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“Video Game Decency Act” brought before Congress

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 20 Mar 2007 11:37 User comments (13)

“Video Game Decency Act” brought before Congress Late last week, Michigan congressman Fred Upton (R) filed the Video Game Decency Act of 2007 under the bill H.R. 1531.
The bill asks for federal legislation that would make it illegal for game developers to hide content in their games in the hopes of receiving a less restrictive ESRB rating.

If you recall, Upton was a harsh critic of the now-infamous Hot Coffee scandal and this is obviously seen in the language of the bill which in part says: "It shall be unlawful… to… distribute… any video game that contains a rating label… for that video game where the person, with the intent of obtaining a less restrictive age-based content rating, failed to disclose content of the video game that was required to be disclosed to the independent ratings organization"

According to Upton, any violations would constitute a deceptive practice under guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission.

This is not the first time Upton has introduced a bill asking for video game decency. He introduced a similar bill in 2006 asking for more FTC enforcement over video game content. The bill went unsigned.

Source:
GamePolitics

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13 user comments

120.3.2007 12:12

Quote:
This is not the first time Upton has introduced a bill asking for video game decency. He introduced a similar bill in 2006 asking for more FTC enforcement over video game content. The bill went unsigned.

And I hope/predict that this one will as well.

220.3.2007 12:32

Dear Fred Upto,

Fuck you.

Love,

Everyone

320.3.2007 14:02

GTA:SA is an extremly violent game to begin with, and having that stupid sex scene mod in there should make it no different. It has a M rating for God's sakes. Its violent, its obscene, its GTA!!!! Get over it!!!!

If a game like Mario or something that was designed for kids had a hidden sex minigame in it, (omg better not!), than yes this bill thats being proposed makes sense, since the game is rated for Everyone anyway.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Mar 2007 @ 14:02

420.3.2007 15:24
tripplite
Inactive

yo, parents gotta digg up stuff on games before buying them
Hate politicans
GTA was M, this is the reasons the japense get consoles before us, cause a few parents go crazy

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Mar 2007 @ 15:26

520.3.2007 15:53

Well all this dose is make it a "crime" to lie to the ERSB.

While RS did mess up on GTA SA the content within could be accessed if you had the code and the patch ,witch means you need a computer and the internet,and even then tis dry clothed "sex".....

620.3.2007 16:56

Nah, this is a horrible bill. Suppose one Dev was about to quit the company, slipped in a hidden sex scene, and then exposed it to the public? There would be little to no proof it was him who did this, and the company would be punched in the face by the government. Fair? I think not.

Bad idea, crazy dude.

720.3.2007 20:08

Well, then it should be unlawful for retailers to sell mechanical pencils, because children can (and have) turned them into weapons. It's the same principle--just because you can "change" something to make it "worse" than its original intention, doesn't make it a bigger threat.

821.3.2007 1:48

Originally posted by Moomoo2:
Nah, this is a horrible bill. Suppose one Dev was about to quit the company, slipped in a hidden sex scene, and then exposed it to the public? There would be little to no proof it was him who did this, and the company would be punched in the face by the government. Fair? I think not.

Bad idea, crazy dude.
then the ESRB would fine the makers hundreds of thousands for breaking their rules which they can do now :P

921.3.2007 11:56

I was wondering can video games be "UNRATED" like movies or that is not possible?

1021.3.2007 12:33

all movies are rated. The unrated versions are just added extras, dvd content and such that doesn't go through the rating process. Similar to the "Game experience may change during online play" type warning on games.

1121.3.2007 13:24

Originally posted by azndrake:
I was wondering can video games be "UNRATED" like movies or that is not possible?
Games that are unrated have a harder time selling in store fronts,unlike movies theres stigma against a unrated game,online things are less restricted.

Can you sale a unrated game yes,but its difficult.

Games are the new scape goat of everything while movies seem to get off scott free and even sometiems get a lower rateings than what they deserve.

1221.3.2007 20:16

To put your point, ZippyDSM, in a more subtle, and blunt abbreviation:

Blaming video games is trendy.

That's just what it is, first it was 'The Devils Music', then it was 'The Terminator taught my kid to hold up a liquor store' then it was heavy metal and rap for a brief stint, back to movies (Just in time for The Matrix), and now it's on games. Give it time, and it'll shift again, most the people proposing these bills don't actually care about them, it's them keeping their PR spins going.

If you don't believe me, I'd suggest renting a copy of "Evening with Kevin Smith 2" (While it's not as good as the first) Kevin does an interesting bit regarding protestors and the film execs. While he was producing Dogma, the company he was producing for was getting all kinds of threats, protests, etc; they were irate about this film, and they were sure to be heard all over the media. But as soon as the film changed studios, to one not owned by a specific faith, all the protesting stopped(I'm not going into specified religions here, because it's not a topic that's worth bringing up.) My point is that these politicians find someone to demonize, then they turn the public's opinion on that target. Most protestors aren't honestly completely informed. In many cases, if you actually watch an in depth interview with a protestor, they honestly know very little about their own protest; unless it's something that has directly caused detriment to them. The same holds true for some of these politicians - Case in piont: Jack Thompson. Jacko has stated in interviews that games like GTA and Postal 2 are marketed to, and that the companies encourage sale to minors. This could not be further from the truth. If you listen to his interviews, you can tell the man actually believes the words coming out of his own mouth. The reason? I don't believe he's ever really investigated it for himself. You can no longer say that GTA advertises to minors than lingerie, cigarettes, and heck, we'll say condoms. Yeah, they all advertise, they kind of have to. But they don't deliberately target child demographics. They target older and general audiences. It's easy to pick a target; probe, prod, and preturb people with it; it takes no intelligence whatsoever. This is because most people don't bother to look up the facts on these things. And until people really start to discover for themselves, this will keep happening.

These bills, and the people who support them will continue to pop up over and over; because there's an audience who will listen, and who won't investigate for themselves. I sincerely hope that in the coming months, this might change. But that's not about videogames, that's about people in general. When I hear a news story, an odd opinion, or a political statement, I don't give it any support, basis, or encouragement unless I know all about it. I wish more people would do the same.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Mar 2007 @ 20:16

1321.3.2007 20:25

handsom
as always well put,What has not been demonized to further the gain of the elite or rich,any morals tied to it are 2nd or 3rd to power and money.

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