For once, gaming legislation that doesn't suck
So, remember how politicians and protest groups (read: the American Indian protest of Gun) have spent the past year or so getting their knickers in a twist about violent video games? Remember how they've all vowed to Do Something About It? Well, after a series of truly stupid pieces of legislature, it seems like one has been passed that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) isn't going to fight in the courtroom.
"So why doesn't the ESA have a problem with this?" I hear you asking, Dear Readers. The answer, according to Doug Lowenstein (head of the ESA) is because the new law doesn't attack video games in general. Instead, Maryland's HB 707 simply makes it illegal to sell, distribute, or display sexually explicit video games to minors (so, apparently, we won't be seeing copies of Sociolotron at local GameStops any time soon). While this might make gamers a little wary, don't worry: HB 707 doesn't lump violent video games into the category of pornography like so many previous bills have tried to do.
According to the new law, first time offenders can face up to $1000 in fines, while repeat offenders can face up to $5000. The law is set to go into effect October 1.