informa
3 min read
article

VSDA Reacts To Spitzer Game Legislation Remarks

Bo Andersen, President of Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA), issued a statement today in response to New York State Attorney General and Democratic candidate for ...
Bo Andersen, President of Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA), issued a statement today in response to New York State Attorney General and Democratic candidate for governor Eliot Spitzer's comments on Friday regarding his proposed video game legislation. The VSDA, which is in the process of merging with the IEMA game trade organization, represents U.S. video and video game rental and retail outlets, and has been allied alongside the game-related trade organizations such as the ESA in a number of suits against State-based violent game bills, since it represents stores that might be financially or criminally liable if these laws are enacted. The statement begins by noting that Spitzer's comments are a reminder that video game retailers must be “proactive in responding to the concerns of parents over the content of certain video games.” According to the VSDA, the best ways to this include: “Provide educational materials to consumers about video game ratings, implement voluntary ratings enforcement policies, provide recurrent training for sales associates in ratings enforcement, reinforce ratings enforcement as a personnel issue, and provide direct assistance to parents on how to make informed choices about the video games brought into their homes.” Anderson continues in his statement by indicating that Spitzer's comments were made out of misunderstandings about what retailers are doing currently to keep inappropriate games out of the hands of minors: “The latest findings of the Federal Trade Commission on the ability of minors to purchase Mature-rated video games shows a substantial increase in self-regulation, particularly by major retailers. The FTC found that children it sent into video game stores to buy Mature-rated games were turned down 58% of the time. Retailers have improved their enforcement of store policies restricting the sale of Mature-rated games by 362% - from a 16% to a 58% turn-down rate - since the FTC's first shopping survey in 2000 and almost doubled the turn-down rate since the immediately prior survey in the fall of 2003, when it was 31%." He also notes: "The turn-down rate was even higher, 65%, for the national retail chains where the vast majority of video games are purchased. Retailers are clearly giving increased attention to training of employees concerning ratings enforcement.” The statement goes on to point out that several similar bills have been proposed in recent months in other states, only to be struck down as unconstitutional: “Attorney General Spitzer is certainly aware that the California, Illinois, and Michigan laws he wants to emulate in New York all have been enjoined as unconstitutional by the federal courts. Passing another unconstitutional law will do nothing to help parents control the video games their children play.” The VSDA ends its official response by stating: “The best outcome for parents and their kids would be for Attorney General Spitzer to add his name to the effort to remind parents about the game ratings system and assist and empower them in making informed choices for their children.”

Latest Jobs

Disbelief

Chicago, Illinois
05.10.22
Producer

Build a Rocket Boy Games

Edinburgh, Scotland
05.12.22
Lead Animation Programmer

Windwalk Games

Austin, Texas
05.16.22
Game Designer

Sucker Punch Productions

Bellevue, Washington
05.10.22
Campaign Director
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more