IN Senate to Consider Game Restriction Bill

Indiana's Senate Economic Development and Technology Committee has approved a bill aiming to legally restrict sales of video games featuring explicit content, the Indianapolis Star reported today. Authored by Republican state senator David C. Ford and Democratic state senator Vi Simpson, the bill was passed 5-2 in committee by three Democrats and two Republicans. It would impose a $1000 fine on those who sell or rent M-rated video games to minors.

"You become the character, for better or for worse," said Simpson on video games, pointing out the seemingly age-old video game tradition of "kicking (a prostitute) out of a car and then beating her to death." She added, "If you think (children) are not playing these games because there's an 'M' on the box, you're badly mistaken."

Industry trade organizations such as the Entertainment Software Association and Entertainment Merchants Association opposed the bill.

Currently, ESRB content ratings are voluntarily enforced by retailers, similarly to MPAA ratings in the film industry. Various attempts have been made to enforce the ratings by law, though such measures have typically been struck down on constitutional grounds. This current bill is currently on track to continue on to the full Indiana Senate for voting.