Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich has asked California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign AB 1179, the violent video game act that currently sits before him awaiting either his approval or veto. Gov. Blagojevich has already introduced similar legislation, the Safe Games Illinois Act, in his own state.
"Our society already restricts children’s access to things like tobacco, alcohol and pornography because we know they pose a serious risk to child health and development," wrote Gov. Blagojevich. "We should do the same for what is one of the fastest-growing threats to children in this modern age: violent and sexually explicit video games."
The California bill, introduced by Senator Leland Yee, requires warning labels to be placed on violent games. Customers purchasing games with the label would be required to show ID; retailers who either did not check for ID or did not show the labels will be liable for a $1,000 fine per infraction. It is similar in many ways to the Safe Games Illinois Act, which also requires special warning labels and carries a $1,000 fine.
The Safe Games Illinois Act was passed in July, and has already been challenged by the Entertainment Software Association. If the bill is upheld in court, it will go into effect on January 1, 2006.
"By putting limits in place at retail and rental counters," said Gov. Blagojevich, "you will give parents a valuable tool in their effort to make sure the games their kids play meet up to the standards and values of their own households."
AB 1179 reached Schwarzenegger on September 13th; Schwarzenegger has until October 13 to make his decision.