Monday saw the passage of a New York State Senate bill proposing new measures to "crack down on video game violence," including an advisory council to oversee the ESRB and fines for retailers who sell games without prominent display of its rating.
The bill, S.5888, sponsored by Republican state senator Andrew Lanza would if passed into law establish an 'Advisory Council on Interactive Media and Youth Violence' targeted with recommending steps above and beyond the ESRB's rating system to limit access to 'adult only' game material.
According to the senate press release
, the bill also calls for fines and penalties for all New York retailers and internet sellers who do not clearly display ratings on the game cover or website.
Finally, it hopes to establish a "Parent-Teacher Anti-Violence Awareness Program," which it says will "empower parents and teachers to work with students and children on issues related to violence in video games," including the ratings system and parental supervision, funded by fees collected from retailers who break the above rule.
Said Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, "Everywhere we look, violence surrounds us and it is unfortunate that our children are exposed to this explicit material, whether found in video games, movies or on television. Our children our spending too much time watching television and playing video games without any adult supervision, and we cannot sit back and allow them to be exposed to this senseless violence anymore. I applaud Senator Lanza for his leadership and we will continue to push the Assembly to take action against these issues."
The bill has entered the next phase toward its passage and moved on to the state assembly.