Louisiana’s Jack attack

You can check out GamePolitics and Gamasutra for the exact details, but it appears the Louisiana Senate has passed HB1381, which targets violent video games.

Jack Thompson, the Florida attorney who’s made it his life’s mission to battle against the game industry (hence the “Crusader Jack” tag you’ll hear lots of gamers use) helped assemble the bill, which nows goes to Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco to be signed into law.

The bill’s aim is give a judge the power to determine if a game is inappropriate to minors and can be pulled from the shelves. Anyone caught selling an inappropriate game to a minor could get hit with a $100 to $2,000 fine, along with a prison term of up to one year.

“So, what are you in for?”
“I sold GTA to a 17-year-old.”

Naturally, the ESA and friends are going to battle this one to the death, and as history shows, they’re probably going to win.

What’s a little creepy about the Jack attack lately is that he’s poring over past rulings, trying to crack the defenses — as opposed to some other lawmakers, who just seem to be firing bills out there to be killed, like legislative lemmings.

For me, the real threat may come in the future. In a story I did a couple years ago on game violence, several people pointed out to me that the next generation of legislators will have grown up with the industry, and will therefore “get it.”

That makes sense, but couldn’t it have the opposite effect? So far, the people who’ve pitched these game bills either don’t play them, have no idea how the industry works, or both.

But if the next wave of legislators includes a few gamers, would that make them better equipped to battle the game industry? Does the door swing both ways?

Imagine: someone who grew up with games and who “gets it” — gets it enough to go on the legislative attack.