Saturday, January 19, 2013

Should ESRB ratings be mandated by law?

Following the unfortunate events in Connecticut, a Democratic congressman has called for support of a bill that would make it law for all video games sold to carry a rating by the ESRB. I feel this legislation is a horrible idea and will likely generate controversy. Not all that long ago, the Supreme Court passed a ruling giving full first-amendement rights to video game and digital content publishers.

One such section of the bill reads as follows:


    (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.

I would hate to see the progress in that area be squashed by a bunch of liberals. You can find a link to the article here. You can find information on the bill here.

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