In reaction to the release of this week's FTC report on marketing violent entertainment to minors, the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) issued a "pledge to parents." This pledge is centered around two promises: 1) Not to rent or sell video games designated as "restricted" to persons under the age of 17 without parental consent, including all videogames rated "M" by the ESRB, and 2) Not to rent or sell videogames rated "Adults Only" by the ESRB to persons age 17 or under. Interestingly, the FTC report wasn't directly critical of the rental industry.
The VSDA President, Bo Anderson, cautioned against using the FTC report for restrictive legislation. "We must keep in mind that, in addressing the issue of violence in American society, the government cannot infringe the constitutional rights of video retailers and their customers -- or of parents to raise their families as they see fit," he said. "Ultimately the responsibility for raising children lies with their parents, not the government and certainly not video store clerks." Amen.