Video Game Biz Does Well in FCC Report on Content Ratings

September 3, 2009 -

As GamePolitics noted last week, the Federal Communications Commission has floated the idea of a universal content rating system which would span various forms of media, including video games.

While lobbying group ESA quickly raised objections to the concept, the video game industry did quite well in an FCC report on parental controls issued to Congress on Monday. GameCulture has more:

Members of Congress who will receive the FCC's report will find almost nothing negative about the game industry's handling of parental control technology and ratings. Common Sense Media's concern about unrated online content and user-created content is noted but countered by the ESA, which points out that "no rating system or control device can anticipate the extemporaneous world of the Internet..."

While the FCC says it intends to launch a Notice of Inquiry specifically for games, this first round is a clear victory for the industry.  At this rate, even if regulators decide to pursue a "universal rating system," it could end up looking a lot like the system developed by the ESRB.


Comments

Re: Video Game Biz Does Well in FCC Report on Content ...

The real question is, does the FCC or even congress have the authority to implement such a system? Past attempts to force ratings on anything but public air waves have either been dropped or found unconstitutional.

Re: Video Game Biz Does Well in FCC Report on Content ...

Exactly.

While imposing a rating system on all media would doubtless be a regulatory wet dream come true for the FCC, they don't actually have the authority to impose such a rating system outside of broadcast media and cable TV no matter how brazenly they pretend that since the second C in FCC stands for "communications" they must surely have authority over all possible means of communication.

 

Re: Video Game Biz Does Well in FCC Report on Content ...

A general ratings system could be constitutional, but any attempts of legal enforcement wouldn't be, as that would be violating the First Amendment.  As for the FCC running it, I don't think that's legal, either, as they only have the ability to regulate broadcasting, of which video games are not a part of.  As for the FCC warning on your Xbox, that's there to warn of the possibility (no matter how slight) that the electronics could interfere with incoming or outgoing broadcasts, and that incoming or outgoing broadcasts could interfere with it as well.  To this point in time, that is the legal limit of the FCC's control on our beloved industry.

As I said above, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

---

He was dead when I got here.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Video Game Biz Does Well in FCC Report on Content ...

I think there is a FCC regulation about electronic interference, but that applys to basicly anything that gets plugged in.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Video Game Biz Does Well in FCC Report on Content ...

You're right, but it's strictly limited to the scope of the interference itself.

---

He was dead when I got here.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Video Game Biz Does Well in FCC Report on Content ...

FCC, this brings up the old saw:  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

---

He was dead when I got here.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Video Game Biz Does Well in FCC Report on Content ...

At this rate, even if regulators decide to pursue a "universal rating system," it could end up looking a lot like the system developed by the ESRB.

Just because the ESBR ratings works for video games dosen;t mean it'll more for movies and tv.

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