New Brunswick throws down the gauntlet to protect Canadian youth from videogame violence.

In an effort to keep violent games away from young kids, the provincial government in New Brunswick will begin requiring game retailers to obtain licenses to peddle their wares. This will provide the government a means to step in and regulate the sale of games to minors – something that has been lacking, officials say.

Starting next month, game retailers will have to obtain the proper license to continue operating. Though many stores already adhere to the ESRB classifications – the North American system followed by the provincial government – there has been nothing in place to penalize retailers who sell games to kids deemed unsuitable for their age, according to public safety department spokesperson Lisa Harrity.

“So we license and regulate the retailers only. Up until now, this did not include videogames,” she said. “For retailers who are already licensed for movies, this is not really going to have a big impact on them. There will be a small number of retailers in the province who deal exclusively in videogames.”

Government officials will begin visiting game retailers to make sure they have the proper license and are following the regulations, she said. Stores caught violating the rules will be issued warnings and could lose their license to sell games.

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