Upton Double Dips Video Game Legislation

Remember Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) from the House of Representatives? The congressman that led the charge against Take-Two after that whole Hot Coffee incident, and was vocal in his frustration when all that resulted was a warning from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission? Well, he's still not giving up.

For the second session of Congress in a row, Upton has submitted a bill, now deemed the Video Game Decency Act of 2007, "to prohibit deceptive acts and practices in the content rating and labeling of video games." The four page document would make it unlawful for any person to "ship or otherwise distribute...any video game that contains a rating label...where the person...failed to disclose content of the video game...which resulted in the video game received a less-restrictive age-based content rating than it otherwise would have resulted." Interestingly, this suppression of content must be done "with the intent of obtaining a less restrictive age-based content rating." The bill attempts to prevent publishers from releasing games whose age ratings do not reflect the full breadth of the games' content, such as arguably occurred in the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas fracas. Any violation would be punishable by the Federal Trade Commission.

The Video Game Decency Act of 2007 is, word for word, identical to last year's Video Game Decency Act of 2006, except for one minor change. Last fall, Upton presented the bill on behalf of 11 other representatives, including Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL). This time around, only Rush and Upton's names appear on the proposal.