Safe Games Bill Passes Assembly

Legislation Protects Children from Video Game Violence
May 30, 2007

Long time advocate for keeping violent video games out of the hands of children and helping parental oversight, Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R,C,I –Canandaigua) stood up on the Assembly Floor today advocating the passage of a bill that would prohibit the dissemination of violent and indecent video games to minors.

“Unfortunately, there are many adults who allow children to play violent video games out of indifference, ignorance or both,” said Kolb. “That is why this legislation is so important. In the interests of the children of our great state, we must do whatever we can to protect children and to educate the public about how the content of these games negatively influences their children’s behavior.”

In 2003, Kolb first introduced legislation to increase parental awareness and keep violent video games out of the hands of children. Much of today’s proposed legislation stems from his efforts.

“As the original author of this legislation in 2003, I am appalled to what is available to our children and disgusted with the relative ease that such violent and sexually explicit material can get into young hands. Much of the content in these games is part of a systemic problem that is leading to the degradation of our society and partly responsible for the escalation of violence in our communities.”

Assemblyman Kolb pointed out that the next step involves working out the differences between the Senate version and the Assembly version of the bill in conference committee, but called this a very good start. “I hope that we can work with the Senate, through the use of conference committees, to have this legislation ready for the governor’s signature before the end of session.”

The legislation makes the sale of violent and indecent video games to children a Class E Felony. Other provisions in the bill would require every new video game console sold at retail to include a mechanism that allows the parent to prevent the play of video games containing certain content on the console. The bill would also establish an advisory council, which would review the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s rating system and develop appropriate policies and priorities for effective intervention, public education and advocacy against youth violence.