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New Law Concerning Violent Video Games

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Governor Brad Henry is expected to sign a bill this week that would restrict the access of children to violent video games. The question is what's violent?

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says the bill says "violence that is glamorized or gratuitous" or "graphic violence used to shock or stimulate". Still confused? So are some other people.

Game X-change owner Brian Cherry has read the proposed law, but he's still not sure what it means. "To me it's just very vague. It doesn't tell me what I'm supposed to do or what our store's responsibility is as far as selling games to minors."

“Well, there's the famous idea of the slippery slope." University of Tulsa Law Professor Martin Belsky says there's been a long history of regulating sexual material. But not so with violence.

The Grand Theft Auto series of video games has generated some of the greatest alarm among adults, where the character has the capability to kill anyone, including police.

So does that, as the law states, trivialize the serious nature of realistic violence or depict characters that resort to violence freely? And who decides if it does? "It's a question of parental control versus government control. You as parents can't have your children read Playboy or you as parents can't have your children watch Pulp Fiction or you as parents can't have your children read some of their old Mike Hammer murder mysteries. This is, in the privacy of your own home, what your child can or can not do and the question is, how far do we want the government intrude on our privacy."

Whatever they decide, Cherry says they'd better give him a list. "Y'know especially if you get into situations where they can buy this Mature-rated game but not that one. If I don't have a good list and I sell that and a complaint is filed and I get fined or however they do it, then I think that falls back on the state."
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