ESRB Responds to Utah Anti-Gaming Bill

ESRB Responds to Utah Anti-Gaming Bill

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The Entertainment Software Rating Board has responded to Utah's bill HB 353, amendments to the Truth in Advertising Act, which would expose retailers to lawsuits if they promise not to sell inappropriate games to underage gamers and then mistakenly do so.

In an open letter to "Utah's parents and leaders" published on Kotaku, ESRB President Patricia Vance calls the bill a "grave mistake," pointing out that it could very easily undo years of effort and progress which has seen the number of retailers who refuse to sell M-rated games to underage gamers leap from 15 percent nationwide in 2000 to 80 percent as of May 2008. Retailers in Utah itself enforce game ratings at an even more impressive 94 percent, according to a recent survey.

"While the intent of this legislation would be to hold retailers accountable for compliance with their stated policies - presumably in that negligible 6% of instances where they fail to comply - the unfortunate reality is that it would introduce a liability that will likely force many retailers to seriously consider abandoning their voluntary policies and ratings education programs, undoing years of progress made on behalf of parents and their children," Vance wrote.

"Utah State Representative Michael Morley, the chief sponsor of this new amendment, was recently quoted in the Deseret News stating that, 'If they're one of those places that thinks, "Well, as long as they have a heartbeat and some money we'll sell to them," then this won't have any impact on them.'," she continued. "That statement reveals exactly why this law would be so destructive. It would effectively penalize responsible retailers that have policies, and provide safe harbor for retailers that refuse to adopt a responsible policy in the first place. That is downright senseless. If the goal is to make sure our children are playing age-appropriate games, there is a better way."

"The proposed legislation is looking to fix a system that is not broken. Instead, we should all be focused on figuring out ways to encourage parents to use the excellent tools already available to them to make informed choices about the media their children consume. Punishing retailers for promoting responsible sales policies is irrational and counter-productive," she wrote. "I write in the sincere hope that Utah chooses to empower its parents with information rather than undo the substantial progress made by retailers to date to serve the best interests of Utah's children."

Bill HB 535 was recently passed by the Utah State Legislature with an overwhelming 70-2 vote and will now proceed to the State Senate.

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yay, esrb did something right!!!

i find this comical because in a way the ESRB is doing a "in your face!" act indirectly to Jack Thompson.

So, she proposes that parents actually take an interest in what their kid(s) want, instead of just buying it for the nagging brat, and then being able to sue the retailers for selling it to them? Heh, sorry ma'am, it's not going to happen.

Skizle:
i find this comical because in a way the ESRB is doing a "in your face!" act indirectly to Jack Thompson.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyDNwjWHqbk

stompy:
So, she proposes that parents actually take an interest in what their kid(s) want, instead of just buying it for the nagging brat, and then being able to sue the retailers for selling it to them? Heh, sorry ma'am, it's not going to happen.

Wanting to know styff about your kid????!?!?!?

Blasphemy (dont know how to spell it and not looking it up)

pimppeter2:
Wanting to know styff about your kid????!?!?!?

Blasphemy (dont know how to spell it and not looking it up)

Blasphemy was right, but 'styff' isn't...

pimppeter2:

stompy:
So, she proposes that parents actually take an interest in what their kid(s) want, instead of just buying it for the nagging brat, and then being able to sue the retailers for selling it to them? Heh, sorry ma'am, it's not going to happen.

Wanting to know styff about your kid????!?!?!?

Blasphemy (dont know how to spell it and not looking it up)

you spelled it correctly

stompy:

pimppeter2:
Wanting to know styff about your kid????!?!?!?

Blasphemy (dont know how to spell it and not looking it up)

Blasphemy was right, but 'styff' isn't...

lol

stompy:
So, she proposes that parents actually take an interest in what their kid(s) want, instead of just buying it for the nagging brat, and then being able to sue the retailers for selling it to them? Heh, sorry ma'am, it's not going to happen.

Or preventing the parents from being complete Nazis. Either way, ESRB has it right, and Utah's pencil-pushers are a bunch of morons.

I don't know what you're all talking about this bill is brilliant! Nowe due to this legislation retailers are basically forced to give up their policies enforcing age ratings meaning that effectively an 8 year old can walk in and buy GTA with no recourse! [/sarcasm]

Legislation like this epitomizes idiocy, when retailers are already enforcing age ratings voluntarily you don't turn around and say "OK, now you have to enforce these age ratings you promised to or be opened to legislation!". What the hell do you think retailers are going to do? Kindly take this, roll over and pour money into training to eliminate the last 6% of times when a 17 year old managed to buy an 18 rated game? Or simply remove the policy?

Wait, wait waaaaaaaait! This statement by ESRB contains logic, how can you get through to people like that using logic? How! It's like they are immune to it, I, I just don't get it!

stompy:
So, she proposes that parents actually take an interest in what their kid(s) want, instead of just buying it for the nagging brat, and then being able to sue the retailers for selling it to them? Heh, sorry ma'am, it's not going to happen.

COUSIN!?

anyway, in a serious note, the bill is most likely going to pass. Its easier to shoot the dog than to take it to the vet, right? So its easier to sue the retailer than to have an education and information campaign on appropiate games for kids. Remember, America is fucking stupid for the most part. My uncle in law just bought GTA 4 for his 12 year old daugther 2 weeks ago, i told him what the game is about and what you do, and he said that she isn't dumb enough to take those things seriously. Well, then how do you explain when she body slammed her 4 year old sister ( and her bmi is a 35 btw)after watching WWE, you senseless bag of fat.

stompythebeast:

stompy:
So, she proposes that parents actually take an interest in what their kid(s) want, instead of just buying it for the nagging brat, and then being able to sue the retailers for selling it to them? Heh, sorry ma'am, it's not going to happen.

COUSIN!?

anyway, in a serious note, the bill is most likely going to pass. Its easier to shoot the dog than to take it to the vet, right? So its easier to sue the retailer than to have an education and information campaign on appropiate games for kids. Remember, America is fucking stupid for the most part. My uncle in law just bought GTA 4 for his 12 year old daugther 2 weeks ago, i told him what the game is about and what you do, and he said that she isn't dumb enough to take those things seriously. Well, then how do you explain when she body slammed her 4 year old sister ( and her bmi is a 35 btw)after watching WWE, you senseless bag of fat.

It'll pass, then be found unconstitutional, just like what happened to all the attempts to make the selling of M-rated games to minors a misdemeanor.

Man, governments need to stay out of the game rating and selling business.

I'm worried that this will indeed get passed. It wouldn't be the first stupid bill to slip past everybody with half a brain. /bitterness

The last thing our economy needs is a state full of scared retailers pulling half of the products from a successful industry off of their shelves just to avoid lawsuits.

On the off chance that any of you are from Utah, and don't find HB 353 to be beneficial to the state, let your senator know. Yeah... the chances of them actually listening to you is about as high as you getting abducted by aliens, but it wouldn't hurt to try.

An easy way to do this is here:
http://www.videogamevoters.org/takeaction/utahactionsenate/index.jhtml?_requestid=41360#ActionForm

 

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