senate Bill S3561

Prohibits the sale of certain rated video games to minors

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 25 / Feb / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION

Summary

Prohibits the sale to minors of certain rated video games containing a rating that reflects content of various degrees of profanity, racist stereotypes or derogatory language, and/or actions toward a specific group of persons.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S3561
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Consumer Protection
Law Section:
General Business Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง391-r, Gen Bus L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S753

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3561

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the general business law, in relation to prohibiting sale of
certain video games to minors containing racist stereotypes, derogatory
language and/or actions toward specific groups of persons

PURPOSE:
This bill would ban the sale of certain designated adult games
containing racist stereotypes, derogatory language, and/or actions
toward specific groups of persons to minors under the age of 18. It
would also require purchasers of these games to show a valid form of
identification in order to purchase the game.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 adds a new section 391-r to the general business law that
forbids the sale of mature video games containing racist stereotypes,
derogatory language, and/or actions toward specific groups of persons
to minors younger than the age of 18 and requires that the purchaser
show a valid form of identification in order to purchase the game.

JUSTIFICATION:
Video games depicting violent or derogatory acts against specific
types of racial and ethnic groups are extremely detrimental to
society. These games are racist and discriminatory in nature, and
they should not be sold without restrictions. Children exposed to
such ideas through video games are more likely to imitate the actions
of the characters. Studies have shown that younger children who are
exposed to games containing morbid violence, illegal use of drugs and
alcohol, violent crime, rape, and suicide are more likely to partake
in these crimes as they mature.
Children are the most impressionable group in society, so we must
prevent racial or discriminatory ideas and actions from being seen by
them in a glorified manner.

These measures must be taken to end the spread of stereotypes and
violence in society, this bill would prevent children from gaining
access to video games that contain racial stereotypes and/or violence
against minority groups. Vendors of video games will be prohibited
from selling video games that are deemed to contain racial themes or
violence to those under 18. Similar legislation has been introduced
in other states such as New Jersey, Washington, Hawaii, Florida, and
California.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2010: S.753 Referred to Consumer Protection

This bill was first introduced in 2004
S.2783
02/12/07 Referred to Consumer Protection
01/09/08 Referred to Consumer Protection

A.4949
02/12/07 Referred to Economic Development


01/09/08 Referred to Economic Development
06/03/08 Reported Referred to Codes

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding
the date on which it shall become law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  3561

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 25, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  ADAMS  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection

AN ACT to amend the general business law,  in  relation  to  prohibiting
  sale  of  certain video games to minors containing racist stereotypes,
  derogatory language and/or actions toward specific groups of persons

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section
391-r to read as follows:
  S  391-R.  SALE  OF  CERTAIN  VIDEO  GAMES TO MINORS PROHIBITED. 1. NO
PERSON, PARTNERSHIP OR CORPORATION SHALL SELL OR RENT OR OFFER  TO  SELL
OR  RENT  TO  ANY  PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN YEARS ANY VIDEO GAME
THAT HAS A RATING CONTAINING  RACIST  STEREOTYPES,  DEROGATORY  LANGUAGE
AND/OR  ACTIONS TOWARD A SPECIFIC GROUP OR GROUPS OF PERSONS. SUCH VIDEO
GAMES MAY CONTAIN, BUT SHALL NOT BE LIMITED TO, PROFANE  SLANG,  PROFANE
RELIGIOUS EXCLAMATIONS, OBSCENE SLANG, OBSCENE REFERENCES TO BODY PARTS,
CHARACTER  OR  RELIGIOUS SLURS, PROFANE CHARACTER SLURS, OR RACIAL SLURS
OR VIOLENT BEHAVIOR TOWARD SPECIFIC PERSONS OR GROUPS OF  PERSONS  BASED
UPON RACE.
  2. EVERY PERSON, PARTNERSHIP OR CORPORATION ENGAGED IN THE RETAIL SALE
OR  RENTAL  OF  VIDEO  GAMES  SHALL  STORE  AND DISPLAY SUCH VIDEO GAMES
CONTAINING CONTENTS LISTED IN SUBDIVISION  ONE  OF  THIS  SECTION  IN  A
LOCATION  DESIGNATED  FOR  PERSONS OVER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN, IN A MANNER
WHICH RESTRICTS ACCESS TO SUCH VIDEO GAMES.
  3. SALE OR RENTAL OF ANY VIDEO GAME THAT CONTAINS ANY CONTENTS  LISTED
IN  SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, SHALL BE MADE ONLY TO AN INDIVIDUAL
WHO DEMONSTRATES, THROUGH (A) A VALID DRIVER'S LICENSE  OR  NON-DRIVER'S
IDENTIFICATION  AND  ISSUED  BY  THE COMMISSIONER OF MOTOR VEHICLES, THE
FEDERAL  GOVERNMENT,  ANY  UNITED  STATES  TERRITORY,  COMMONWEALTH   OR
POSSESSION,  THE  DISTRICT  OF  COLUMBIA,  A STATE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE
UNITED STATES OR A PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DOMINION OF  CANADA;  OR

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03620-02-1

S. 3561                             2

(B) A VALID PASSPORT ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OR ANY OTHER
COUNTRY;  OR  (C)  AN  IDENTIFICATION  CARD ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES,
INDICATING THAT THE INDIVIDUAL IS AT LEAST EIGHTEEN YEARS OF  AGE.  SUCH
IDENTIFICATION  NEED  NOT  BE  REQUIRED OF ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO REASONABLY
APPEARS TO BE AT LEAST THIRTY YEARS OF AGE, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH
APPEARANCE SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE A DEFENSE IN  ANY  PROCEEDING  INVOLVING
SALE  OR RENTAL OF ANY VIDEO GAME, TO AN INDIVIDUAL UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS
OF AGE.
  4. IN ANY PROCEEDING PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, IT SHALL BE AN AFFIRMA-
TIVE DEFENSE THAT A  PERSON  PURCHASING  OR  RENTING  OR  ATTEMPTING  TO
PURCHASE  OR  RENT  ANY  VIDEO GAME DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS
SECTION PRODUCED A DRIVER'S LICENSE OR A NON-DRIVER IDENTIFICATION  CARD
APPARENTLY  ISSUED BY A GOVERNMENT ENTITY OR OTHER IDENTIFICATION PURSU-
ANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS  SECTION,  SUCCESSFULLY  COMPLETED  THE
TRANSACTION,  AND THAT THE VIDEO GAME SOLD OR RENTED TO SUCH PERSON WITH
REASONABLE RELIANCE UPON SUCH IDENTIFICATION AND TRANSACTION. IN  EVALU-
ATING THE APPLICABILITY OF SUCH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE, CONSIDERATION SHALL
BE  GIVEN TO ANY WRITTEN POLICY ADOPTED AND IMPLEMENTED BY THE SELLER TO
EFFECTUATE THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. USE OF ANY METHOD OF AN ELEC-
TRONIC TRANSACTION SCAN SHALL NOT EXCUSE ANY PERSON OPERATING A PLACE OF
BUSINESS WHEREIN VIDEO GAMES ARE SOLD OR RENTED, OR THE AGENT OR EMPLOY-
EE OF SUCH PERSON, FROM THE EXERCISE OF DUE DILIGENCE.   NOTWITHSTANDING
THE  PROVISIONS  OF THIS SUBDIVISION, ANY SUCH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE SHALL
NOT BE APPLICABLE IN ANY CIVIL OR CRIMINAL PROCEEDING, OR IN  ANY  OTHER
FORUM.
  5.  FOR  THE  PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION "RATING" MEANS THE STANDARDIZED
DESIGNATION COMMONLY USED TO INFORM PARENTS ABOUT VIDEO GAMES  REGARDING
LISTENING AND VIEWING BY THEIR CHILDREN.
  S  2. Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision or
part of this act, or the application thereof to any  person  or  circum-
stance,  shall  be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be
invalid or unconstitutional, such judgment shall not affect,  impair  or
invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation
to  the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision or part of this act, or
in its application to the person or circumstance, directly  involved  in
the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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