US politician pushes for ESRB rating requirement

Friday, 18th January 2013 00:40 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Utah representative Jim Matheson has introduced a bill which would enforce ESRB ratings, making it illegal to sell a game without a classification stamp. If successful, the bill would bring the US in line with Australia and the UK, where classification is required for commercially released games. GamesRadar reports the bill is unclear on how it would apply to small developers and indies selling games online; the ratings requirement doesn’t extend to the App Store in Australia, for example. Happily, ESRB ratings for smaller titles are free and can be obtained quickly.



  1. Telepathic.Geometry

    Surely this is just basic common sense!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Brenna Hillier

    If it’s free and easily accessible, it seems like a good idea to me. It gets tricky in the digital sphere though. There are so many hundreds of thousands of games out there.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. OnionPowder

    This will never pass in the US. Video games are covered under free speech which is why the ESRB is optional.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Phoenixblight


    ESRB introduced a system which now works for digital games as well. What makes the ESRB different is that its actually controlled by the video game industry and not the government. SO this bill can easily pass and it still wouldn’t violate the first amendment.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. OnionPowder

    @4 This same bill went to congress in 2011 and was shut down. This would make it illegal to sell the game if it didn’t have a rating on it which is hampering free speech. Movies and music aren’t required to have a rating so video games should stay in the same boat.

    #5 2 years ago

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