New Video Game Labeling Bill Introduced Today in Congress

UPDATE: Read the bill here.  (Credit: The Hill)

GamePolitics has learned that a new video game labeling bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the wake of President Barack Obama's announcement that the CDC would study the effects of violent video games and other media, Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) has introduced bill H.R. 287, which would "require ratings label on video games" and "prohibit the sales and rentals of adult-rated video games to minors."

While details on the bill have not been published – including co-sponsors (if any) or the actual text of the bill – we do know that it was introduced today and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The bill will likely contain the same or similar language found in the video game labeling act introduced by sponsors Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) last year.

We will have more on H.R. 287 as further details are revealed.


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  1. 0
    Bigman-K says:

    Typical nanny-state democrat. In the same vain as Leland Yee. We need to protect you from yourselves, and PLEASE think of the children! Even though the children neither want nor need our protection from this, as there is no actual harm from it to begin with. As for appropriateness of the games, that is a sole decision of the parents. No need for a surrogate nanny. 

  2. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Considering that the ESRB is offering a free ratings service just for such developers, I don't think that would be a major issue. Aside from the whole unconstitutional aspect of the bill of course.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  3. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    It appears to only apply to boxed copies so yeah, physical retail.  Meaning, few retailers would carry a game without an ESRB rating anyway.


    Andrew Eisen

  4. 0
    Left4Dead says:

    If this passes, would it affect indie video games?  A lot of indie studios can't afford the cost of obtaining an ESRB rating.  If they can self-rate their games, that's better, but I highly doubt this bill is in their interest.  Maybe it only applies to retail, but, if not, then that opens a huge can of worms.

    -- Left4Dead --

  5. 0
    DorthLous says:

    "prohibit the sales and rentals of adult-rated video games to minors."
    -While nearly all shops do it voluntarily, why would speech be limited? So that they can feel good?

  6. 0
    Morlock says:

    does the bill require a federal ratings system? because the one we have is voulentary. 

    also, there is no national fine system (like cig or booze sales) that works with video games. 

  7. 0
    prh99 says:

    "The bill would:

    -"require ratings label on video games"

    Already done."


    Not entirely, there are plenty of indie games on Steam that lack any sort of rating like Hotline Miami and Natural Selection.  If this bill were to require a rating from an organization like the ESRB and not allowed the developer or retailer just to put their own rating on it, it would be big problem. That said if in the unlikely event it were to pass with such language, it probably wouldn't pass constitutional muster since it would essentially codify ESRB ratings into law and put us in similar boat as Australia. 

  8. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    The bill would:

    -"require ratings label on video games"

    Already done.

    "prohibit the sales and rentals of adult-rated video games to minors."

    Already done.

    Thanks for wasting time and money, Rep. Matheson.


    Andrew Eisen

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