New York Governor David Patterson recently signed a bill regarding video game controls into law, but state legislators already know it was most likely a waste of their time and taxpayers’ money. The reason for this notion is that the video game debate has become one of the most heated in New York history. While the new law went through a series of changes and interpretations, it came out of the legislature this week with only a few provisions focusing on parental controls and game ratings. Supporters and opponents alike are displeased with the outcome with some believing the bill will do nothing to end violence among New York’s youth and others, that government control on this segment of society is by no means necessary.
Challengers include members of civil rights, entertainment and tax reform groups who argue, among other things, that the legislature was knowingly wasting their constituents’ tax money by allowing this bill to pass. Opponents are confident the law will be declared unconstitutional in court, a thought that is probably not far off base considering similar laws around the country have already met this fate. Still, the state government is hoping that their removal of certain segments which would have made it illegal to produce excessively violent games will lead a judge to think twice before striking down the law.
While the law was cut back to only require parental controls on all game consoles by 2010 and more obvious age ratings on covers, it is also supporting extensive research in the field of video game effects. The state is hopeful that if they must face their opponents, they will be armed with evidence that video games have a direct effect on teenage behavior.