Calif. Video Game Bills Fail

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Subject: Calif. Video Game Bills Fail

Minors in California can breathe a bit easier, now. The bills were designed to restrict access to violent games, but failed to achieve the necessary 7 votes to be approved.

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two bills designed to restrict the access of minors to violent video games on Tuesday failed to clear a committee of California's state Assembly, killing them for 2004 unless the committee changes its mind.

One bill, which would expand the definition of "harmful matter to children" to include certain types of violent games, received a favorable 5-1 vote, while the second, regulating how some games are displayed in stores, got a 3-1 vote. Both needed 7 votes in favor to be approved by the Assembly's committee on arts, entertainment, sports, tourism and Internet media.

A spokesman for Leland Yee, the Assemblyman who introduced the bills, said they would be reconsidered without debate by the committee at its next hearing, expected to be held in about two weeks.

If the bills do not receive the necessary 7 votes each at that next hearing, the spokesman said, then Yee will reintroduce them next year.

At rallies across the state last Thursday, Yee and a litany of civic, political and religious figures spoke out against violence in video games and in favor of the bills.

The video game industry's trade group, the Entertainment Software Association, has criticized the laws as both unnecessary and unconstitutional.

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