I have to say that there's very little I agree with in the IEMA's letter (or at least the section that's shown in the post).
The IEMA believes that A.B. 1179 is unnecessary, as retailers are firmly committed to voluntarily enforcing and promoting the video game rating system
Bullshit. A retailer sells to whomever wants a game. I've seen fucking DOZENS of kids walk out of the EB in the mall with copies of any of the last three GTA games. I've also yet to see a single sale of that game be denied by Best Buy, including to some kids who could have been younger than 17 (in which case a retailer is allowed to ask for ID, right?).
Second, legislation cannot and will not replace the ultimate role and responsibility of parents in their duty to raise their children, and this bill usurps the rights of parents by restricting minors' access to certain games, even if parents have approved them for their child
Bullshit again. This bill does NOT stop a kid from PLAYING an M rated game, it just stops the retailer from SELLING it to a kid. If a parent approves a game for their child, then they have to go buy it for their child. Which I actually approve. It MIGHT force parents to take a slightly more active role, rather than just forking over the 50 bucks to their kid so they'll get out of their hair.
Further, federal courts have consistently recognized that video games are constitutionally protected speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the restrictions in this bill impermissibly run afoul of that protection
I'm not a lawyer, so I may be wrong, but how does this run afoul? It would run afoul if the bill said "Any game rated M may NO LONGER BE SOLD."
But restricting a certain age group of buying a product, how is that running afoul of the constitution? We do the same thing with tons of products, why are videogames any different? (just curious here btw, like I said I'm not sure. If someone can explain that, I'd appreciate it.)
Finally, the bill provides no meaningful standards to assist in determining whether games would fall within the legislation's purview.
That sentence doesn't even mean anything. The bill wasn't DESIGNED to do that, it's designed to stop the sale of M rated materials to children that are younger than 17. Nothing more.
Now, do I agree with the bill, not really. I still think that parents in the US are fucking lazy, and should be held responsible for their kids. But in the end, this bill really isn't all that bad, in my opinion, and it might add some oomph to the rating system.
Will it affect sales of certain games? Possibly, but then again, those sales would have been sales to audiences that the game was not intended for anyways, so any publisher that complains about that is being hypocritical. Ie, Rockstar bitching about lost sales if this bill was to go into effect means they know FULL WELL that the rating is spurious, and they fully expect young kids to play their game.
That's fine, but then we should stop allowing them to hide behind the rating system and say "Hey, we know we make terribly violent and bloody games, but we don't intend for young kids to play them! Look at our M rating!"
It'd be very funny to then hear them whine "Hey, your bill stopped our game from being sold to kids!"
Actually, I can't wait for the first dev / publisher to whine about this.