Presidential Candidate Brownback Revives Game Ratings Bill in Senate

February 14, 2007 -
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.


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.


@ 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.


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.

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.

@ 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.

Ok... what was the original topic here?

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. :x

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.

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.


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.

[...] 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. [...]

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)

[...] 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. [...]

[...] 2. Actually playing the games. that has already become a political issue given Sen. Sam Brownback’s Truth in Video Game Ratings Act, now pending before the U.S. Senate. Bonner writes: The ESRB’s current pool of fulltime raters… does not actually play the games that they rate. They just watch submitted videotapes or DVDs of someone else playing the game… [...]

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
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