New Jersey Wants To Regulate Violent Video Games

By Chris LeJohn , Updated Apr 16, 2013 06:56 PM EDT
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New Jersey is the latest state to jump on the video game regulation bandwagon.  A task force set up in the wake of the Sandy Hook mass shooting last year recommends regulating "violent video games." 

Republican Governor Chris Christie is being asked to regulate games sold in the state, increase educational efforts about games, and review violent media overall as a means to help raise awareness and prevent the provocation of mass violence.

"The interactive nature of video games, as opposed to other forms of media, may dictate particular regulation of such games. The recommendations...pertain specifically to what the State could do in regulating the sale of video games, subject to the appropriate regulatory authority's consideration of the practicality and feasibility of each approach." the group writes.

The taskforce, which does not carry the force of law, recommends essentially what is already standard practice in the selling of violent video games. The group seeks to require game retailers to "conspicuously" display ESRB ratings at the point of sale. These retailers should also uphold their own policy on selling "Mature" or "Adults Only" games. Another recommendation is to remove violent games from state property. Whether people would be able to play their own violent video games on state property remains unclear.

"Specifically with regard to violent video games, the Task Force encourages the appropriate agency to explore the question of whether retailers should be required to label video games with stickers, in addition to the ESRB rating symbol, to make clear the appropriate age range for a particular video game," the report says.

What this means in the long run is currently unclear but it undoubtedly will garner the attention of concerned parents and public figures. Or it will be filed away and forgotten, like so many other task force reports before it.

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