Game-restriction bill submitted to congress

US Senators Clinton, Lieberman, and Bayh join in Family Entertainment Protection Act to keep mature games out of children's hands.

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) made good on her promise to put forth federal gaming legislation today, as she and fellow Senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Evan Bayh (D-IN) unveiled the Family Entertainment Protection Act. The Act is intended to put teeth in the enforcement of game ratings, fining the managers of retail outlets who are caught selling games rated M for Mature, AO for Adults Only, or RP for Ratings Pending to children under the age of 17.

"Video games are hot holiday items, and there are certainly wonderful games that help our children learn and increase hand and eye coordination," Clinton said in a statement. "However, there are also games that are just not appropriate for our nation's youth. This bill will help empower parents by making sure their kids can't walk into a store and buy a video game that has graphic, violent and pornographic content."

Store managers would be fined up to $1,000 or 100 hours of community service for a first offense, and $5,000 or 500 hours of community service for each subsequent offense. Retailers can escape such fines if they were shown identification they believed to be valid or if their stores "have a system in place to display and enforce" the ratings system.

Beyond levying fines for retailers ignoring the ratings system, the bill would also require an independent annual analysis of the ratings system, and would expand the powers and responsibilities of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Clinton's legislation calls for the FTC to conduct an investigation into the prevalence of embedded inappropriate material not reflected in a game's rating (like the sex minigame in the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Hot Coffee scandal). The bill would also require the FTC to accept consumer complaints about misleading or deceptive game ratings, and authorizes the commission to conduct an annual secret shopper audit of retailers to make sure they're playing by the new rules.

In her statement on the new bill, Clinton mentions that similar bills in Illinois, Michigan, and California have all been signed into law. She did not mention that the Illinois laws have been declared unconstitutional by a District Court judge, or that another District Court judge ordered the Michigan law temporarily blocked, saying it is "unlikely to survive strict scrutiny." One important distinction between the laws is that the Illinois, Michigan, and California laws ban the sale of violent games to children using their own definitions of "violent games," while Clinton's bill refers instead to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board's ratings system to determine what is and isn't appropriate for children.

Written By

Want the latest news about Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas?

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Discussion

336 comments
Underworldy69
Underworldy69

That wont do ****. Most kids buy the games with their parents, like I do. I am not going to go all the way to the game store just to get rejected because I am not 18 (or 17, whatever). But these laws just build up and up and its only going to slowly break down the huge wall us at America call The First Amendment. And I am getting tired of these laws. I am tired of hearing the same law passed over and over. Seriously, how many times have they formed the law that does the exact same thing? It is like putting the second amendment there (The Right to Bare Arms) and then 2 years later passing a law called 'Guns First' having the same purpose. Hilary, I trust you not to do this, but please do not turn into a Jack Thompson.

HylianHeart
HylianHeart

I hope that they do pass it, some games just should not be played.

Kevin75
Kevin75

Seriously If you don't want your kid playing the game don't buy it for him or give him the money to buy it. If he/she does buy it then take care of it. This is a thing call Personal Responsibility.

Luker123
Luker123

When are they gonna stop bringing up the same bill with a different name? Either way I'm fine with it, but pass it or leave it alone!

destroyer360
destroyer360

i dont give a f*** ill still play M games if they pass it my mom will buy them for me but they need to mind there own fu**ing buisness go after porn i swear i hate that f ing **** f u hilary!

Djinnator
Djinnator

Stores should just allow the sales of all games, and strictly enforce the age limit. After that it is just the parents responsibility for doing or not doing their homework.

Demon-Draco
Demon-Draco

If the bill keeps Mature content out of the hands of children equally- video games, magazines, etc.- then it's not so bad. But I don't see any laws being enofrced like this when it comes to pornography. I guess living is more important than living morally to these people?

cowcow123
cowcow123

another thing there are more important things to be focused on as President of the USA and another thing is that the number of violent crimes has gone down as the number of violent video games has gone up!!!!! chew on that Hilary

cowcow123
cowcow123

damn right its unconstitutional thats f*cking bull****

escalde75
escalde75

Why can there be pornographic movies and magazines sold, but you cant sell a videogame that shows the least bit of violence without there being an uproar?

4XC
4XC

This just pisses me off.They say to ban violent videogames with sexual content.And there's worse stuff in primetime TV.Hillary Clinton is bulls***.

DaDestroyer
DaDestroyer

this bill is for parents, organizations, ESRB, counsel members. this is a one big scheme to get millions of endorsements.

TheGm86
TheGm86

That (Female dog) is not getting my vote.

jamin218
jamin218

Why do all these politicians put laws and stuff on videogames. Why can't we just play them. They say these games drive teens to kill and all that. But if the child doesn't have possesion to a gun it wouldn't happen. That means dad lock up the gun in a safe and keep the combination in a good hiding place. I mean I played many M rated games in my life and I am now 15. It hasn't effected me any. I still act the same as before I started playing M rated games. This law is just stupid. Well all I got to do is let my cousin buy my games for me he is twenty-something. He is eligible for buying them. And the store owner will never know that he is buying it for me. And the store owner will not be penalize because he isn't selling it to me.

JimRune
JimRune

Let's just keep crying "Think about the children!" and see how far that gets us.

Bahamut50
Bahamut50

Consider the implications of this very badly placed laws. the moment we put this law in, it will make parents believe even more that we will have a high chance of emulating the game in an inappropriate way because we played something violent. it makes children look like they can't possibly understand what is wrong. in other words, if a kid did something bad from a video game, either they did it because their mental state was bad or they didnt give a damn video games didn't do that, bad parenting and their individual personalitys did that. if this law is seen as reasonable, we will never get that through the governments thick skull. besides, its not like kids have no power

Stephen361984
Stephen361984

There was a great article in a magazine about the connection between violence in games and violence in reality and it raised a very good point. If video games cause violent behaviour and games have gotten more and more violent in recient years then why have violent crime rate fallen in recient years. Now this was based on statistics from the U.S. and the U.K.. So its actulally safer to live in the era of violent video games It also pointed out that all the research into violent behaviour only focused on how violent video games cause violent behaviour. They never asked why a person plays violent games or what they get from playing them. So all this legislation is based on flawed research. HA HA HA Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Hilary HA HA

zymase
zymase

"Clinton mentions that similar bills in Illinois, Michigan, and California have all been signed into law. She did not mention that the Illinois laws have been declared unconstitutional by a District Court judge, or that another District Court judge ordered the Michigan law temporarily blocked, saying it is 'unlikely to survive strict scrutiny.'" Here's hoping this faces plenty of scrutiny. Hillary, I'm telling everyone I know to vote against you come 2008 if you have a go at the presidency. Sadly, I'd rather vote Republican for the first time in my life than vote for you.

Bart247
Bart247

Hillary Clinton does not care about games. The only thing she cares about is her own damned self along with her buddies. In fact, they shouldn't have invented ESRB Ratings! This is all BULL$#@?! They are just VIDEO GAMES! V-I-D-E-O-G-A-M-E-S! So what if they have bad language or blood and gore, video games are meant to have fun with. I enjoy them! Lots of people enjoy them! Hillary Clinton could just kiss my a-- (I do not want to say it). I am never voting for her in the 2008 election 'cause I'll be 18 by then and won't bother voting for her! *puff* *puff* Okay, *puff* *puff* okay...I'm done. I'm just in a bad mood right now. I hope your happy Hillary Clinton. RPGundam91 is on my side. You just lost my vote! You're OK RPGundam 91. I like ya! I'll go with your statement on Page 1 of this. I need some rest...

Darryl_Green
Darryl_Green

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Darryl_Green
Darryl_Green

Ok for all of u critisizing a-hole parents that think this bill is a good thing **** you and kiss my ass and this includes you 2 sen.clinton why are u ****ing even worried about what kids are playing this is not fair to people that are of the age of 13 and older who have probally been playing video games for a long time and just because the game has an m rating doesnt mean its as bad as the rating says there are some games out there that have the same stuff you see in M rated games that are Teen rated games so whats the big ****ing difference now if it was like 10 year olds playing games like san andreas then its a problem but making a law that says no one under the age of 17 can buy M rated games is really unfair and stupid it should be no one under the age of 13 and older can buy M rated games lots of teenagers play these games also the fact that parents start trippin because there is blood, violence, or swering in a video game is really dumb its not like they dont hear from their friends or at school or anywhere and nothing can change that **** so that means maybe the age restriction should be lowered

haadurin
haadurin

like the store clerks care? if they see you pick out halo 2 or doom 3 or something, and you just hand it to your mom, they don't care, they know it's going to be for you, but technically all you gotta do is just get your mom to go with you and give her the money to buy the game. the clerks don't care, i do it all the time. that's how i've rented halo 2 so many times.

quietguy
quietguy

One thing I can say is that this is going to get very ugly, very quickly. What ironies else exists within our government? And Clinton, wherever you are, you gonna get screwed by the masses. Seriously. Just wait for round 2.

T_U_M_E_G
T_U_M_E_G

I've been playing games like Mortal Kombat (and other M games) since I could walk, YOU CAN'T STOP ME HILLARY!!! MUAHAHAHAHA!!!

frei_11
frei_11

All I can say is thank God I live in Canada.

DevlinRN
DevlinRN

As much as I hate censorship and government interference in entertainment, I don't have problem with this. Senator Clinton, who I can't stand by the way, isn't trying to change the games themselves, or even how they're rated, she's just trying to enforce the rating system already in place. Good for her. Should little kids (under 14 or 15) be allowed to play GTA San Andreas? God, I hope not.

casan02
casan02

This is pathetic; Hillary Clinton is making a law to protect the children from violent video games? Please, it is not the game developer companie's responsibility that kids are becoming violent and imitading video games, it is the parent's responsibility to keep an eye out on what games their kids are playing! I let my little brother play San Andreas because I know he is very smart not to imitate what they do on the game! Plus there are now game shops that require your ID when buying a rated M game, and also this violates the First Amendment! I find this someday to be a fiasco...

bigian2
bigian2

Good luck getting this one passed. This like telling a fourteen year ol to go set in the conner for playing M-rated games. What the really problem is the perants need to get off their butt and do a better job of watching what thier kid buys. If that means saying no then so be it ; kids can't always get or have what they want.

tieed15
tieed15

I know i'll be killed for defending Clinton on this issue, especially on a video game site, but from the sound of the bill I think it's a good idea. Clinton doesn't know anything about video games, but I still agree with her in the idea that violent and sexualized games are not for children. As a parent, we each need to decide what our kids can play or not the ratings only help guide us. With this law in place, it would help curb the complaints parents have in the first place. If someone's ten year old boy buys GTA from a store, they could be in trouble and the parent wouldn't have to have a hissy-fit about thier being no restrictions or whatever. In general most M rated games are not appropriate for young gamers, although one must realize that there are different levels of maturity in kids to begin with. One kid may be able to play a FPS and have fun, while another may find it disturbing or otherwise influenced by playing/watching it. So its parents that still need to have the final call, not the ratings board or politicians, this bill would only help parents control what thier kids play. I just hope that parents keep a somewhat open mind and that this bill does not lead to larger restrictions.

Skullbomb
Skullbomb

This is stupid.Like im going to kill somebody after playing GTA.Yeah right! Or just hitting people with no reason after playing any other violent game. They are like adults and even they are too stupid too understand that those games are just..............GAMES!!! Sheesh! Why don't they grow up.

Skullbomb
Skullbomb

Don't they know that those "Violent" and (even though there are only a few games of that kind) "Pornographic" games are....well.......just games?

heulebum
heulebum

You know i'm 13 and i play san andreas and i think it is a good thing to steal cars...san andreas learned me

corruptionofmin
corruptionofmin

What about us who are aloud to play M rated games? I am under 18 and I'm certainly allowed to play M rated games. This doesn't exactly strike a cord with me, but my legal guardians are just too busy to take me to the store and buy me a M rated game. I see the bad side to this and I see the good side. For one thing, $1000-$5000 fine!?100-500 hours of community service!? Its utterly over-kill! Also, if a child under eight-teen is caught in possesion with a mature game, than thats the parents responsibility. Politics should stay away from games, thats us- the gamers, area and anyone who wants to ruin it for a certain field of people should stay away and remain away! Games were never ment for politics to interfere in!

dillon_o4
dillon_o4

i can kinda see why when u see kids playing san andreas when they are like 10, i mean i don't think this will make much a difference really but i might save some bad things from happening 2 kids so.... there ya go

NotAFurry
NotAFurry

This is gonna add to pirating too. Torrent sites don't check for ratings.

Kenzo287
Kenzo287

stupid lady leave video games alone! This country was built on freedom to do whatever we want (within reason) not from family values!

L0n3W01F
L0n3W01F

ok so now its games instead of countries ?

Pimt
Pimt

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you our taxdollars at work from the people we elect. Its so nice to see millions of dollars being put into the prevention youths playing M rated games especially since ONLY 99% of the stores already ask kids to show ID if they feel a person is underaged as a policy but no, we must put our tax dollars into that 1%. Jack Thompson or whoever you are, you are not winning the fight, you are just wasting the tax payers money. kids will still be able to get these games despite whatever law makes you comfortable through youre facist head.

terenceyyk
terenceyyk

crap man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111

Sheepofevilz
Sheepofevilz

Good for us. It's not so much a protection of kids, as it is a protection of us all from dumb kids who actually go out and try the things they can do in games.

shotokan_42
shotokan_42

RattyHandPuppet, I couldn't agree with you more on this matter. War in Iraq, the Bird Flu, and Terrorism are the more important things in this world than anything else. However, I think that Hilary's trying to prove a point that even if it's a stupid Law Act to stop minors from buying mature-rated games, at least she's somehow trying to prevent this type of content to not alter children's minds into becoming these vicious and violent game characters that their game portrays them to be. Somebody write back if they wish to either challenge or agree with me.

RattyHandPuppet
RattyHandPuppet

umm....yeah we're fighting a war in Iraq. The gulf coast is uninhabitable. There is always a threat of a terrorism, and yet congress is worrying about video games. WTF

karrasxk
karrasxk

Yes parents should be paying attention but that is not a substitute for these types of laws. Should you be able to buy beer too just because your parents don't watch your every move? Why don't the children realize that this is not an infringment on their rights because they are minors and go by different rules. You are deemed fit to think for yourself at 18 and for some reason can't drink until 21. Complain about the 21 year old drinking age instead :D

yrnehmada
yrnehmada

This bill is inadequate. The bill needs to include a clause where retailers will also be punished the same way if they sell R-rated movies (or tickets to such a movie) and music bearing the Parental Advisory seal on it to someone under the age of seventeen, so this "I Hope I Can Get Back Into the White House Act" will cover ALL media, not just video games.

trickazzmark
trickazzmark

the government is just getting to involved with business affairs, they should really stay out their kool-aid. know what i mean? and this is kind of stopping free trade. which if this is taking to far, it can go to federal court and, well we just have to see what happens. but word to all you gamers...........keep buying these games!!! dont let the man stick it to yuo.....you stick it to the man