Get to know Massachusetts bill HB 1423. It's the newest in a long line of anti-video game propositions that would seek to restrict or outright ban the sale of video games that depict violence unless the buyer is over 18. The bill seeks to categorize this type of video game as equivalent to pornography by arguing that violent games lack any sort of artistic merit and/or are insensible to community standards.
In response to this proposed law, the Video Game Voters Network and the Entertainment Software Association are urging gamers in the state of Massachusetts to take a stand against this bill by submitting a letter to their representative stating their opposition to drafting the bill into law. If you're not a resident of Massachusetts there's no need to weigh in on this with your local government just yet, so for now just continue to fight the good fight on all things related to you.
So far legal precedent has favored the video game industry by declaring all previous bills of the same type as unconstitutional, with judges making the point that video games, just like any other form of media, will be protected under the First Amendment.
The VGVN and ESA contacted X-Play to also point out that the ESRB rating system that every game follows is a perfectly satisfactory for informing consumers of in-game content they might find questionable, leaving the responsibility of moderating video game habits up to parents and buyers and not the government.
"Massachusetts deserves better," said RIch Taylor, Senior VP for Communications at the ESA. "The proposed legislation ignores the unbroken chain of circuit court rulings and other decisions that already determined similar laws were unconstitutional.
"However, we maintain a deep level of respect for his and Massachusetts legislators’ concerns. We know that with the ESRB ratings, parental education, and the parental controls available on all new video game consoles, there are myriad ways that those concerned can ensure that children play appropriate, parent-approved computer and video games. We stand ready to work cooperatively to increase parental awareness and usage of these critical tools.”
We here at X-Play and The Feed love hearing an organization take a strong position in defending the rights of people who love and enjoy video games. It doesn't happen often enough...