Iowa and Utah Propose Violent Video Game Laws

Iowa and Utah Propose Violent Video Game Laws


Two more states have joined the roster of those seeking to ban the sale of violent video games to minors.

A group of Iowa legislators proposed a video game law that would restrict minors from buying violent or sexually explicit games. Retailers could be fined up to $500 for selling the games to people under the age limit.

“Parents are looking for help in dealing with parenting kids in today’s technology…A voluntary system doesn’t necessarily always work. Do we really want kids spending their free time trying to decide who they want to murder and how they want to murder them?” stated Representative Janet Peterson in a report in The Register.

Although most politicians have seemed on the video game legislation bandwagon in other states, the Democratic House Majority Leader Chuck Gipp, has voiced his dissent.

“I don’t think there is anybody that supports violent video games and sexually explicit material being sold to minors,” he stated. “However, how do you do it? Who is the one that determines what is and what is not (inappropriate)?”

Utah is also suggesting video game legislation that would prevent kids from purchasing violent video games. The Utah law would amend a current law that makes distributing pornography and explicit nudity to minors a felony. The amendment would make “inappropriate violence” part of the law. “Inappropriate violence” would include violence that trivializes the serious nature of realistic violence, violence that endorses or glorifies torture or “excessive weaponry,” violence that does not demonstrate the consequences or effects of realistic violence, and violence that depicts lead characters who resort to violence freely.

“We are seeing an increase in mental health problems with juvenile offenders,” State Representative David Hogue told the Salt Lake City Tribune. “I feel real strong that violence should be in (the pornography statute). We need to give parents a tool to protect their children… It’s sending out the message that there is more than pornography that is threatening to juveniles.”

We will keep you posted on these laws.

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