Connecticut Senate Bill 328


Summary

Connecticut Senate Bill 328 would bar minors from playing certain video games in arcades or public establishments.

It would also create a task force that would:

  1. Study the effects of violent video games on youth behavior;
  2. Make recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor for new or enhanced policies to address the findings of the task force;
  3. Gather and maintain current information regarding violent video games that can be used to better understand the impact of violent video games on youth behavior;
  4. Advise the General Assembly and Governor concerning the coordination and administration of state programs that may reduce the effects of violent video games on youth behavior.

Status

The Connecticut legislature adjourned its 2013 session. There is no carryover of bills to 2014.

Analysis

Ban on minors playing video games:

In Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, the Supreme Court struck down a California law that banned minors from buying or renting video games with certain violent imagery. The Court found that video games are fully protected speech and that there is no exception to the First Amendment for violent content for adults or minors. There is no basis in the Brown decision or other case law for treating video games in arcades or public businesses differently from those that are played at home.

Task force to study video games:

There have been numerous reviews of the social science by government bodies and the courts. These reviews have found that the science does not show that media with violent content causes actual violence, despite the often sweeping claims of some who believe there is a connection.

For more information on the social science research, see Media Coalition’s report Only a Game: Why Censoring New Media Won’t Stop Gun Violence.

History

  • On January 23, 2013, the bill was introduced [2] and referred to the Joint Committee on General Law. The committee re-referred the bill to the Joint Committee on Children. As introduced, the bill would bar minors from playing certain video games in arcades or public establishments.
  • On February 19, 2013, the Joint Committee on Children amended [3] the bill to add the provision creating a task force to study the effects of video games with violent content.
  • Media Coalition submitted a legal memo [1] to the members of the committee, ahead of a scheduled hearing on the bill on February 26, 2013.
  • The bill was re-referred to the Joint Committee on Judiciary on March 8, 2013.
  • The Connecticut legislature adjourned its 2013 session. There is no carryover of bills to 2014.

Last updated: Jul 23, 2015