Michigan Lawmakers Seek Ban On Sale of Mature Games to MinorsSenate Bill 249, which would prohibit minors from buying or renting M-Rated "mature" video games in the state of Michigan.
Senator Hansen Clarke of Detroit introduced the bill, which seeks to make it a misdemeanor to sell violent or sexually explicit video games to someone under 17. The law would carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
"We have a responsibility to our families and our communities to ensure that all businesses--including the video gaming industry--behave ethically and refrain from targeting products to our children that hurt our families," said Sen. Clarke. "Even the best parents need their government to take common sense measures to help keep our children safe."
One video game in particular, The Guy Game (developed by Top Heavy Studios and published by Take-Two's Gathering label) was singled out by Michigan's governor, Jennifer Granholm, as "sickening" and "utterly degrading." In The Guy Game, players answer trivia questions and are rewarded with video clips showing topless women for giving correct answers.
Similar legislation in Washington State was ratified but declared unconstitutional by a federal judge. U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik ruled last summer that the depiction of violence has been used throughout the country's history to convey social messages, and that the Supreme Court has never upheld bans on violent depictions under obscenity laws.
Frankly, so long as stores can still sell M-Rated games and adults still have the option to buy M-Rated games for their kids, we don't really have a problem with this sort of legislation. After all, parents should always keep a close eye on everything their kids are reading, watching, listening to, and playing. It's just one aspect of "good parenting." Furthermore, The Guy Game is one of the worst games ever made, despite the inclusion of bulbous bouncing mammaries, and anyone that has played it has already been punished enough. We admit, however, that the ESRB dropped the ball in not giving it the Adults Only designation--considering the SOLE POINT of the game is to watch breasts bounce up and down.
4/12/2005 Frank Provo