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Minnesota pays $65,000 to ESA after game-related legal conflict

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) challenged a Minnesota state law that "sought to penalize minors for the purchase of rental of M- or AO-rated games." The judge ruled in the ESA's favor, calling the law unconstitutional, and saying that "there is no showing whatsoever that video games, in the absence of other violent media, cause even the slightest injury to children." The state was forced to cover $65,000 in attorney fees and expenses.

The ESA has won similar cases in nine other states. CEO Michael D. Gallagher said: "Courts across the United States have ruled consistently that video games are entitled to the same First Amendment protections as other forms of art, such as music and literature."

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates each game's appropriateness for children, and its ratings are displayed on every retail box. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has found that 80% of parents are aware of the system, and the judge in the Minnesota case suggested that tax payer dollars would be best spent "to help support [the ESRB system], rather than continue to pursue unconstitutional legislation that works against it."

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