Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has signed the Safe Games Illinois Act into law, despite the dismay of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and others.
The act bans the sale of mature-rated games to minors and a potential $1,000 fine to those who violate the law. "This is common sense legislation that restricts children’s access to games that teach them to be killers and disrespect women. Parenting is hard work, and the state has a compelling interest in helping parents raise their children to be upstanding men and women," commented Blagojevich.
Yet, the bill is already under scrutiny. The ESA, the Video Software Dealers Association, and the Illinois Merchant Retailers Association have filed a lawsuit.
"This law will have a chilling effect on free speech. It will limit First Amendment rights not only for Illinois' residents, but for game developers and publishers, and for retailers who won't know what games can and cannot be sold or rented under this vague new statute," said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the ESA.
They are also arguing that government’s judgment should not overrule the parents’ judgment.
We will continue to watch the story as it continues to unfold, so stay tuned.