Michigan Joins Illinois; Regulates Violent Games

The South Bend Tribune is reporting that Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has signed legislation that would make it illegal to sell or rent adult-rated video games to those 17 and younger. The bill was introduced months ago, and comes on the heels of passage of a similar law in the state of Illinois. A California law is pending the signature of Governor Schwarzenegger. “These are not just harmless games. The child becomes the protagonist,” Granholm said before signing the legislation in Detroit.

One new law will punish those selling “M” video games for disseminating sexually explicit matter to minors. Retailers could face a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The game industry, as it always does, is certain to appeal to the courts. Responding to the potential threat of court intervention, Granholm was confident the bill would hold up.

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“We are adopting the entertainment software’s standards. We’re merely asking them to card,” she said. She also signed into law a requirement that retailers must post a sign explaining the rating system. Failure to do so, under the new law, would be punishable by up to a $1,000 fine. The governor likened the video games to alcohol and other materials that are “kept behind the counter”.

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