Over the Christmas period, both California Assembly Speaker pro tem Leland Yee and a representative of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger have had a chance to reply to the recent news that Judge Ronald Whyte handed down a preliminary injunction halting the implementation of California's game restriction law.
Leland Yee, the bill's sponsor, released an official statement obtained by the GamePolitics website which read as follows:
"The preliminary injunction is simply a temporary pause before the lawsuit brought against the State of California by the Video Software Dealers Association (VDA) and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is resolved. We are confident that common sense will prevail over corporate profiteering on the backs of children.
Judge Whyte's 17-page opinion granting the injunction made clear that while a preliminary injunction may be necessary in the short term, he also challenged some of the claims made by the plaintiffs. Specifically, Judge Whyte indicated that, despite the claims of the ESA and VDA that the Act is far too burdensome to apply as a standard to video game products, that the '...Act should be simple enough for an ordinary person to apply to the games submitted to the court.'
The $31 billion video game industry is not concerned with the health and welfare of our children; they are simply concerned with their own financial interests... The medical data clearly indicates that these ultra-violent video games have harmful effects on kids, and thus we have a state interest to protect them. In addition, this law does not ban the development, the distribution, or the sale of any video games; it only limits the sales of the most violent games to minors. This is simply a tool to help parents raise healthy kids."
In addition, speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle, Julie Soderlund, a spokesperson for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, commented: "This is just the first step in what is certain to be a lengthy legal proceeding. Once the state is able to present evidence in the case, the courts will have the opportunity to understand why the governor and Legislature believe the state has a compelling interest in protecting children from potential harm from exposure to extremely violent video games."
Under the terms of AB1179, which would have come into effect on January 1, 2006, customers purchasing games with the label would be required to show ID; retailers who either did not check for ID or did not show the labels will be liable for a $1,000 fine per infraction.