A month ago, Rep. Cliff Sterns introduced the Truth in Video Game Rating Act in the US House of Representatives. Now Senator Sam Brownback is introduced yesterday its Senate equivalent. Even though the exact text or wording of the proposed bill has not yet been released by the Government Printing Office, Brownback’s announcement about the introduction looks like it will be functionally similar to Stearns’ own legislation.According to statement made by Brownback, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board needs to be improved partly because the board does not even play the games that they are rating. He said that the bill he is proposing will direct the Federal Trade Commision to require that reviewers actually look into the full content of a video game before it even issues a rating.
At present the ESRB rates games based on a video tape of a game’s most objectionable content. The video tape’s content is determined and also compiled by the publisher who is going to submit the game for review.
Brownback said that games ratings must be truly objective and accurate for it to be meaningful and worthy of the trust that parents place on it.
The bill being proposed by Brownback will also forbid publishers from holding or hiding the content of a game to the ratings board. It will also give the FTC the responsibility to define the parameters for describing game content and what factors would essentially result in the mischaracterization of the said content.