Illinois Governor Seeks Mature Game Ban

Posted on December 17, 2004

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich wants to make it illegal for video game retailers to sell violent and sexually explicit video games to teens under the age of 18. These games are already rated M for Mature, by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), a provider of ratings for the game industry.

An M rating means that games "have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain mature sexual themes, more intense violence and/or strong language." This is similar to the "R" rating given to movies. But Blagojevich and supporters of similar sales bans argue that retailers are ignoring the ratings and selling sexually oriented and violent games to children. Blagojevich specifically named games like Doom 3, Manhunt and Rumble Rose as games teens 17 and under should not be allowed to buy. Under the current laws retailers are allowed to sell M-rated games to teens.

The legislation proposed by Blagojeviceh would also require warning labels to be placed on M-rated games. Retailers would be fined if proper warnings about the games are not displayed and selling an M-rated game to a minor would be a Class A misdemeanor. If the legislation passes in January, 2005 Illinois will be the first State to ban the sales of M-rated games to minors.
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