Governor Wants Violent Video Games Made Illegal
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