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Horror bestseller condemns videogame sales limit law

Proposed statute 'undemocratic', claims Stephen King

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Horror writer Stephen King has dennounced moves to introduce a law that would ban the sale of violent videogames to kids.

House Bill 1423, which is currently being considered in Massachusetts, states that any games depicting “violence in a manner patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community” should carry a legally enforced age restriction. If passed, the law would make it a criminal offence to sell such violent games to kids, in the same way that it’s illegal to sell them pornography.

However, King, who made the comments in a column he writes for America's Entertainment Weekly magazine, claimed the introduction of such a law would be “undemocratic”.

The US already classifies videogames in several categories, such as ‘AO’ for Adults Only, according to standards set by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ERSB). However, the ratings aren’t legally enforceable.

King added that simply banning the sale of violent videogames to children would be pointless because he believes kids will get hold of them anyway. He also said that US gun ownership laws, or the right to bear arms, contributed to more violent crimes being committed than videogames do.

So what’s King’s solution? He believes that parents should “have the guts to forbid material they find objectionable” and “monitor their children’s lives” – which, he said, means much more than merely keeping an eye on the games their children play.

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