Governor Wants Violent Video Games Made Illegal

Dec 17, 2004

By George Anderson

Illinois’ governor Rod Blagojevich has had it with violent and sexually explicit video games.

Yesterday he called for the state legislature to make it illegal for retailers to sell or rent games such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and JFK Reloaded to minors.

“The most important job we have is to protect our kids and to raise them right, ” said Mr. Blagojevich.

According to an Associated Press report, under current regulations, retailers in Illinois are not supposed to sell or rent violent and/or sexually explicit video games to kids under 17 but “enforcement has been lax.”

Mr. Blagojevich is proposing that those who sell or rent inappropriate video games to children be subject to up to a year in prison or a fine of $5,000.

Retailers aren’t questioning the Governor’s good intentions but think he is looking to put responsibility where it doesn’t belong.

“This is not just about video games. This is about the government asking their taxpaying, tax-generating and employing companies to do what parents should be doing. It’s wrong,” said David Vite, president and chief executive officer of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

Governor Blagojevich sees this as being bigger than a simple parental responsibility issue. “We’re up against an aggressive campaign by the video game industry to market these products, and they target these products in the same way to children that the tobacco industry targeted their Joe Camel ads to children,” he said.

Moderator’s Comment: Should it be a crime for retailers to rent or sell violent and/or sexually explicit video games
to minors?

George Anderson – Moderator

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2 Comments on "Governor Wants Violent Video Games Made Illegal"

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Jill Brennan
Jill Brennan
16 years 11 months ago

Society has changed from parents raising their children to parents expecting government, schools, and anyone else to raise them. Parents should learn the basics of video games, just as they did movies. The same parents who would scream if another parent took their child to see a rated R movie ignore the M rating on video games. If parents would pay attention to what their kids are doing, reading, and downloading, then the video games wouldn’t sell as well and they would then possibly cut some content such as sexual themes. I monitor what my child and nephews are allowed to play and they accept why they cannot play these games. It should not be the responsibility of store to parent your children. You chose to have them, so raise them.

starner michael
starner michael
16 years 9 months ago
As a long-time video gamer, I think the problem isn’t so much video games as Rockstar Games (the makers of the GTA series) and their imitators. Outside of the likes of Grand Theft Auto, video game violence is rarely beyond anything you could watch on broadcast TV. To me it always seems that the actions of one developer out of hundreds are being portrayed as though they were representative of the entire industry when that’s not at all the case. While it’s true that most video games have some form of violence, games like Dance Dance Revolution and Katamari Damacy (both rated E) have definite followings too. Personally I think the industry would be a lot better off without Rockstar Games, though I’m sure I’m in a minority. And while it was pointed out that minors can’t get into R-rated movies unescorted, as far as I know that doesn’t hold true when it comes to buying such movies on DVD. Another interesting thing is that in fact the majority of video game players are under… Read more »

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