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US bill to enforce game ratings with ID checks

The bipartisan move would see retailers fined $5,000 for selling an 'adult' game to a minor

A bipartisan bill has been introduced into the US House of Representatives that would see videogame retailers required to check customers' ID before selling an 'adult only' or 'mature' rated game, or face a USD 5,000 fine.

Republican Lee Terry and Democrat Jim Matheson introduced the Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act with the aim to ensure that children can only access age appropriate content without parental permission and would also require retailers to post an explanation of the rating system in their store, reports Variety.

"The images and themes in some videogames are shocking and troublesome. In some games high scores are often earned by players who commit 'virtual' murder, assault and rape," Terry explained.

"Many young children are walking into stores and are able to buy or rent these games without their parents even knowing about it."

"Many retailers have tried to develop voluntary policies to make sure mature games do not end up in the hands of young kids, but we need to do more to protect our children," Terry added.

Previous bills of a similar nature have been submitted to state governments across the US, however, all have been rejected by first amendment challenges.