Minnesota video game law blocked

Underage gamers in Minnesota can sleep a little easier now.

Thanks to one legal interpretation, should they get their hands on a video game rated "M" for mature or "AO" for adults only, they won't have to cough up a fine if caught.

A federal judge on Monday declared Minnesota's video game law unconstitutional, saying that the purchase or rental of a video game is protected by the First Amendment.

Originally slated to take effect Tuesday, the law was an attempt by state lawmakers to limit the exposure of those younger than 17 to sexually graphic and violent games by imposing a fine of $25.

U.S. District Judge James Rosenbaum also ruled that the state did not prove that overly realistic depictions of sex and violence actually harm minors.

"There is a paucity of evidence linking the availability of video games with any harm to Minnesota's children at all," he wrote.

Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch said the state will probably appeal, according to the Associated Press.

Similar laws in other states--including California, Illinois and Michigan--have also been rejected.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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