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Tennessee Violent Game Bill Withdrawn

Tennessee Violent Game Bill Withdrawn

May 23, 2006 | By David Jenkins

According to a report from website, Tennessee bill SB3981, which sought to ban outright “extremely violent video games”, has been withdrawn by its Democrat sponsor Tommy Kilby.

As was predicted when the bill was first proposed, it has been withdrawn due to free speech and First Amendment concerns, just as has been the case with all other similar bills in other states.

In its attempt to completely ban violent video games the proposed Tennessee law was one of the most draconian yet suggested, despite milder bills already having been defeated or withdrawn elsewhere. Bill SB3981 aimed to make illegal the sale or rent of “extremely violent video games”, which are defined as "a video game in which the range of options available to a player includes killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being".

The bill also differentiated games where the victim is an authority figure, conscious of the abuse taking place and whether the violence is beyond that necessary to commit a killing and/or involves needless mutilation of the victim’s body. But with little chance of the state ever winning a legal battle over the bill, not least considering the now considerable precedent in other states, Kilby has quietly withdrawn the proposal.

Whether this defeat will discourage other U.S. politicians from proposing similar laws in other states, or simply encourage them to seek less severe penalties and restrictions, is currently unclear, with a host of States continuing to press on with bills as of recent.

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