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New York Law Mandates Game Violence Study, Parental Lockout, Ratings

As part of a wider package of bills, New York Governor David Paterson has signed into law one that will see the state putting together a study on game violence and its effect on minors, as well as provisions for parental lockouts and game ratings.
As part of a wider package of bills, New York Governor David Paterson has signed into law one that will see the state putting together a study on game violence and its effect on minors, as well as provisions for parental lockouts and game ratings. The new laws are part of a package of three dozen bills meant to "focus on public safety and protecting the rights of New York residents," and also include residential care protections and one aimed at revoking teaching certificates of sex offenders. According to the state's press release, along with the new advisory council, the bill will mandate that new consoles feature parental lockouts by 2010, and that "games sold at retail disclose the ratings obtained from the gaming industry's voluntary rating system" -- both provisions that have been in place for some time. In a statement to politically focused weblog GamePolitics, ESA senior communications VP Richard Taylor has said that New York "has ignored legal precedent, common sense and the wishes of many New Yorkers in enacting this unnecessary bill. This government intrusion will cost taxpayers money and impose unconstitutional mandates for activities and technologies that are already voluntarily in place. It also unfairly singles out the videogame industry over all other forms of media." "One wonders where this overreach by government in New York will end," concluded Taylor, "If New York lawmakers feel it is the role of government to convene a government commission on game content, they could next turn to other content such as books, theater and film."

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