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Under 17 and buy and M rated game, you get fined


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Minors Get $25 Fine for Adult Games

Minnesota is the latest state to pass an 'Inappropriate Games' bill.

by Daemon Hatfield


May 19, 2006 - It's the hottest trend in state government, and it's sweeping the nation! Following similar bills passed recently in Oklahoma and Louisiana, the Minnesota House has passed its own 'Inappropriate Games' bill.


Proposed by Republican Representative Jeff Johnson, the bill, HF1298, requires retail outlets to put up signs explaining the ESRB rating system. And in a new twist, instead of fining retailers for selling M or AO-rated games to minors, the bill levies a $25 dollar fine on the minor. Of course, Johnson noted he is not trying to criminalize video games, and as such the offense would not go on the minor's record.


According to Minnesota Public Radio, Representative Barb Goodwin of DFL-Columbia Heights tried, unsuccessfully, to amend the bill so it would also punish retailers for the offense: "It's the retailers that know what these games are. It's the retailers that buy the games or rent the games that know what they've got there. If they choose to rent those to children then they ought to pay the fine. They are the ones profiting off of it."


Nearly every other video game-related bill has been struck down on First Amendment grounds. Representative Johnson commented, "We were trying to pass the narrowest bill possible just to try something different from a constitutional challenge standpoint." He conceded, "There are two potential constitutional problems. One is that we are using the ESRB ratings. I can see a court saying you can't use private industry to create the law, but there's no way around that because everything else anyone has tried has been unsuccessful. The other piece is that so far no court has found a strong enough link (between game violence and youth violence)."



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Guest Fritz

This law doesn't make sense at all, but whatever. Better than trying to prosecute the gaming industry for irresponsible parents, I suppose.

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