The Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association, representing video game retailers, has issued an official response to the Family Entertainment Protection Act just introduced
by Sen. Hilary Clinton and Sen. Joe Lieberman, which would place federal controls on video game retailing and the industry-sponsored Entertainment Software Ratings Board.
"The impetus for this piece of legislation appears as fundamentally misguided as it is fatally-flawed," says the statement by IEMA president Hal Halpin. "The IEMA retailers committed voluntarily to a self-regulatory enforcement system substantially similar to the motion picture business, which the very same legislators hold up as the "Gold Standard." While our success rates may not be as consistently high as movie theatre owners, it is important to note that they are leveraging a system which, through decades of reinforcement, has become a part of the collective unconscious."
"We are making significant and tangible progress and have successfully implemented policies and procedures in each and every member company store across the country in just two year's time. We have also replaced valuable in-store signage with ratings education information displayed at the point of merchandising and/or the point of sale. And while we acknowledge that the "human factor" will always be our greatest challenge (making sure that parents and store-level staff are as committed to the same end as retail corporations), we are convinced that we have done our part. The Government has not and should not involve itself in determining what movies to watch, what music to listen to, or what games to play."
"In addressing the aforementioned "greatest challenge" we all face, we have repeatedly asked for Local, State and Federal politicians to leverage the power and support networks that they respectively bring to help educate their constituents, our customers, to use the existing ratings systems and make knowledgeable and informed purchasing decisions on behalf of their children. Our mutual concern should be focused on empowering parents - first and foremost - and politicians can put themselves in a position to help us in a meaningful and legally-responsible way by working with the businesses already committed to the same goal."