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Delaware Seeks To Brand Violent Games as Obscene

Though previous legislation in Delaware to prevent the sale of games to minors failed, one of that bill's sponsors has revi...
Though previous legislation in Delaware to prevent the sale of games to minors failed, one of that bill's sponsors has revived the effort by attempting to declare violent games as obscene material, which would bypass free-speech issues. The tactic was similarly used and abandoned in a recent Utah bill which met with heavy fire for Constitutional issues. Rep. Helene Keeley has introduced an amendment to HB360 in conjunction with anti-game crusader Jack Thompson, who said to the Delaware News Journal that "[Games aren't] even speech. This is software that enables a machine to allow a player to play a game." The two hope that their revised bill will avoid Constitutional challenges, though the Utah bill that it is apparently patterned on was criticized by constitutional law experts. The bill is currently being challenged in committee hearings by the Motion Picture Association of America and the Video Software Dealers Association, which denounce the bill as unconstitutional. "This bill right now affects everybody from the librarian to the video store to the person that sells the ticket to the movie theater to the TV station," said Vera Stevenson of the MPAA. Currently, the bill is being tabled for revisions, though has not yet been outright killed in committee. Rep. Keeley and supporters such as Deputy Attorney General Paul Wallace say that they are "willing to be aggressive on this issue," and intend to revise the bill in order to give it a greater chance of success in the next hearing.

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