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IDSA Sues St. Louis County Over New Videogame Law

The Interactive Digital Software Association filed a lawsuit against St. Louis County on Friday, challenging a new law that restricts access to violent and sexually explicit games.

Alex Dunne, Blogger

December 24, 2000

1 Min Read

The IDSA suit, filed in federal court, argues that the law violates the First Amendment by limiting the expression of game creators as well as the rights of younger users. The law took effect Nov. 10 and requires parental approval before children under 17 can buy games containing violent or sexually explicit material. Stores that offer the games must separate those that include graphic violence or strong sexual content from other games. Breaking the law is considered a misdemeanor. "Video games are a modern form of artistic expression that have the same level of First Amendment protection as films, records, and books," IDSA president Douglas Lowenstein said in a statement. "Each game represents an extraordinary combination of narrative, story line, music, and graphic design worthy of the highest constitutional shield," he said. Democratic councilman Jeff Wagener, who sponsored the bill, said earlier this year that the law protects children and empowers their parents. "I think that minors do not have a constitutional right to have explicit violent games available to them ... While (the suit) may talk about constitutional rights, it is nothing more than business." Source: Associated Press

About the Author(s)

Alex Dunne


Alex Dunne is the executive producer of Gamasutra.

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