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Michigan Legislature Weighs Game-Related Age Restriction Bill

Michigan Legislature Weighs Game-Related Age Restriction Bill

March 25, 2005 | By Nich Maragos

March 25, 2005 | By Nich Maragos
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Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has lent her support to a bill aimed at criminalizing the act of selling or renting certain videogames to minors. The bill, introduced by Senator Hansen Clarke (D-Detroit), is one of many such pieces of legislature currently circulating in states around the country.

At a press conference discussing the bill, Granholm said that the law was needed to warn "those who would poison the minds of our young people…that we’re not going to take it anymore." Clarke, who was also present at the press conference, used the widely panned 2004 release The Guy Game to illustrate the problem, saying that it was too easy for minors to obtain access to the game.

The specifics of the bill were not mentioned, but it does differ from Leland Yee's effort in California in a couple of respects: it's aimed at all games featuring mature content, not just violent games, and it appears to take the currently existing ESRB ratings as its guide to what those under 17 will be allowed to rent, rather than creating a Michigan-specific ratings system.

Though Michigan's legislature is currently in recess for the Easter holidays, Gov. Granholm said that she would encourage the lawmakers to give Clarke's bill a high priority when they reconvene.

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