Video Game Legislation Falls Flat in D.C.

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Where would we be without moral outrage? Over the years there have been various threats to our children that we’ve gladly stamped out. So, much like the Communists, pornographic movies and explicit lyrics of yesteryear, video games are under fire as the current corrupter of our youths. Luckily, we’re not as gullible as we were back then.

Washington D.C. has recently dropped a video game bill that had been proposed by, now Mayor, Adrian Fenty. The bill, called the Youth Protection from Obscene Video Games Act, would have made it possible to fine retailers who sold M (Mature or 17+ years of age) rated games to minors up to $10,000. The rating system used by the video game industry is one that was adopted voluntarily, called the ESRB. The ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) is an independent agency that rates video games and is recognized by most major retailers and game companies.

In place of the Youth Protection from Obscene Video Games Act, law makers passed the Consumer Education on Video and Computer Games for Minors Act. This new act will set up programs intended to educate parents on the different ratings and content available in video games today. The reason Fenty’s bill fell short was due concern over the constitutionality of such a law. A Fenty spokesperson said that more game legislation may be in the works.

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