Schwarzenegger gunning for games again

California governor hoping to restrict the sale of violent games to minors

The US Supreme Court is to rule on its first game-related case later this year, when it will decide whether to approve a law restricting the sale of violent titles to minors.

Backed by none other than California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the law in question has been around since 2005, but it has never taken effect because of challenges from trade groups like the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

According to Reuters, the law seeks to restrict the sale and rental of violent games - ones that depict "killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being" - to under 18s.

It would require all violent titles to carry strict labelling requirements, and result in penalties of up to $1,000 for retailers that sell such games to minors.

"We have a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions, just as we already do with movies," Schwarzenegger said.

The ESA, which represents numerous US game publishers, argues that the law goes against free-speech guarantees of the First Amendment.

ESA president Michael Gallagher said: "Courts throughout the country have ruled consistently that content-based regulation of computer and videogames is unconstitutional. Research shows that the public agrees, videogames should be provided the same protections as books, movies and music."

[ SOURCE: Reuters ]