Games, DVDs, may be Subject to New CPSC Rule

October 11, 2010 -

According to a report on the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance, a new rule from Consumer Product Safety Commission may make it so that packaged media like DVDs, videogames, and other products aimed at children will have tracking labels attached to them (PDF).

Part of the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), the rule was meant to satisfy a congressional mandate for safety recalls on children’s products related to things like lead levels from toys and other products from China.

Most DVDs and videogames are not supposed to be subject to the new rule, but as EMA VP of Public Affairs Sean Bersell points out, some children’s entertainment may be classified by the CPSC as "children’s products." under this new rule anyway. The CPSC interprets a children's product as a "consumer product designed or intended primarily for children twelve years of age or younger."

In a note to EMA members, Bersell says that the rule provides "no blanket exemption for movies and video games aimed at children under age four." This is apparently a reversal of an earlier proposed interpretation. Bersell adds that the agency "had previously suggested that very young children lack the motor skills to personally use the products and the physical products themselves (as opposed to the content they contain) have no appeal to children."

This new rule takes effect upon publication in the Federal Register, located here.

Source: MESA Alliance


Comments

Re: Games, DVDs, may be Subject to New CPSC Rule

I wonder what this law will mean for makers of trading cards aimed at children considering the labels in question have to be permanent and remain with the product. It wouldn't do to label the packaging, as that is usually intended to be thrown away. It also wouldn't do to label a single card in each foil package, for cards in a given package are unlikely to remain together in the long term. Does this mean each card have to be labeled individually, effectively defacing the carefully-designed artwork on each card?

This is the kind of ill-thought law that really bugs me. Instead of requiring products to be labeled, how about requiring manufacturers to, in the event of a recall, recall all products that are indistinguishable from those being recalled? Manufacturers could then add distinguishing marks as they see fit and weigh the costs of doing so against the likelihood and costs of a potential recall.

Re: Games, DVDs, may be Subject to New CPSC Rule

This has absolutely nothing to do with the ratings of the game or maturity of the intended audience.  This was a horrible law created out of overreaction to the various toy recalls that makes it so every component of an item meant for children must be tested for dangerous substances (i.e. lead).  The testing is about $500 per test, so if you have a complex toy with dozens of parts, this can start to get expensive.

The basic effect is that small businesses are being run out of business, while Mattel (who were the reason this law was enacted) were given an opt out of the law and are the only company allowed to test all of their products in house.  Oh...and guess who just issued another $10 million toy recall...

Mattel.

I'm all for protecting the children, but this is a horrible, horrible law.

Re: Games, DVDs, may be Subject to New CPSC Rule

Big Corporations have a long history of lobbying for restrictive laws and regulations for their industry for solely the purpose of keeping newer companies from forming. It happens in the toy business, the software industry, the copyright industry, even cosmetology. Government regulation is the friend of people and companies with deep pockets.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Games, DVDs, may be Subject to New CPSC Rule

Perhaps so, but only when the regulations are WRITTEN by those deep-pocketed companies.

Which, unfortunately, is the majority of the time.

Re: Games, DVDs, may be Subject to New CPSC Rule

Shit, really? That's fucked all to hell...

Oh shit! Hasbro! Transformers! They got a shit load of little parts. I hope this doesn't fuck them too bad... Or LEGOS! Not my precious LEGOS man, not my LEGOS...

Re: Games, DVDs, may be Subject to New CPSC Rule

Interesting.

This could actually be quite helpful, because if the age of twelve is the threshold for a game being "aimed at children", according to the government itself (which I'm not sure if this counts), that means that Leland Yee and his ilk should have some difficulty in claiming that the game industry markets its "ultra violent and graphic sex games" to minors, as the only games that would even remotely qualify for that are all labeled M for Mature. As in, not for kids twelve and below.

 
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NeenekoI have met some real jerks and slimeballs in gender activism, but when I hear the idea that there are many 'not nice' people it comes across as code for 'uppity people who do not know their place'.09/19/2014 - 12:10pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Many of the people pushing gender issues aren't nice people? I'm sure not everyone's a sweatheart but so far, everyone I've seen with such a critique had absolutely nothing to back them up.09/19/2014 - 10:46am
InfophileI think there's a qualitative difference between a site and a hashtag though. GP can ban anyone from commenting, so they can have the image they want. But anyone can use any hashtag and try to poison it. Granted, that hasn't happened to the other one yet09/19/2014 - 10:13am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, your comparison to GP does not work. We do not need to get rid of GP, because no one associates GP with trolls and abuse. The same can't be said for gamergate.09/19/2014 - 10:09am
Krono@Michael You don't remember the "other hashtag" because no one actually uses it. We're talking 836,983 uses of #gamergate over it's lifetime, and 8,119 for the "alternative". 47,129 uses on the 18th vs 41. With #notyourshield at 140,133 uses & 5,209 uses09/19/2014 - 9:48am
Kronoresearch it. Changing tags to get away from trolls would be like wiping GamePolitics and restarting under a new name to get away from people calling Jack Thompson a filthy names in the comments section.09/19/2014 - 9:35am
Sleaker@quiknkold - seems like all that page is is a bunch of random developer opinions and rumors that we're supposedto do what with?09/19/2014 - 9:31am
Kronoas an opportunity to push back against them. It's one of the things muddling the issue. @conster A new hashtag would do nothing to improve anything. Trolls will simply follow to the new hashtag, and it will confuse the issue for anyone attempting to09/19/2014 - 9:25am
Krono@Andrew aaah. Yes, I'm sure there's some of that. Part of the problem is many of the people pushing gender issues are not very nice people. Basically the latest incarnation of moralists we've seen in the past couple decades. Naturually some will take this09/19/2014 - 9:23am
quiknkoldhttp://www.nichegamer.net/2014/09/real-gamedevs-sound-off-regarding-the-gamergate-controversy/09/19/2014 - 8:35am
MaskedPixelanteMeanwhile, in news that actually DOES matter, Scotland voted "NO" to Scottish independance.09/19/2014 - 8:20am
ConsterSeriously? "We shouldn't make a new hashtag - it's better to associate ourselves with psychos than to decrease our visibility"?09/19/2014 - 7:54am
Michael ChandraI forget what it is exactly, but there already is another hashtag that some use, exactly to separate themselves from the abusive behaviour. So don't bother lying to me.09/19/2014 - 7:06am
quiknkold2 to 3 or more09/19/2014 - 6:53am
quiknkoldMichael Chandra : I'll say this. The only reason they havent used another hashtag is because it would look like a form of dividing the arguement. Using another Hashtag has come up, and they feel like if they made a new hashtag, it'll split the debate from09/19/2014 - 6:53am
Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
Michael ChandraAnd someone claiming #notyourshield was to be taken serious, when chatlogs show they wanted it going to hide even more harassment behind? Yeah, not buying a word you're saying. You poisoned your own well.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael Chandraallegedly fired over giving a game a mediocre review and the company threatened to pull ads? Sorry but I ain't buying this.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael ChandraBut people arguing this is horrible and just about ethics, even though there's very little support that journalistic integrity was actually violated here, while they never spoke up when a journalist was09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Michael ChandraIf people start with condemning the way GamersGate was used as a misdirection, then use a better hashtag, that would work in convincing me they mean it.09/19/2014 - 3:43am
 

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