In the ongoing saga of video games vs the US Government, Senator Sam Brownback has struck the most recent blow in the name of truth, justice and appeasing eighty year old women. Mr. Brownback recently introduced a bill (the Truth in Video Game Rating Act) that seeks to demystify all those confusing ESRB ratings; such as “E for Everyone” or “N for No, Don’t Touch That”.
Here’s a quote from a News.com article regarding the act:
The proposed regulations represent another reaction to a high-profile scandal surrounding the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. In July 2005, reports surfaced that a readily downloadable modification could unlock sexually explicit scenes in the best-selling game, prompting bipartisan outcry from Capitol Hill and a federal investigation.
Hit the jump for … ok, I’m not going to lie to you, the rest of the story is just sarcasm and meanness. If you work in a church, or inside the brain of a small child, you probably shouldn’t hit the jump.
Admittedly, the Senator might be on to something. After all, the system in place for movie theaters is much easier to comprehend, even for non-native English speakers. Recently, a friend of mine from Pakistan remarked that while he had no idea what the term “M for Mature” meant, he immediately grasped the concept that the letter “R” signifies a movie heavy in graphic violence, sexual innuendo, nudity and beastiality. Then again, he was born in a well.
In reality, and I hate to have to continually state this but, this is just a grab for votes by a Senator who can’t attach his name to any real social issue. That whole ‘war in Iraq’ thing isn’t going so well, most people live fat and happy, and polio is at an all-time low, so Mr. Brownback has to target gaming to appease his AARP-card-carrying constituents who can actually remember polio.
Oh, by the way, extremely similar bills had been introduced by Representatives Cliff Stearns and Fred Upton last September and neither managed to make it to a vote. Good luck with your bill Sam.
(Editor’s Note: While I have absolutely no evidence that Mr. Brownback likes to spend long afternoons hiding under swingsets, he also has no evidence that anyone has ever been misled by the games rating system. Also, seriously, did you see that smile? — Nex)