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Louisiana's Violent Video Game Law Halted

Louisiana's Violent Video Game Law Halted

by , 4:35 PM EDT, June 21st, 2006

On Monday, Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco signed into law a bill that would fine retailers -- or potentially even imprison them -- for selling violent video games to minors. On Wednesday, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) filed suit in federal court, which led a judge to put a temporary injunction on enforcing the new law.

According to MacCentral's Peter Cohen, a hearing to decide if the injunction will be permanent is set for June 27. "Some experts expected the law, which was ratified by the Louisiana state legislature as HB1381, to run afoul of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution," Mr. Cohen wrote. "The legislation attempts to apply the same criteria to violent video games that is used to define obscenity, using language modeled after the Miller Test -- the Supreme Court's test for whether speech or expression can be labeled obscene."

ESA president Douglas Lowenstein would prefer that his industry work with parents and retailers to educate the public about its voluntary ratings system, according to Mr. Cohen.

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