Presidential Candidate Brownback Revives Game Ratings Bill in Senate

U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), among the declared Republican candidates for president in 2008, has re-introduced legislation that would force the ESRB to play games to their conclusion prior to assigning a rating.

According to a Brownback press release, S.568, the Truth in Video Game Rating Act, would require the ESRB to review all playable content before doling out those M, T or E ratings. Of the measure, the conservative Brownback said:

Video game reviewers should be required to review the entire content of a game to ensure the accuracy of the rating. The current video game ratings system is not as accurate as it could be because reviewers do not see the full content of games and do not even play the games they rate. Game reviewers must have access to the entire game for their ratings to accurately reflect a game’s content.

The full text of the measure, introduced yesterday, is not yet available. Brownback’s bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The Kansas Republican introduced a similar measure in 2006. That bill, however, failed to move in committee and subsequently died with the end of the 109th Congress.

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) introduced a similar measure in the House in 2006. That bill also died. It is unclear whether Stearns, who was re-elected to his seat in November, plans to submit his game legislation in the new Congress.

Such proposals have been met with scorn by some video game industry observers who point to the nearly endless possible story branches in many games.

In addition, the bill would require the Government Accountability Office to study the effectiveness of the ESRB and evaluate the potential for an independent rating system not under the control of the video game industry. The GAO would also be asked to review the possibilities of a universal media rating system for movies, TV and video games.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Flak ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I wouldn’t be nearly as hard on the rating system if they ACTUALLY PLAYED THEM GAMES! Also, considering these are adults, I think they are perfect material for studies that can finally break the unfounded link between violent video games and school shooting.

    Because CStrike totally did V-Tech… ugh I hate Fox and CNN

  2. 0

    […] The unnamed source additionally told that BBFC raters play games all the way through. In the U.S., some political figures have demanded that the ESRB do the same: Unlike the PEGI system, which is purely a tick-box system filled in by the distributor themselves, the BBFC has very well-qualified games examiners – who are games fans themselves – to play the games right through all the levels, with the cheat codes, and spend a lot of date playing them so that they know what the subject matter is. […]

  3. 0

    he probable wouldve done alot better if he said just play every game before rating it, not all the way through but just play it for maybe an hour a game, maybe even 2 but thats it.

    fully through for some games = 3-XXX months and others 3 hours is more than enough, which some politicians do not understand, they probable played the original NES games and think every game is that long(legend of zelda anyone? that took 40 mins to go fully through)

  4. 0

    […] The effect of this letter has yet to be seen, but one ding in the armor of the ESRB may be enough. Considering a bill currently being revived in Congress, may pressure the ESRB to be far stricter in their reviewing process. This bill may be damaging to games with branching storylines, as forcing the rater to play through the game and seeing each and every possibility may be utterly impossible. This is especially true in more dynamic games or games with user-created content. The early warning of ratings may be vital for games on the tipping lines between ratings, as early warning can give them more time to effectively correct questionable areas. In an industry with fast stringent deadlines, the more time given the better. As well, anti-games activists such as Jack Thompson may use this as fodder in their campaigns. Much like the infamous Hot Coffee debate, this seems like one that is going to loom over the face of gaming for some time. As well, despite such friendly titles as “Table Tennis”, Rockstar finds itself in a bad place politically. Many censors now have their sights locked in on Rockstar, and are waiting for that one fowl-up that could potentially end the company. They are already in some pretty hot water due to financial problems, not helped by the delay of blockbuster title “Grand Theft Auto 4″. Still, Rockstar has proved cunning in the past, and likely will continue to be so in the future – while continuously pushing the boundaries of good taste and testing the system it finds itself in along the way. […]

  5. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Yes, they have, child soldiers are still fairly common in third world conflicts even in the 90s.

    You had children no older than 14 leading platoon, company, and in some cases battalion strength groups, of other, much younger children. I would suggest a book called “Shake hands with the devil”, it was about the genocide in Rwanda. While child soldiers are not the focus of the book, they are brought up many times because how much a role they played in problems between the Hutus and the Tutsis.

  6. 0
    Jer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Can anyone confirm this,
    During the Vietnam war, small children were used to help fight the war, using weapons like guns and grenades.
    this is recalling from a history class i took 10 years ago.

  7. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh my…

    Daniel, every time you post you dig yourself a deeper and deeper hole. Nearly every argument you make is more emotional, contradictory, and irrational than the other think-of-the-children cultists.

    “# 3 A gun has to be heavier than a controller because it’s made out of medal.

    # 4 Guns are harder to use in real life because they’re heavier than a controller and there is no automatic aiming system in real life like there is in Grand Theft Auto.

    # 6 Children are too small to pick up a real heavy gun and do some damage.”

    Eh? But I thought you said before that it’s easier to kill someone with a gun than it is to play a game? Which is it? Oh, right, it depends on which is the object of a ban at the time.

    While I’ll agree that games won’t teach you to aim and shoot a gun, to say they’re harder to use is rubbish. If one can figure out how to use the dozen or so buttons on a gamepad with any degree of coordination, it’s not that difficult to learn the layout of the mere three or four controls on a firearm.

    And too heavy? Erm, some (sub)compact polymer-framed pistols only weigh a few more ounces than a wireless 360 controller. Hell, my full-size P99 is probably lighter than the first Xbox’s original controller. 😡

    As such, misguided arguments such as this will, at best, make us look like morons. Or, at worse will seem duplicitous. Remember, we’re the good guys here. So leave the false, emotional, straw arguments to he-who-can-not-be-named, kthx.

  8. 0
    Daniel says:

    @ Yoshiko

    Okay, fair enough. I just don’t like it when someone starts a fight and then blames it on someone else. That irritates me. At least, you acknowledged it. I am glad that everybody knows the truth.

    @ Brokenscope

    I guess I could look into making an account on the forums. If it works, great and if it doesn’t, oh crap. We’ll see what happens.

  9. 0
    Yoshiko says:

    No. Fuck that.

    Daniel. I’m posting this for a third time because you refuse to let it go.

    “I’m not trying to pick a fight. Brokenscope, and others, want me to back up my claims and that’s what I’m doing. I also want someone to acknowledge that I didn’t even start the fight. No one will even acknowledge that I didn’t start the fight. Everybody wants to blame it on me.”

    That. Right there sounds like you’re 12. “I DIDN’T DO. STOP BLAMING ME, I DIDN’T DO IT. SHE STARTED IT.”

    Everyone knows I ‘started it’. Everyone knows I insulted you first. I know this. They know it. You know it, you just refuse to realize we all know it too.

    I’m sorry that you misread my sarcasm as me claiming that you started it. I was making fun of you. I know I started it, I know you didn’t. You’re the innocent little child, I’m the devil reborn.

  10. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Actually I also said “God you are a dumbass”

    Daniel I after I got done laughing at your spelling mistakes, I found it very easy to dispute all but the common sense points. However this is not the place.

    Our argument has transcended the different news topics on this blog. We have left many topics cluttered with our posts and in some cases killed discussion on there. I take full responsibility for that. I also apologize to the rest of the community for my part in this. I also apologize to GP, In hindsight I wouldn’t have blamed him if he had banned me.

    It has gone on long enough. Daniel henceforth I am going to ignore your posts unless they are written in a clear and thoughtful manner, they are on topic, do not include huge numbers of !!!, and HAVE not BEEN said before hand by you in other threads.

    If you continue to post in your usual fashion I will ignore you. I will not reply to comments that you aim at me and I would also ask that Yoshiko and Hyabusa do the same. This is not the proper place for us to do this.

    Daniel if you wish to continue this discussion, which 99% of the time involves your complete personal philosophy on games and media in general, we will go to the GP forums. You can make an account, its free, and we can continue this discussion on the forums, where those that don’t want to see our arguments don’t have to.

    If you wish to question me about this post email me.

    This is the address to actually register for the game politics forums.

    Here is the address for the main page of the forums.

    I suggest you book mark the index page.

    Daniel, with this I am essentially calling you out, we are taking this argument outside the bar. We have hit some other patrons and I really don’t want to piss of the bartender because he has a really big ban stick.

    I would prefer a mildly structured debate, however free form works as well.

    To discuss rules email me. If you believe any of the things you say it shouldn’t be hard to defend them in a calm and logical fashion in a semi controlled environment, where we are on equal footing. It will also be easier to follow conversations and threads. All are welcome in the thread to support either side as long as they follow what ever format we agree on.

    Also if you continue to have problems with your email I will be happy to provide you with a gmail invite.

    If you choose not to accept this, then I guess this is goodbye, because I have the odd feeling I won’t be speaking with you for a while.

    I will not respond to anything posted by you in this thread. As far as I am concerned this topic is closed between you and me. Feel free to contact me.

  11. 0
    Daniel says:

    @ MrKenyon

    I’m not trying to pick a fight. Brokenscope, and others, want me to back up my claims and that’s what I’m doing. I also want someone to acknowledge that I didn’t even start the fight. No one will even acknowledge that I didn’t start the fight. Everybody wants to blame it on me.

  12. 0
    MrKenyon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Why the heck are you trying to pick a fight, Daniel? It was fun to watch at first, but it’s getting a little boring. Why don’t you just drop it, so we can all get back to saying mean things about moronic politicians?

    Oh, right, the article:

    As stated many times earlier, this bill is ludicrous. Forcing the ESRB, a non-government organization, to play through a game with a fine-toothed comb? It’s a waste of time, and even if this bill were in effect back when San Andreas came out, Hot Coffee still would still have become an issue.


  13. 0
    Daniel says:

    @ Brokenscope

    Another last thing, I hope you at least know that in that other thread with the fued between Yoshiko and me, I didn’t start the insulting. My first post there had nothing to do with her. Then a few posts down, she said, “God you’re a dubass,” she started it and it irritates me that no one will acknowledge that. You all ignore that line and want to put it on me like I started it. I didn’t and if you look at that line, you will see who did.

  14. 0
    Daniel says:

    When are people going to stop nominating for office idiots like this? Politicians should be concerned with other things besides video games.

    @ Brokenscope

    You want me to back up my views about why violent media is okay and not harmful to anyone? Here it is.

    # 1 Violent video games are popular all over the world and very few people, who play games like Grand Theft Auto, ever commit murder.

    # 2 The ones that do are almost always troubled, like Cody Posey.

    # 3 A gun has to be heavier than a controller because it’s made out of medal.

    # 4 Guns are harder to use in real life because they’re heavier than a controller and there is no automatic aiming system in real life like there is in Grand Theft Auto.

    # 5 Most other countries don’t blame games all that much for the actions of gamers, except maybe Germany.

    # 6 Children are too small to pick up a real heavy gun and do some damage.

    # 7 It always looks easier when someone else is doing it. When you see films with like “Desert Heat” and “Rambo” they show things that are almost immpossible or immpossible to do in real life. Most people couldn’t duplicate what Sylvester Stallone and Jean Claude Van Dam do in movies if their lives depended on it.

    # 8 The possibility of jail and consequences that keep people in line. People all know that jail isn’t a nice place and that keeps people in line.

    # 9 People also don’t throw away their lives because of images on a screen. They know better than that.

    Those are my reasons. Violence looks easy on a screen, but in reality, it’s very hard to immpossible for the average person to even duplicate. Do those finally look like good enough reasons for my position and ideas?

  15. 0
    Kyouryuu says:

    Oh, is THAT what they are doing in the Senate? Is that what that filibuster to block the Iraq War debate was for last week? To buy time to confront IMPORTANT issues like this?

    Silly me. How could I have ever doubted the politicians.

    Brownback is an idiot. Always has been. Always will be. Delusional to think he even has the tiniest chance of becoming President.

  16. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Sam Brownstain effectively killed his infinitestimal chances at becoming President with this pile of crap.

    This bill is clearly unconstitutional, just like all the rest.

  17. 0
    EOTD says:

    @Rigor Mortis

    “Socially liberal and fiscally conservative is an oxymoron. You need to be fiscally liberal to support all aspects of social liberalism. I believe what you actually mean by social liberalism is social tolerance.”

    Sorry, but that’s wrong – there’s a good many people in that category. I’m not one of them, so I can’t really tell you what they do and don’t support, but let me assure you that they’re out there.

  18. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “You can make some people happy of all the time, but you can’t make all of the people happy all of the time.” Especially for people who refuse to eb satisfied.

    As for the facts. “Gets th facts, then you can distort them as you please?” Remember, the ESRB has a 40% failure rate and a 60% success rate. Whenever people like JT mention it, the 60% success magically vanishes, because it isn’t 100%, anything below is unacceptable.

    As for this bill, it sounds to me liek a creative attempt to incite a chilling effect. A game comes in to be rated, it gets played, yet user created content makes it in, changing the rating entirely, or say the raters miss something, like others have said, that the developer didn’t disclose, and it happens multiple times. The ESRB can refuse to rate anymore games from them, thus stemming sales. Then it will no longer be profitable to make that game or even stay in business.

    Of course, some can go to online distribution to satisfy all the five year olds with credit cards

  19. 0
    Mysticgamer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Even if they do pass this law, which I doubt, it’s not like this guy’s going to be able to check the 30 new games that come out each month.

  20. 0
    Kadamon says:

    Toss him a game of Tetris and tell him “Tell me when you finish it and give me a rating. Losing doesn’t count as finishing.”

    And be done with it.

    Any puzzle game makes this a flawed law. That includes almost all Pinball games. Sandbox type games like GTA and games where you can change your appearance like Saints Row. To get 100% completion of a game you must do everything in every different way.

    We must also re-rate every game ever made now too.

  21. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear sirs,

    Please play GTA: San Andreas in its entirety until you discover the interactive sex game thingy that the reviewers failed to find.

    Here’s a hint: You can’t unlock them by playing the game.

    Yours, reality.

  22. 0
    tony selby ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    now granted i don’t know as much about law as i would like to so feel free to correct me if i’m wrong here but

    Does the Government even have a right to dictate the business practices of a private orginization such as the ESRB in the first place? (such as them telling them how they have to review games)

    i really wish politicians would realise what orginizations such as the ESRB are for, they are not designed to restrict the sales of games through their ratings, the ratings are there to inform people about the content of the games so that people who don’t know about any given product can still make an informed decision about buying a game

  23. 0
    CyberSkull ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Um, is the GAO’s job all about the Government’s accountability, not private organizations? I think a better use of their time would be to document the waste generated by bad laws and pass part of the bill to the politicians.

  24. 0
    Benji says:

    I’ve also said before that the idea behind this legislation is horribly flawed, even though it might have been formed with the best intentions.
    Premise: Sen. Brownback apparently does not trust game publishers and as such makes it a requirement that the ESRB examine all game content before providing a rating. I can think of no other plausible motivation for this – if he felt the ratings were honest he wouldn’t be calling it the TRUTH in VG Ratings Act.
    This can play out in one of two ways.
    1) The game publishers are trustworthy and do not include any content that cannot be easily accessed, and they fully disclose what’s in the game so it can be found. Which would make for a great ratings system – in fact, that’s probably why it’s what the ESRB does now, more or less. This law just makes them do more work for the same result.
    2) The game publishers are untrustworthy and include content not disclosed to the ESRB that can be accessed later. Now it’s a battle between the game maker’s ability to hide content and the rating board’s ability to find it. And given the infinitely many ways in which things can be hidden, that battle’s going to go in favor of the game makers every time. Example: A PS2 controller has 14 buttons that could be used for a secret code (not counting Start and Select, because I don’t like them.) A programmer could embed a hidden hardcore sex scene that plays upon inputting an 8-button sequence. That’s 1475789056 combinations you’d have to try to ensure that you had them all. And if it’s only unlockable in certain areas – forget it. An uninformed tester could never find that, but it’d be easy for the programmer who added it to leak the code out well after the fact. And no law or ratings board will prevent that. None. We know what you’re trying to do, Senator Brownback, but your law isn’t going to do it.

  25. 0
    Rigor Mortis says:


    Dude, BrokenScope is right. I have no idea how what you said relates to anything in my post.


    Socially liberal and fiscally conservative is an oxymoron. You need to be fiscally liberal to support all aspects of social liberalism. I believe what you actually mean by social liberalism is social tolerance.

  26. 0
    squigs says:

    Clearly this legislation has had no input from the organisations that it affects. If it was, then the language, and the demands would be a lot more reasonable. And it would explicitely address hidden content, user mods, and multiplayer games. And I don’t see it as too much of a leap of logic to suggest that the whole idea would be to prevent a repeat of the whole hot coffee fiasco. Something that it would completely fail to do.

    But it’s frustrating that there’s just no reasoning with these people. He’s not going to listen to the complaints.

    A very real possibility of this bill would be the end of any ratings system, due to the liability risks.

    However, section 3 certainly seems worthwhile. This section proposes a study of the games industry, who the games are marketted to, and the effectiveness of the ratings sytem. This section should be enacted and executed before any other game related legislation is considered.

  27. 0
    Michael James Nock says:

    The second most popular computer game I have ever made (For context purpouses, I have made two computer games), had a very predictable finishing time. The game ended 14,000,000,000 years after the file was run. I’d like to see them complete that game.

  28. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Pssst, Senator Brownback, umm, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but your constituents in the Heartland vote for conservatives in general, and you in particular, because they don’t like big government meddling with the free market and every other damn thing from their hole in Washington. You know, that whole fiscal conservative, “Contract with America,” limited government, Federalist thing? Now quit trying to regulate things by fiat, STFU, and GBTW. Kthx.

  29. 0
    Thefremen says:

    I submit that before this law passes, he be required to map the entire human genome with the help of a punchcard computer from the 19th century. Because that is how long it will take for grandma to finish Oblivion and rate it.

    I’m suprised a Fingerlicans are getting in on this action. OK, I’m not really suprised.

  30. 0
    Volcanman says:

    //But isn’t this kind of what we’ve kind of wanted: for the ESRB to actually play the games, to put themselves in the gamer’s shoes, to rate a game accurately and fairly? So people like Jack Thompson and Hillary Clinton don’t try and destroy the ESRB and create a government regulated system for the industry?//

    Even if they had started doing that (reviewing a game in it’s entirity), people would STILL complain. “They didn’t rate it like they should have”, “They purposely mis-rated this!” and Jack Thompson and Hillary Clinton would still try to say that “games are meant for children and these GTA games are murder similators”.

    As the saying goes; “You can make some people happy of all the time, but you can’t make all of the people happy all of the time.”

  31. 0
    EOTD says:

    Another thing that nobody’s mentioned yet is the fact that, for online games, the ESRB includes a disclaimer that appears directly below the rating: “Game Experience May Change During Online Play”. Even games like Ubisoft’s LostMagic, in which the only possible user-generated content is the player’s NAME, carry this disclaimer. It’s clearly stated, and no one can fault them for not addressing the problem of user-generated content to the best of their ability (there isn’t much they can do, after all, aside from the disclaimer). And ever since the Hot Coffee fiasco, developers have been required (by contract) to disclose not only all pertinent playable content, but also unplayable pertinent content that will remain in the code for the final game.

    Also, the ESRB’s website, in its “Tips and Additional Resources for Parents” section, says:

    “Exercise caution with online-enabled games. Some games let users play with other people on the Internet, but it’s important to realize that some of these games contain live chat features or other user-generated content, including character models (‘skins’), settings (‘maps’), weapons and other content that are not part of the ESRB rating. Online-enabled games carry a warning on the package that reads ‘Game Experience May Change During Online Play.'”.

    It’s a clear statement that not only warns about user-generated content, but actually explains what it means to those unfamiliar with games. It also has a similar section cautioning about and describing mods.

    I wouldn’t worry very much about this bill at all – the ESRB has its bases covered, and the facts are on its side.

  32. 0
    Brandon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    There really needs to be an edit button added to this forum.

    Also, with games like Oblivion, which, does end, takes forever, especially if you play threw every single side quest and such, and then there are the mods, expansions, etc.

  33. 0
    Brandon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), among the declared Republican candidates for president in 2008, has re-introduced legislation that would force the ESRB to play games to their conclusion prior to assigning a rating.”

    Uh, I hope that he knows that on some games, such as The Sims 2 and MMORPGs, that this is basically impossible since they never end. So stupid.

  34. 0
    Muetank ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    People like brownback don’t relize what achually goes into making and playing a game. Such as online games, patches come out all the time and would require LARGE amounts of time to play through games over and over every time a new patch comes out. Pluss, contrarry to popular oppinion, people achuall do interact online! Amazing, I know, and thows people interact in diffrent ways. Some swear and say inapropiate things over mics and text. Then you may have a game like Counter-Strike, where you can have custom sprays that every one on the server can see or textures that you can DL form the internet. How would they regulate all this custom stuff that comes out daily on various websites. Besides, you can get a bulk of what a game is like just from playing a few hours of a game. Like GTA for example, a person and easly tell what the game is about just from playing a few missions and walking around a bit. Playing the whole game is compleatly unnessary.

  35. 0
    F**ked up says:

    I need to get my website up soon and fast. I cant take the idiotcracies and incompentence of these politicians any more. How the hell do these people keep getting elected?

    Are people getting in power getting dumber? or Are the choices between canidates stupid or dumbass?

    American Democracy will fail if we keep electing officials that are as dumb as a rock.


  36. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The only possible explanation for this is that Brownback thinks the ESRB is a government organization. At least, in all other theories I come up with, he comes across even worse Considering everyone went over this the last time the bill was introduced, he must either insulate himself from the real world so much as to have never heard anything, just never paid attention or he knows this is a horrible law and it’s a cynical political ploy. So he’s either an idiot, completely ignorant of the law, completey negligent in basic law-vetting, like research on the affected parties and dealing with objections or just a guy wh really doesn’t care if a law is good, just that it makes him look good. These aren’t mutually exclusive, but I can’t find any possibilty that suggests he belongs in the Senate. Of course, he’s running for the White House, so he may just fail upward.

  37. 0
    Joe Bourrie says:

    This following behind Brownbacks previous bill which required all McDonalds management to eat one of each type of food from each restaurant before allowing it to open its doors to the public.

    “Of course, the bill didn’t get passed, but it made people think. If you don’t vote, you get morons in charge.” – Maurice Chavez

  38. 0
    gameclucks says:

    Sam Brownback is NOT a reasonable guy. He is an ultraconservative who wants to legislate morality.

    All I want in my federal government is legislators who are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. For some reason, I have the exact opposite, a bunch of politicians that spend without regard for where the money comes from, try to expand the government’s role in everyone’s daily lives, and try to pass laws that repress people in their private pursuits.

  39. 0
    Jer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Michael
    You are right, we have been harsh too quickly.
    Someone suggested before that the ESRB does what they do, receive a submitted video of all violent content and all in game cinematics, but also just play the game, not to entirety, just to get the feel of the game.

  40. 0
    Automancer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I can see what he is going for, but it won’t work. He seems to believe that all games still play like Super Mario Bros. when anymore they are much more complex then that.


  41. 0
    Michael Brooks ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Guys, guys, guys. Come on now, stop being so hard on him. Yes, playing the entire game to rate it is a silly idea. But isn’t this kind of what we’ve kind of wanted: for the ESRB to actually play the games, to put themselves in the gamer’s shoes, to rate a game accurately and fairly? So people like Jack Thompson and Hillary Clinton don’t try and destroy the ESRB and create a government regulated system for the industry?

    I’m sure Brownback is a reasonable guy. Instead of flaming the guy, let’s try and work with him.

  42. 0
    Konstruct says:

    Is there a spot open in your government funded guild Jabrwock?

    Can’t happen, won’t happen. All the industry has to do is present information and figures showing hours required and bam the government would never be able to fund the workforce required. Can you imagine the taxpayers seeing a tax increase to support the salary of someone who plays video games all day long?

    What would the qualifications be? What would the organization do if they had to play on multiple difficulty settings to see all the content? There aren’t many people who can play and beat Devil May Cry 3 or Ninja Gaiden on the hardest setting.

  43. 0
    Vael300 says:

    I knew as soon as I read the article on BBC about his campaign that if he was elected our country would go straight to the USSR in terms of what is allowed (more specifically, what is not allowed), under the guise of democracy.

    Luckily I doubt many people under 50 would vote for a Morman, especially one as dumb as this guy (not that I have anything against Mormans, but most of them tend not to be super open minded)…

  44. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I volunteer to play WoW until it’s completion, and be paid a full government salary until such point that I complete the game… 😉

  45. 0
    Phantom says:

    Nick, you can still believe in democracy. Remember, you don’t vote for Brownback, but you do get to vote for two people who can say “no” to him.

    I don’t know that this bill would fly in Congress.

  46. 0
    Nick says:

    I thought we’ve been through this before. Haven’t we yet established that playing the game ENTIRELY in a productive amount of time just about impossible? And besides, what if the raters do not see eye to eye on something, for example think the game could be rated T while the politicians think it should be rated M? Congradulations, Sen. Brownback, you have just about made me lose faith in this wonderful system we call democrasy where we could vote for those that run our country.

  47. 0
    ChrowX ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Rigor Mortis:
    It’s not actually a good thing at all. What he’s calling for is a government regulated work-load increase for the ESRB (a private business) just to keep another hot coffee incident from happening. Granted, none of these politicians understood that the Hot Coffee mod required a lot of effort time and knowledge to unlock on the PS2 version of the game (which is where to biggest scare was) many politicians still believe it was just a matter of tapping in a code.

    But, let us just ignore that all these parents who freaked out did so because they heard there was a sex mini-game in their young child’s M-rated game which already included violence, theft, death, and many other kid-friendly themes.

    If this bill passed the ESRB’s work load would be multiplied by infinity. The issue of games with endless replayability, along with having to find every little glitch, easter egg, and secret code means that some games would get released several months later just so a Game would be MORE M-rated than it was before. And, let’s not forget MMOs where content updates come faster than you can play them.
    All of this crap and for what? What would the ESRB actually do with all this extra info?

    None of this crap would’ve happened if Take-2 just told the public, “Yes, there WAS a sexual mini-game programmed into GTA:SA. However, it is innaccessible without hacking the software and seeking out a mod. Doing both means we are not held responsible for what you do with it.”

  48. 0
    Salen says:

    A full review of the entire content of the game? How in the heck do you manage stuff with games like MMOs or Sim-games where things are able to change over time and sometimes be completely different each time? Seriously, when Spore comes out, the game’s gunna have so many different layers, it’s gunna be near impossible to review the ‘entire content’, especially considering that Spore will let players create their own content which will be shared between games.

    Lovely, just another stupid law that’ll be impossible to enforce. Plus, the ESRB isn’t a government agency? Why do they need to change how they rate things when the government isn’t offering any incentive for the company to do such a thing? You think the least they could do is say, “We, the government of the United states want you to rate stuff, so here’s some staff folks who’ll help with this impossible task”. And then folks would be pissed off that congress was wasting money on such a stupid law. Hrm… Ok, thats probably why. Its easier to say “Do it our way”, and not try to actually be helpful and spend money to fix the “problem”.

  49. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Once again. GAO has no RIGHT to even attempt to regulate/oversee a PRIVATE organization.

    By hey, increasing governmental power has been the cool thing to do for a while. Hey maybe there should be a department of student time management. Its only purpose, to make sure students use their time wisely.

    Oh how about the Breathing department, they make sure you don’t hold your breath for to long, since obviously we can be trusted to choose our entertainment, why should something way more important be left to our pretty little heads.


  50. 0
    Kajex ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I posted this in another thread, but… in case nobody saw it, and because it’s relevant as to why people are doing this…

    “It’s American culture infiltrating into families and politics. Worse yet, it’s “smart” politics. I’ll explain by laying both out.

    1. Lack of Accountability- no one want to believe that they are irresponsible people. But no one wants to take the time to either disprove the fact by providing excuses or disprove it by improving the way they act- rather, they would focus the blame on something or someone other than themselves to portray themselves as victims. So take a medium that few people who run things understand, as a focal point for pinning the blame on. They use technical terms no one seems to know, and every game, to them, is the same. It’s easier to find a scapegoat to pin societies ills on rather than solving societies ills with actual accountability. Look at Bush. He’d rather not believe he’s wrong. He’d go “Well, my intelligence tells me they were saying there MIGHT be WMD’s in Iraq, so… I’m not to blame.” Yet it was he who ultimately decided “Yeah, let’s roll over some towel heads and call it a day/4 years.” And then, of course, there’s a difference between accountability (i.e. “Okay… the direction we’re going is not working”), and then continuing to do the same thing ( i.e. “… so we’re going to send 20,000 more troops in to make things better, even though my defense secretary says it’s a bad idea”).

    2. “Smart” politics.
    Picture this.
    We live in a nation where we have these things called “amendments”. And these amendments provide us a set of guidelines that we can use as a templte for creating laws within our nation. But somewhere in the 60’s, we lost track of what amendments were, and we started to forget what they were, and it seemed that only politicians and judges knew what each meant.
    Go to a random person. Ask them what the 18th amendment was, and what made it so unique. Most people will give you a blank stare. The 18th Amendment, Prohibition, essentially outlawed alcoholic beverages, with the exception of those used for religious practices. It was later repealed by the 21st amendment. What’s my point?
    My point is that alot of people will look at an amendment and say “…okay? I’m not sure I understand,” and will afterwards dismiss concerns over the constitutional problems on laws prohibiting things they find offensive.

    A “smart” politician will say “Hey! There’s a new visual medium out there that adds in interactive possibilities, and some of them are created for people over 18 because they’re violent or sexual in nature! BUT! Little Jimmy here somehow got his hands on it and played it, and we’re afraid it warped his fragile little mind! And a couple of 18-year-olds just smacked an old lady upside the head with a bat, and you KNOW teenagers LOVE to play video games! We need to prohibit them, even though we don’t do that with movies and books with similar content in them, and even though their parents will probably supply the kids with these games anyway!”
    Most people are going to be too concerned that a kid somehow got a game in his hands that he should not have been allowed to play, and they’re going to do anything they can to: A) not be held accountable for the game falling into the child’s hands by feigning ignorance to the rating and content lable, and B) provide “solutions” in which they don’t have to change the way they run things, deluding themseves into believing that they are NOT responsible for a supposed “failure” in raising their child.

    Meanwhile, you have politicians using scare tactics, guilt-trips, morality claims and Jack Thompson to say “Hey, you should support this. It’s for our kids. This it to protect our kids from living in a violent world- by blatantly ignoring the First Amendment, which keeps us from being Totalitarian book-burners and censoring everything and everyone that we find offensive.” Only they don’t mention the First Amendment or the constitution. To them, they’re essentially saying “there’s something wrong with you if you don’t support this law, which we’re using to protect our children.” When the constitutional problems DO come up, they support their decisions, saying “Look, I’m only doing this to protect kids”, whilc thinking to themselves “this’ll net me alot of votes because of public appeal.” That’s when things come together-

    1. Parents don’t want to believe they’re ignorant, lazy people and start raising their kids correctly, so they find a scapegoat to avoid accountability.

    2. A Politician proposes a law to “protect” children, despite the blatant constitutional concerns surrounding it, and the fact that they’re owe a buttload money afterwards.

    3. Parents and parent-groups support the measure to garner public appeal for their own uses, while politicians use the fact that these people are behind them to further their own personal agenda, which is also garnering public appeal.

    4. Then, when the constitutional concerns come up, the politicians stand by it in order to maintain this is for the protection of their children. Since few people actually remember government classes enough to point out that such a law would fail due to it being unconstitutional, and because most politicians and committees will look at it knowing that their butts are on the line if they DON’T vote for the law, the law will pass.

    5. In swoops the ESA, who points out correctly that the law is unconstitutional. Politicians, adamant on protecting the “law” (and simultaneously garnering even MORE public appeal by protecting an unconstitutional law that would “protect” children) swoop in to defend it. The ESA wins, and there’s a huge legal bill in court costs.

    6. Time goes on, and political elections are coming up. It turns out to be exactly like a fight over the internet- both sides of the issue resort to calling each other names, pointing out stupid things they did, while covering their own asses about the stuff they did with half-truths. Then the video-game law thing comes up again. But while one guy DIDN’T vote on it because it was unconstitutional, the other DID, because it was to protect children. But protecting the children DESPITE constitutional concerns is more appealing to the public than voting against an unconstitutional measure that, if let loose, would supposedly have done so, even though it would not have worked. Since nobody really understands Amendments anyways, they go with the guy who voted yes.

    It falls like that. And sadly…
    … it works.”

  51. 0
    Rigor Mortis says:

    You know what a USEFUL law would be? A law requiring officials to prove in-depth, real-world knowledge of an issue before they attempt to legislate it. Anyone planning to introduce such a bill would have my vote.

  52. 0
    SilvaShadow says:

    once agian another dumb and usless law form some idiot who knows nothing about what he is talking about. this would be a waste of time and money for sveral reasons.

    1. most games have more then one ending (Jade Empire for example) so you would have to play through the game about 20 or more times to get everything.

    2. it would impossible to do this for online games (MMOs) for 2 reasons

    a. the developers are always adding new content

    b. there is anywhere from 10-100 charater classes and anywhere from 1-10 races u can chose from so finish a MMO to its “entirety” would take years.

    this is just a few reasons why this bill would be a waste of time and money most games are near impossible to finsih 100%.

Leave a Reply