Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) has introduced S.3935, Truth in Video Games Ratings Act, in the United States Senate requiring the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) to employ new methods for rating video games.
The Truth in Video Games Ratings Act would require the ESRB to make its ratings decisions based on hands-on access to the full game. Currently, the ESRB comes to its ratings decisions based on video presentations provided by game developers and producers. The bill, to prevent developers from trying to hide content from the ratings board, would have the FTC, “specifically define parameters for describing game content and what would count as a mischaracterization of a game’s content.” Additionally the bill commissions a Government Accountability Study “to determine the efficacy of the industry’s ESRB ratings system and the potential for an independent rating system that would be controlled by parties with no financial interest in the video game industry.”
Senator Brownback is also a co-sponsor of the recently passed Children and Media Research Advancement Act, and along with other notable senators is an outspoken critic of violent video games.