Legislation: Selling M-Rated Games A Felony
The battle of the M-rated games continues, as New York assemblyman, Joseph Lentol, got a new piece of legislation passed. The bill will make it a felony to sell M-rated videogames to minors, and anyone who does could face 1-4 years of jail time.
The AO8696 bill is pretty ambitious, and will create an Advisory Council on Interactive Media and Youth Violence. This council would be responsible for evaluating the ESRB's rating policies, but beyond these specifics, there's a lot of gray area in the bill. It does say they would consider the sale of games depicting "depraved violence and indecent images" as class E felonies, and they have a rudimentary definition of "depraved violence." Apparently, that's "any representation of "rape, dismemberment, physical torture, mutilation, or evisceration of a human being."
The bill further includes a provision that would force game consoles to come with built-in parental controls. ...good to see those politicians are still on top of things in the game industry. Newsflash, guys- all the next-gen consoles - PS3, Xbox 360, Wii - already do have parental controls. But anyway, we'll keep you updated on this legislation to see if retailers really could suffer a major consequence for selling M-rated games to minors.
6/1/2007 Ben Dutka