introducing federal game regulation
has word that our Junior Senator from
New York, Hillary Clinton (D), is behind a new bill on video game sales. Here's a bit:
afternoon, Clinton's office announced she has written a bill that would
institute federal regulation of game sales. Coauthored by longtime game critic
Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), the Family Entertainment Protection Act will be
jointly submitted by the two legislators when Congress reconvenes in two weeks.
If made law, the Family Entertainment Protection Act would be a "a prohibition
against any business for selling or renting a Mature, Adults-Only, or Ratings
Pending game to a person who is younger than seventeen." It would punish
violators with unspecified fines, though it did not specify if the clerk who
sold the game or the retailer where said clerk worked would be punished. "This
provision is not aimed at punishing retailers who act in good faith to enforce
the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) system," read a statement from
While the retail part of the bill is similar to laws recently passed in
Michigan, Illinois, and California, the Family Entertainment Protection Act goes
much farther. It would authorize "the FTC to conduct an annual, random audit of
retailers to determine how easy it is for young people to purchase Mature and
Adults Only video games and report the findings to Congress." These findings
would be part of a larger annual analysis of ESRB game ratings. "This analysis
will help ensure that the ESRB ratings system accurately reflects the content in
each game and that the ratings system does not change significantly over time,"
read Clinton's statement.
The bill would also allow private citizens to file complaints with the FTC's
Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) "if they find content to be misleading or
deceptive." The BCP would issue an annual report on said complaints to Congress
as part of the aforementioned annual review.