VSDA Challenge To Washington Game Law Scheduled30 Jun, 2003 By: Kurt Indvik
The Video Software Dealers Association will present its case July 7 on a motion seeking to bar enforcement of a new Washington state law making it illegal to rent or sell to persons under 17 video games that depict harm being inflicted on law enforcement officers.
“It's always hard to try and predict how a judge is going to rule,” said Sean Bersell, VP of public affairs for the VSDA, in discussing how the case before federal district court judge Robert S. Lasnik in Seattle might go. “We wouldn't be in court if we didn't feel we had an unassailable case. We think this is a cut-and-dried issue.”
Lasnik is expected to make a ruling before July 27, the date on which the law is set to take effect. Bersell noted that similar laws enacted in St. Louis and Indianapolis have since been struck down on appeal as being unconstitutional.
The motion seeks to have the law overturned on grounds that it violates the First Amendment rights of retailers and their customers. The suit also contends the law is so vaguely written that retailers cannot be sure which games would be covered by the restrictions.
Joining the VSDA in the complaint are the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA), the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA), the International Game Developers Association, Hollywood Video and the Washington Retailers Association.