New York City, New York (WiredPRNews.com) — A law was signed recently according to which will mandate that all video games sold in the state of New York will require a clear label rating for possible violent content. The human rights groups went on to criticize the law as they feel the mandate goes against the constitution.
The Governor of New York, David Paterson, signed the bill into a law. The New York Civil Liberties Union said that the bill has significantly raised concerns about free speech. The legislative Director of NYCLU, Robert Perry, said that they have reviewed the legislation but they have not yet determined whether they will take any legal action against the bill. The group also said that laws of similar type in other areas including California, Michigan, Illinois, Washington and Minnesota have been rejected and thrown out as they go against the constitution.
The US video gaming industry has submitted to a ratings system voluntarily which is similar to the ratings system of movies. The newly signed law makes it compulsory for all video games that have already been rated to be appropriately labeled and it also requires that new video gaming consoles need to be installed with lockout features controlled by parents. It requires this to be implemented by 2010.
One of the sponsors of the bill, Andrew Lanza, the state Senator, said that the legislation is going to educate consumers and provide them information to help in making wise choices for their kids. Robert Perry said that this new law is an indirect way to regulate the content of video games.
The law has also established an advisory council who will study a connection between interactive media and real-life violence among minors who have been exposed to this type of media. The advisory council will also evaluate the rating that the Entertainment Software Ratings Board will issue.
Wired Law Reporter