Michigan Gaming Law Killed

GameDaily BIZ has word on the demise of Michigan's recently passed (story) legislation that made it illegal to sell Mature or Adult rated video games to minors. The law was put on hold by a temporary restraining order shortly before it was to take effect (story), but now has been hit with a permanent injunction on Constitutional grounds, with the presiding judge specifically citing the lack of actual correlation between violent games and actual violence:
Although the federal government is still pushing for the CDC to investigate the effects of all electronic media on children, there is still no evidence of a direct link between violence in video games and real-life violence acted out by kids or teens. Regarding studies cited by the state in support of the bill, Judge Steeh said, "Dr. (Craig) Anderson's studies have not provided any evidence that the relationship between violent video games and aggressive behavior exists... The research not only fails to provide concrete evidence that there is a connection between violent media and aggressive behavior, it also fails to distinguish between video games and other forms of media."

While certain politicians and anti-game activists have also suggested that games are far worse for children than other media because they offer interactive, not passive experiences, the district court once again shot down this notion. "...it could just as easily be said that the interactive element in video games acts as an outlet for minors to vent their violent or aggressive behavior, thereby diminishing the chance they would actually perform such acts in reality....Not only does the Act not materially advance the state's stated interest, but it appears to discriminate against a disfavored 'newcomer' in the world of entertainment media. Thus, 'singling out' the video game industry does not advance the state's alleged goal," concluded Judge Steeh.

Naturally, the ESA couldn't be happier with the court's ruling. The organization also said that it would seek reimbursement from Michigan for its legal fees, a move it also recently took with the state of Illinois.