A federal judge has declared unconstitutional a Minnesota law that would fine youngsters who get their hands on the smuttiest, bloodiest, and most violent video games, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The law, which was scheduled to take effect today, would have docked youths $25 for renting or buying video games an industry board rates “mature” or “adults only.” Critics cited games like “God of War,” in which players gouge out eyes, sever limbs, and make human sacrifices, and “Manhunt,” in which a serial killer uses a nail gun and chain saw to slay victims.
Minnesota’s law is the latest to fall in a court challenge. The video industry claims an undefeated record after knocking out statutes in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and California. U.S. District Judge James Rosenbaum ruled that the law violated free-speech rights. He said research failed to back the state’s claims that the law would protect the psychological well being of youngsters and foster their moral and ethical development. Minnesota acknowledges “that it is entirely incapable of showing a causal link between the playing of video games and any deleterious effect on the psychological, moral, or ethical well-being of minors,” he wrote.