• New York Passes Label Law for Video Games
  • September 4, 2008
  • Law Firm: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • Under a new law signed on July 22 by New York Governor David Patterson, video games sold in the state must be clearly labeled with ratings for violent content.

    But the New York Civil Liberties Union argues that the law is unconstitutional. It says that it plans to file a lawsuit alleging the statute violates free speech rights. The rights group said that courts have invalidated as unconstitutional similar laws in California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Washington State.

    The U.S. video gaming industry already voluntarily submits to ratings under a system akin to movie ratings. The new law says that rated games must be labeled with their rating and that new video game consoles must include parent-controlled lockout features by 2010.

    The law also sets up an advisory council to look at “the connection between interactive media and real-life violence in minors exposed to such media” and to review and analyze the ratings developed by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.