Malik  (7/19/04)

Good News For Washington Geeks 

As I checked the news this morning, I came across some kick-ass news on for us geeks who live in (or travel to) Washington state. A law was recently passed, but delayed in court, that would ban all minors in WA from renting or buying games that showed violence towards law enforcement officers (this would include, in theory, the agents of a T rated game like Enter the Matrix...but then who would play that crapfest anyway?). This law would carry a fine of $500 against any retailer who sold/rented out such games. Well, the judge, U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik, decided that the law was far too vague and would violate first amendment rights to be constitutional. 

So, what does this mean? It means one form of video game censorship has bitten the dust in my home state. Also, with how vague the law was, it means there is a lot less pressure on game retailers in WA to determine what is graphically violent against law officers (there was no clear definition, so punching a cartoon that is in a police officer costume would be a nifty little gray area that could evoke a fine or may be one really knew until someone would try to sue over it). With no clear definitions and with how it singles out only law officers, this law would have been a confusing issue that would only cause further attention to fall upon the issue of violence in games (which has received too much bad publicity from Congress as it is).