The Governator will defend California's position on violent video game ban to minors

U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte has ruled California’s 2005 video game law that banned the sale of violent software to minors as unconstitutional.

The law has been stuck in the legal system for the past two years, since it was signed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in October 2005. The law would have gone into effect on January 1, 2006, had Judge Whyte not have issued an injunction just days before the new year blocking the law.

On Monday, Judge Whyte ruled, “The evidence does not establish that video games, because of their interactive nature or otherwise, are any more harmful than violent television, movies, internet sites or other speech-related exposures.”

“The court, although sympathetic to what the legislature sought to do by the Act, finds that the evidence does not establish the required nexus between the legislative concerns about the well-being of minors and the restrictions on speech required by the Act,” read the ruling.

California State Senator Leland Yee, one of the original supporters of the bill, said in a press release, “I am shocked that the Court struck down this common-sense law. AB 1179 worked to empower parents by giving them the ultimate decision over whether or not their children should be playing in a world of violence and murder.”

Yee continued, “We simply cannot trust the industry to regulate itself. I strongly urge the Governor and the Attorney General to appeal this decision to a higher court and to the Supreme Court if necessary until our children are protected from excessively violent video games.”

It appears that Governor Schwarzenegger heard Yee’s cries, and said in another press release that he will appeal the ruling: “I signed this important measure to ensure that parents are involved in determining which video games are appropriate for their children. The bill I signed would require that violent video games be clearly labelled and not be sold to children under 18 years old. Many of these games are made for adults and choosing games that are appropriate for kids should be a decision made by their parents.”

“I will vigorously defend this law and appeal it to the next level,” added Schwarzenegger.

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