reports on the Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act, a new Federal
bill aimed at penalizing stores that do not check for IDs from purchasers of
games rated "M" or "AO" by the ESRB:
Reps. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Jim
Matheson (D-Utah) introduced the Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act on
Wednesday to ensure that children “can only access age appropriate content
without parental permission,” according to Terry.
“The images and themes in some videogames are shocking and troublesome. In some
games high scores are often earned by players who commit ‘virtual’ murder,
assault and rape,” Terry continued. “Many young children are walking into stores
and are able to buy or rent these games without their parents even knowing about
it. Many retailers have tried to develop voluntary policies to make sure mature
games do not end up in the hands of young kids, but we need to do more to
protect our children.”
Bill would require ID checks for purchases of games rated M (mature) or AO
(adult only). It would also compel vidgame retailers to post ratings system
explanations in the store. Retailers found in violation of either requirement
would face a $5,000 civil penalty.
Several state legislatures have enacted similar laws, but each has been struck
down by courts on First Amendment challenges.