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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      House Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade
    IntroducedJanuary 15th, 2013

What is it?

This bill would prohibit the sale or rental of video games that don’t bear a label with an age-based content rating.

If enacted, this bill would make it illegal for individuals to sell or rent “adults only” video games to customers who are under the age of 18, or “mature” games to customers under 17.


Violators would be subject to penalties of up to $,5000 per infraction. Age-ratings for video games are established by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB), and the Federal Trade Commission is charged with enforcing them.

Impact

Kids who play mature/adult-rated video games, video game retailers, video game companies, parents, the ESRB, and the FTC.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth:

Bill sponsors argue that more serious enforcement of the ESRB rating system is necessary to protect children from exposure to video games containing graphic violence and sexual content:

“In a world of rapidly changing technology, parents deserve every resource available to evaluate programming to which their children might be exposed.”

Opponents of this bill will likely point out that it is treating a negligible problem. According to a recent FTC survey, just 13 percent of minors were able to purchase video games rated Mature or higher from retailers. This is compared to the 38 percent of minors who were able to buy tickets to R-rated movies, and the 64 percent who had no trouble buying CD’s with a Parental Advisory label.


Images

Photo Credit: (Wikimedia user: ESRB Rating Brochure)

Photo Credit: (Wikimedia user ESRB)

Photo Credit: (Time Magazine)

Photo Credit: (Youtube)


Media:

Bill Sponsor Representative Jim Matheson (R-UT) Press Release


USA Today

(Photo Credit: Flickr user Seth W.)

AKA

Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act

Official Title

To require ratings label on video games and to prohibit the sales and rentals of adult-rated video games to minors.