Britain took reasonable steps 25 years ago to legislate against the sale of adult media to minors. A procedural blunder found in the wake of the country's admission to the European Union, however, may have just handed a Get Out of Jail Free card to recent offenders while the country gets its paperwork in order. The 1984 Video Recordings Act criminalized the sales of violent and explicit material to children under 18 in the U.K., but during recent efforts to update the law, someone discovered that the Act was never properly enacted.
"Unfortunately, the discovery of this omission means that, a quarter of a century later, the Video Recordings Act is no longer enforceable against individuals in United Kingdom courts," Minister for Culture and Tourism Barbara Follett told The Times.
Since the law was never passed on to the EU according to proper procedure, British authorities will have to wait on emergency legislation before they can bring charges against retailers for selling mature-rated games to minors.
"Much of the problem would have been avoided if they had sorted out the classification of video games earlier, as we and many others in the industry have been urging them to do," explained Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Britain's interim legal Twilight Zone should be bizarre environment to watch if retailers decide to seize the moment and sell a few extra M or AO-rated releases to rebellious teens.
Are you a Brit who had witnessed any retailers selling mature titles to minors recently? What do you think of the of the British Government's recent error? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.