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New Jersey Governor proposes Video Game bill

By 69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 26 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 27 2013 09:08:02 PM CDT

NJ Video game bill

TRENTON -

You have to show ID to buy booze and cigarettes, but video games too?  It may soon be reality in New Jersey.  Gov. Chris Christie is floating a proposal to ban kids from buying video games rated as "mature" or "adults only."

 

Some parents love the idea, but legal experts say this plan is already dead in the water.

 

"I don't have a problem with that, because I don't really agree with them, " said parent Danielle Meravi.

 

She lets her nine year-old son play limited amounts of violent games.  Even he thinks some games affect kids more than others.

 

"Call of Duty is more realistic, and then the others games, not really," said John Hing, Meravi's son.  'It's like, [a] cartoon."

 

Christie's plan would require a parent to purchase games rates "M" for mature or "adults only."

 

"It will probably be overturned by the federal court as a violation of freedom of speech," said Lehigh University professor George Nation.

 

Federal courts have already struck down ten such laws in other states.  The U.S. Supreme Court even weighed in two years ago, overturning California's ban, which was similar to Christie's proposal.

 

"The court has ruled specifically that video games are a form of speech," said Nation.

 

In doing so, the High Court ruled there wasn't enough of a link proving violent games lead to actual violence.  Christie has suggested the rule could be more voluntary, like how movie theaters refuse to sell R- and NC17-rated tickets to minors.

 

Hing's grandmother thinks New Jersey shouldn't waste time and money on a losing legal battle.

 

"I think there are more important things to be handled than to be worried about video games," said April Boyer of Belvidere, N.J.  "I really do believe that's what's going to happen, is that it's going to get knocked down somewhere along the line."

 

The Entertainment Merchants Association, a video game retail group, told the New Jersey Star-Ledger that 87 percent of stores already voluntarily refuse to sell violent video games to kids unless they have parental permission.