According to a report
from the Indianapolis Star, a Senate committee in Indiana has passed a measure by a vote of 5-2 that would fine retailers $1000 for selling or renting M or AO-rated games to minors. The vote came after senators viewed a video compilation of unspecified games that depicted “obscene and racist language.”
The bill, SB0238, was authored by Senators Vi Simpson (pictured) and David C. Ford, and represents the latest in a large number of U.S. State-specific video game bills. Simpson had previously sponsored
another Indiana game related bill in early 2006, though that proposed legislation was quickly dismissed due to a lack of support.
"You become the character, for better or for worse," commented Simpson, who argues that video games are different from other forms of media. “If you think (children) are not playing these games because there's an 'M' on the box, you're badly mistaken." Having passed the Senate committee, the proposed legislation has now moved on to be debated before the full Senate at a later date.
The Senate committee was also addressed by Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) as well as the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) industry trade association.
According to the report, representatives from both organizations commented that the industry has taken steps to give parents the necessary tools to monitor the games that children play as well as work at a retail level to keep games out of the hands of minors.