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Court Overturns Minnesota Video Game Law

31 Jul, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

A U.S. District Court in Minnesota Monday tossed out recently enacted state legislation that would have imposed a $25 fine on minors younger than 17 who rented or purchased video games rated “M” (“Mature”) or “AO” (“Adults Only”).

The Entertainment Merchants Association (formerly the Video Software Dealers Association and the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association) in May tackled legislation in eight states (including filing a federal lawsuit in Minnesota) designed to further regulate video game sales and marketing to minors.

The legislation — signed into law by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty May 31 — was slated to go into effect Aug. 1.

“We are pleased that the court has so quickly overturned this ill-conceived law,” said EMA president Bo Andersen. “Even the authors of this law conceded that they never expected it to be enforced. As we pointed out to the legislature when it was considering this law, video game retailers have voluntarily committed to parents to enforce video game ratings to ensure that minors do not gain access to video games their parents do not want them to have. Rather than passing unenforceable laws, the legislature should support these industry initiatives as the most effective way to address the concerns that motivated this law.”

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