In a noontime press conference Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Evan Bayh (D-IN) introduced federal legislation designed to protect children from inappropriate video games. Today's move represents the formal filing of the Family Entertainment Protection Act (FEPA) announced by Clinton and Lieberman on November 29th.
GamePolitics has just received a press release from Sen. Clinton's office. It reads, in part:
With just over a week left in the holiday gift shopping season, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton, Joe Lieberman and Evan Bayh, joined by parents, advocates and experts, introduced legislation designed to prohibit the sale of inappropriate video games to children. In unveiling the bill, the Senators underscored that video game content is getting increasingly violent and sexually explicit, yet young people are able to purchase these games with relative ease and parents are struggling to keep up with being informed about the content.
The Senators emphasized that their legislation will put teeth in the enforcement of video game ratings, helping parents protect their children from inappropriate content. They were joined in making the announcement by April DeLaney, Director of the Washington Office for Common Sense Media; Norman Rosenberg, President and CEO of Parents Action for Children and Dr. Michael Rich, Director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children's Hospital in Boston and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, in a show of support for the legislation.
"The holiday season is a particularly important time to raise awareness of this issue. Video games are hot holiday items, and there are certainly wonderful games that help our children learn and increase hand and eye coordination. However, there are also games that are just not appropriate for our nation's youth," said Senator Clinton. "This bill will help empower parents by making sure their kids can't walk into a store and buy a video game that has graphic, violent and pornographic content."
"The content of many cutting edge games is becoming more and more vivid, violent, and offensive to our most basic values," Lieberman said. "We are not interested in censoring videos meant for adult entertainment but we do want to ensure that these videos are not purchased by minors. Our bill will help accomplish this by imposing fines on those retailers that sell M-rated games to minors, putting purchasing power back in the hands of watchful parents."
"Many parents are being stretched thin trying to provide a good life for their children while protecting them from a coarsening culture,' Senator Bayh said. 'Our legislation will give parents a hand by requiring retailers to abide by the ratings that are meant to keep children from purchasing violent video games."
The full text of the Clinton-Lieberman-Bayh press release is available here, including a summary of FEPA's provisions.