[Politech] Hillary Clinton takes aim at video games once again, demands new federal laws [fs]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Tue Nov 29 2005 - 23:48:23 PST


News article on announcement:
http://news.com.com/2100-1043_3-5975913.html

Sen. Clinton's statement today:
http://clinton.senate.gov/news/statements/details.cfm?id=249368&&
"I have developed legislation that will empower parents by making sure 
their kids canít walk into a store and buy a video game that has 
graphic, violent and pornographic content"

Background:
http://news.com.com/2010-1071_3-5741217.html

House vote in July for FTC investigation into Grand Theft Auto:
http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2005/roll419.xml

-Declan

---

Statement from Douglas Lowenstein, president
Entertainment Software Association

 "We share Senator Clintonís commitment to effective enforcement of the 
Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings by retailers, and we 
appreciate the fact that she has sought to draft a more thoughtful 
proposal in this area than most others.  However, we strongly oppose the 
bill.   We believe the combination of trustworthy ESRB ratings, parental 
education, voluntary retail enforcement of ESRB ratings, and, most 
recently, the major announcement that all next generation video game 
consoles will include parental control systems, makes Senator Clinton's 
bill unnecessary.  There is now a continuum of tools from the store to 
the home enabling parents to take charge of the video games their kids 
play.  It is now up to them to do their jobs as they see fit, not up to 
government to do it for them.
 
"While we are gratified that the Senator holds the ESRB in such high 
regard that her bill would give these ratings the force of law, the 
courts have made clear that giving a private party governmental powers 
is unconstitutional.  Beyond that, the bill clearly infringes the 
constitutionally protected creative rights of the video game industry.  
Thus, if enacted, the bill will be struck down as have similar bills 
passed in several states.  So while this bill is positioned as a 
pro-family measure, in truth it will leave parents no better off. 
 
"Itís important to remember that just as there are books, movies, and 
magazines for consumers of all ages, so there is also a variety of video 
games for a diverse game-playing community, which is why parental 
involvement in the purchase or rental of games is so important.  
Thankfully, this is already happening.  According to the Federal Trade 
Commissionís own statistics, parents are involved in the purchase and 
rental of games over 80 percent of the time.  Knowing this, the answer 
is not more government regulation but concrete, meaningful actions that 
would really help parents make the right choices for their families.     
"It is worth noting that on the same day David Walsh from the National 
Institute on Media and the Family called for overhauling the ESRBís 
video game rating system, two Senators called for a bill that would 
enshrine that same rating system into federal law, showing that they 
think the ESRB rating system is credible, trustworthy, and helpful. 
 
"We will continue our dialogue with Senator Clinton in the hope that we 
can join together to work on initiatives to raise parental awareness and 
use of the ESRB ratings Senator Clinton so respects.  In so doing, we 
believe we can really help parents keep inappropriate video games from 
children in a way thatís legal, sensible, and most importantly, effective."

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