Video games to blame for everything

Of course they are

USA Today, the world's largest circulation local paper, is a godsend for folks from the land of the free when they travel overseas.

It's terribly reassuring when you find yourself in some backwoods place you've never heard of, like London, Paris or Munich, to be able to catch up on vital news from Redneck, Arizona or Serialkilla, Missouri.

Amidst world exclusives about a man who was partially eaten by a bear (well, you can't eat a whole one, can you?) at the Run-a-Muck campground in Alaska and the shock news that outside toilets have been illegal in Louisville, Kentucky since 1972 [Where do the bears shit, then? - Ed], we discover that Indianapolis is trying to prevent children from playing 'unsuitable' arcade video games.

Coin operated games in which people are decapitated, dismembered, mutilated, maimed or forced to read ZDNet UK will be off limits to under 18s - unless accompanied by a parent - from September, said Mayor Bart Peterson.

The new law requires games featuring graphic violence or strong sexual content to carry warning labels and to be situated at least 10 feet from other types of game machines. They should also be hidden behind a wall or curtain so that impressionable youngsters can't see them.

Offending arcade operators will be liable for a $200 fine.

Portnoy's Complaint

Elliot Portnoy, a lawyer called in by the video game industry, said his clients were considering legal action against the city:
"This ordinance is both unnecessary and unconstitutional," he said.

But is it?

On the very same page we find that a 13 year old Seattle boy with blonde hair dyed blue at the ends (sounds like a typical Reg staffer) climbed onto a school cafeteria table and fired a shot into the ceiling after boasting to friends he was going to kill a teacher.

"He said he wanted to kill all the teachers, but only a few students," a friend is reported as saying.

It is not clear whether or not his mom was with him to protect him from exposure to violence. ®

Stop Press

Visitors to next month's State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa should leave their pets at home. Dogs and other animals are now prohibited from the showground.

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