Michigan Ordered to Pay Legal Fees over Failed Video Game Law

December 2, 2006 -
Michigan taxpayers will foot the bill for the state's failed 2005 video game law.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm (signing the video game bill at left) led Michigan's push to restrict violent games from underage buyers. However Federal District Court Judge George Caram Steeh ruled the state's law unconstitutional in April of this year.

Based on that ruling, the video game industry sought to recover its legal expenses. On Thursday Judge Steeh granted the industry's motion, ordering Michigan to pay $182,349. According to an ESA press release, the industry - which has never lost one of these cases - has now recovered more than $1.5 million in legal fees for jurisdictions including Illinois, Washington, Indianapolis and St. Louis.

Said ESA boss Doug Lowenstein:
States that pass laws regulating video game sales might as well just tell voters they have a new way to throw away their tax dollars on wasteful and pointless political exercises that do nothing to improve the quality of life in the state...

Our hope is that we can stop this pick pocketing of taxpayers and start working cooperatively, as we have with several states and elected officials, to implement truly effective programs to educate parents to use the tools industry has made available - from ESRB ratings to parental control technologies.

Comments

Tell me, how did this bitch get reelected?

To the state of Michigan:

OWNED.

Well, I may be wrong, but this is getting to turn into a steamroller situation now. The weight is gathering behind the First Amendment and the fact that Programmers etc have just as much Rights as Directors and Producers in the Movie industry to the point where it's almost becoming unfashionable to put this kind of legislation forward any more.

I may be jumping the gun here, but I think we are going to see a lot less attempts to legislate this medium, unless some kind of report comes out that states emphatically, and in plain English that there is a direct causal link between Video Games and acts of violence in Youths. I don't see this happening, because, quite frankly, the streets would be running red if that were true.

As I've stated any number of times before, the 'evidence' that is being produced against Video Games has been known as fact when applied to Music for a very long time. People who listen to fast-paced music whilst driving will drive faster and take more risks, listening to classical music has a proven calming effect. And yet not one of these studies on computer games has EVER mentioned whether the players were listening to the soundtrack whilst playing the game. I find this odd to say the least.

I'll add to that:-

All the effects shown by music were proved to be temporary, and based on the phsychology of the individual, it did not automatically mean that someone who listened to fast music whilst driving was dangerous, merely that they were more inclined towards an aggressive (and this word is frequently mis-interpreted) form of driving. The responibility to drive properly was still with the individual involved, not the music they listened to.

Between this, Illinois and Lousiana, this looks like the beginning of a trend for the ESA, and a good one. It seems they're trying to send a message to politicians that they can no longer attack video games with impunity. Simply put, they're saying "If you decide to attack games, and you fail, your state had better be prepared to pay the price."

Granted it seems a little low and underhanded, but then again, these politicians haven't exactly been playing fair either, as it's been pointed out here many times that they only do it to get easy votes and could really care less about the bills they propose or their constitutionality. One has two wonder, though, by the ESA playing dirty themselves, would this seem like a case of two wrongs not making a right?

Probably not, but until games have a powerful enough lobby behind them like the movies do, the ESA feels like they may not have a choice. And they probably feel that by the time they do, it might be too late, as the video game equivalent of the Hays Code or the Comics Code Authority might be put into place by then. By doing what they're doing, the ESA may feel like they're striking preemptively by doing the next best thing. Once politicians start to realize that in the long run it will do more harm to them, and their state's, pocket books, games will no longer seem to be as easy or as tempting a target as it once was.

I'm a bit divided on it. On one hand, Michigan (my homestate, and where I currently reside for now), is in serious financial issues due to our previous Governor, before Granholm.

On the second hand, I support what the ESA is doing, because of more taxpayers knew that not only has all these laws failed and ruled as unconstitutional, but that they have to pay for it all due to the false-hopings of the state government, I think it could help put people in the position to fight against these laws, as they clearly won't ever win, and in the end, money is just wasted that could have been used elsewhere.

However, as an addition to the latter, if they listen to poor propaganda from the anti-game advocates and the news networks against video games and think what they're saying is truthful, that could have the opposite effect.

Yes, i think doug is starting to fight back.

About time.

I hope the ESA goes after the state of California-Leland Yee needs to PAY for his abuse of position power, thinking he can have a say in censoring the first amendment of the bill of rights...

@BlackManta:

Sorry, I don't get what's underhanded about suing to recoup legal fees when you're the one who got attacked in the first place. If some dumbasses tried to sue me and their case had no legal merit, I'd feel more than justified to try to get my money back after I'd won.

I mean, it's either that or kill them in their sleep with a wooden spoon, because you know, you can do that in Grand Theft Manhunt: Vice Andreas Tales.

@haybusa

I didn't mean to out and out say it was underhanded, but when you factor in things like MI's financial situation (as Wolf pointed out) and LA still struggling with Katrina, I couldn't help but feel a little concerned that this might somehow reflect back badly on the ESA, as some could see it as depriving those states of much-needed monies that could be used elsewhere. Especially with regards to LA.

That having been said, I agree with you however that the ESA is perfectly justified in fighting back and it's about damn time they grew a set as they should have done it long ago. I guess what with all the laws that were coming at the time, they felt their backs were against the wall and that things were only going to get worse if they didn't do something.

Perhaps if states in the midst of budget problems become aware of the possible financial costs of these laws, they might re-examine their priorities and not be so eager to jump on the censorship bandwagon.

I hope this causes people to stop listening to the lies of Jack Thompson. We have to send letters to Doug Lowenstein and convice him to burry Jack Thompson, and his lies, under mounds of lawsuits and maybe even to try to get his license to practice law revoked. I am probably going to buy an XBOX 360 soon. I am going to get this system, so I can play a game called Postal 3, which will come out in the next year and a half. I've never played Postal, but I've seen a lot of screenshots and I think it's a beautiful work of art. It looks like a great game.

I hope people stop listening to Jack Thompson also because I don't want him to try to get Postal 3 banned or anything stupid like that. I want that game in the worst way and I don't want Jack Thompson to mess it up. I am going to buy an XBOX 360 just for that game and I don't want my money to go to waste because that jerk banned Postal 3. I hope people stop listening to him because if there was ever a game that he would like to ban, it's a game in the Postal series. I intend to buy and play this game and I don't want it banned by that loser, who doesn't have a life beyond being a moron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!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Mattsworknamei I hope there is, I love that series.04/25/2015 - 5:59pm
Matthew Wilson@matt I am sure there will never be a armored core game04/25/2015 - 5:24pm
Mattsworknameof From softwares recent games, bloodborne is the best work they have done yet, though they really need to get to work on armored core 604/25/2015 - 5:10pm
Matthew WilsonLost Kingdoms came out in 2002 this day. I played that game. I did not relize it was made by From Software. Lost Kingdoms was a good unique hard game.04/25/2015 - 4:56pm
MattsworknameOff topic, but, who heres playing Bloodborne, and if so, is it mercillesly murdering you every chance it gets?04/25/2015 - 7:35am
Matthew WilsonI think its a good article, and devs can take some lessons from life is strange.04/24/2015 - 10:24pm
Andrew EisenI tinyURL'd it. The world is safe!04/24/2015 - 10:23pm
Matthew Wilson@AE my bad there is nothing I can do about that.04/24/2015 - 10:21pm
Andrew EisenLooks like the spoiler is right there in the URL.04/24/2015 - 10:20pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://tinyurl.com/ok9pf6b a interesting opinion piece on the life is strange episode 2, and a dark event that happens in it. full warning major spoilers.04/24/2015 - 10:11pm
Matthew Wilson@mech no just she, nor her co workers have not. she never said it is not real.04/24/2015 - 8:58pm
MechaCrashWas she saying "I haven't experienced it," or "I haven't experienced it therefore it does not exist"?04/24/2015 - 8:31pm
ZippyDSMleeoy the skyrim paid mod thing is going over well. My 2 lints, I would not mind if Skyrim had a full SDK and not a crappy lil editor....04/24/2015 - 6:46pm
Andrew EisenWell, that is indeed crappy and nonsensical.04/24/2015 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonshe got attacked for saying that she personaly has not experienced the harassment some other female devs have, and she got acused of defending GG and ignoring harassment. she ended up getting dog piled because of it.04/24/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenFine but do you recall ANY details at all?04/24/2015 - 3:38pm
Matthew Wilsonit was several weeks ago now, and I will admit to not saving it.04/24/2015 - 3:36pm
Andrew EisenAttacked HOW and by WHOM for not writing off WHO as evil? Do you have a link or anything?04/24/2015 - 3:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthat is the whole point she was not attacked for saying anything. she was attacked for being willing to debate in the first place, and not just write them off as evil.04/24/2015 - 3:28pm
Andrew EisenI know there's not a lot of room in the Shout box but goodness you're being vague.04/24/2015 - 3:26pm
 

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