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Georgia targets violent video games

A proposed bill would make it a misdemeanor if a person sells to those under age 18 video games that depict decapitation, bloodshed or "grotesque cruelty."

State lawmakers this week introduced a bill that would make it a crime in Georgia to provide games that depict graphic violence to minors.

The bill, dubbed the "Violent Video Game Protection Act," would make it a criminal misdemeanor if a person "sells, rents, or otherwise provides for use for a charge" any video games to those under the age of 18 that depict "decapitation, bloodshedding, dismemberment, and grotesque cruelty."

The bill's authors said improvements in technology and increasing access to such games necessitate stricter regulation.

"Video games are available to children not only at traditional places of business specializing in amusement but also through a variety of retail outlets and magazine sales for home use and by communication on the Internet," the bill reads. "Improvements to the picture, speed, and resolution of the new age of video games have made the depiction of characters, places, and events contained in the games amazingly realistic."

State and local governments are increasingly trying to regulate access to violent video games.

In January, the City Council of Garden Grove in Southern California imposed restrictions on cybercafes, hoping to stop virtual brutality from exploding into real-life violence because of charged emotions of the children playing video games. Other California cities have enacted similar or more stringent restrictions.

The proposed bill in Georgia would use the Entertainment Software Rating Board's independent ratings system. The rating's body was established in 1994 by the Interactive Digital Software Associations.