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Calif. violent video game bill passes committee

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California lawmakers reconsidered and approved a bill in committee on Thursday that would ban the sale of violent video games to minors.

The California Assembly's arts committee passed the bill by Democratic Assembly Member Leland Yee on a 6-4 vote after taking it up for reconsideration.

The bill had failed to pass the committee on Tuesday when it fell a vote short of a necessary six votes.

The bill now goes to the full Assembly. If approved, it would go the state Senate for review.

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.

"For the same reason we don't allow kids to buy pornography, cigarettes, or alcohol, we shouldn't allow them to go to stores and buy video games that teach them to do the very things we put people in jail for -- abusing women, joining street gangs, killing police officers, or even assassinating President Kennedy," said Yee, a child psychologist, referring to scenarios in some video games.

Game developers and console makers say laws restricting game sales are unnecessary because their industry is doing a good job stopping minors from buying "Mature"-rated games.

However, the $10 billion industry expects bills restricting game sales to pass this year in Illinois, Michigan and North Carolina.
Two federal appellate courts have already ruled such laws violate the free speech guarantees of the First Amendment.


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