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Thursday, June 20, 2002
Another Proposal to Regulate Video Games Introduced
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Yet another piece of legislation regarding the sale or rental of violent video games was introduced as a proposal by California congressman Joe Baca. Known as H.R. 4645, The Protect Children from Video Game Sex and Violence Act of 2002, the proposal seeks to create harsh penalties to retailers who sell or rent violent video games to minors.

The proposal defines the following game content as taboo to minors:

  • Decapitation, amputation, dismemberment, or mutilation
  • The killing of human beings by the use of an object as a lethal weapon or hand to hand fighting
  • The car jacking of a vehicle
  • Rape or other sexual assault and prostitution
  • Aggravated assault or battery
  • Other violent felonies
The proposed penalties are very aggressive, with fines ranging from $1000 to $5000 along with possible jail time for a third offense for those that fail to enforce the proposed ratings system.

Legislation against violent video games is nothing new to most gamers, who have debated the situation copiously in the past. Several video game companies have stepped forward to add their own opinions as well., in a related article, got a statement from Nintendo regarding the current ESRB rating system used for video games:

"We really feel that's doing the job," said Beth Llewelyn, director of corporate affairs at Nintendo of America. "The responsibility may lie with the parents to recognize what is out there. They have to make sure the content is appropriate."
Baca, however, cites both the Columbine events and the recent incident in Germany as causes for alarm. He also makes note of his belief in the lack of enforcement regarding the ESRB system:
"Some are doing it, and I commend those," he said. "But others have no policy in place. It's about profit, money. It's a $59 billion industry."
Those interested in more information are encouraged to read both the article and the official press release for the proposal itself. Regardless of whether or not this proposal goes through, it almost certainly won't be the last of its kind.

Press Release: H.R. 4645 - Explicit Video Games May Become Illegal

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