The Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA), a body representing video game retailers, has responded to the recent announcement
that California Senator Leland Yee's AB1179 (formerly AB450) measure, aimed at preventing the sale of violent video games to children, has been approved in the legislature and now awaits only California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's signature to become law.
The full IEMA statement on the measure is as follows:
"The IEMA (Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association) remains opposed to AB 1179 for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is impractical - in essence creating a California-only class of products requiring retailers to buy, warehouse and distribute California video games separately from other inventory - it is unnecessary, in that our member companies have already voluntarily committed to carding policies to inhibit the sale of Mature-rated games to minors, and it is clearly unconstitutional. Time and again courts have uniformly held that video games, just like books, movies, and music, are expression that is fully protected by the First Amendment.
We hope that Governor Schwarzenegger understands and appreciates the lengths to which our members who conduct business in the State of California have gone to fulfill their social obligations on a voluntary basis. It was disheartening to see the bill pass the house and senate, but we refuse to believe that the Governor will allow this matter to become further politicized and divisive - leading only to a course which would inevitably cost the taxpayers valuable resources, and an unceremonious fate that has been played out in the court system. We instead hope that he will veto AB 1179 and ask that the State work more closely with the games industry in much the same way that it does the music and movie businesses."
Gov. Schwarzenegger now has 30 days to either sign the bill or veto it - the bill requires warning labels to be placed on violent games. 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.