Governor Rod Blagojevich’s proposed bill to restrict the sale of violent and sexual video games to minors has moved to the Illinois State Senate in the United States. Despite continued concerns about the wording of the legislation, the proposal was approved in the Senate Housing and Community Affairs Committee on a 6-2 vote.
Blagojevich's previously mentioned
plan would 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.
Matt Ryan, Blagojevich's senior legal counsel, told committee members that the definition for violence includes "dismemberment, decapitation, disfigurement, maiming, mutilation of body parts or rape", according to reports on local news site Pantagraph.com.
As has been pointed out by online commentators, however, such descriptions are exceptionally vague in the context of video games, with current number one title Lego Star Wars
technically featuring all of the above actions except for rape.
Republican State Senator Pamela Althoff did raise the question of how the governor's rating system would interact or supercede the system put out by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Currently the bill makes no mention of the voluntary ESRB ratings system, and does not reference the M for mature or AO for adults only ESRB ratings.
Despite this interim approval, Democrat Deanna Demuzio, the bill's sponsor, announced that she would not bring it to a vote from the full Illinois Senate until questions regarding the fines and labeling are resolved.