As GamePolitics reported last month, Sen. Thomas Duane (D) was the lone member of the New York State Senate to vote against a video game bill that was eventually signed into law by Gov. David Paterson. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Andrew Lanza (R) was approved by a 61-1 margin in the New York Senate.
An enterprising GP reader who happens to be a New York resident (and who wishes to remain nameless) wrote to the State Senator regarding his stance on the legislation:
Dear Sen. Duane
...I would like to congratulate you on your lone opposition vote on the above referenced bill... As informed citizens are aware, this law addresses none of the issues associated with video games, redundantly mandates provisions that are already in place such as per product industry ratings and console parental controls, establishes yet another toothless advisory committee, and likely constitutes a violation of the First Amendment...I welcome government efforts in the form of education for parents, but do not welcome intrusive government efforts to usurp parents' role as arbiter of their children's exposure to mass media.
Dear Mr. [GP reader]:
...Senator Duane shares many of your concerns about S.6401-A. He recognizes that there is already an effective, voluntary [ESRB] rating system in place... and that parental controls are available on all current video game consoles. Parents should determine which games their children have access to and the marketplace should decide which games sell and which do not.
Like you, Senator Duane questions this bill's constitutionality and points to the fact that similar bills have been struck down in other jurisdictions. He regrets that he was the lone voice in dissent on this matter.
GP: It's great to see gamers involving themselves in the political process and even better to see an elected official who writes back with something more than a form letter.