Fines to Be Imposed for Violent Video Games

Apr 21, 2003

On Thursday, the Washington State senate passed legislation that calls for
fines of $500 for retailers selling violent video games to minors. Specifically,
the measure targets games that depict violence against women and the killing
of police officers.

Among the games likely to be restricted by the legislation is “Grand Theft
Auto: Vice City,” one of the hottest-selling titles for Sony Corp.’s PlayStation
2 console. The measure was denounced by Gail Markels, general counsel to the
Interactive Digital Software Association, as “a misguided attempt at video game

The legislation was passed by the Washington state House last month and is
expected to be signed into law by Gov. Gary Locke.

Moderator’s Comment: Is this a situation in which consumers
and retailers need the government to step in and set moral standards?

Again, we tackle the debate over the need for government
intervention (or intrusion) into our lives — whether it’s in issues of privacy,
blue laws, gun sales, advertising to minors…the list goes on. But each
situation has it own ethical twists. As a parent, I know sometimes laws make
things easier when setting rules for our children. A law in my area actually
limits the number of friends young drivers can have in their cars, figuring
the distraction causes accidents. When my 17-year old complains, I just say…”Hey,
it’s the law.” [Rick
Moss – Moderator

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