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Press Release

May 20, 2009

PTC Applauds Appeal of Ruling Overturning CA Adult Video Game Law


LOS ANGELES (May 20, 2009) – The Parents Television Council™ applauds the State of California’s decision to appeal the Ninth Circuit Federal Court ruling that struck down a California law designed to prevent the sale of adult video games to minors to the U.S. Supreme Court.


California State Sen. Leland Yee was the author of the legislation, which passed the California State legislature in 2005.  This law was later attacked by the video game industry’s lawyers and overturned.  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appealed, and the Ninth Circuit Court issued its ruling, saying that the law violates the rights of minors under the Constitution’s First and 14th amendments.


“There should be no question that unaccompanied minors should be kept from purchasing adult video games that research has shown can be harmful to them, just like there are reasonable restrictions on other products that can cause them harm.  This California law was designed to enforce the video game industry’s own voluntary retail guidelines not to sell M-rated (Mature) or AO-rated (Adults Only) video games to children.  This law does nothing to violate the constitutional rights of minors – it simply empowers parents and backs up the industry’s own retail standards with enforceable penalties.  Our own research found that video game retailers sell M-rated video games to minors 36% of the time.  Clearly, this law is needed,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“If the industry actually followed its own rules, then this law would have absolutely no financial impact whatsoever on the industry.  But of course the industry doesn’t follow its own rules, and they don’t want a consequence for violating them.  Video game retailers, developers and publishers actually profit when their age restriction policy is ignored.  This creates an inherent and unworkable conflict of interest.


“We hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case and rule in favor of the families and children that this California law was intended to protect.”


To read more about PTC's “Secret Shopper” findings regarding the sale of video games to minors, visit: http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/publications/reports/secretshopper/main.asp.


To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.




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