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Video game industry to sue over Michigan law

/ Source: The Associated Press

The video game industry says it will file a lawsuit challenging Michigan's new law that bars retailers from selling or renting violent games to those 17 and younger.

The Entertainment Software Association, a trade group representing U.S. computer and video game publishers, on Wednesday announced its intent to sue. The suit is expected to be filed soon.

ESA President Douglas Lowenstein said the law, which takes effect Dec. 1, is unconstitutionally vague and limits residents' First Amendment rights.

"How can you treat a video game based on James Bond any different than a book or movie based on the same subject matter?" he said.

The announcement came after Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Wednesday signed two more bills aimed at keeping adult-rated games with sexually explicit or violent material away from children. The governor had signed two other video game bills Monday.

"This is a commonsense law that provides parents with the tools they need to protect their children from the effects of violence and graphic adult content," Granholm said.

In July, the industry filed suit to block a similar video game ban approved in Illinois. Federal courts have struck down video game bans approved by Washington state, Indianapolis and St. Louis County in Missouri, saying they encroached on the First Amendment.

The video game bills received broad bipartisan support in the Michigan Legislature. They were sponsored by Republican Sens. Alan Cropsey of DeWitt and Gerald Van Woerkom of Norton Shores, and Republican Reps. Phil Pavlov of St. Clair Township and Tom Pearce of Rockford.