May 09, 2005
Culture, Heritage and Tourism Minister Eric Robinson has announced regulations under amendments to the Amusement Act that will impose penalties on violators who distribute age-restricted video games to children will come in to effect on June 1.
“Parents and retailers are concerned that Manitoba children not be exposed to adult content,” Robinson said. “This government is listening and is taking a leading role in moving to restrict the distribution of inappropriate material to children. These measures will make better information available about the content of video games so that parents will be able to make better decisions about the entertainment to which their children are exposed.”
Under the regulations, the Amusement Amendment Act will adopt the classification schemes of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). The ESRB ratings are:
Early Childhood (EC)
Everyone 10+ (E10+)
Adults Only (AO)
Under the regulations, the following will be considered to be offences:
distribution of video games not bearing a classification from the ESRB;
distribution to minors of video games bearing the ESRB classifications Mature (limiting distribution to people age 17 and over) or Adults Only (limiting distribution to people age 18 and over);
failure to physically segregate Adults Only rated video games from the mainstream product offered for sale to the general public; and
operation in Manitoba as a video-game retailer or video-game distributor without a licence. Licence fees would be the same as currently in place for video retailers and distributors.
Violators may be subject to fines up to $5,000 and the inspector will be able to seize product that is not classified or fine those who distribute age-restricted material to minors.
The minister noted that, in addition to these changes, Manitoba will also continue its work with other provinces in establishing a national standard.
This regulation is also consistent with the aims of the Healthy Child Committee of Cabinet which improves the lives of children, the minister added.
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