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Illinois Senate Passes Violent Video Game Bill

The Illinois Senate, under the guidance of bill advocate Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, has passed an amended version of its
May 20, 2005
The Illinois Senate, under the guidance of bill advocate Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, has passed an amended version of its previously mentioned mature video game legislation. This means that the bill only needs to go back to the House of Representatives, which has already passed a harsher version of the same bill, to become law. Blagojevich's controversial bill will make it illegal for Illinois video game stores to sell violent or sexually explicit games to anyone younger than eighteen, and require Illinois retailers to put stickers that read "18" on games deemed graphically violent or sexually explicit. The Senate amendments removed the possibility of jail time for store clerks who violated the bill. A statement from the Governor's office fully clarified the specifics of the restrictions. Violent games are "defined as those that include realistic depictions of human-on-human violence in which the player kills, injures, or otherwise causes serious physical harm to another human, including but not limited to depictions of death, dismemberment, amputation, decapitation, maiming, disfigurement, mutilation of body parts, or rape." Conversely, 'sexually explicit' games are defined as those that the average person - applying "contemporary community standard" with respect to minors -- would find "are designed to appeal or pander to the prurient interest, and that depict or represent in a manner patently offensive to minors any of the following: an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, an actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual act or a lewd exhibition of reproductive organs." Governor Blagojevich commented: "I’m pleased the General Assembly recognizes the importance of this commonsense legislation. What might be entertaining for a 20-year old is not necessarily healthy for a 10-year old. We know from recent research that kids who play violent video games can become more aggressive and less able to control their behavior. The Safe Games Illinois Act will protect our children from violent and sexually explicit video games, making parents’ jobs easier and our children’s lives healthier."

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