Proposed Law Would Fine Minors $25 for Attempting to Buy 'M' Rated Games

In the past 18 months several states have successfully passed video game laws which prohibit retailers from renting or selling “M” rated games to minors. The usual penalties associated with the violation of such laws are usually stiff fines. Minnesota is also moving to pass such legislation, but with a decidedly different twist. In the new bill proposed by Minnesota state legislators, it will be the minor who buys the game that will be fined, and not the retailer.

One of the authors of the bill, Senator Sandra Pappas, remarked that there was nothing to worry about concerning the enforcement of such a law upon children. In an interview given to GameSpot, she said, “I wouldn’t get so hung up over that. The whole goal is just to educate parents. And by requiring that the retailer post a sign saying it’s illegal and to give the young person attempting to purchase a game a little bit of hesitation–a $25 civil penalty is enough to get the attention of a 12-year-old–that’s really what it is. It’s an educational attempt.”

Although the proposed law may be merely an “educational attempt,” it will give some parents nightmares about little junior going to the slammer because he tried to purchase Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Pappas addressed the issue of how serious an infraction this law would be and said, “…we’re not going to be prosecuting kids. We actually had it as a petty misdemeanor, but we changed it to a civil penalty. It’s more important that parents just watch these games and monitor what kind of games their children are playing.”

The bill was approved by the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives and is now on its way to Governor Tim Pawlenty. If Pawlenty signs the bill, the law would go into effect on August 1st of 2006.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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