A Delaware politician says she’s keeping a close eye on the California videogame law currently being deliberated by the Supreme Court and says that if it’s upheld, she plans to introduce similar legislation for her own state.
Nine states supported the videogame industry in the Schwarzenegger v. EMA case argued before the Supreme Court earlier this week, while 11 lined up with California. Delaware didn’t pick a side, but State Representative Helene M. Keeley is nonetheless watching the case closely. In 2006, Keeley introduced legislation that sought to add violent videogames to the state’s obscenity laws, an effort which passed the House but was shot down in the Senate, and if the California law stands she says she’s ready to do it again.
“I still don’t think that it is appropriate for young children to see that amount of violence,” Keeley said, noting specifically the examples of games like Grand Theft Auto, Bully and of course the ever-popular Postal 2. And although state-level courts have ruled unanimously on numerous occasions that such laws are in violation of the First Amendment, Keeley disagrees. “I don’t believe it is protected speech when you are showing someone, a young adult, how to beat up a homeless person,” she added.
It’s not at all surprising that state legislators are keeping an eye on the California Supreme Court case, nor that some of them are gearing up to introduce similar laws for their own states if the opportunity presents itself. It’s something we can expect to see a lot more of if California prevails. For those interested, transcripts of the November 2 hearing on Schwarzenegger v. EMA at the Supreme Court have been posted online. A decision on the case is expected some time in the first half of 2011.