Push for California violent video game bill stalls

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Gaming

A bill before the California Assembly to ban the sale of violent video games has been shelved because of a lack of support, an aide to its author said on Friday.

Assemblyman Leland Yee has deactivated his bill after failing to muster enough votes for it to pass the full Assembly, said aide Adam Keigwin.

"We've put it in the inactive file," Keigwin said, noting there is a possibility Yee may ask lawmakers to revive the bill in the state Senate for a last-minute push this legislative session.

If not, Yee, a child psychologist, will bring his bill up for reconsideration in the state's next legislative session, Keigwin said.

"Dr. Yee is committed to this issue, but he wants to build more support for this bill," Keigwin said.

The Assembly's arts committee passed the bill early last month on a 6-4 vote after reconsidering it. The bill had previously failed to pass the committee when it fell a vote short of the necessary six votes.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose Hollywood film career includes violent movies, has not taken a position on the bill, which allows for $1,000 fines for violators and requires violent video games to be labeled.

The video game industry bitterly contested the bill, and it expects it will have to do so again. "I don't think the fight is over in California," said Doug Lowenstein, president of the Entertainment Software Association.

"We'll continue to wage this effort wherever we have to," Lowenstein added, referring to similar bills in other state legislatures.

Video game developers and console makers say laws restricting game sales are unnecessary because their $10 billion industry does a good job stopping minors from buying "Mature"-rated games.

© Reuters 2005.