Stupid, stupid game laws, cont’d

Yet another game law blocked: a judge has granted a preliminary injunction against a Louisiana law that restricted the sale of violent video games to minors.

It’s the same as all the other cases: Video games are protected speech; violent imagery is protected under the First Amendment; there is zero research showing that violent games cause violence or harm kids. At times, Judge James Brady’s annoyance at this rehashing of already shot-down arguments shows through:

“The state’s argument overlooks a line of cases holding that video games are protected free speech.” …

“The state contends that a video game is different from all other forms of media. … This argument has been rejected many times as well.” …

“Defendants contend that the legislative record contains social science evidence demonstrating that violent video games are harmful. It appears that much of the same evidence has been considered by numerous courts and in each case the connection was found to be tenuous and speculative.” …

“The evidence that was submitted to the Legislature in connection with the bill that became the Statute is sparse and could hardly be called in any sense reliable.”

Illinois’s taxpayers are on the hook for $500,000 for the same kind of political grandstanding. How many court losses and hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted taxpayer money will it take before legislatures stop this nonsense?

— August 26, 2006

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