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House Rep Proposes Video Game Bill with Up to $5000 Penalty

ESRB politics

Lately there has been a lot going on in regards to the video game industry and politics. Because video games have been scapegoated recently, various people in power are giving the entertainment form a critical look. Case in point, representative Jim Matheson of Utah has introduced a new bill into the House.

The proposed bill is titled the Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act (HR287) and, if enacted, would put legal ramifications on things which are already fairly self regulated. Basically, it sets the requirement for all games on retail shelves to have "clear and conspicuous" ratings from the ESRB on packaging. As gamers, we are pretty well aware that games without ratings are almost never seen available in stores. As for the conspicuous part, the ratings are also on the front and back of games, and the only way to make them more obvious would be to increase their size.

Beyond that, he also states that laws must be in place to make sure AO games are not sold to anyone under the age of 18, and M rated games to players under 17. Again, he is unaware that AO games are not carried by any retailers and that, for the most part, retailers are already enforcing these standards. However, without it being the law, it's possible some stores sell M rated games to anyone. Even with such a law, it wouldn't stop the common practice of parents buying M-rated games for their children.

What would the result be for retailers for failed to follow these laws? The penalty would be a fee which maxes out at $5,000. With such a high possible cost, retailers would probably shape up their video game sales departments immediately. However, the Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act has not been passed yet. If previous video game legislation is any indication, it probably won't pass either. We are in a different political climate right now though so no one can be certain as to the result.


12 Comments

Sounds like a good use of our tax dollars.
Makes me want to move to another country and stop paying taxes.
Sounds like a huge waste of taxpayer's money. Hmmm..lets make a law that doesn't change anything. These schmucks in Washington need to focus on wasteful spending and our economy. And this is a case of our government spending money on things that don't matter.
And I digress why can't parents just start watching what they buy their kids...

And I digress why can't parents just start watching what they buy their kids...


Because that puts the responsibility on the parents, not the game industry.

Haven't they already proposed bills exactly like this several times? And clearly none of them passed because they're still proposing them? Politicians need to stick to their name and do just that - politics - and stay the hell away from the entertainment industry, or any other industry they don't understand, for that matter.

Because that puts the responsibility on the parents, not the game industry.

Haven't they already proposed bills exactly like this several times? And clearly none of them passed because they're still proposing them? Politicians need to stick to their name and do just that - politics - and stay the hell away from the entertainment industry, or any other industry they don't understand, for that matter.


I don't understand why parents can't just take responsibility for what they buy for their children. I would understand if they where getting games from someone else like an older friend in school but in most cases parents are the ones that buy their kids the games. So why blame the gaming industry? My parents did it, I don't love them any less because they wouldn't let me blow heads up when I was a kid. I'm actually proud of them. I brag about them all the time because they cared. Look at me brag about them now xD
So how would this change anything? Don't game stores already ask you for ID if you look under 18? Don't parents just buy games for their kids anyway?
I'm under 18 and have shopped for M-rated games at multiple stores and have never encountered someone who has sold me the game(s) without someone over 18 being with me. One time they even ID'd my step-brother who's 21 and really tall. :D

It's just silly to waste time and money to make laws to say the exact same thing as the common practice already enforced by the stores. >.<
Just move to New Zealand, we couldn't care less about anything that isn't Rugby or vaguely racist.
I was talking about this with Khorn on twitter. We both agreed that the government needs to stop lurking on games and start getting on Sin Tax more. How is playing a game just as bad as smoking or getting drunk every few days?

I don't understand why parents can't just take responsibility for what they buy for their children. I would understand if they where getting games from someone else like an older friend in school but in most cases parents are the ones that buy their kids the games. So why blame the gaming industry? My parents did it, I don't love them any less because they wouldn't let me blow heads up when I was a kid. I'm actually proud of them. I brag about them all the time because they cared. Look at me brag about them now xD


My parents did the same thing, although it wasn't until after I drew a Mortal Kombat inspired picture that got me suspended in sixth grade. xD But after that point I had to wait until I was 13 to get Teen rated games and 17 to get M rated games. Not that that stopped me, mind (Game Trading Zone, and old trading website, saw to that quite handily) but they at least tried.
Yes. Let's not put any responsibility on the parents whatsoever.

 

 

 

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