senate Bill S308

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Prohibits the sale of mature and violent video games to minors

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 09, 2013 referred to consumer protection

S308 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2663
Current Committee:
Law Section:
General Business Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง391-s, Gen Bus L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S3561, A504
2009-2010: S753, A1474

S308 - Bill Texts

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Prohibits the sale to minors of any video game that has a mature or violent rating.

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BILL NUMBER:S308

TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the general business law, in relation to prohibiting
sale of certain video games to minors

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


S.3561
02/25/11 Referred to Consumer Protection
01/04/12 Referred to Consumer Protection

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the 120th day after
it shall have become a law.

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

                                   308

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

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

  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-s to read as follows:
  S 391-S. 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 MATURE OR VIOLENT RATING. SUCH VIDEOS MAY CONTAIN, BUT SHALL
NOT BE LIMITED TO, DEPICTIONS DESCRIPTIVE OF, ADVOCATING OR  GLAMORIZING
COMMISSION  OF A VIOLENT CRIME, SUICIDE, SODOMY, RAPE, INCEST, BESTIALI-
TY, SADOMASOCHISM, ANY FORM OF SEXUAL ACTIVITY IN A VIOLENT CONTEXT,  OR
ADVOCATING  OR  ENCOURAGING  MURDER, VIOLENT RACISM, RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE,
MORBID VIOLENCE OR THE ILLEGAL USE OF DRUGS OR ALCOHOL.
  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
(B) A VALID PASSPORT ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OR ANY OTHER

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00546-01-3

S. 308                              2

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  WAS
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 reminder 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 one hundred twentieth day after
it shall have become a law.

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