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Judge Halts Michigan Game Law

9 Nov, 2005 By: Kurt Indvik

A federal district judge in Detroit has ruled that a new Michigan law restricting the sale or rental of so-called violent video games could not go into effect as planned Dec. 1.

The ruling by Federal District Court Judge George Caram Steeh will hold up implementation of the law while a legal challenge against the state, filed by the Entertainment Software Association and the Video Software dealers Association, is proceeding. Though the ruling isn't a final determination of the case, it “clearly indicates this law will be overturned,” said Bo Andersen, president of the VSDA.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed the new law Sept. 14, and a week later the two industry associations filed suit to overturn the law, alleging the law violates the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech and that the language of the law is “impermissibly vague.”

“We invite the governor and state officials, rather than prolonging this litigation, to work cooperatively with video game retailers and the video game industry to help educate parents about the existing video game rating system and to encourage parents to use those ratings to make informed decisions about which video games to allow in their homes,” Andersen said.

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