Rochester, New York public radio station WXXI reports that a representative of the New York Civil Liberties Union has termed the state's video game bill a "flawed process."
Bob Perry of the NYCLU told WXXI:
This bill was adopted in the last minutes of the legislative session, without hearings, without meaningful debate, without an opportunity for members of the public or industry to address the constitutional issues and the media technology issues implicated by the bill.
NY Metro has additional comments from Perry:
The legislation proposes an ambitious state system regulating the way video games are sold in retail stores and viewed at home based on content that the First Amendment protects from regulation.
Meanwhile, the Empire State News reports that NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman (left) urged that the bill be vetoed:
New Yorkers do not need the state judging which video games are appropriate and which aren’t. Parents, not government committees, should be responsible for making those judgments. If the legislature wants to reduce youth violence, it should fund educational programs to teach students conflict resolution skills.
Bill sponsor Sen. Andrew Lanza (R) countered with:
This [law] does not prohibit the sale of video games based on ... content. This simply requires a labeling. And at the end of the day if a game is rated mature, or violent, this does not preclude or prohibit someone from selling it to a minor. I wish we could do that, but the First Amendment, I believe, protects against that.
Gov. David Paterson must decide by tomorrow whether to sign the bill into law. The measure, which would require that games be rated and console systems have parental controls built in, passed overwhelmingly in the state legislature.
It is unclear whether or not the video game industry will oppose the New York law if the Governor signs it.