Game Law Struck Down, Thompson Buys Into Take-Two

A recent California law aiming to prevent the sale of excessively violent video games to minors, created by assemblyman Leland Yee and endorsed by governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, was halted yesterday by Northern California District Judge Ronald Whyte. His ruling is a result of a challenge to the bill issued by the Entertainment Software Association and the Video Software Dealers Association. The ESA is a prominent organization in legal matters pertaining to games, and has achieved several similar injunctions in recent years. Judge Whyte pointed out that games are considered free speech, and are thus constitutionally protected. It is not within the state's right to govern their sales. He also disputed claims that there is a causal link between video games and violent acts, noting that cited research in that area is insubstantial. ESA president Doug Lowenstein weighed in on the ruling:
For the sixth time in five years, Federal Courts have now blocked or struck down these state and local laws seeking to regulate the sale of games to minors based on their content, and none have upheld such statutes. It is therefore time to look past legislation and litigation in favor of cooperative efforts to accomplish the common goal of ensuring that parents use the tools available to control the games their kids play.

In somewhat related news, sort of, Jack Thompson is apparently now a shareholder in his favorite/least favorite company, Take-Two. Take-Two of course publishers Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series, which bears the brunt of Thompson's zealous anti-game efforts. He sent an open letter to Take-Two's CEO Paul Eibeler about a week ago, mentioning Eibeler's recent Worst CEO nod and somehow managing to tangentially imply that Microsoft software was used to train terrorists to fly into buildings. Of course, Thompson's reasoning for buying Take-Two stock was to be able to show up at shareholder meetings, and he has requested a "hand-held cordless microphone" for those occasions. My deepest condolences to the Take-Two board.