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Games & Washington

Washington state bans sale of violent video games on CNN Money has news that the state of Washington is on the verge of explicitly outlawing the sale of violent computer and video games to anyone under the age of 17, as a bill to this effect has passed the senate, and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Gary Locke (D). Rather than being broadly aimed though, the bill "specifically mentions those that depict violence against law enforcement officials," with the article suggesting that Grand Theft Auto Vice City was a specific catalyst for this measure. The article offers quotes from both sides of this issue, and touches upon the question of interpretation that's being raised by those who feel the law's wording might be too vague. The article offers handy updates on other related legislation:

In Washington, D.C., Sen. Joe Baca, D.-Calif., has resurrected his "Protect Children from Video Game Sex and Violence Act" for the second year. The bill would make it a federal crime to sell or rent "adult video games" to minors – with proposed fines of $5,000 or more. Re-introduced to the House on Feb. 11, the bill is currently in the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. The 2002 bill of the same name died in that committee.

At the same time, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D.-Conn., who has been a long-time critic of the video game industry, plans to introduce legislation to fund a study on how exposure to different types of media affects players. When proposing the legislation at a research symposium, the presidential candidate made sure to single out video games.

Meanwhile, the gaming industry is currently awaiting a ruling from the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on its attempt to overturn a St. Louis law, which bans the sale of violent video games to minors. A lower court upheld those restrictions a year ago.

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