updated 10:45 am EDT, Tue August 1, 2006
Minnesota law defeated
Missed in the noise over E3 has been the success of an ESA lawsuit filed against the state of Minnesota, which had tried to enact a law fining minors $25 for buying Mature-rated games. A federal judge struck the law down, ruling that it violated the First Amendment, that the state couldn't provide evidence of harm to minors, and that the state can't apply legal restrictions to a private and voluntary ratings system. In spite of this, the St. Paul Pioneer-Press is reporting that state Senator Sandy Pappas may propose a new law in next year's session.
Pappas is quoted as saying, "The whole ruling defied common sense. I am so disappointed. The federal court said we don't have a right to protect our children, but we protect our children from other things. We don't let them smoke or buy liquor."
She also criticizes the judge for citing a lack of evident harm. "You score points for how many women you rape, how many cops you kill. How could that not affect them psychologically?" There are, of course, few if any games which directly reward the player for either act.