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Letter to the Editor: Keeping adult video games away from children

By ALFRED BROCK
New Jersey

Dear Editor,

Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois signed a law meant to keep adult video games away from children. This should take effect Jan. 1, 2006. It will bar stores from selling or renting extremely violent or sexual games to children. Stores also will be required to label the games with content ratings and post signs explaining the arcane rating system.

The video game industry immediately sued in federal court to block the law. They say it is a restriction on free speech. The video game industry is arguing that the government cannot restrict the sale of non-obscene games, just as it cannot impose restrictions on books or music.

Douglas Lowenstein, president of the Entertainment Software Association stated, "It will limit First Amendment rights not only for Illinois residents, but for game developers and publishers, and for retailers who won't know what games can and cannot be sold or rented under this vague new statute."

The vague rating system that is in use was created by the video game industry. It is used voluntarily to avoid government regulation.

The fact is that the system has failed.

The argument that the games are not obscene is useless as many of these games depict scenes and actions that are obscene in any human community now on earth.

Some of these games are sexually explicit, lewd, incite or invite lustful feelings of violence, are repulsive, disgusting, extremely or deeply offensive according to contemporary community standards of morality or decency.

Now that is obscene.





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