2009 California Civil Code - Section 1746-1746.5 :: Title 1.2a. Violent Video Games

SECTION 1746-1746.5

1746.  For purposes of this title, the following definitions shall
   (a) "Minor" means any natural person who is under 18 years of age.
   (b) "Person" means any natural person, partnership, firm,
association, corporation, limited liability company, or other legal
   (c) "Video game" means any electronic amusement device that
utilizes a computer, microprocessor, or similar electronic circuitry
and its own monitor, or is designed to be used with a television set
or a computer monitor, that interacts with the user of the device.
   (d) (1) "Violent video game" means a video game in which the range
of options available to a player includes killing, maiming,
dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being, if
those acts are depicted in the game in a manner that does either of
the following:
   (A) Comes within all of the following descriptions:
   (i) A reasonable person, considering the game as a whole, would
find appeals to a deviant or morbid interest of minors.
   (ii) It is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the
community as to what is suitable for minors.
   (iii) It causes the game, as a whole, to lack serious literary,
artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.
   (B) Enables the player to virtually inflict serious injury upon
images of human beings or characters with substantially human
characteristics in a manner which is especially heinous, cruel, or
depraved in that it involves torture or serious physical abuse to the
   (2) For purposes of this subdivision, the following definitions
   (A) "Cruel" means that the player intends to virtually inflict a
high degree of pain by torture or serious physical abuse of the
victim in addition to killing the victim.
   (B) "Depraved" means that the player relishes the virtual killing
or shows indifference to the suffering of the victim, as evidenced by
torture or serious physical abuse of the victim.
   (C) "Heinous" means shockingly atrocious. For the killing depicted
in a video game to be heinous, it must involve additional acts of
torture or serious physical abuse of the victim as set apart from
other killings.
   (D) "Serious physical abuse" means a significant or considerable
amount of injury or damage to the victim's body which involves a
substantial risk of death, unconsciousness, extreme physical pain,
substantial disfigurement, or substantial impairment of the function
of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty. Serious physical abuse,
unlike torture, does not require that the victim be conscious of the
abuse at the time it is inflicted. However, the player must
specifically intend the abuse apart from the killing.
   (E) "Torture" includes mental as well as physical abuse of the
victim. In either case, the virtual victim must be conscious of the
abuse at the time it is inflicted; and the player must specifically
intend to virtually inflict severe mental or physical pain or
suffering upon the victim, apart from killing the victim.
   (3) Pertinent factors in determining whether a killing depicted in
a video game is especially heinous, cruel, or depraved include
infliction of gratuitous violence upon the victim beyond that
necessary to commit the killing, needless mutilation of the victim's
body, and helplessness of the victim.

1746.1.  (a) A person may not sell or rent a video game that has
been labeled as a violent video game to a minor.
   (b) Proof that a defendant, or his or her employee or agent,
demanded, was shown, and reasonably relied upon evidence that a
purchaser or renter of a violent video game was not a minor or that
the manufacturer failed to label a violent video game as required
pursuant to Section 1746.2 shall be an affirmative defense to any
action brought pursuant to this title. That evidence may include, but
is not limited to, a driver's license or an identification card
issued to the purchaser or renter by a state or by the Armed Forces
of the United States.
   (c) This section shall not apply if the violent video game is sold
or rented to a minor by the minor's parent, grandparent, aunt,
uncle, or legal guardian.

1746.2.  Each violent video game that is imported into or
distributed in California for retail sale shall be labeled with a
solid white "18" outlined in black. The "18" shall have dimensions of
no less than 2 inches by 2 inches. The "18" shall be displayed on
the front face of the video game package.

1746.3.  Any person who violates any provision of this title shall
be liable in an amount of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), or a
lesser amount as determined by the court. However, this liability
shall not apply to any person who violates those provisions if he or
she is employed solely in the capacity of a salesclerk or other,
similar position and he or she does not have an ownership interest in
the business in which the violation occurred and is not employed as
a manager in that business.

1746.4.  A suspected violation of this title may be reported to a
city attorney, county counsel, or district attorney by a parent,
legal guardian, or other adult acting on behalf of a minor to whom a
violent video game has been sold or rented. A violation of this title
may be prosecuted by any city attorney, county counsel, or district

1746.5.  The provisions of this title are severable. If any
provision of this title or its application is held to be invalid,
that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications
that can be given effect without the invalid provision or

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