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Illinois bans graphic video games to minors

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed into law a state ban on the sale and rental of violent and sexually explicit video games to children under 18.
/ Source: Reuters

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Monday signed into law a state ban on the sale and rental of violent and sexually explicit video games to children under 18, a restriction that has failed elsewhere.

Retailers who violate the Safe Games Act after the law takes effect on Jan. 1 face a fine of $1,000.  Stores must also label violent and sexually explicit video games and post signs on the rating system, and can be fined if they do not.

Federal courts have struck down as unconstitutional measures in Indianapolis; St. Louis County, Missouri; and Washington state that would have restricted such sales of video games to children.

Bills are pending in California and other jurisdictions.

Retail groups complain they are being called upon to substitute for parental monitoring of children.

The $10 billion U.S. video game industry opposes any restriction on game sales or rentals as unconstitutional and unnecessary.

Recent revelations that the video game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" contained embedded sexually explicit content that could be accessed with downloadable software caused an uproar and it was effectively banned for sale from most mainstream stores.