Recently, Michigan passed a law that prohibited the sale of video games to minors. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has granted the Entertainment Software Association’s (ESA) request for a preliminary injuction to block the implementation of the law.
Judge Steeh believes "it is unlikely that the State can demonstrate a compelling interest in preventing a perceived ‘harm’". He also believes "the Act will likely have a chilling effect on adults’ expression, as well as the expression that is fully protected as to minors. The response to the Act’s threat of criminal penalties will likely be responded to by self-censoring by game creators, distributors, and retailers, including ultimately pulling ‘T’ and ‘M’ rated games off store shelves altogether." The judge was not swayed to believe that video games can cause violent behavior by the brain imaging and social science research presented by the state.
"We are gratified that Judge Steeh has issued this preliminary injuction and in so doing has suggested that the arguments are research relied on by Governor Granholm and the Legislature are weak and unpersuasive. Rather than continuing to play politics and pursuing this case to its inevitable defeat, further wasting Michigan taxpayers’ dollars along the way, we hope that state will start to join us in a common effort to take steps that actually help parents rais their kids in a healthy and safe way," Doug Lowenstein, President of the ESA, stated.