Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game Ratings Enforcement Act

June 10, 2008 -

Watchdog group the Parents Television Council has issued an "action alert" urging parents to rally behind HR5990, the proposed Video Games Rating Enforcement Act.

The bill, introduced in Congress last month by Reps. Lee Terry (R-NE) and Jim Matheson (D-UT), would require game retailers to check IDs of mature-rated game buyers and would also mandate that information detailing the ESRB rating system be posted in view of customers.

From the PTC alert:

The proposed legislation codifies the video game industry’s own voluntary policies and will ensure better enforcement by requiring all retailers to check IDs from any child trying to buy or rent Mature (M)-rated or Adult-Only (AO) rated games. It does not limit adults’ access to any games they want to buy for themselves or for their children – it merely helps ensure that children can only access age appropriate video games if they are accompanied by an adult.

However, the Entertainment Consumers Association, representing video game consumers, has issued its own alert in opposition to HR5990:

The Video Games Rating Enforcement Act, is another Congressional attempt to unconstitutionally regulate the sale of video games.  If it’s passed, the federal courts will find it unconstitutional – and at great expense to taxpayers. 

 

By raising our voices now, we can let Congress know that we, as taxpayers and constituents, would rather they use their time and our money to discuss more pressing issues such as the war in Iraq, universal healthcare and the national economy.

Full Disclosure Dept: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics


Comments

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Allow me to shed some light on the thought processes of all parties involved in this legislation, as well as the usual end result for those who are new to the game.

Parent: Little Timmy has learned bad things from this vidjimagame...*bleep* Timmy, I said for you to watch Rambo and tell me what happens! Jeeze...Anyway, I'm far too busy doing other things to pay any kind of real attention to my child, so could you do it for me? Keep these things that I find obscene from my child, as I am clearly unable to do so? Thanks.

Legislator: Sure! We'll get right on that. Hey Bob, we've got another one. What's that? Unconstitutional? Who said?! Our Forefathers? Well, get them on the phone! They're dead?! When did this happen?! Well, lets put it up there. Sure it'll get struck down by the courts, they're such suckers for doing work, but at least it'll look like we're actually doing something. Who knows, maybe we'll be able to charge an expensive lunch, or a trip to do some "research". It is an election year after all, and maybe it'll help them forget the mishap with the hooker. Yes, yes, and probably the story about you taking all that money from all those lobbist as "donations". We're back on top!

Judge: Blah, blah, blah...wording is too vague. In violation of the First Amendment. NEXT!

Parent: But....won't someone think of the childrens!...Because I certainly can't, how about you?

Legislator: Hey, we tried. And we'll keep trying...provided we're elected again. Care to donate?

This has been a satirical summary of Game Legislation.

The moral?: Parents need to do their jobs, and not leave it to politicians who are just paying them lip service.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

 PTC needs to stick their nose in their own damn business! Who are they to talk about video games when they have violence and such on tv on a daily basis! How stupid does organizations have to be to be willing to give up rights? One leads to another that will lead to another and such. I dont want any restrictions anything more than we have to.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

I feel the need to add more to this discussion.

Let's make a parralel to the porn industry. It was ruled by the Supreme Court that the government has the authority to legislate the sale of pornography to minors. It was also ruled that government has the authority to legislate the sale of pornography in general. So what do you have? You have some states that only allow certain types of pornography to be sold. You have certain counties and cities that don't allow pornography at all.

But that is not all. It also opened up the door for states to regulate the production of pornography as well. Some states do not allow the production of pornopraphy within the state.

Now I am not trying to compare porn to games. What I am getting at is that if any sort of law passes that regulates the sale of games to minors, it is possible to spread that influence to other aspects. This would lead to states not allowing the production of certain games within their borders.

E. Zachary Knight
www.editorialgames.com

 

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Now I am not trying to compare porn to games.

What about Mass Effect, we ALL know that it's nothing but hardcore porn from start to stop!

Well from start to stop of the half second of arsecrack you see in that one scene that's not really that hardcore...

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

You forgot "Or lead to states not allowing the production of games at all"

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

I think many people are forgetting that a violation of the constitution stretches far beyond videogames. It's not just "You can't enforce private sector!" If that sort of thing is ruled constitutional, it affects many other facets of American life than mere games. A constitutional ruling stretches to everything, and , while some may think, "hey enforce the ESRB, it's fine!", they fail to realize that if a private sector organization can be given authority in one area, it can always spread to others. Other private organizations could come knocking, asking for some legal teeth, and because of a freaking videogame ruling that could be interpreted to broadly, they may get it.

 

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Oh and yes, I know the "THINGS COULD HAPPEN!" arguement isn't really that great, but it is plausible that it could go down like that.

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Battling the PTC

Well, I went to the ECA page and submitted my information.

I don't normally do this (I usually write and print a physical letter), but this particular topic, while annoying, isn't SUPER annoying, like Leland Yee, so I'm not so hell bent on sending a physical letter to my senators/representatives this day.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Booo to the Entertainment Consumers Association. It's not a bad law. If anything it legitimizes the ESRB and it's self rating system.

Yes there are some problems with it. It should be aimed at all media. And the ECA should come out and say this, they should say we have no problem keeping this kind of item, M-rated Games, out of childrens hands but we need to keep it from stopping game makers from making games they want, and gamers, of age, from getting the games they want to buy. But the ECA and others don't do this, they stop and cry afoul of everything and we, ALL GAMERS, made jack-asses like Jack. If we just come out and worked with law-makers to make these laws fair and agreeable then people like Jack would die out and EA, T-2, Blizzard so on and so forth wouldn't spend money on PR firms or Lawyers when smart fools like Jack sue them. They could put that money back into their games so I don't have to pay 60Dollars for my game. It could go back down to 50 ; )~`

Negotiate?

I don't think negotiating with irresponsible parents like in the PTC is a good idea. I remember my aunt once said "I wish the government would just censor TV so I didn't have to pay attention to what my kids are watching." That is the mindset over at the PTC, and I seriously doubt they will be willing to stop at that. I'm not saying you aren't entitled to your own opinion, I'm simply dissagreeing. I agree that carding on it's own is not at all bad, but as with all legislation, it becomes tangled with other shit (and will be tangled with more shit as it goes through congress) and can have negative and unexpected consequences. Perhaps my opinion is swayed by the fact that I'm a constitutionalist, but I think it runs deeper than that. I also must ask, would anyone support this legislation if it were to keep kids from reading violent books? Just sayin'. Edited for spelling, punctuation, and point.

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Negotiate?

you should have said to your aunt "if you don't want to have to pay attention to your kids, then put them up for adoption."

岩「…Ace beats Jack」

edit: I neglected to mention that I don't mean any disrespect

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Negotiate?

That would have been for the best most likely. Oh, and no disrespect taken. I kinda hate my aunt...

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

actually it is a bad law, forcing every game to have to be rated to be sold is infringing on the free speach of indy game developers that perhaps can't afford to get pay to get their games rated

secondly you can not put the weight of law behind a private orginizations rating systems

and thirdly by making the rating process transparent it compromises the ratings process that this bill is supposed to be enforcing

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

The problem comes back to the bill would still be unconstitutional, even if all medea were to be covered. The recent 'sting' opperation done be the FTC (i think) showed that it is much easier for a minor to get a hold of a movie like the unrated copy of saw IV than a game like GTA IV. It's been shown time and time again that regulating game/media sales that are not classified as obsene as unconstitutional, even to minors. As far as I can see, there isn't a way to make such a law constitutional. I'd rather see the money that would be spent on these types of laws to go into parental education or other needed programs (like general school funding.)

 

Game prices are going up due to development costs and lack of competition due to the big fish companies eating up the smaller one (EA anyone?). That and the general cost of living is going up.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Well then let's ammend the constitution! I don't think we should, I'm just trying to advance the arguement. I don't support this legislation whatsoever.

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

I hope you didn't spend money on the ECA then

It *is* a bad and unfair law as well as unconstitutional by default, because it targets video games, specificially.  That's it.

Right now the ECA is the *best* solution.  Stupid fucking politicians and "watchdog" organizations who are loaded with incompetant parents as well as ignorant people who believe in the "nanny state" concept, do not need to be "worked with" at all.  They have already decided what they think is "right" even if it is legally invalid.  The constitution is the law of the land.

Sometimes, it's necessary for Federal judges to remind those who wish to legislate their version of morality on the masses, that laws must be acceptable within the original legal framework that built this country as the first consideration before all others.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Here's a bit of news for you, it is a bad law.

It makes it illegal to sell any games unless they are rated by the ESRB (something that isn't free). This would include any pre-ESRB games, and any games the developer decides to sell online only due to the fact that it'd get an AO rating if it went by the ESRB. It forceably turns recommendations into restrictions, and does so with bias against one particular medium rather than treat all equally. It gives a private, non-elected body the power of law.

It short it might be the weakest anti-videogame proposal yet, but that doesn't make it any less unconstitutional.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

I'm aware that there's a lot of discussion above what I'm comment, but I don't really want to read through what is most likely a lot of flaming.

I would just like to say that this bill only seems to enforce what this site often suggests is the best way to go - self regulation by the parents - and just wants the industry to do its part to help this be the way things work. But instead of seeing the positive light, gamepolitics just seems to want to react negatively to anything that has even a slight whiff of anti-gaming. There is nothing wrong with this bill. I've lost a fair bit of respect for the journalism displayed here tonight.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

HR 5990, which would prohibit sale of certain ESRB rated video games to minors, require posting ESRB ratings on packaging, create fines for non-adherents, among other things. 

If this bill passes and is signed into law, it would give the ESRB ratings and rating system the force of law, which is unconstitutional.  Courts have repeatedly found that the First Amendment’s guaranteed freedom of expression and Fourteenth Amendment’s guaranteed right to due process are violated when the government gives a non-governmental entity, such as the ESRB, unfettered governmental authority to decide which items shall be regulated.  Additionally, the bill’s requirement to display and post ratings and information would also violate the First Amendment’s prohibition on compelled speech.
 

Brett Schenker

Online Advocacy Manager

the ECA

www.theeca.com

Brett Schenker
Online Advocacy Director
the ECA
www.theeca.com

 

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

"

HR 5990, which would prohibit sale of certain ESRB rated video games to minors, require posting ESRB ratings on packaging, create fines for non-adherents, among other things. 

If this bill passes and is signed into law, it would give the ESRB ratings and rating system the force of law, which is unconstitutional.  Courts have repeatedly found that the First Amendment’s guaranteed freedom of expression and Fourteenth Amendment’s guaranteed right to due process are violated when the government gives a non-governmental entity, such as the ESRB, unfettered governmental authority to decide which items shall be regulated.  Additionally, the bill’s requirement to display and post ratings and information would also violate the First Amendment’s prohibition on compelled speech.
 

Brett Schenker

Online Advocacy Manager

the ECA "

The ECA

Brett couldn't the ECA say this and then give a suggestion of a way to do it legally? ECA is a damn fine group of people and surely we could fine a middle ground. What about Making the ESRB part of the FFC. Something I had read awhile back at another site.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

What about Making the ESRB part of the FFC. Something I had read awhile back at another site.

Making the ESRB part of the FCC, or FTC would be out and out government censorship. Which is a blatant violation of the 1st Amendment.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

I think the PTC needs to take a closer look at what shows are being shown to their children...

And realize that they're bad parents.

 

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

They're too busy being 99+% of the complaints to the FCC to notice.

 

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Mentally retarded children are able to purchase M rated videogames 9 kajillion out of 10 times! These games teach our kids to kill, says Dave Grossam, who is a psychologist guy or something. "These games-they-these games, they desensitize kids to violence and indoctrinate them to commit acts of violence...I mean-I know karate teaches kids to fight too, but-this way-it's REALLY fun. Oh...I'm glad you only gotta remember all that psychological shit until you pass that test, otherwise I'd be F-U-C-K-E-D!" These games teach our kids to rape babies and burn churches too. Even children admit it! "My parents don't love me enough to pay attention to me! I'm gonna immitate games to get their love!" SEE? Yeah! We fuckin' told yall!!! WOOOOT!!

That's what they wanna say, right??

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

You can take action now

You can take action through the ECA and write your Congressional Representative through this link, http://action.theeca.com/t/2858/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=2163

We've had this action page up since this bill was first announced and the reaction already has been fantastic.  I encourage everyone to write their elected official and help spread the word to their friends.

 

Brett Schenker

Online Advocacy Manager

the ECA

www.theeca.com

Brett Schenker
Online Advocacy Director
the ECA
www.theeca.com

 

It speaks wonders

For some reason,I thought that was stupid.

Mainly cause it speaks wonderous amounts that our Congress would focus more on trying to legislate games than trying to fix the public education system,or trying to fix the War in Iraq.Seriously,Congress does an almost worse job at doing their job than Bush.Why do you people vote for these idiots?!

If you actually do.....that is.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Must admit, these guys downloading an illegal version of GTA IV, taking illegal screenshots on an illegaly modded Console was another fine, fine example of the ESA leaping into inactivity.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

The thing is that so many people will buy into this and support it blindly because they think that movies and other media material is already required by law to prevent children from mature content already.  When I bring this topic up to others, 9 out of 10 times I get the "but they already have laws for going to/buying movies that are rated R."

Constitutional or not, a lot of people really don't understand the First Amendment (and a lot of the wrong people do understand it very well) and what a huge change this would be to our rights in this regard.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Let's see...unfairly singles out videogames...violates first amendment...enforces private sector...slippery slope...provides a crutch for lazy bitches who can't seem to take notice of their children...yep, I hate it.

 

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

"If shit and bricks were candy and tits,we'd all be livin' large"

That about made me pee myself.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Gee Grizz, which reason was the one that actually tipped the scales in hate, as opposed to say just it annoys the hell out of you? The  unfairly singleing out videogames, the first amendment, enforcing the private sector, the "crutch", or the slope, please tell me how you  REALLY feel! (Sorry, not enough coffee so i'm a bit goofy.)

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.


 

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

It's all those things combined that make me hate it. If it were just one or two of those things I would be merely annoyed, but all of those things combined...shit man, I just find myself offended as hell.

 

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

I wouldn't have a problem with this IF:

1) Movies are subject to the same restrictions

2) Television shows are subject to the same restrictions

3) BOOKS are subject to the same restrictions

4) [insert media here] are subject to the same restrictions.

Sorry Representatives and PTC, but if you actually researched basic constitutional law, content based discrimination is unconstitutional.  You cannot regulate one media without regulating ALL media.

Here's an idea:

Go take a basic ConLaw class, then when you're actually QUALIFIED to make laws, try again.

What I find disturbing is that there is a 95% chance the Representatives who sponsored this bill are LAWYERS, they should know better.

I can forgive the PTC for their ignorance but not two lawyers.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Knowledge of whether a bill is accurate, justifiable, constitutional, blue, fried, or cures acne rarely has anything to do with whether or not a Representative or Senator authors or sponsors it.  The litmus test isn't truth, it's, "How many votes will this net me?"  If they can point back at this bill and say, "See, I'm a great Representative!  I worked hard to protect your children from your poor parenting skil...erm...from VIDEO GAMES!  Votes guuud...video games BAAAAD!  Vote for me and I'll GIT THEM BAAAAD VIDEO GAMES!", then they'll be all over it.

You can only be a politician if you're really good at justifying the lies that you tell yourself.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

The real problem here is parents letting kids have access to $50+ dollars at a time.  When I was a kid (in the 1960s and '70s) I got two dollars a week spending money until I got a job, and when I got a job I had to help pay rent until I left home.  There was little money for videogames.  These days kids have their own credit cards because parents can't be arsed to honour their parenting commitments.  There would be no reason to have restrictions on videogame sales if parents acted responsibly.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

It surprises me how many people are pointing out obvious flaws in the way the law is written - I thought they wrote these things in convoluted legalese to make sure the law only does what they want it to. Lawmakers really need to think about the extreme cases to which their laws would be applied to.

Point being: the law doesn't appear to make an exception for an adult buying an M-rated game for their child, and it doesn't make an exception for games made in the 1980's, before the ESRB was made. On the bright side, it does criminalize the act of selling a copy of the E.T. game for the Atari 2600, something I thought Congress would have gotten around to addressing years ago.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

If this law is just now being pushed through Congress then it's about to get hacked up. Laws start simple like this and provisions are added. Games that weren't rated by the ESRB would have to be either rated by the board, be  banned from sale, or, more likely, have no restrictionns placed upon them, since the law specifically states that only certain ratings are affected. Since games not rated by the ESRB have no ratings, the law cannot ban their sale.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Wait wait wait...

"it merely helps ensure that children can only access age appropriate video games if they are accompanied by an adult."

Is there a typo here? Cause it seems to me that it's saying, If i go in with my 16 year old and say, "He wants to buy this M rated game, and I, as his parent say it's ok." He still can't buy it. Am I missing something here? It's saying that even if accompained by an adult, you still can only get "Age Appropriate" games.

If you cannot best a man in argument, all is not lost. You can still call him vile names.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

You know, while I'm not surprised by these people backing the bill, I still want to say that it's a complete waste.

Stores are already supposed to check IDs. People that aren't now aren't going to do it later. But still, I've never been to any store that didn't check my ID. Yet, not only did I get into Rambo while it was in theatres unchecked, I also bought it on DVD last night unchecked. I've never actually played a game as violent as that movie, so why don't they check on this stuff?

Also, the games themselves have reasons for the ratings. Any partially compitent parent can see that the game their child wants is rated M for Mature due to violence, sexual content, drug references, etc.

This is a complete waste.

-"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." -Sir Winston Churchill

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

They are called the Parents Television Council, so shouldn't that be more concern about stuff like movies since the are sold to underaged children much more often?

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Or, you know, television?

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Normal TV seasons are over for the moment.  I'm sure that once the major networks start new programming the PTC will bitch and moan about it like they usually do.

Re: Parents Trash Cult Backs Congressmen's Unconstitutional Bill

They still whine about the shows the networks air in the summer.

They probably whined about CBS airing MMA matches May 31st, and they're whining over the CBS show Swingtown that debuted this past weekend.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Remember Big Brother is watching. 0_0


 

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

You would think... if a parent doesn't even know what video games their kid is playing - then other concerns like what they are doing when they are away from the house, will end up leading to the kid's demise anyway.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Section 3 makes it illegal to sell my games to a friend below age, and if I make my own game, I can't release it without going through the ESRB.  That's ridiculous.  This bill is horribly written and is a prime example of just how out of touch our congress is.  Hit the ECA link and send the letter to your senators/congressmen.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

Right on! Also, think of the thousands of games released before 1994. Doesn't this bill also make it illegal to sell old NES or Genesis games? Collectors and classic gaming enthusiasts get totally screwed by this as well.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

I write (physical letters) to my congress people on extremely annoying issues.  When I get home tonight, I'll study this carefully and will write a letter and mail it ASAP.

The PTC is a bullshit organization and their attempts to censor one form of media must be stopped.

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

For anyone that's curious, since the link is stuck in the spam filter, here's the text of the act:

Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act (Introduced in House)

HR 5990 IH

 

110th CONGRESS

 

2d Session

To require ratings label on video games and to prohibit the sales and rentals of adult-rated video games to minors.

 

May 7, 2008

Mr. MATHESON (for himself and Mr. TERRY) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


To require ratings label on video games and to prohibit the sales and rentals of adult-rated video games to minors.

 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

 

    This Act may be cited as the `Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act'.

 

SEC. 2. RATING LABEL REQUIREMENT FOR VIDEO GAMES.

 

    (a) Conduct Prohibited- It shall be unlawful for any person to ship or otherwise distribute in interstate commerce, or to sell or rent, a video game that does not contain a rating label, in a clear and conspicuous location on the outside packaging of the video game, containing an age-based content rating determined by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.

 

    (b) Requirement of Retailers To Post Ratings Information- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Federal Trade Commission shall promulgate rules requiring all retail establishments engaged in the sale of video games to display, in a clear and conspicuous location, information about the content rating system of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. Such rules shall prescribe the information required to be displayed concerning the basic age-based content ratings of such Board.

 

SEC. 3. PROHIBITION ON SALES AND RENTALS OF ADULT-RATED VIDEO GAMES TO MINORS.

 

    It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or rent, or attempt to sell or rent--

 

      (1) any video game containing a content rating of `Adults Only' (as determined by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board) to any person under the age of 18; or

 

      (2) any video game containing a content rating of `Mature' (as determined by such Board) to any person under the age of 17.

 

SEC. 4. ENFORCEMENT BY THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION.

 

    (a) Unfair or Deceptive Act or Practice- A violation of sections 2 or 3 shall be treated as a violation of a rule defining an unfair or deceptive act or practice prescribed under section 18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B)). The Federal Trade Commission shall enforce this Act in the same manner, by the same means, and with the same jurisdiction as though all applicable terms and provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act were incorporated into and made a part of this Act.

 

    (b) Penalty- Notwithstanding section 5(m) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45(m)), any person who violates section 2 or 3 of this Act shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 per violation.

 

A BILL

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H. R. 5990

Re: Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen's Video Game

 Time for me to break down this bill:

It shall be unlawful for any person to ship or otherwise distribute in interstate commerce, or to sell or rent, a video game that does not contain a rating label, in a clear and conspicuous location on the outside packaging of the video game, containing an age-based content rating determined by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.

 You can no longer sell games from before the ESRB was formed. I am sorry. That you will not be able to get your old Atari, NES, Genesis, SNES etc games. But they are not rated by the ESRB so you will not be able to sell or buy them.

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Federal Trade Commission shall promulgate rules requiring all retail establishments engaged in the sale of video games to display, in a clear and conspicuous location, information about the content rating system of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. Such rules shall prescribe the information required to be displayed concerning the basic age-based content ratings of such Board.

 We know you already have these signs posted and the ESRB website is so easily accessable, but you will need to require all your customers to wear head gear that has a sign hanging in front of their faces while they shop. We cannot be sure that they see the rating information otherwise.

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or rent, or attempt to sell or rent--(1) any video game containing a content rating of `Adults Only' (as determined by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board) to any person under the age of 18; or (2) any video game containing a content rating of `Mature' (as determined by such Board) to any person under the age of 17.

 Seems straight forward doesn't it? Only the M rating is a suggested age by the ESRB while the AO rating is pretty set in stone by the ESRB. So they are over riding the ESRB's rules.

A violation of sections 2 or 3 shall be treated as a violation of a rule defining an unfair or deceptive act or practice prescribed under section 18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B)). The Federal Trade Commission shall enforce this Act in the same manner, by the same means, and with the same jurisdiction as though all applicable terms and provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act were incorporated into and made a part of this Act.

 Basically, it will be considered unfair and deceptive trade practices to not follow these guidelines. They give the FTC authority to police and punish retailers who do not follow these guidelines.

Notwithstanding section 5(m) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45(m)), any person who violates section 2 or 3 of this Act shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 per violation.

 Wow that is a lot. Too bad there are no applicable fines for R rated movies. Anyone know the penalties for selling alcohol and porn to kids?

E. Zachary Knight
www.editorialgames.com

 
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Will Code Avarice's Paranautical Activity make its way back onto Steam?:

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Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
AvalongodAgree with Quiknkold. @Mecha...if that worked we would have figured out how to prevent these long ago.10/24/2014 - 11:32pm
MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
quiknkoldbut I am also certain nobody in their right mind is committing these shootings singing the Machoman song. these are sick individuals who have given up on life10/24/2014 - 9:51pm
Technogeekevopsych lol10/24/2014 - 9:49pm
quiknkoldWhen you suffer from mental illness, youre more likely to go by instinct. yes. I came off as sexist.10/24/2014 - 9:46pm
quiknkoldmore on somthing they are fixated on. Post Partum Depression is an example. This is why a woman is less likely to go off on a rampage.10/24/2014 - 9:44pm
 

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