Prohibits the sale to minors of certain rated video games containing a rating that reflects content of various degrees of profanity, racist stereotypes or derogatory language, and/or actions toward a specific group of persons.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to prohibiting sale of certain video games to minors containing racist stereotypes, derogatory language and/or actions toward specific groups of persons
PURPOSE: This bill would ban the sale of certain designated adult games containing racist stereotypes, derogatory language, and/or actions toward specific groups of persons to minors under the age of 18. It would also require purchasers of these games to show a valid form of identification in order to purchase the game.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 adds a new section 391-r to the general business law that forbids the sale of mature video games containing racist stereotypes, derogatory language, and/or actions toward specific groups of persons to minors younger than the age of 18 and requires that the purchaser show a valid form of identification in order to purchase the game.
JUSTIFICATION: Video games depicting violent or derogatory acts against specific types of racial and ethnic groups are extremely detrimental to society. These games are racist and discriminatory in nature, and they should not be sold without restrictions. Children exposed to such ideas through video games are more likely to imitate the actions of the characters. Studies have shown that younger children who are exposed to games containing morbid violence, illegal use of drugs and alcohol, violent crime, rape, and suicide are more likely to partake in these crimes as they mature. Children are the most impressionable group in society, so we must prevent racial or discriminatory ideas and actions from being seen by them in a glorified manner.
These measures must be taken to end the spread of stereotypes and violence in society, this bill would prevent children from gaining access to video games that contain racial stereotypes and/or violence against minority groups. Vendors of video games will be prohibited from selling video games that are deemed to contain racial themes or violence to those under 18. Similar legislation has been introduced in other states such as New Jersey, Washington, Hawaii, Florida, and California.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: S.753 Referred to Consumer Protection
This bill was first introduced in 2004 S.2783 02/12/07 Referred to Consumer Protection 01/09/08 Referred to Consumer Protection
A.4949 02/12/07 Referred to Economic Development
01/09/08 Referred to Economic Development 06/03/08 Reported Referred to Codes
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3561 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 25, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. ADAMS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to prohibiting sale of certain video games to minors containing racist stereotypes, derogatory language and/or actions toward specific groups of persons THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 391-r to read as follows: S 391-R. SALE OF CERTAIN VIDEO GAMES TO MINORS PROHIBITED. 1. NO PERSON, PARTNERSHIP OR CORPORATION SHALL SELL OR RENT OR OFFER TO SELL OR RENT TO ANY PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN YEARS ANY VIDEO GAME THAT HAS A RATING CONTAINING RACIST STEREOTYPES, DEROGATORY LANGUAGE AND/OR ACTIONS TOWARD A SPECIFIC GROUP OR GROUPS OF PERSONS. SUCH VIDEO GAMES MAY CONTAIN, BUT SHALL NOT BE LIMITED TO, PROFANE SLANG, PROFANE RELIGIOUS EXCLAMATIONS, OBSCENE SLANG, OBSCENE REFERENCES TO BODY PARTS, CHARACTER OR RELIGIOUS SLURS, PROFANE CHARACTER SLURS, OR RACIAL SLURS OR VIOLENT BEHAVIOR TOWARD SPECIFIC PERSONS OR GROUPS OF PERSONS BASED UPON RACE. 2. EVERY PERSON, PARTNERSHIP OR CORPORATION ENGAGED IN THE RETAIL SALE OR RENTAL OF VIDEO GAMES SHALL STORE AND DISPLAY SUCH VIDEO GAMES CONTAINING CONTENTS LISTED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION IN A LOCATION DESIGNATED FOR PERSONS OVER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN, IN A MANNER WHICH RESTRICTS ACCESS TO SUCH VIDEO GAMES. 3. SALE OR RENTAL OF ANY VIDEO GAME THAT CONTAINS ANY CONTENTS LISTED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, SHALL BE MADE ONLY TO AN INDIVIDUAL WHO DEMONSTRATES, THROUGH (A) A VALID DRIVER'S LICENSE OR NON-DRIVER'S IDENTIFICATION AND ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF MOTOR VEHICLES, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, ANY UNITED STATES TERRITORY, COMMONWEALTH OR POSSESSION, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, A STATE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OR A PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DOMINION OF CANADA; OREXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03620-02-1 S. 3561 2
(B) A VALID PASSPORT ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OR ANY OTHER COUNTRY; OR (C) AN IDENTIFICATION CARD ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES, INDICATING THAT THE INDIVIDUAL IS AT LEAST EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE. SUCH IDENTIFICATION NEED NOT BE REQUIRED OF ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO REASONABLY APPEARS TO BE AT LEAST THIRTY YEARS OF AGE, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH APPEARANCE SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE A DEFENSE IN ANY PROCEEDING INVOLVING SALE OR RENTAL OF ANY VIDEO GAME, TO AN INDIVIDUAL UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE. 4. IN ANY PROCEEDING PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, IT SHALL BE AN AFFIRMA- TIVE DEFENSE THAT A PERSON PURCHASING OR RENTING OR ATTEMPTING TO PURCHASE OR RENT ANY VIDEO GAME DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION PRODUCED A DRIVER'S LICENSE OR A NON-DRIVER IDENTIFICATION CARD APPARENTLY ISSUED BY A GOVERNMENT ENTITY OR OTHER IDENTIFICATION PURSU- ANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION, SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED THE TRANSACTION, AND THAT THE VIDEO GAME SOLD OR RENTED TO SUCH PERSON WITH REASONABLE RELIANCE UPON SUCH IDENTIFICATION AND TRANSACTION. IN EVALU- ATING THE APPLICABILITY OF SUCH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE, CONSIDERATION SHALL BE GIVEN TO ANY WRITTEN POLICY ADOPTED AND IMPLEMENTED BY THE SELLER TO EFFECTUATE THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. USE OF ANY METHOD OF AN ELEC- TRONIC TRANSACTION SCAN SHALL NOT EXCUSE ANY PERSON OPERATING A PLACE OF BUSINESS WHEREIN VIDEO GAMES ARE SOLD OR RENTED, OR THE AGENT OR EMPLOY- EE OF SUCH PERSON, FROM THE EXERCISE OF DUE DILIGENCE. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION, ANY SUCH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE SHALL NOT BE APPLICABLE IN ANY CIVIL OR CRIMINAL PROCEEDING, OR IN ANY OTHER FORUM. 5. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION "RATING" MEANS THE STANDARDIZED DESIGNATION COMMONLY USED TO INFORM PARENTS ABOUT VIDEO GAMES REGARDING LISTENING AND VIEWING BY THEIR CHILDREN. S 2. Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision or part of this act, or the application thereof to any person or circum- stance, shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision or part of this act, or in its application to the person or circumstance, directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.