House bill proposes fines on retail games without ESRB ratings, prohibiting some sales to minors
Bill H.R.287, or the "Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act" as it will likely be more widely known, seeks to accomplish three goals: To make illegal the act of selling or renting video games that have not been evaluated by the ESRB, to legally prohibit the sale of Adults Only/Mature games to anyone under the age of 18/17 respectively, and to institute a fine not in excess of $5,000 in the event of noncompliance.

The bill's second and third provisions aside, mandating that all games be rated doesn't sound too wildly outside the scope of reason, save for the fact that the industry's current architecture supports that already. Granted, indie games that end up on Steam or other PC/Mac distribution platforms may not seek out ESRB evaluation, but any game released for any console must have an ESRB rating, as Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft will refuse licensing otherwise.

If the rest of what VGREA is attempting to accomplish sounds familiar, it's because the Supreme Court of the United States already declared such legislation unconstitutional way back in June of 2011. So, unless time is cyclical and this bill is actually what the court ruled on in 2011, the chances of this new one getting off the ground are pretty slim.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.