It seems that the pressure on video games is not going to let up any time soon. This is especially true in states like Utah, where a new bill has been passed. Dubbed Bill HB353, it is designed to override the current, voluntary rating system which has been laid down by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Also known as the Truth in Advertising Bill, the new piece of legislation was proposed by Jack Thompson. PSP World reports:
Bill 353 will effectively kill the ESRB in Utah, by making it illegal to advertise games as “Mature Only” in stores. If a retailer is caught selling such a game to a minor, they will face serious criminal sanctions and fines from the government. In order to become compliant with this new bill, retailers effectively have only one choice: just stop labeling games as “Mature” altogether. That way, they will perversely be brought in line with the new rule, because they will be making no promise to keep the games out of the hands of children.
In other words, those in Utah will not be allowed to promote games labeled as Mature Only. What I do not fully understand is how this new bill will be effective in keeping inappropriate video games out of the hands of children. I have always believed in the responsibility of parents and other adults to make sure that games which are too violent or too mature are not played by their wards. While retailers do have the responsibility NOT to sell to minors, I do not think that this new law will address the root of the issue. Do you?
Photo courtesy of nancy.kao