From: The Blissful State Of Me?
Heads won't fall with video game bill
By Margaret Kane
Special to ZDNet News
May 6, 2002, 7:10 AM PT
A bill introduced in Congress last week would make it a federal crime to sell or rent violent video games to minors.
That list would place a slew of popular titles out of the reach of teenagers, some of the biggest consumers of the games. The top-selling video game in 2001, according to research firm NPD Group, was "Grand Theft Auto 3," in which players steal and wreck cars, commit contract killings and carry out other crimes. It has been banned in Australia
Violators of the act would be subject to fines of up to $1,000 for a first offense and up to $5,000, plus 90 days in jail, for multiple offenses.
Other branches of the government are looking into the issue of minors and video games. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is expected to release a report in June about sales and advertising to minors of games that have mature themes.
The issue hasn't gone unnoticed by video game creators. At a recent developers' conference, attendees agreed that the industry needs to do a better job of informing parents about the violent or mature content of games, although the issue of rating systems is still controversial. The Entertainment Software Rating Board assigns ratings for software titles, Web sites and online games, but participation by both game makers and stores is voluntary. An FTC study released in December found that 78 percent of stores allowed unaccompanied minors to purchase games that were rated for mature audiences only.
And state lawmakers in Georgia recently introduced legislation that makes it a crime to sell games depicting graphic violence to minors.
Courts have had mixed opinions about such laws. Baca's bill was introduced just days after a U.S. District Court in Missouri refused to invalidate a St. Louis ordinance that required parental consent to sell violent or sexually explicit games to minors. The St. Louis law was challenged by the Interactive Digital Software Association. A similar ordinance passed in Indianapolis was later overturned by a federal appeals court.
|This is an interesting discussion, although I've always felt that you should have I.D in order to pick up violent games (just like with R rated movies). In my opinion, they should change it so that they're merely enforcing the rating system currently ON games. M15+, need ID of being over 15 to get it, R18, need to be over 18. Of course, this is tossed out of the window if stores just allow kids to pick up whatever they want.
It's not the goverments resposability to raise kids and monitor them, it the parents responsabiliy. If the parent isn't responsabile to monitor thier own child, see if they're ok, what's going on, what they're into, etc. then you can expect some problems.
|I agree it's the parent's responsibility. Stores aren't the only source of violent games though. Kids can download games (demos, freeware, etc.) a lot easier.
[This message has been edited by BlazeQ (edited May 11, 2002).]
c h i e f y
From: Surrey, United Kingdom
I read your info on the bill that's going through your Congress, I agree entirely with the proposal
In some states in US they have a "3 strikes and you're out" law
meaning, a conviction for a third federal offence attracts LIFE IMPRISONMENT
well, you may be convicted wrongly once maybe even twice but I can't see it 3 times, so I agree with that too
too many serious criminals in UK do 8 years in jail then released do another armed robbery back in jail another 5 years back out within a week yet another horrendous crime, we have NO IDEA how to "protect" our citizens from these career criminals
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