Delaware Introduces Game Restriction Legislation
The latest state to introduce legislation restricting the sale of violent games to minors is Delaware, after Reps. Helene M. Keeley and Terry R. Spence submitted House Bill 319 to the Delaware House of Representatives. Like other bills
currently under review in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and California, the bill puts the force of law behind sale of violent video games to minors, but unlike those others, the Delaware bill uses the existing ESRB ratings as a guideline.
The complete bill contains two new sections, the first of which requires all games to either be clearly labeled with an ESRB rating on the outside of the packaging, which all ESRB-rated games already are, and all games not reviewed by the ratings board to carry a clear "Not Rated" advisory on the outside of the packaging. Selling or renting a game without either the clear rating or "Not Rated" indicator will result in a Class A misdemeanor.
The second section requires video game renters and retailers to check for ID when renting or selling games with an ESRB rating of M or AO. Those under 17 are prohibited from buying or renting games with a rating of M or above, while those under 18 are prohibited from buying or renting games with a rating of AO. As with the first section of the bill, failure to check for ID in either instance, or selling or renting M or AO games to an underage customer, will result in a Class A misdemeanor.