R-rated movie, can’t remember which one.  The girl behind the counter asks to see my ID.  I’m a bit surprised, as that had never happened to me before, but I shrugged it off and handed her my ID.  She then stood there squinting at it for nearly a full minute, presumably doing the ever-so-difficult arithmetic before finally handing it back to me and saying "I’m sorry sir, but you’re not over 18."  I was absolutely dumbfounded.  She was wrong in so many ways, I didn’t even know where to begin.  For starters, you’re supposed to be 17 to see an R movie, not 18.  For another, I’m 24, which is so far beyond 17 (or 18) that I don’t see how you could fail math so hard as to get it wrong.  And for another, my license is in the horizontal format, so you can tell at a mere glance that I am at least 21, which is well over both 17 and 18.  I look over at my friend who was with me, with a look of "Is this for real?  This is actually happening?" on my face, he starts laughing, and I tell her as politely as I can manage to check her math.  I also explain to her about the licenses.  She gave me the tickets in the end, but she looked at me suspiciously the whole time, as if I was tricking her somehow.

  11. Thad says:

    Yeah, about the only time I recall the local theaters being strict on carding teenagers was right after Columbine.  Because I guess people thought if a 16-year-old saw South Park he would go on a shooting rampage.

  12. PHX Corp says:

    I Don’t care about EMA v swartzenegger anymore to begin with, oh and it’s not just the states, The Eagle forum and CSM have stepped up With The

    To sum it up, They want SCOTUS to Deny 1st amendant Rights to the video game industry, Videogame addiction, David grossman, Columbine, and a few more

    I’ll Let you guys be the Judge of this


    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  13. MonkeyPeaches says:

    Yeah, like whenever I’ve bought a m rated game I’ve been asked for ID like 90% of the time. But off all the times I’ve seen a r rated movie by myself I’ve only been asked for an ID THREE WHOLE TIMES!

  14. E. Zachary Knight says:

    So he feels that we should relax our efforts to voluntarily enforce our ratings to drop our enforcement levels to the level of the movie industry? Sounds good to me. Let’s lower our standards so that we can be like the movie industry.

    Also, any idea on which other states are in this coalition?

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  15. GamesLaw says:

    Connecticut apparently hasn’t quite figured out that the standard for banning "violent" speech is whether the speech can be expected to incite imminent violence, i.e. if you do not ban it right now, someone is going to get hurt. Nobody in their right mind could expect to win on that argument.

    — Dan Rosenthal

  16. Thad says:

    Lieberman’s home state.  Figures.

    Oh, and our old friend "Digital Rape" is back.  Care to tell us what games you’re referring to, Mr. Blumenthal?

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