Michigan Republican senator Fred Upton, who was an outspoken proponent of punishing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas developer Rockstar and publishing label Take-Two over the 'Hot Coffee' mod controversy, has himself proposed new U.S. video game legislation.
The newly proposed H.R.6120, titled the 'Video Game Decency Act of 2006', was drafted by Upton in order to “prohibit deceptive acts and practices” on the part of developers and publishers in an effort to benefit from a less restrictive ESRB rating. According to the wording of the bill, any failing to disclose such content will be treated as an “unfair or deceptive act or practice affecting commerce” as judged by the Federal Trade Commission Act.
Upton introduced the legislation with the assistance of Illinois Democrat, representative Bobby Rush, along with ten other co-sponsors. Commented senator Upton on his bill, “This legislation will restore parents’ trust in a system in which game makers had previously done an end-run around the process to deliver violent and pornographic material to our kids. Parents across the country can breathe a sigh of relief as this legislation goes hand in hand with the mission of the industry’s own ratings system.”
This latest bill is the latest in a long line of legislation aimed at scrutinizing the video game industry and its ratings system. In August, Florida Republican Cliff Stearns proposed the so-called “Truth in Video Game Rating Act,” which aims to force the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to play a game in its entirety prior to giving it a rating.
In addition, the United States Senate recently passed Joseph Lieberman's Children and Media Research Advancement (CAMRA) Act, which includes an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into video game and other electronic media use.