Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Defends States’ Rights To Impose Age Restrictions On Violent Video Games

July 19, 2010

            Attorney General Richard Blumenthal joined a multi-state coalition today seeking to uphold states’ rights to restrict video game sales to minors that feature extremely violent content -- including games where players burn people alive with gasoline and urinate on people to make them vomit.

            In an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court, Blumenthal and nine other states are defending California’s prohibition against the sale of certain video games to minors. The Entertainment Merchants Association is challenging California’s law.

            The law prohibits children under 18 from buying the most violent games, including those where players decapitate people with shovels, beat police to death while they beg for mercy and slaughter nude female zombies.

California’s law doesn’t broadly prohibit minors from buying “violent” games -- but a subgenre of games that encourages players to commit graphic acts of homicide, rape, and sadism, according to the brief.


            “Parents deserve tools to protect children from games that showcase digital decapitation and rape,” Blumenthal said. “Certain games dangerously desensitize children with simulated homicide and hate crimes, turning graphic executions into entertainment. In the face of continued industry inaction -- enabling unattended children to buy such games -- states must preserve their critical right to protect children.

“Protecting children from digital danger requires proactive parents -- but they need and deserve help. The video game industry should act responsibly -- play nice, not nasty -- and agree to sensible self-imposed restrictions that block children from buying the most violent games. I am calling on the video game industry to follow the leadership of the motion picture industry, which sensibly stops unattended children from viewing violent or graphic movies.”

Blumenthal said voluntary restrictions by the video game industry would be ideal -- similar to those adopted by the movie industry decades ago prohibiting children from viewing R-rated movies without a guardian. The industry has agreed to Blumenthal’s repeated demands for labeling, but should extend such voluntary steps to include sale restrictions similar to the movie industry.

Connecticut has not enacted legal restrictions on video games, but Blumenthal said it is critical to preserve the state’s right to impose such limits.