Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), California's Speaker pro tem, has introduced a bill into the California legislature that would prohibit children under 17 from purchasing videogames that depict serious injury to human beings. Assembly Bill 450 would make a warning sticker on such titles mandatory; stores violating either the sticker requirement or the ID check would be fined $1,000 per infraction.
"When you push a computer button, you are pulling the trigger," Yee said, explaining the need for such strict labels on the games industry as opposed to movies or TV. "Children are developing the skills to stalk, maim and shoot people." Yee, who sponsored the similar but failed AB1792 bill in 2004, as well as the significantly watered-down
and eventually passed AB1793, noted that he expected more support for AB450 because "last year there was no consequence."
Yee plans to try and get the new bill passed, despite protests from the gaming industry, for which Entertainment Software Association and Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association already have voluntary rating and ID-checking systems in place for the production and retail sides of the business. Yee's plan would be over and above the current ESRB rating system, which Yee dismisses as being too soft in terms of grading.