"Video Game Decency Act" Introduced in Congress

March 20, 2007 -
A Michigan congressman has proposed federal legislation which would make it illegal for game developers to hide content in the hope of gaining a less restrictive ESRB rating.

Rep. Fred Upton (R) filed the Video Game Decency Act of 2007 late last week. The bill, H.R. 1531, mirrors a 2006 proposal by Upton which expired with the end of the 109th Congress.

Upton was a major critic of the now-infamous Hot Coffee scandal, and it shows in the language of H.R. 1531, which reads in part:
It shall be unlawful... to... distribute... any video game that contains a rating label... for that video game where the person, with  the intent of obtaining a less restrictive age-based content rating, failed to disclose content of the video game that was required to be disclosed to the independent ratings organization...

Violations would constitute an unfair or deceptive practice under guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, of which Upton is a member.

When he introduced the original bill in 2006, Upton said it was designed to give the FTC more enforcement power over video game content in the wake of Hot Coffee:
I guess I thought the FTC would have had some more teeth than they apparently have… I’m not at all happy… In essence there are no consequences. None… I would like to have thought that (Take-Two and Rockstar) would have been able to be fined for millions of dollars for the trash they put out across this country.

I am going to be looking to write legislation giving the FTC the authority to impose civil penalties. 

Comments

Re: "Video Game Decency Act" Introduced in Congress

At least most of us still have our jobs, Thompson. I mean, look at you. You were already pathetic by arguing with "children", which I'm guessing your definition changes by one year as you get older, but now that's all you have. None of your little bills have passed, you lost your law career, by your own actions, you're just a loser, a poor man's Two-Face.

Also, I'm pretty sure if anyone asked Upton about you, he'd be wondering who we're talking about.

That's what you get when you've got Republicans, oy. Conservatives are bigots. >:x (_!_)
Video game predjudice must DIE~! Who is with me, oy?!

It was one stupid game by a stupid developer. They took access to the mini game out of the main game thinking that would be enough to stop people from finding it. They should have known better. Why punish the whole industry for the sins of a single developer?

This will never fly. The FTC has no right to regulate the media.

"That said, one other question. Some games, like Oblivion, add clothes to models, using an asexual ‘barbie doll’ like texture."

This was not the case with Oblivion. It was a fully detailed female chest, nipples and all. And I can't think of one game that actually puts "clothes on a model" like you describe because it would be a pointless waste of processing power and developer time. They swap in and out pieces of the model, the "body" is built right into the armor.

Oblivion not only had these textures built in, but they were easily accessible, without mods, by opening the provided TES Construction Set game editor. Whether or not you think teh b00biez should have caused the M rating (which if they didn't, the amount of gore did), Bethesda did in fact add a potentially "offensive" texture to the game without disclosing it to the ESRB.

The only way this would have not been against the ESRB contract is if the second disc (TES Construction Set) was clearly marked as "Unrated Content". This was, in every way, Bethesdas fault.

The jury is still out on Hot Coffee, though.

Hmmmm, ok, I stand corrected. my bad. Was thinking it was the same as last year. This might not be a bad bill if it's properly written, but even so, it' might be un needed at this point

[...] From GamePolitics.com via Wired News’ Game|Life Blog [...]

@Yuki

Actually, they took out the requirement that they play all the content in a game. Apparently, someone pointed out to the congressman that some games were in fact so long as to make that portion of the law impossible to follow, and therefore the industry could have the entire law dismissed on those grounds.

The excerpt posted makes the bill sound absolutely reasonable. If a game developer or publisher seeks to hide content in hopes of getting a lower rating, they should be punished. Severely. It's fraud.

But, excerpts very rarely tell the whole story.

Hmmm

Perhaps I was misreading it, it would explain a few things. Perhaps you could clarify.

1. Does this bill not give an independant ratings group, assigned by the government, the authority to over see the ESRB?
2. Does it not require the ESRB to play all content in a game, even if they game has nearly unlimited content, such as MMO's, or user created content such as mods.?
3. Does it not grant the FTC authority to over ride the ESRB at the governments discrecion?

I thought these were a major part of the bill, and the main reason why it had no chance to survive.

has it been changed?

@ill

In the very text of the Bill itself ill. "age-based content rating". Instant fail. But regardless, it is putting a private organization, which edits content, under the authority of a federal agency. As such, it leaves a private agency, which regulates content and assigns ratings, under goverment control.

Tell me again how this is not violating any number of laws, not to mentions several amendments. Even if it's not directly handing the ESRB force of law, it's still placing a private agency under the legal authroity of the govermnet agency. Since such agency has the abilty to impose fines and other forms of action against a company under a law, it's therfore putting it under government authority, thus giving goverment content censorship abilities.

Penny arcade did a great comic about it that explains why this bill is so fucking wrong.

Either way, I've spoken to several lawyers and they agreed, any good lawyer can blow holes in this bill easily, if not on constituional grounds, then on the conflict of intrest.

I don't doubt that the ESA team already has dozens of weakpoints targeted to exploit this.

@Joe Bourrie-

Oops, you posted while I was posting before. IIRC, the texture in the link you posted were from a "Better Bodies Mod" or some such. I had the directions on the original topless mod backwards though. It worked by extracting/renaming the female mesh and sticking it in ..\Oblivion\Data\meshes\characters\_male\ to make the game load the male textures. But then I suppose it could be possible there were female textures hiding in the male data. On the other hand, the screens of the first hack of it looked distorted and stretched a bit, so, who knows.

@Yuki-

Not to be sarcastic (honest), but are you sure you're not reading version of the bill introduced in the last session or something? This does not give the ESRB powers to fine anybody. Nor does it give any Federal agency any oversight whatsoever over the ESRB. All it does is say (or clarify, rather) that developers who intentionally lie to a ratings board to get a false rating and then use it to deceptively market their product are, in fact, deceptively marketing their product.

Such an overt act, were it ever to occur, would technically already be actionable on grounds of false advertising and contract law (both by breach of contract with the ESRB and the consumer). Precedent for this goes back to 18th century Common Law.

@monte-

Bonus features on DVDs typically aren't rated by the MPAA, and there is usually a disclaimer on the package stating this. As such, there is nothing deceptive going on there. Caveat emptor.

As for rating the film itself, producers must submit a final edit for rating. The only changes which are ostensibly permissible thereafter would be minor post-production details like audio mixing or something. The MPAA has strict guidelines regarding content, going so far as counting the number of frames in any scene which could be in any way offensive. As such, any amount of real editing would require resubmitting the film in its entirety.

@Joe Bourrie-

The topless female skins in Oblivion were made by renaming a copy of the male texture pack and applying it to a base female mesh.

@Yuki-

Umm, this bill doesn't give the ESRB force of law by any means. It would simply hold developers responsible in the unlikely event they lied to the ESRB with the intent to deceptively market their product as something it's not. Which has nothing to do with the Tenth Amendment (which is where the "powers not delegated to the US..." bit is, not the 14th) as the ESRB wouldn't be making any policy, judicial, or executive decision.

And deceptive/unfair marketing is precisely what the Federal Trade Commission was empowered to monitor...

"The topless female skins in Oblivion were made by renaming a copy of the male texture pack and applying it to a base female mesh."
That is one feminine looking male texture :)

Yes, it looks like that is exactly what it is (I had never downloaded the mod until now, which proves that the worst way to make something go away is by talking about it). What a bizarre circumstance, and a strange way to create a body mesh. Must have just been easier than storing a second texture. (?)

I humble myself and admit that I was wrong.

@GoodRobotUs

Yes, but it would be pointless to do so when you can transform the armor mesh to fit the body without creating a fully detailed, textured body.

Looking into it further, Bethesda actually did "glue" a bra on the body. The only explanation I can think of is that the nudity was part of the original design (as it was with Morrowind before they cut it).


"Oblivion still had bare-chested men. If it hadn’t had them, I suspect there would have been no nipples at all"

http://elliottback.com/wp/archives/2006/05/04/oblivion-nude-elder-scroll...

Look at the texture displayed on this page, found in the data, and tell me that's a texture for a bare-chested male. With a straight face.

We can't have any more of this! Programmers need to lose their jobs and be charged with felonies for forcing sex into our homes "with the aid of custom software modifications and a handful of access codes that could potentially be used with the purchase of a third party accessory." ~ Maddox (http://maddox.xmission.com)

I think my point is clear.

About the movies with "no" hidden content. Do you Remember Teen Wolf? you the one at the end were the extra flashed his lower member?

hmm kind of reminds of game hidden content.

And politicians STOP WASTING OUR DAMN MONEY ON STUPID LAWS.

PS.

Since he's trying to give the FTC authority it was never ment nor should ever have been able to have, I.E, the authority to asses actions based on content ratings, it's a TRIPLE fail. Thats right ,Upton got the trifecta of bad law writing.

Instant fail

Having spent the time to review this particular bill in detail, it's not gonna survive in court. While it doesn't have the same direct content censorship as other bills, it still attempts to have government influence an industry that generates protected speech. This fact alone instantly dooms it. But added to it, it attempts to put a private organization not only under force of law, thus violating amendment 14, but it places it under independant review by the government, creating an Instant conflict of intrest. So, Mr. Upton, or as Jon Stewart called him "Out of touch Jackass", has by his own hand made certain, that this bill dies the same way all the others did.

Trust me, by this point, the industries lawyers are pros at killing BS laws like this.

[...] As reported by Game Politics, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) introduced the Video Game Decency Act of 2007 into the House of Representatives last week, where it was quickly referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. [...]

Actually, men have nipples too, that was why the texture had them, since in an unedited version of Oblivion still had bare-chested men. If it hadn't had them, I suspect there would have been no nipples at all. Remember those textures were used for both men and women, that was how the modder was able to alter the file, and in order to do that, they had to physically alter the model itself, i.e. 'unstitch' the modelled 'bra' that female characters wear, and remove it from the body iirc? I certainly know that it involved downloading an altered model from the creator.

And by 'adding' the clothes to a nude model, most RPG's will do something like that, whether they replace the legs with a different model or not, there is usually a 'base' model that the engine works on.

As far as processor power is concerned, an extra 100 invisible polygons is not going to make much of a difference in performance at all with modern graphics cards, and simple poly-removal routines would make that time delay even more negligable.

OOOOOO man....I cannot wait to rite my paper all about this drama goin on in the videogame scene....:) Mr. Upton made me laugh when he said companies such as Take 2 & Rockstar in grounds for fines, that is so utterly wrong on his part. I "like" how he says, "I would have liked to have found Take 2 & Rockstar fined for millions of dollars for placing trash in the country" or something like that...Mr. Upton & all these other uptight politicians are completely avoiding the developer's intention. Take 2 & Rockstar are not making the game, and slapping the words "GO OUT IN THE WORLD & CAUSE CHAOS", they are simply depicting modern society as it is, (in Vice City's case as it "was"), and allowing players to enjoy the alternate "world" & do what they can't get away with on the streets in the game. I'm sick & tired of these political officials blaming the talented artist's for the drama in the world, when it is people's free will that plays a factor in what choice the individual makes after playing the video game. Think before ur speeches Mr. Upton, it helps out a lot..:)

Just to clarify on the modelling part, take something like Gothic 3. The main model will have the basic skeleton/ragdoll physics data etc, now, things like arms etc can be replaced with armoured models and still have the same phyics applied to them, but with the torso, it is often a lot easier to just place the armor over the torso model than try to remodel the whole chest section every time you want to add a new piece of armour. Take a look at the armour in Oblivion, it's stand-alone equpiment, since it needs to be put on all kinds of model, Human, Elves and all the other races of Oblivion can all use the same type of armour, and it's lot easier to have a transferrable mesh than to try and make 4-5 different torsos with the same armor on them.

@illspirit

"It may be singling out games needlessly, as HC-type situations are isolated flukes. However it should survive a 14A challenge because games are unique in their ability to have things “hidden” in them."

i don't know, what about movies on DVD. While the movies themsleves can't hide content, they could place stuff on the DVD's...

and what about the possibility that after the rating is given the movie director could thrown in some content the reviewers did not see, kinda like a directors cut, but not tell anyone... The new content will be seen the moment of the movie is released, but the point of the matter is, is that the movie had content that the MPAA did not see prior to release.

In fact, movies are usually rated months before the films are released... i'm not sure how things are done in the MPAA... do they rate the movie once during production, and then review it agian after it's finished, or do they just keep the first rating. If it's the later, then that means the MPAA isn't nessasarily seeing the full content on the film prior to rating.

Seeing as the point of the law is to make sure that the game developer doesn't hold back vital, rate changing information from the ESRB, the Game industry could argue that it is possible for the movie maker to not give the FINAL film to the MPAA, giving them an early cut verion, and then release an uncut version to the public. The content in the uncut version may not be "hidden" in the same sence that hot coffee was hidden, but it still contains content the MPAA did not see.

Example... a film maker makes a film that is on the edge between PG13 and R...when it comes time to send a copy to the MPAA, he decides to cut out some certain scenes... the MPAA rates the cut version PG13... the director later decides before releasing the film, that film is better with those scenes and puts them back in... the scenes however, happen to be enough to push it to an R rating... being irrespocible, he forgoes having the film re-rating, personally feeling the scenes weren't "that bad"... The only thing that would prevent him from releasing the film in this way are VOLUNTARY efforts by the movie industry, just as the Game industry has voluntary efforts now... Based on this law, those efforts should be made as LEGAL efforts, just as they are being made for the game industry, as per due process.

not so sure about all that though... i'm no expert when it comes to these kind of things

@zach I know, I waste my vote on the Libs every time.

@~the1jeffy

I think the ulterior motive is to stop States and cities from interfering in the market/interstate commerce, as per section 5.

It may be singling out games needlessly, as HC-type situations are isolated flukes. However it should survive a 14A challenge because games are unique in their ability to have things "hidden" in them.

I'd hardly call it moralistic, as it doesn't say you're not allowed to make a game with a necrophiliac kitten rape level. Just that you can't hide it in Barbie Horse Adventure and advertise it as *not* having such content.

@Everyone shrieking that the PTC or what have you could "rate" games-

Take of the tinfoil hats, the PTC could do no such thing because: A- The industry would never submit content to them for rating. And B- Developers don't have PTC/NIMF/etc.. ratings on their packaging or advertisements. Thus, no deceptive marketing for the FTC to be involved in.

@Ace of Sevens-
No, section 5 is quite Constitutional. 1A is incorporated, meaning states aren't allowed to infringe on it, and the Federal government can and does make laws to prevent States from infringing on rights (see also: Federal civil rights statutes). Congress can also regulate interstate commerce, and preventing States from arbitrarily banning/regulating things out of existence is par for the course.

@E. Zachary Knight
This clearly wouldn't apply to the PTC or any similar organization. They can't very well hide content from a ratings board they never submit it to in the first place. It doesn't say all content must be disclosed to all ratings boards, only that you can't purposely hide content from them.

I'd add that section 5 is either unconstitutional or meaningless. I believe the latter. If the states have the right to make such legislation, you can't take it away without a constitutional ammendment. If they can't make such legislation in the first place, they hardly need a bill to say this.

This all stems from the hot coffee scandle. Why cant we get bills pushed to scandles from our own F**king governement. If there is any scandle that should have bills being pushed its for our own damn politicians. They are the worst since they are the ones power and cause the most harm. Can anyone say Billions of dollars?

But you know this will never happen.

DECLARE WAR ON INCOMPENTENCE

@brokenscope

I doubt it would apply to them, as their ratings, if they indeed put out any, do not appear on the game. It doesn't seem like a set-up for a government-run ratings board, either, because the term "independent" effectively blocks it. If any legislator tries to get around that, someone will call BS.

Almost everyone seems to be overlooking Sec. 5, too, which is possibly the most important part of the bill. It has the potential to screw up some of the state-level laws that are being considered right now.

This bill is benign at worst, and extremely helpful at best. Even though it may have been created in response to Hot Coffee, it can't be used against Take Two for that incident (remember "Ex Post Facto", people - laws are not retroactive). It's essentially just a legal enforcement of the policy that the ESRB adopted in response to Hot Coffee, that publishers must reveal ALL applicable content, even that which is in dormant code. It's a "just-in-case" law meant to cover their bases before any developer -does- willingly withhold info from the ESRB, and it's likely to be a good deterrent.

Free-speech concerns are not an issue, either, since the bill does not deal directly with the content of the game - all it's concerned about is the disc/cartridge and the box, the physical components of the software. It doesn't regulate at all what is on the disc/cartridge; in fact, it doesn't even make it illegal to lie to the ESRB, or even prohibit producing discs/cartridges containing the game that the ESRB was lied to about. It only prohibits shipping and other distribution of such games. So, technically, someone could make a Mickey Mouse game, show it to the ESRB, get an E rating, throw some hardcore porn on it afterward, and produce as many discs containing the game as they want. They just can't ship it to stores, or directly/indirectly transmit it to consumers in any way. The discs would just have to sit there in their office, but they can be legally made. It's simply concerned with interstate commerce, and is perfectly constitutional.

Oh, and that Lion King image looked more like SFX than SEX to me. In my opinion, it's all just a matter of the power of suggestion - people see what they want to see. Probably some anti-Disney "OMG Mikkey Mowse iz teh debil!!1!" idiot was looking through Disney tapes frame by frame to see if he could find any evidence of misdeeds, and sure enough, he interpreted the random eddies of dust in four frames of The Lion King as a vague, misshapen "SEX".

@Hackangel

They are not legally required to rate a game, but any other ratings board would be able to point to this law and say "You didn't disclose all the content to us so we couldn't give your game a proper rating" Thus wrecking havoc on the game industry.

Of course there are statements in the bill that could mean it is only applicable to the printed rating and their associated board but these things are always up for interpretation. If the 1st ammendment is always misinterpretted, this could easily be.

As for Section 5, I like that it makes all states unable to regulate video game distribution as it is an interstate commerce and not just a intrastate commerce. I think they need to drop everything except that last section. That way the ESA only has to worry about one government body instead of 52.

I have covered this issue in the form of Senator Brownback's bill in the Senate. You can check it out at my site or CEI's OpenMarket.org. Both bill show the lack of understanding on the part of the legislators as to what video games are, let alone how to regulate them.

"Unrated DVD are movies that didnt submit for a rating. Disney’s Sleeping Beauty could be unrated."

Precisely. :) A good number of the "Unrated" versions of films released on DVD just contain a few small scenes that were cut from the version that was submitted to the MPAA, scenes that, while not explicit in any way, allow the film's makers to slap "UNRATED!!!!" on the cover and fool gullible adolescents into thinking they're going to see some naughty bits. It's deceptive, but legal (and those idiots who fall for it deserve it).

@E. Zachary Knight

"I hadn’t thought of other ratings boards until you guys brought it up. But yes if another organization started rating games, then all game developers and publishers would have to support them by law and submit the content to all ratings organizations."

Not really. Like I said before, being rated by the ERSB is voluntary and not a legal obligation. So if the PTC wants to rate games they would need for the companies to voluntarily submits their games for ratings which I doubt will ever happen with the PTC.

Think about unrated movies. The reason you only see them on DVD and not at the the movie theaters is that movie too are voluntarily submitted for ratings. Movie Theaters makes it a business practices that movies be rated, not video stores. Unrated DVD are movies that didnt submit for a rating. Disney's Sleeping Beauty could be unrated.

@Brokenscope

"What if the PTC or Common sense Media(?) Decide that something wasn’t disclosed the them. Do they have the force of this law behind them aswell? I know the PTC will jump at the chance to start fineing the industry constantly. I does anyone know if they were invovled in the creation of this bill?"

I don't think so. The videogames industry voluntarily submits itself to the ERSB for a rating. The bill in fact makes it an unfair trade practice to hide content from the ERSB. The PTC or Common sense Media could seek to fine some companies for undisclosed content but only if those companies seek a rating from them which I doubt will ever be happening. Imagine buying a game with "PTC rated NC-17" on it. It will never happen.

So when reading I was think about unrated version of Movies being sold on DVD. And on these we really dont know whats on them but we can guess. But anyways, I just see this another stupid bill created so the government has some way of regulation video games, since they already have foot holds on other forms of media.

Also as John Stewart once said "there are f**kin crazy people in the house."

So why the hell do they keep getting offices. Obviously they have no clue about what they are talking about and creating bills without having a single clue. All they doing is reacting. Saying I dont like this because it is offensive and yadda yadda yadda. Or a good moral crusade will always get me more votes. Its like they are trying to regulate the internet while they chiseling away at stone.

All this shows is incompentence. And you know what I have to say about it...

DECLARE WAR ON INCOMPENTENCE

[...] Now onto gaming.  You know, I should broaden my topics more…maybe include a make-up section, an advice column, and some porn links, lol.  I was very pleased to see the rumors about Devil May Cry 4 are becoming more solid.  It looks like it’s gonna come for the 360 and they might even make a PC version of (fuck yeah!!).  Their website is here, although it’s mostly in japanese, though.  On politics, the congress is trying to introduce a legislation in which the ratings for video games should also include the hidden content and such, so, even though most of the game is pg-13, if the cheat level is rated M, the whole game is rated M now, darn it! Why won’t you guys just leave the poor kids alone…I turned out alright, didn’t I? now shut up or I’ll shoot you in the face, then run you over with my Banshee untill floating money appears over your corpse (while a cop is not near of i might get a star) and then cast Fire 3 on you! [...]

@ DietDan:

Equal protection DOES in fact apply here. The reason is because it seeks to control/dictate something upon an item that is constitutionally protected. Lemons and oranges, cell phones and cable bills are not even forms of speech. What next, are you going to compare cigars with cigarettes?

Also, let me ask you this. If this bill is indeed constitutional, then how come these so called lawmakers don't include movies, and books, and music CDs? What do they have to lose if they include all media forms? They should lose nothing, as if they include all media, we can then be sure that no media from will come with anything "hidden" and it will ensure customers are getting what they expect to get.

Plain and simple, the reason lawmakers go after only video games and not other media forms is because they don't see video games as a legitimate form of free speech, and thus, they feel their video game bills, like this one, will pass constitutional muster. If they felt this bill were constitutional, they should have absolutely no issues with including all media forms, which is what we do when we regulate pornography (we don't care if porn is found in a book, magazine, movie, etc, they are all treated equally).

the term ‘‘independent rating organization’’ means the Entertainment Software Rating Board or any other organization that assigns age-based content ratings for video games

Does this worry anyone else?

What if the PTC or Common sense Media(?) Decide that something wasn't disclosed the them. Do they have the force of this law behind them aswell? I know the PTC will jump at the chance to start fineing the industry constantly. I does anyone know if they were invovled in the creation of this bill?

@ZeRu
Ignorance is no defense. Its their job to be informed. They run this country, they need to know what they are doing.

I hadn't thought of other ratings boards until you guys brought it up. But yes if another organization started rating games, then all game developers and publishers would have to support them by law and submit the content to all ratings organizations. This would be a forced competition on ratings and a pain to all developers and publishers. This could also cause severe delays in a game's release as a government or lawyer cotrolled organization could delay giving a rating to a game they did not want marketed indefinately.

And could you imagine all the labels a game would have to have. Eventually there would be more rating labels on the box cover than cover art.

@Good Robot Us
Yes they removed the complete review stuff. They must have relized just how ignorant that was.

I haven't read the whole thing, but has that daft passage about the ESRB having to play the game all the way through been removed?

And yes, I have concerns that he has left the door open to 'software rating boards', for example, say a conservative group decides to create it's own rating board and grades a Teen game as 18? What happens then? Does it apply only to the number on the box when it is sold, because the whole thing seems pretty vague in that respect?

Why do people (both here and in Congress) keep saying that TT/RS "hid" the Hot Coffee content from the ESRB? In actuality they did no such thing.

They submitted to the ESRB the content that they would be selling. If the minigame was "in" the game rather than locked, but they hadn't told the ESRB, THAT would be "hiding" the content. However, the content was NOT "in" the game officially.

GTA:SA and Modded GTA:SA are not the same game. Therefore, no content was hidden from the ESRB.

@~the1jeffy
It seems to me he's trying to pass a redundant law because he doesn't understand the current law or the Hot Coffee incident. Essentially, he's upset Take 2 deceived the ratings board and only got a small fine, so wants to give the power to levy big fines for this sort of incident when the truth is the FTC already has this power, but didn't use it becuase they found no intent to deceive. One of my biggest pet peeves is legislators who write bills before researching the associated issue, although that's maily the fault of voters, who also don't do there research. There's probably some posturing in there too.

@ illspirit

I realze you've read into it's redundancy fairly well (as did I with my dead horse comment), but then why pass this law unless there is an ulterior motive? I'm highly skeptical of it's benign apprearance because of this Rep's, "I want the FTC to have more teeth," line.

The act singles out video games needlessly, and for that reason alone it reeks of moralist policing of the popular culture.

"I’m pretty sure I know what was in HC…"

... understatement, much? :)

@brokenscope

"So one company hiding content means the entire industry?"

Guess I was misinformed and that game industry is never trying to hide anything from ESRB anyway, but wouldn't that mean that this legislation won't change anything? It would just serve as a precaution measure. I don't think Upton's (or even Brownback's) intentions are purposely oriented to hinder game industry, it's only their lack understanding which makes it seems that way. Speaking about Brownback, wouldn't this make his "Truth in video games ratings act" (or whatever it is called) proposal obsolete?

@sqlrob

I'm pretty sure I know what was in HC...

At any rate, I think you just agreed with me. My point was that this law wouldn't be applicable to HC as it wasn't hidden intentionally and there was no reason to hide it. Were this law applicable to HC (IE, if it was real porn in a Teen game or something), R* and T2 could have been fined by the FTC without this law for false advertising anyway. Ergo, this law doesn't really do anything which couldn't be done already.

Okay, I get it. The party I counted on to do responsible things about important issues is now trying to tackle the most important issue of our times: whether some blips on a screen are properly regulated.

Border control? Who needs it?! Drug trafficking? Bah, says I! The threat of nuclear devices making it into the US courtesy of certain factions and possibly destroying a major city? Threat, schmeat! Let's make sure that videogames are safe for our children!

Imbicile. I've run out of patience with the Republicans. I may vehemently disagree with Democrat ideals, but it seems the only way to get my party back is to run the hacks out of Washington. I'm sending money to this guy's opponent.

@E. Zachary Knight
True which is why I agree it is politically bad for the industry but legally I don’t see any thing that would get it throw out by the courts.

@ sqlrob
“Then why doesn’t it apply to movies as well? Equal protection means *ALL* media”

Yes but this is NOT media regulation (the regulation of protected content) it is trade regulation (regulations regarding business practices). Equal protect applies if the regulation were based upon a constitutional right instead of business practices (Not constitutionally protect falls under rational scrutiny) for example had the law said when submitting a violent game for review, then it would be unconstitutional because it is now based on the product content (constitutionally protected falls under strict scrutiny) This law effect industry practices, it is not against the law to pass a law effecting one industry but not another.

Equal protection means equal protections of rights not identical trade practices.
Examples: Would you consider it unconstitutional if I passed a law that effected lemons, but not oranges? Is it unconstitutional that you pay taxes on your phone bill that your don’t pay on your cable bill? No, because these regulations are not based on equal protected rights (even thought in my second example the industries involved due transmitted protected materials).

@Jabrwock
“The ESRB would be the only one who knew what had been disclosed and what hadn’t, which means that ultimitely it would be a private organization deciding who the law applies to and who it doesn’t.”

No, you’re basically saying is that it is unconstitutional to make a law were an effected part may or may not file a compliant to be reviewed by a government agency, in which evidence will be brought to be consider by said government agency to determine at the government agency discretion wither deceptive trade practice occurs. All this law does is giving the *FTC* power to investigate and punish a company if a compliment is filed. The government not the ESRB decided withier a violation of fair trade practice occurs, the only thing the ESRB would do is provide them with what they received so the FTC could make the call. That this gives the ESRB legislative power is ludicrous.

@Diceman
“it is still unconstitutional as it is giving the esrbs labels the power of law behind them.”

Did you even read the link to the bill this dose northing of the sort.

@Zeru

"I agree with DietDan, while this proposal has practical flaws, game retailers and publishers shouldn’t lie to ESRB. If they treated ESRB as an ally instead of just another obstacle on their way to sales as high as possible"

So one company hiding content means the entire industry?

Devs don't have to get a game rated. If they want to sell it in most stores they need a rating. Retailers don't have anything to Lie to the ESRB about. They take a game with a rating and put it on a shelf. Some devs will get a rating that is too high then go back and rework the game so they can hit their target market with an appropriate rating. The industry created the damn ESRB.

That part of your statement struck me as misinformed, or maybe I misinterpreted it.

E-mail's been sent to my congressman who serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The only mistake Rockstar made in the Hot Coffee scandal was not deleting the content from the game entirely once the decision was made to not include it in the actual game. There was no deceptive business practice and no intent to secure a lower rating, which makes the language of the act irrelevant to reality (which makes me wonder if JT had a hand in its writing).
 
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ZippyDSMleeConster:Some PSP games are 10-20$, you can buy a few then rip them yourself or find an ISO. The emu is PPSSPP.I'm I the only one that hates crisis core?10/31/2014 - 11:28am
ConsterZippy: uh, thanks? Don't know any PSP games, though.10/31/2014 - 10:10am
ZippyDSMleehttp://arstechnica.com/business/2014/10/fcc-reportedly-close-to-reclassifying-isps-as-common-carriers/10/31/2014 - 9:44am
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E. Zachary KnightWatch Ultron ruin all your Disney childhood memories in this How The Ultron Teaser Should Have Ended. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra1sBRLRFtc10/30/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeConster:they finally made a working worth while PSP emulator.10/30/2014 - 8:10pm
quiknkoldMechatama31, you can get VC2 on the Vita and Vita TV. you have to buy it through PSN on PS3 and transfer it to vita and then playstation tv. I have it on my PS TV and it works10/30/2014 - 7:15pm
MechaTama31I loved Valkyria Chronicles. Still super cheesed off that the sequels were PSP-only... :/10/30/2014 - 6:57pm
ConsterI played Steamworld Dig on the 3DS, and it's pretty fun.10/30/2014 - 6:51pm
Matthew WilsonRECOMMENDED: OS: Windows 7 Processor: Intel Core2 Duo @ 2.8GHz (or equivalent) Memory: 3 GB RAM Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 (or equivalent) Hard Drive: 25 GB available space10/30/2014 - 5:49pm
Matthew Wilsonhere hare the system requirements. make of ithem what you will. MINIMUM: OS: Windows Vista/Windows 7 Processor: Intel Core2 Duo @ 2.0GHz (or equivalent) Memory: 2 GB RAM Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 240 (or equivalent) Hard Drive: 25 GB available spa10/30/2014 - 5:48pm
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james_fudgeEZK: my sarcasm senses are tingling ;)10/30/2014 - 4:21pm
Andrew EisenIf it's any consolation, Xbox owners, Wii U owners don't get the game at all. And if we did, we'd probably never get the DLC.10/30/2014 - 4:19pm
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