On June 25, 2010, the Massachusetts state legislature passed a bill that will, for some motorists, ban the use of video gaming devices while driving. The bill will become law once the Governor signs it.
The bill targets distracted drivers and prohibits texting and emailing while driving. A little-noticed provision in the bill addresses use of “electronic equipment that is capable of playing a video game.” Using such a device by anyone under 18 while driving is punishable for the first offense by a $100 fine, 60-day license suspension, and completion of a program that “encourages attitudinal changes” before the driver’s license can be reinstated.
Also prohibited from playing video games while operating a vehicle are the following: train conductors, bus drivers, and ferry boat operators.
As for adults who aren’t providing public transportation, there is no specific limitation on the use of gaming devices, but there is a broad prohibition against having anything in the vehicle “which may interfere with or impede the proper operation of the vehicle.” This provision would arguably cover drivers who what to play Metal Gear Solid while on the road.
In this story, an overview of the best proposals for stimulating further growth of the video game industry in Massachusetts. Attorney Michael Cavaretta — an experienced corporate attorney who advises video game companies — shares his suggestions, including the creation of a game industry incubator and startup game company funds.