Well if you’re under 18 and live in the state of Washington and want to play Mature rated video games, or any game that allows you to commit acts of violence against police officers, then you’ll have to talk your parents into buying it for you.
Specifically, the law forbids selling minors any video or computer game depicting violence against law enforcement officials. Among the titles affected are industry best sellers “Grand Theft Auto 3” and “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City”, both published by Take Two Interactive. Presumably, Atari’s $30 million “Enter the Matrix”, which hit store shelves last Thursday, would also be off limits to its core audience. That title earned only a “Teen” rating, since it is not graphically violent, though police officers are in-game enemies.
Retail employees who sell these games to minors are subject to fines of up to $500.
Not sure what they hope to accomplish with this. The troubled teens this legislation is supposed to keep these sorts of games away from are exactly the sort that have plenty of adults in their lives that are all-too happy to purchase these games for them. Parents that properly monitor what their kids are watching and playing are probably already limiting what their kids have access to. Ultimately the net-effect of this legislation will be absolutely nothing other than as good PR for the politicians.
When I can walk into any R-rated movie and find unsupervised kids as young as 6 in small groups because some adult bought them the tickets and walked them into the theater before leaving to go shopping, well, I seriously doubt that law is going to stop the troubled kids from having access to those games if they want ‘em.
But this is America after-all and we can’t go around applying a little common sense to the legislation we pass. Educate the parents? What a preposterous idea!