Game Politics (gamepolitics) wrote,
Game Politics

Game Developer Hears From Video Game Bill Sponsor

Utah Congressman Jim Matheson (D, seen at left), is the sponsor of the Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act, currently pending in the House. Matheson has corresponded (okay, a form letter, but still...) with Jay Barnson of Rampant Games.

Unhappy with elected official's response, Jay blogged extensively about his exchange with Rep. Matheson. It's especially noteworthy, coming as it does, from the perspective of a small-studio game developer. Here are some highlights:

"Yesterday I received a snail-mail letter from Congressman Jim Matheson, who represents my state of Utah... For the most part, it reiterates the same rhetoric being bandied about in defense of the laws that are being enacted (and, so far, universally shot down as being Unconstitutional)... It contains some major inaccuracies and rather offensive comparisons..."

Barnson addresses Matheson's letter point-by-point, including the bill's requirement that all games be rated. But what of online games, casual games and non-retail products from small studios?

"In other words, anything that can be called a 'Video Game' is ILLEGAL to be shared with another person in any way... unless it contains an ESRB rating, which costs a minimum of $5,000 (and you KNOW the price is going to go way up if this bill goes through, which I pray it does not)."

"...I am frankly astonished at this attempt at legislation... I will attribute this more to ignorance than malice in many cases, but it is the job of our leaders to adequately research these issues AND to understand possible unintended consequences before drafting potential law that will shape our future. And it clearly hasn't been done with these instances of knee-jerk legislation."

Tags: democrats, hr5345, jim matheson, legislation, video games ratings enforcement act
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