Video Game Decency Act returns

The Video Game Decency Act of 2006 was one of a handful of pieces of proposed federal legislation that failed to get traction in Congress last year. The legislator behind the Video Game Decency Act is taking a second crack at the idea by resubmitting a functionally identical version of the bill to Congress. Michigan congressman Fred Upton has introduced the Video Game Decency Act of 2007 to the House of Representatives, where it was quickly referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The bill aims to criminalize any attempt to obtain a less-restrictive age-related rating on a game by failing to disclose the game's true contents to the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

The original bill was introduced in the wake of a pair of high-profile game re-ratings (San Andreas and Oblivion) after the discovery that third-party software allowed sex-themed "features" in the game. If objectionable content is not disclosed, the ESRB revealed it has the power to fine companies as much as $1 million or refuse to rate their games at all, effectively preventing their games from being carried by major U.S. retailers.

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