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EMA Tackles State Video Game Measures

10 Jun, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

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

EMA assisted the Louisiana Retailers Association and contacted state lawmakers in a failed effort to strike down legislation that would ban the sale or rental to minors of any video game that contains depictions of violence.

Last month, U.S. representative Scott Matheson formally proposed identical legislation in Utah.

Separately, EMA wrote a letter to Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry encouraging him to veto a similar bill.

The trade group lobbied members of the New York Senate against similar proposed restrictions in that state. The bills are not expected to pass, according to the EMA.

New York lawmakers approved a bill that would make it illegal to advertise "unlimited" video rentals to New York consumers if heavy renters received less favorable treatment (“throttling” titles) than other renters.

In Minnesota, EMA and the Entertainment Software Association filed a lawsuit to have a law that would impose a $25 civil penalty on minors who rented or purchased video games rated "M" or "AO" declared unconstitutional.

In related matters, the EMA awaits a ruling that the California video game law be enjoined permanently.

Finally, Florida lawmakers approved legislation that would ease restrictions on the sale of secondhand merchandise, including videos and video games.

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