The Illinois state House has passed governor Rod Blagojevich's violent video game legislation with what is described as “overwhelming support”. The proposal would make it illegal for stores to sell violent or sexually explicit video games to anyone younger than eighteen.
Oddly, although lawmakers voted in favor of the ban (91-19), the debate was almost entirely questioning the measure, with concerns about the unconstitutional nature of the bill, and whether it would be seen as state government usurping parental control.
"I support this bill. A strong message has to be sent," said Democrat state representative Lou Lang. "The truth of the matter is that bill is unconstitutional as drafted. The truth of the matter is it's vague."
The debaters resorted to extremely strong messages, though, with comments such a: "An industry that is making so much money selling these things to your children is dealing with things like decapitation, defecation on people. There's vivid pictures of nudity. It's an industry that needs help being policed", from Democrat Chapa LaVia.
Republican Chapin Rose voted against the proposal, arguing it was too broad and unconstitutional. "The problem with the bill as drafted was that it made no distinction between violent acts of extreme brutality and, say, a football game, hence the latest version of John Madden Football
, would not be allowed under her bill," Rose said.
The measure will now move to the state Senate. The bill mirrors similar measures
being considered elsewhere in the U.S., with a bill currently before the Georgia state Senate suffering from a similarly vague wording.