View Full Version : Two great tastes... (6/14)

June 14th, 2006, 01:08 PM
I know you guys are already discussing the issue, but this "joke" sprang to mind after not having a joke idea last night. So, I ran with it. And since I'm subjecting you to old news... I might as well do it ALL the way right?


As of June 10th, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry has signed House Bill #3004 into law. The bill updates existing laws pertaining to media that is considered harmful to minors. More specifically the bill lumps "inappropriate violence" in video games with pornographic material. It also requires that retailers present such games behind "blinder racks" that cover the lower two-thirds of the game box. The law will go into effect November 1st.
Source: GameSpot (http://www.gamespot.com) [ more info (http://www.gamespot.com/news/6152609.html) ]

Now, I'm probably going to say some things here that annoy some folks. But, hey, I'm okay with that. If it gets you guys riled up enough to act... SWEET! But, don't argue with me, don't agree with me, don't quote me. Just post your own opinion of the situation.

I don't completely disagree with a law that keeps violent video games out of the hands of minors. And if it just so happens to be the same law that keeps porn out of the hands of children because they are both considered "harmful to minors", so be it.

The problem I have here, prepare thyselves, is that I consider most games to be, on some level, violent. Whacking a turtle with a hammer in real life is violent, should it not be considered so if it's cartoony or animated? And that's the lowest end of the violence perspective. It only intensifies after that.

So, that leaves me with an intense issue with the idea of hiding video games behind blinder racks. It's a little ignorant. Just because a game has violent content doesn't mean the box cover needs to be hidden. So, in my mind all but a handful of games would be covered. The legislature needs to drag their heads out of their asses long enough to let the ESRB's rating system be useful. Don't hide the game, just use the freakin' rating to make sure the games only leave the building with the appropriate people.

I mean, I don't exactly agree that rating should be based on age, it should be based on maturity levels. But, how the hell is the ESRB supposed to guage that?

Now, if you look closely at the two politicians, you'll notice they both have brown eyes. From now own... consider that to be the norm. Why? Because quite frankly, I think all politicians are so full of shit their eyes are brown.


[Sorry about the color flats. The full color comic will be posted shortly.]

June 14th, 2006, 01:27 PM
I play video games because they are violent. Who wants to play video games about smelling flowers and petting puppies?

Violence in video games is akin to violence in cartoons. It's there because it appeals to the audience, young as they are.

Remember the Smurfs? A nice little village of 3 apple tall blue people who lived an peaceful (and boring) life until A) Gargamel showed up to eat them, or B) one of their own would blow up a "present" in their face. And my favorite: Brainy Smurf was always booted from the village, literally, when he got on people's nerves.

Does this encourage violence in childern? I doubt it. Beating up a nerd was fashionable long before the Smurfs aired. It's funny on the Smurfs because it happens in real life.

It's fun in video games because it happens in real life, or it can't possibly happen, but if it did...way cool. I'd rather the budding serial killer next door vent his anger on his Nintendo rather than on my dog. Or me, for that matter.

June 14th, 2006, 01:30 PM
In my opinion, the ESRB ratings are all that should be necessary, increased legislation isn't really going to help much. Of course making sure the individual purchasing the game is of age will keep children from purchasing mature games, it doesn't stop an adult from buying a game for a minor. It seems obvious that if a person is shopping for a certain age group (say 12-15) then a M rated game is not what they should purchase. I don't know if it's ignorance on the part of parents, or just apathy, but I know personally at least two people who bought games for their children, and were then appalled at the content even though it says very clearly something to the effect of "M: violence and sexual content"

To sum it up, legislation past this point is mostly useless in my opinion. Like most things, education is the key to keeping inappropriate material out of the hands of children.

June 14th, 2006, 01:31 PM
As someone who has interfaced with state legislature, I can say that not all politicians are full of shit... just most of them.

Back on topic, I want to know how they plan on dealing with music and movies. Most movies are violent (as are many TV shows). Do they plan on blocking the lower 2/3 of violent movies with "blinder racks"? The idea of blinder racks is pretty ridiculous to me and if they are going to target violence in video games, they might as well put the same restrictions on music, movies, and TV shows - which are more accessible and sometimes more violent than a video game.

My initial impression of this legislation is that its an example of overreacting on an issue in order to gain more votes. It also puts an extra burden on stores and has some ridiculous consequences.

To Oklahoma I say "Here's your sign."

I just wanted to add that a lot of times the real culprit (in this case: parents) is untargeted by politicians for political reasons. Unfortunately, we live in a country where we vote for our representatives. This means candidates tell us what we want to hear in order to get elected (and continue to tell us what we want to hear in order to get reelected). The mass public is often ignorant on an issue (in this case GU readers seem to be part of the exception) and any candidate or current politician would be making a bad political move if he or she blamed the video game problem on the parents.

If you don't agree, look at education. We have had an education problem in this country for years. We keep throwing money at the schools, blaming the teachers, and blaming social conditions for a problem that is at least affected by parents. Have you ever heard a candidate/politician say (or even consider saying) the parents are the problem?

Blue Star
June 14th, 2006, 01:31 PM
I think there should be some sort of test every gamer must take every year befor they can buy a game to see what games they can and cant buy in stead of using age a indicator of maturity(sp?)

P.S. sorry about any miss spelled words

June 14th, 2006, 01:34 PM
Ron white said it best "Ohhhhhhhhhh no its not a parenting issues its a video game issue. Doesn't it piss you off when there is a genuie solution to the problem and they wanna tack it on something else." I think thats how it goes. The parents cannot be totally oblivious to what there kids are doing? I mean come on how hard is it lil kids don't play gta, they play rayman.

June 14th, 2006, 01:35 PM
The question is: What's the intent?

If it's legitimately protecting children, that's one thing (which they're doing a pretty half assed job of).

On the other hand, if it's to do their absolute best to do harm to the videogame industry right up to but desperately trying not to overstep the point of the law getting overturned, in order to gain the same votes the anti music, anti dungeons and dragons, anti movies, anti TV, anti anything new and scary the young folks might be in to, crusades have pandered to in the past, it's likely doing a great job.

As they say, actions speak louder than words. Covering non-violent, non-sexually explicit boxes does nothing to protect children but is a great way of trying to make sales more difficult whilst using the flimsy pretense of "Wouldn't you think about the poor little children!"

The problem is, those for gaming keep trying to engage in meaningful debate about how best to protect children and whether given acts do or don't protect them. This ends up totally futile because that's not what the politicians are really acting on anyway - they see votes to be won by being "anti-whateverisnewandscary". You can't swing someone's opinion by arguing with them over something they're not even debating - whether they claim to be or not.

June 14th, 2006, 01:39 PM
I play video games because they are violent. Who wants to play video games about smelling flowers and petting puppies?

Violence in video games is akin to violence in cartoons. It's there because it appeals to the audience, young as they are.

Remember the Smurfs? A nice little village of 3 apple tall blue people who lived an peaceful (and boring) life until A) Gargamel showed up to eat them, or B) one of their own would blow up a "present" in their face. And my favorite: Brainy Smurf was always booted from the village, literally, when he got on people's nerves.

Does this encourage violence in childern? I doubt it. Beating up a nerd was fashionable long before the Smurfs aired. It's funny on the Smurfs because it happens in real life.

It's fun in video games because it happens in real life, or it can't possibly happen, but if it did...way cool. I'd rather the budding serial killer next door vent his anger on his Nintendo rather than on my dog. Or me, for that matter.

The people who bought Nintendogs?

June 14th, 2006, 01:39 PM
I have no problem with them enforcing the ratings. Heck, card kids for the rated M titles just like Wal-Mart does with any rated R movie. If a parent wants to overrule the rating, then they have to buy the game for the kids. Clearly, there are parents out there who take no responsibility about their kids and then are horrified when their little child brings home a copy of GTA. I think carding the rated M games would allow the government to shut parents like that up. They card for rated R movies because of violence, I see no problem with the same standard applying to games.

But covering them up like a porn magazine? That is a bit pointless. The box cover and screenshots are usually appropriate for all ages. Even the infamous GTA games have nothing inappropriate on the cover. The old Mortal Kombat games just featured the games symbol and title. There really is no reason to cover them up. People aren't complaining about the covers of the games, they are complaining about the games getting into the hands of little kids. If they start doing that with rated M video games, shouldn't the same standard apply to rated R movies with violence? Clearly just viewing the box of a movie like Terminator or a game like GTA aren't going to corrupt anyone.

Just my thoughts.

June 14th, 2006, 01:43 PM
Honestly, I believe bills like this are passed mainly to appease the parents of highly impressionable children. The use of blinder racks is just... odd. The imagery shown on the cover of video game boxes is no worse than those found within your local comic shop.
I do find it depressing though, that whenever something becomes popular it has to become the target of negative criticism from the government. Honestly, I think the issue of excessively violent video games and other inappropriate content ending up in the hands of children is a parenting issue, not a political one. I'm glad the ESA is already on the road to contesting this one.

June 14th, 2006, 01:50 PM
Okay, so a list of games that WON'T be covered up... Pretty much anything by the Benoit Sokal or Adventure Company: Syberia, Keepsake, Agatha Christi's "And Then There Were None," Oh wait, that's about a murder, gotta cover it up too. Never mind that the book was required reading in the sixth grade. I swear, it's like the people in this state (I'm from Oklahoma) are paid to be ignorant. At least they're a good source for comedic material.

Edit: It just occurred to me. Though the state legislature may have brought about this bill, just how do they expect to enforce it? Major corporations like Walmart might not take kindly to having to block their item display. I wonder if they, and many others, will simply ignore it. I know if I were running an electronics section, I would want to give the product as much exposure as I could. Blinds over the box art won't discourage those looking for a particular game, but they will hamper the casual shopper, "Ooh, this elf babe is wearing a scant top... maybe I SHOULD try Everquest..."

June 14th, 2006, 01:53 PM
Ok, my opinion (and I have a boatload of research to back me up on this, I did a 490-level college independent project on it).

This is all overkill.

The game industry has a self-regulating organization, the ESRB, which rates games. Ratings applied by the ESRB are found to be acceptable more than 80% of the time, and when they aren't agreed on, it is almost always said that it is because they are higher than necessary.

After the "Hot Coffee" incident more than a year ago, the ESRB was under a lot of pressure from the government. They formed a retail council representing many major retailers that created individual store policies regarding video games. Most stores you go into these days have protocol requiring them to keep certain rated games out of the hands of people that fall outside those ratings. This is a change; before people could complain that the retail outlets for games did not care what games got into the hands of kids, now it is part of store policy.

Also, over 90% of game purchases are made by adults or with an adult present. Many store protocol's insist that employees make clear to the adult the content of a game, particularly if it looks like the game might be being purchased for a younger individual.

The ESRB rating system is among the more well known, or at least more understood ratings systems in use. Most parents make use of it to determine the appropriate games for their children, even if it's outside the normal ratings category for them. This is a good thing. Most parents are aware generally of the games their kids are playing.

Violent games are not making kids kill or even be more aggressive. Collected psychological research doesn't point in any direction, the correlation between video games and aggression in youth is small, less than that of violent movies or television. Columbine historically is the case where people point to video games as violence-inducing, but do not realize that of the 16 other school shooters of the 1990s, not a single one was a gamer.

The games as pornography approach is perhaps so successful because it is untested. Other bills that try to limit or fine the sale of violent video games have fallen through because of First Amendment rights, but the newest legislation attempts to bypass that by lumping it together with things that most people would agree are harmful to minors, porn. The appeals made by the ESA have not reached the courts as of yet, it may go into effect before that can happen. However, the "violence = pornography" debate has precedent in the judicial system, and has been struck down before.

And finally, in terms of the politics, and this is mostly my political opinion: No one should blame this on one party or another, both major parties are perfectly happy placing limits like this because they would like to look like they are protecting children. What is really happening is that they are harming small business, retailers and certain developers. There's a system in place, and there's evidence that it works, but the government ignores it entirely. There is no system out there that will be effective 100% of the time, and we'll probably hear about it when it doesn't work, but I don't have a problem with that.

I know it's a lot to digest, but I've been meaning to put up my opinion clearly here for a while.

June 14th, 2006, 02:16 PM
Dont forget that OKlahoma is not using the ESRB or whatever to determine what games will be deemed pornographic, but will be using a new set of rules to decide.

And its pretty Vague.

Pretty much the say that any game that cannot provide social value will be considered pornographic.

But how will they determine if a game has "Social value"? That is a matter of opinion!

Oh well... Dont hate me because I live in Oklahoma. I dont want to be here...

June 14th, 2006, 02:33 PM
Here’s half of the problem:

Parents vote. Therefore, the government wants to pander to their desires (thus sustaining their large number of votes).

Here is the other half of the problem:

Ignorant and intolerant parents scream the loudest.

Sound like an MMORPG forum? Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

Parents don’t want to hear that they are wrong, ignorant, intolerant, or being a bad parent. They want lawmakers to nod their heads and say, “Why you’re absolutely right! This is terrible and we must ban it!” Sadly, it is usually the ignorant, intolerant, and bad parents that spend a majority of their time blaming everything but themselves for the evils their kids do.

People who are responsible, intelligent, and have a firm grip on reality are the ones that usually just sit back and do the right thing. They look at the nut-jobs screaming their heads off about how the world is coming to an end because of <insert popular media type here> and just shake their heads sadly and comment about how they’re glad people like that don’t make policy.

The problem is it’s the wackos that scream outside city hall and burn video game boxes and stage protest marches really DO make policy - because they’re the ones that get the publicity. What the lawmakers see is a large grassroots organization that is protesting against something that is “Obviously corrupting our sweet, innocent, impressionable children!” They think that their public is speaking out. The rational people aren’t out there in force staging an anti-protest protest. They have better things to do with their lives. So the voice of reason is lost.

In my personal opinion, a real parent would not buy GTA for their 12 year old in the first place. If they did find that their kid had a copy, they’d throw it out and have a long talk with their child about how that sort of violence is wrong and why they don’t want them playing that kind of game. Sure the kid will be resentful and be sulky, but they will LEARN right from wrong because their parent did their job and taught them.

June 14th, 2006, 02:33 PM
Hmm.. so the only game that you will be legally able to display in Oklahoma is Tetris?

June 14th, 2006, 02:40 PM
Realistically, all this legislation means is that the gaming industry hasn't developed a very strong lobbying capability yet. If they think about the economic implications of cutting off the under 18 crowd from their violent console games, I think they'd be lobbying and donating quite a bit more money to safeguard their income.

June 14th, 2006, 02:43 PM
Personally, I think ESRB has everyone's best interest at heart, but sometimes ESRB takes things a little to far.

When I got SSBM for my GC for my birthday (I had just gotten a GC that year) I noticed that the rating on it was T for Teen. My first reaction: WTF? Reasons: Comic Mischief and Mild Violence.

Also when it comes to covering the covers, what is the point in that? One of my favorite games is Tales of Symphonia, and at first glance it looks like a little kids game. Bright colors, cell shading, small forms. But the game itself is more for teenagers (I've heard the plot compared to FFX). And there is even a scene where you see what is obviously the main hero's blood.

Finally, games don't make people violent. One of my best friends is a little...off...and she wasn't really a gamer until about a year ago, and she was violent before. And even before then the best games she had was POkemon Stadium and Ocarina of Time. Yet you won't find a more perverted or violent person in town...

But this is all coming from the same person who (when playing Zoo Tycoon) built an extremely popular zoo full of only carnivors, blocked the visitors from leaving, then let the creatures out. <3 I wish my disc dan't broke. ;-; (Wait, should they label Zoo Tycoon M for mature? Violence and Animal Deaths?)

June 14th, 2006, 02:44 PM
Btw, long time reader, first time poster.

[I don't think] hitting a turtle on the head (ala Mario) should be deemed as violent as spray painting someone in the eye and stomping on their face (ala the Warriors). I agree that most every game is violent, but you still need a seperation between them because Mario Kart violent is different than Soul Caliber violent, which is all different than GTA violent.

So you have to keep in mind that games are different entities, and you cannot lump all the "violent games" (which ends up being most) into one category because as in all cases there will be outliers of extreme violence (and therefore, supposed corruption), and cases of extremely mild violence (hence, more redeeming social value).

Anyway, just my opinion. Keep up the good work Woody!

edit: One must also keep in mind the repercussions from the violence in game. If you hit a turtle with a hammer and kick his shell at someone else is that the same as chain-sawing an entire police force, causing blood to rain in the streets and even splash on the camera?

[ When Woody says in his writeup SPECIFICALLY not to "agree with, disagree with, or quote" him, then it's probably a good idea to follow that rule. ]

June 14th, 2006, 02:48 PM
While all that is true, the question remains, how much involvement should legislatures have in this issue? State lawmakers won't exactly have a firm grasp of all these subtleties and you wind up with either ineffective legislation that does nothing, or overly restrictive legislation that prevents "harmless" games from being seen by younger players.

June 14th, 2006, 02:49 PM
While voluntary industry rating systems can generally do a decent job of informing parents about a games contents, as long as they do not bow down to political correctness as the MPAA did recently, a bit of box standardization could solve alot of problems.

For instance, if all games used the flip open cover, that many games use currently, they could put the Name and rating information on the outside and put those hot babes, spurting blood and decapitated kid pictures on the inside. This would allow customers to easilly see all the games and open the flap for more info, if they are so inclined, while preventing grandma from having a caniption fit if little Johnny sees some well drawn clevage.

Otherwise I see the game stores being forced into the same arrangement as video stores who have the adult section in the back.

June 14th, 2006, 02:55 PM
This legislation is not targetted at what is ON the cover of the game, but what is inside. A game that contains violent content, but had flowers on the cover could still be "hidden". That is not the case with videos. R-rated movies are still allowed on the shelves unhidden. It's only the Adults Only stuff that gets tossed into the back room. Should video games really be any different?

The question we're left with is if games are hidden for "Inappropriate violence", what exactly constitutes "appropriate violence"? Should a war-sploitation game get hidden? Or is that considered appropriate? Because, quite frankly, I don't think so. As I firmly believe that no violence should be considered "appropriate". That does NOT mean however that I don't think videogames should be played. Far from it. I just think that the whole situation needs to be looked at from a more enlightened perspective. And, I don't think most of the politicians out there are capable of looking at video games from that particular vantage point.

And, folks can argue for qualifiers to distinguish between violent games all they want, but the simple fact is when contesting this bill only one thing needs to be considered: "violence is violence". So, the law, as written, is unfair at best. And, because I'm not inclined to draw that comparitive distinction when trying to make a point, I'm unwilling to argue the nuances. And that's because arguing it fails in the face of using the word "inapproapriate" as it implies that there is such a thing as "appropriate" violence. (Please see above paragraph.) So, split hairs on qualifiers if you want. But, I prefer to stand firmly behind the idea of using the ESRB to determine proper game dispersion.

In an effort to abbreviate all that, I guess I should just say "This law is stupid because we already have the ESRB that parents should be using to decide what's 'appropriate'."

June 14th, 2006, 03:06 PM
wheni worked for mediaplay in the videogame area. 8 out of 10 violent games bought were for ther kids that were not old enough to buy them. When i told the parents what was in the game they would reply that the kid realy wanted it or they played it over at so and so house. 1 out of 10 wold steal them. and the rest bought it for themself.
So if they realy wanted to stop kids getting these game then go after the parents.

June 14th, 2006, 03:21 PM
Games are not the only way for kids to get their daily dose of violence.
Have you all seen a stanley cup game or NFL lately? Forget about WWE.
What IS the minimum age for a Shakespeare play? That Hamlet play is just full of murder and mayhem....(and dont get me started on othello or rickard III).
What about the books.... all those violent violent books like Narnia and Potter.

I was reasently reading a book where people was turning to salt, cities where burning to the ground, rivers turned red with blood and to top it all, all the youngest children in every family died.
I am not going to mention the title, just in case anyone under the age of 18 read this board.

Can we start a petition now, to replace those awful, violent transformers with care bears and my little pony?

June 14th, 2006, 03:23 PM
The most prominent thought that pops into my head while reading through all this is "Covering the cover of a game? As if that would help any. Who buys a game these days by going to the store and picking out one based on cover?" I know I don't, rent maybe but buy, nope. I buy based on what friends have told me about them, information i've heard from comercials or online. At the very most, the case may influence me based on what's written on the back. Not the cover.

The only decent idea I've heard about all of it, was the one regarding carding people buying M rated games. This "should" avoid the problem of ignorant parents complaining about a game their children are playing.

However, the problem (and it's been said before) isn't violence in the games. It's parental ignorance. Easily 90% of every game on the market has some form or level of violence in it. Face reality here, that's a major selling point.

I've had this descussion with friends and family before, and as I see it, the absolute most a game will have an affect on most, is idea's on how to comit the crimes they will already be drivin to comit based on their already unstable minds. That was worded poorly... "Games do not cause people to comit crimes, at most they may give someone alternative ideas on how to comit said crime". That may still not be a good thing, but nowhere can you place the blame for the crime on the game. Recently I heard something about some kids being charged for murder, they shot a man in the face. These kids were gamers apparently. Not a single ounce of me believes that wheither or not they played games has anything to do with them killing someone. Shooting him in the face probably while posing as a hitman or something was the result of being a gamer.

Final thought... Is this really still the "new scary thing" out there? Video game violence has been a thing of controvercy for quite a while now, it's been proven time and time again that it's no more a cause than saturday morning cartoons. But you know what they say "ignorance is bliss"... stupid people will be the end of the world, just you wait and see, they outnumber uss 10000 ~ 1 already, it's only a matter of time before we are all drowing in a sea of they're stupidity... *sigh* The only hope we have is to outlive it, and put a gamer into power... now that'd be the day.

Edit *after reading woody's last post, had to throw out this*

My own opinion.. there is no such thing as appropriate violence.. or at least there shouldn't be. An impressionable unstable mind is just as likely to play hitman and go on a killing spree, than play mario and go on a turtle killing spree, or (heaven forbid) playing tetris and start dropping heavy objects on people. violence is violence, there are different levels, severitys, and definately more realistic (easier asociated with reality) violence, but the people who are influenced by a "game" are the people that can't distinguish the differences.

June 14th, 2006, 03:29 PM
Its human nature at best to be violent. I mean, we're only human and sometimes the sickest evilest person could be your next door neighbor that babysat your kids or is in the PTA. Back in columbine, they said that the kids where urged to kill by manson and violent video games, but i can honestly say about that situation is that the two kids where constantly picked on day in and day out and one day they snapped. (I know about this cause i once lived in denver for a year and dated a girl who knew them, though i never did meet them o.O)
The video game stores need to enforce the ESRB rating system, not the courts and their "blinder racks". The blinder racks should be for the games that no one likes. But still, violence is everywhere, from the kids in the playground to a mugging on a street to the current War on Terror. We can't shelter the kids from this because sooner or later, they're going to see it. They're going to see a nudity, they're going to see violence, they're going to see the worst of the world soon, and there is nothing we can do to stop it.

June 14th, 2006, 03:30 PM
well thats pretty stupid, considering only 1 in 1000000000 games has serious sexual content in it (GOW, GTA:SA...even though that crap was locked up... and for some reason people think The Sims is sexual, or at least three people do, but that wont be counted.)

and covoring the ESRB is just plain counterproductive, why not just covor the middle of the box? not like it will matter, as soon as you take it out of the blinder shelf you see the art, and most of us need to see the name of the game were buying so it quite plainly doesnt matter.

i havnt actually seen a single violent box art, sure, content is violent, but the boxart is usually just... pretty, or kick ass looking, (MGS:S!)

im all for putting porno in an area way out of reach or sight to young kids, hell, some older people could do without it (you know who you are... we know you have a problem... we dont care.) but... well i guess the only productive thing coming from this is that plastic and furniture places will get to hire more people for the blinder rack lines.

considering "acceptable violence" is idiotic on a brand new level, its like god make another heaven for idiots who think about this, people strive to take in this new way of stupidity to reach the enternal ignorant bliss, there is no such thing as acceptable violance, even old cartoons like bugs bunny and tom and jerry are considered too violent (why do you think they have their own channel now and are rarely shown?) and if cartoons like those are considered too violent, just what the hell IS acceptable violence? slapping somone when they threaten to shoot you with a watergun?

personally i think if you make a subject taboo then it has that much more traumatizing effect on a person when they encounter it in real life, if you never saw a gun being shot you have no idea what will happen if you take your mommy's/daddy's/guardian...y's pistol, point it at your best friend and pull the trigger, hell no, we KNOW guns kill people... or at least people shooting guns kills people, and we know what will happen, all the consiquences, and why we shouldnt do it.

June 14th, 2006, 03:40 PM
You guys remember the first Black & White game? Your creature was so dumb that in order to get it to behave you had to beat it until it learned better. Not slap, not correct, beat it mercilessly. I played that for a few days, then I had nightmares where I was beating people. And I think there might have been some carry-over feelings into real life.

Now, I'm not an advocate for banning violent games, quite the contrary, I think the ESRB ratings are enough. But I am an advocate for educating people to be able to deal with violent media better. When I found out how that harmless game of world domination and cute critters was messing with my head, I put it down and gave my brain a rest. It wasn't the game's fault, I'd just lost touch with reality for a bit and had to reconnect. (Further in the game's defense, I have a few mental problems that keep me pretty isolated from reality as it is. I really don't blame video games, I freely confess I have issues.) I think parents could use some lessons on helping their kids connect better with reality.

Blinder racks seem pretty dang silly to me, unless they're going to have the ESRB rating printed on them, large as life. With some sort of warning like "This game is intended for mature audiences only, buyer discretion is advised." There usually isn't much on the cover of a violent game's box other than a mile some woman's cleavage or a guy pointing a gun out at you. Not anything you're not likely to see in an average episode of 24. After a while you have to give in to the idea that you can only bar consumers from making a purchase for so long, and then they go elsewhere.

Edited to move parenthetical sentence so it makes more sense contextually.

June 14th, 2006, 03:44 PM
There usually isn't much on the cover of a violent game's box other than a mile some woman's cleavage or a guy pointing a gun out at you. Not anything you're not likely to see in an average episode of 24.

yeah, thats probably the most violent/sexual thing ive seen on any covor, in the TC games the character points a gun at you, GTA, you got a girl staring at you while bending over *just the right way*

still dang silly, why not just slap a sticker on the innaropriate part? personally i would find it entertaining to see a smily face covoring a gun's barrel.

June 14th, 2006, 03:46 PM
I am sure I am in the minority here but here goes

I am all for kids being barred from buying violent/sexual games if that is what our society as a whole wants. I certainly don't care if they play them as long as the parents really know what they are allowing their kids to do.

This law however seems rather stupid. It is not like the law is creating its own ESRB type group so there is no oversight on whats considered violent. Its vague at best and I expect it to be struck down in the courts if someone would take it to task.

June 14th, 2006, 03:53 PM
I am sure I am in the minority here but here goes

I am all for kids being barred from buying violent/sexual games if that is what our society as a whole wants. I certainly don't care if they play them as long as the parents really know what they are allowing their kids to do.

This law however seems rather stupid. It is not like the law is creating its own ESRB type group so there is no oversight on whats considered violent. Its vague at best and I expect it to be struck down in the courts if someone would take it to task.

dont worry Z, you surely arent the minority on this topic, after all, we have standards of living, and keeping too violent games out of the hands of unprepared children is only the right thing to do, i myself am not 18, so technically im against myself from buying violent games... but from the stupid crap ive seen in school, on TV, in the news, on the web, i beleive its the only way to keep this generation ALIVE.

June 14th, 2006, 03:59 PM
In an effort to abbreviate all that, I guess I should just say "This law is stupid because we already have the ESRB that parents should be using to decide what's 'appropriate'."

Thats the problem parents are not monitoring their children. I do agree with you on the violence issue though. ESRB is enough, its that the parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles, yadda yadda yadda aren't montioring there children. I know of some that do, but its the 5 million or so that don't montior there children. There are 12year olds that swear worse than I do, and I used to work on a warehouse dock! Kids that never learn the proper ethics and values through there parents but rather there children.

I do agree the law is stupid, but is some what sadly needed for those parents that don't watch there children like they should.

June 14th, 2006, 04:12 PM
It is a sad day of affairs when the government has to spend tax payer money in order to regulate video games to the point that they are seen as porn in the way of what is and isn't harmful to children.

I feel it is a parents moral and parental responsbility to not only be involved in their child's lives not just when it comes to things like education, food, shelter, and what not but all of it. People like Jack Thompson who feel the need to poke their fingers into the home of every U.S. citizen truly exaserbate the great hypocrisy that is America. People say this is the greatest country in the world, however, when you have states that feel that instead of parents having the decency and common sense to actively monitor what their children have access to in the way of entertainment, then I truly feel that not only has the government failed but society as a whole needs to take a look at itself and do some serious self analysis.

June 14th, 2006, 04:17 PM
Well, speaking as a Professional Game Tester, long term exposure to video games under job stress has not made me or any of my co-workers into violent psychopaths.

Just out of curiousity, if a 40 year-old house husband who watches nothing but news all day does his wife in during a divorce, does that mean watching the news makes people violent? I want to see that one on the evening news.

June 14th, 2006, 04:33 PM
So am I the only one who thinks this is a good time to legalize porn for kids?

June 14th, 2006, 04:42 PM
After a hard day of work/ bad day at school/ bad mood...
What is better then to grab a game and just let the rage flow out of your fingers. It isn't buttonbashing for nothing ya know...

as to the more political side;
I understand, and agree on, the fact that people wish to protect the youngsters from bad influences, psychological trauma and such, but banning everything that is considered 'offensive' in some way will just be a long, endless struggle. Now they want to make 2/3 of the videogames "blinded" in the display, but in a few years there will most likely be some bureaucratic nitwit that still finds 33% of the box displayed WAAAAY too dangerous for the little people (read; rated 16+ (in Holland, USA is R-rated I believe?)) and decides to chuck of another 10% of the visibility.
So in about 10 years, Playstation, Nintendo and Xbox will only have their names shown in the shelves...
...Untill someone notices that even THAT is too dangerous.

I myself ain't an American nor do I live there, but it sometimes appears to me that someone switched the politicians with a bunch of monkey's...
...then again, beats having Harry Potter as Prime-Minister...

June 14th, 2006, 04:49 PM
Has anyone openly considered or stated that game violence does more good than bad... i'm sure the number of people out there that use games to vent outweighs those (few if even existant, but that's only one opinion) that are influenced to cause violence. How many kids would be criminals if they couldnt' kill their neighbor or bully in a game each night... heh, I would.

June 14th, 2006, 04:52 PM
Woody's way of seeing things:

1. Retailers should be held accountable if they don't, at the very least, check ID (like a gas station would ID for cigarette purchases) on anything rated higher than Teen. (Mature & AO) If the retailer doesn't check ID on those, they should be fined heavily or lose their license to sell M and AO rated games.

2. Parents/Legal Guardians should be held accountable for game purchases of M rated games. So, if the parent feels their child is mature enough, then it's allowable to buy the game for them. Parents should be reminded at the point of sell that they should monitor their child while playing M rated games. If it is found that a parent was not monitoring their child playing M rated games, the parent should be fined. And, if little Billy goes to a friends house to play an M rated game... that household should be considered "legal guardians" and fined accordingly.

3. M rated games are for mature gamers. If you're mature enough to drive a car, you're freakin' mature enough to play a video game.

4. AO rate games should only be made available to persons 18+ (since 18 is when we are legally considered adults) and emancipated minors (as they have been legally deemed an adult). The parent or legal guardian should be held accountable for AO purchases made by minors.

5. In all cases where the responsibility lays with the parent/legal guardian, the purchaser should be held accountable IF they mislead the retailer (whether by using someone old enough to buy the game for them, passing a fake ID, or not disclosing their proper age). The purchaser should not be fined as it would most likely fall to the parent to pay the tab. The purchaser should be made to do community service.


Unfortunately, there's not really a way to enforce rules like that. As with alcohol and cigarettes, the responsibility just gets heaped onto the shoulders of the retailers, since they are the ones most easily targetted by officials. Which, in my opinion, is completely unfair.


DeoFayte, if no one else has... let ME say it.

Violent video games are carthartic for those individuals mature and/or mentally sound enough to play them. It lets us release our tension and anger on polygons rather than on flesh.

June 14th, 2006, 05:08 PM
To anyone that thinks that make-believe violence, essentially the violence present in video games and other media, is inexcusable or pornographic, I suggest reading "Killing Monsters" by Gerard Jones. Actually, I suggest everyone read it, if reading is something you do. "Venting" is not the only thing violent video games are good for, if you believe that then you are tying video games to real life violence in some manner. What happens when the power goes out and the person has had a bad day? There's something called self-control which almost everyone has and which goes beyond video games. Also, kids and teenagers know the difference between real life and make believe violence, if that is not the case for an individual, that person has serious problems.

If make believe violence and real life violence can ever be unquestionably tied, people that want legislation like this win the argument.

Violence is not pornography!

This goes double for make-believe violence.

June 14th, 2006, 05:26 PM
Maybe this is an unrelated question maybe it isn't.

I've always wondered, what is the big deal about violence or adult content in video games; when i can turn on the TV, watch CSI, and see all the realistic shootings, mangled corpses, closeups of dead rotting bodies, and autopsies id ever care to see? Never hear anything about that.

June 14th, 2006, 06:01 PM
I agree, Duc, that is BS. IMO, video games are facing the same opposition that film faced almost 100 years ago. There are a lot of movies out there that are very violent (many that are even more violent and much more realistic) but are unobstructed. If this law is even followed it won't last very long. I'd give it 10 years. But if this happens in anyone else's state please make sure your representatives know how you feel.

June 14th, 2006, 06:09 PM
I would be more supportive if these people were not totlay f*cking idiots.

For one, congress is hardly a good source to know what to do with video games. I have a hard time believing that they can make good moves on the topic when they have trouble agreing on the easy stuff.

Secondly is the people who a really to blame, parents and sellers, are still going to do sh*t about it. People will blame the game and not how the game changes hands.

And thirdly the Parents who do care miss the point altogeather. Like parents who lead a grand crusade aginst GTA but never even saw God of War. Who went insane over Hot coffe and missed how their was a non-illegal sex game in the FIST LEVEL. It really made me mad, I love the game God Of War but honestly how they missed it is beyond me.

So if they can do a good job and keep GTA out of a 10 year olds hands then great, other wise it will be a failure.

June 14th, 2006, 06:35 PM
I play video games because they are violent. Who wants to play video games about smelling flowers and petting puppies?

*cough*Harvest Moon/Animal Crossing and Nintendogs*/cough*

In all seriousness though, I have to agree. Nothing like being able to use brute force on characters that aren't real in order to work out anger. Besides, how is pretending to be a mighty warrior in a video game different than pretending to be a mighty warrior out in the backyard (other than the physical factor)?

June 14th, 2006, 06:43 PM
Okay, so the American kids can:

- Smoke Cigarette, with the approval of the laws
- Drink beer at adulthood and guess what, it is easy to cheat for a minor
- Smoke drugs is illegal, but easy to do
- Starve for lack of proper meals (many children don't eat a breakfast at all)
- Drink soda like Coke or Pepsi

Those are all EASY to counter, yet striking the youth...yet, they can't, I repeat they can't, buy porn or even worser, play violent videogames?

LOL, someone would have to tell me what is soooo wrong in porn, because let's talk about Italians...you know...they have porn on TV at 14:00, when all kids are awaken! I am not for that, but to make it illegal or to fight violence in GAMES instead of in LIFE, see, the point with violence, you don't have to fight it in GAMES, it is in LIFE you have to fight it.

Fighting video games is like fighting Karate as a whole. Excuse me, but all folks I know who practice Karate are sweety and very nice persons, they don't abuse it. They waste their energy and then they are nice persons.

I will repeat what one of my friend in NYC like to say...

It suck to be you! :P (extremely teasing voice)

June 14th, 2006, 06:50 PM
Woody's way of seeing things:

1. Retailers should be held accountable if they don't, at the very least, check ID (like a gas station would ID for cigarette purchases) on anything rated higher than Teen. (Mature & AO) If the retailer doesn't check ID on those, they should be fined heavily or lose their license to sell M and AO rated games.

I'm gonna respond to this one quickly. I'm not opposed to it at all. I believe we should get carded every time we buy a mature video game. For instance, I would not want to see a game such as God of War end up in my 12 year old cousin's hands. There are some things in there that they just aren't ready for yet. But it still comes down to a parenting issue all together, because, like cigarettes, kids can get older friends to buy the games for them. Unfortunately there is no way to get around this though >.>

Also, on the issue of the government stepping in on video games, the state of Minnesota recently passed a law that fines consumers under the age of 17 for attempting to buy a mature video game. Now that's just wrong.

June 14th, 2006, 07:16 PM
The people who bought Nintendogs?

They might have bought it for the doggie sex...

(If you remember the US Premier, Miyamoto's dog got it on during the show.)

There are sick people everywhere.

June 14th, 2006, 08:30 PM
Well, at least putting the games behind blinder racks will almost guarentee that whoever buys it will be asked for ID. So in a sense (even if it's not intentional) it does help inforce the ESRB ratings.

June 14th, 2006, 08:57 PM
Man I'm glad my eyes are green.
Darn. Things like this make me sorry to live in Oklahoma.
I'd say this will backfire, but I can't see how I could ensure that.
I can hope it does, however. I like seeing people have their ideas, those that involve telling other people how to behave, blow up in their faces.

June 14th, 2006, 09:05 PM
I love the joke, and on some level i kind of agree with the bill but to link hte two to gather treating violence as the same as porn is a bit... hmmm lazy?
A cool way to keep these games out of childrens hands is by having shielding in front of the game; making it so that no one could get to them unless. You have a lock on the caseing that can only be open by answering correctly by a random question generator and these question could be link with maturity levels and what you already know and how to deal with them.

June 14th, 2006, 09:43 PM
I think this is another symptom of the 'irresponsibility' epidemic that's been sweeping our country for the last twenty or so years. If parents and sales associates did their jobs keeping children from having access to violent games, I bet there'd be a lot less uproar about the whole mess. No one wants to take responsibility that maybe, "Yeah, I shouldn't have bought my ten year old that horrifically violent game." So instead, they're lumping it with something else our 'morally upstanding' politicians love to hate.

June 14th, 2006, 09:44 PM
Okay, I agree with everyone where the games like Grand Theft Auto need to stay out of childrens hands, but if you think about it, there's worst stuff on the internet, on tv and in the movies then there is on games. I think the govnerment need to keep their asres out of what they don't understand and look at stuff more important then video games.

June 14th, 2006, 10:23 PM
"Video games don't affect kids. I mean, if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all run around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music." --Kristian Wilson, CEO of Nintendo, 1989

June 14th, 2006, 10:40 PM
At first thought, I thought this idea was completely foolish and wasteful. But, as I read further it started to make sense to me. Imagine if you will an adolecent walking up to a cashier with the lastest rated "M" game. The cashier may or maynot know anything about the game, and will probably sell the game to the minor.

Now, imagine that same adolecent walking up to the counter with a package with a black "screening" cover on this package. It will raise a few questions in that cashier's head on whether this adolecent should be allowed to purchase the game.

I see this more for drawing attention to the product, instead of preventing people from seeing the cover which is most likely unoffensive. I know many states and stores have placed blinders on adult magazines to help draw attention to them. So, it makes sense to "dumb down" the process by doing it to games. Who knows, maybe movies and CD's will be next.

Edit: Spelling Bleh.

June 14th, 2006, 10:55 PM
What I fail to understand is, there are parents out there crying about the violence in video games, yet are encouraging their kids to go out and play football, hockey, soccer, etc.

Sorry, but I tend to find elves fighting goblins (or some other humanoid type creature) alot easier for kids to disassociate from real life, the kids watching grown men attempt to crush the living you-know-what out of another man. Heck, I remember way back when my nephew was in Pee Wee Football, and you had the coach and other parents encouraging these kids to go out there and 'kill' the other guys.

So, to finally make my point, I guess that if there is to be laws to keep kids sheltered from violence, lets make NFL football telecasts unavailable to them (I'm not going to even talk about boxing), and definitely do not let them play a full contact sport.

Edited for some spelling, though I probably missed a few typos.

June 14th, 2006, 11:34 PM
My take on this is simple...don't cover the box art, just force stores into organizing games based on the ESRB rating. Put the E and eC games up front near the checkout counters. Then E+, T, and M in the back of the store with clearly visible and understandable signs that shows what each rating means. If you're going to carry AO stuff, it gets put behind the M stuff.

Now you have a publisher who is about to put out a hot new title. If the game is M or T, it won't have the visibility of an E title. So...do you put the M out there and target the audience that will look in that section (mostly 18+), or do you instead focus like movies do, and put PG and PG-13 fare largely for the revenue, saving the R rating for movies that truly need an R.

I think Congress (and individual states) need to work with the ESRB, just as they work with the MPAA. After all...I remember THE MATRIX being blamed for Columbine just as much as DOOM was, and we didn't hear about the gov't forcing Hollywood into a gov't created rating fiasco.

June 14th, 2006, 11:52 PM
Because quite frankly, I think all politicians are so full of shit their eyes are brown.

I have brown eyes... /cry

June 15th, 2006, 12:30 AM
I, myself, live in Oklahoma and think that the idea behind this bill is absurd. Ive always found it rather hypicritical that the violence in video games is blamed for the problem children of society today. As Im sure the argument has been stated before, look at all the violence in the movies, the television shows. Look at what kids are exposed to in schools, in the news, ect.

I use video games as something to vent my rage that I build up from my annoyances with society. I know alot of people who agree with me. Now, I do believe things like Doom, F.E.A.R, insert other gory game here, should be kept out of the hands of children. But thats where the ESRB rating is supposed to come in. That was put there to prevent children from purchasing those games, and most stores do a damn good job of stopping kids from buying that kind of game. Its the parents who are complaing about the games, it the parents who let the kids buy the games, not the stores.

Its kind of funny that its stated that the games that are deemed "violent" are going to be housed in a 18+ room exactly like porn is in the rental places. As previously stated, smacking a turtle with a hammer is violent in real life, so does that mean that instead of making one of these rooms in Gamestop, theyre just going to hang signs on the door that says 18+ Only? Im sure Blockbuster and other video stores will cater to the bad people only room.

June 15th, 2006, 12:40 AM
Now I can pretend to browse video games while I'm really checking out the porn titles and not feel embarassed!!!

I can't wait till this makes it's way to Canada!

I guess we should take nudity off broadcast TV first right?

June 15th, 2006, 12:41 AM
I'm just waiting for Bugs Bunny DVDs to start being sold under the counter, and don't get me started on Tom & Jerry, that should be kept out of the hands of anyone under 21. On a more modern note, they should also regulate the distribution of the Shrek movie, since in one part Shrek smacks around an entire squad of King's guards, gloryfying in the violence...


June 15th, 2006, 01:40 AM
I work at Walmart and we have to card for M games also. I refused to sell someone an M game because the child handed the mother money for the game. She got pissed at me but I explained that if I sold the game to her now I'd lose my job. There was an article a few months back that stated most stores are lax in carding on mature titles. I make a point to explain why a game is rated the way it is. Today I even told a kid he couldn't buy GTA Liberty City Stories unless he was 17. He was about 9 and was mad at me. Some of us are responsible if the parents aren't.

June 15th, 2006, 02:53 AM
The cashier may or maynot know anything about the game, and will probably sell the game to the minor.

Now, imagine that same adolecent walking up to the counter with a package with a black "screening" cover on this package. It will raise a few questions in that cashier's head on whether this adolecent should be allowed to purchase the game.

I see this more for drawing attention to the product, instead of preventing people from seeing the cover which is most likely unoffensive. I know many states and stores have placed blinders on adult magazines to help draw attention to them. So, it makes sense to "dumb down" the process by doing it to games. Who knows, maybe movies and CD's will be next.

If you work in a store you should at least be informed about the products the store sells. Or at least the guidelines on how to sell them. Especially if people tend to make such a big deal out of nothing. Responsability lies mainly with the parents parenting their childeren. They should know what they play and what they don't want their kids to play. But that does not mean the store clerck should just sell everything to everyone.

June 15th, 2006, 03:29 AM
Two words, hyphenated: knee-jerk.

That's all.

June 15th, 2006, 07:03 AM
This definition considers inappropriate any game which “lacks serious literary, scientific, medical, artistic or political value” and which features glamorized or gratuitous violence; uses that violence to shock or stimulate; features violence that is not contextually relevant to the material; has violence so pervasive that it serves as the thread holding the plot of the material together; trivializes the serious nature of realistic violence; does not demonstrate the consequences or effects of realistic violence; uses brutal weapons designed to inflict the maximum amount of pain and damage; endorses or glorifies torture or excessive weaponry, or depicts lead characters who resort to violence freely.

Seems the definition is already out there and that definition covers just about all games.

I agree with Coffee, a knee-jerk reaction to a symptom of a greater problem and not properly aimed at the real problem.

June 15th, 2006, 08:47 AM
oddly enough Advance Wars is eated E and involved soldiers shooting each other.. often.

and political value? why would we want a game that has political value?

June 15th, 2006, 09:08 AM
What's happened in Britain is that games are at least nominally under the review of the BBFC (the same organisation that certifies movies for public release) and are rated under the same system. Thus F.E.A.R., Doom 3 and various others have wound up with 18 certificates and I believe the latest Sin episode got a 15.

Because these certificates are the same as the movie ones, they are universally understood and there is far less room for misinterpretation. They also have legal force behind them - if someone underage is sold such a game then the supplier is criminally liable.

June 15th, 2006, 09:24 AM
Okay, I might just be a tad wacked here... But then again... I'm not opposed that we keep the porn and violence away for the minors, BUT (there is always atleast one big but) I think I rather have my (future) kids watching [porn], then see two people going at each other, in a flick or game, with fist, chair-legs, baseball-bats, knives and guns, with blades, bullets, blood and greymatter flying all over the place!

It's easier to control them then than with a violent-flick/game, where they can end up in a fight and grab the nearest item and bash away. A porn-flick might give them some carnal-knowledge that can be explained and guided. The violence, ont the other hand, can be explained: The guy getting shot or having his brains bashed in is bad person so he deserved to get what he got. Then how to explain to the kid how to diffrence between when to and when not to. The kid will in one way or another end up in a fight! That scares me! :(

If I caught my 14 year old son or daughter in the middle of the night or on the computer watching porn, I think I would say: "What you watchin'? Oh, porn, mind if I watch it with you?" Then always remind him/her that protection is the wisest thing they always can have with them. If it was was Violence it think I might have to send them off to his/her room/delete the file and tell her/he to stop that...
But then again... As I said I'm WHACKED!

June 15th, 2006, 09:42 AM
I doubt many people are influenced by video game violence after around the age of 13. By that time period me and most of my friends knew the difference between reality and fantasy. I feel like I am living in some sort of fascist state when I see the censoring of any kind of artform to protect the minority of people that could be negatively influenced by it.

Since some teenagers would be affected negatively by violence we restrict it to age 17+. Since some young adults would just have pre-marital sex all the time we restrict renting hotel rooms to age 20 (its true in a lot of counties). Since some college students would just drink all the time we restrict it to age 21. Better stop after that, people over 21 tend to vote.

Any kind of restriction of content or media after age 13 is just self righteous voters who believe they know how to better protect the younger generation. Parents have the right to be self righteous since they are spending money to raise their children. But the rest of America needs to butt out and go make laws about things that matter. Things like net neutrality, the war, our deficit, and is Canada getting ready to attack? All are more important issues which are being ignored by most lawmakers because:

It's easy for both political parties to agree on issues that have no substance.

June 15th, 2006, 09:52 AM
Anyways, it normally is the parents fault. When I was in sixth grade, I couldn't go five minutes without hearing the [F-bomb]. (Heck, I'm in highschool now and people glare at my friends when they say it) And the majority of that was from the kids who obviously have bad parents.

But sometimes it's just a kids personaly choice. I have a stoner friend who's mom is strict, not letting her have her boyfriend over alone etc. etc. Yet she still smokes and drinks and has sex.

Though personally, I am that rare on girl in a million who actually wants to wait until I am married, and have no intention of doing drugs (including smoking) I might as well give the school SOME relief from all their anti-drug pounding into my head.

And this is all coming from someone who the other day say a glimpse of a 5 year old's show and immediatly turned on Soul Calibur 3, and proceded to beat up as many people as I could.

June 15th, 2006, 10:46 AM
Got here late, but I wanted to comment anyway. I stopped reading somewhere around page 6 I think, so forgive me if this has been said already.

The big problem that this law creates is that many large retailer chains will not carry pornographic material. Sure, the coasts are bogged down with game stores, but large stretches of the south and midwest do not have such luxury. Games bought in person are going to be purchased at stores like Wal-Mart and Target.

Those stores will equate video games as porn - rather than spending even more on blinder racks and dealing with hurt sales by their obsolete methods of presenting games (it's already a pain in the ass to read the back of a box since games are locked in a big display case, but now you'll have to find a clerk just to find the name of some games), they'll just cut their "losses" and stop carrying any game that might include violence. The video game section of a store will shrink significantly, as even budget titles will be removed, leaving only preschool Blues Clues games and the random Bejeweled rip-off.

While developer's titles will get sold, they will still have a loss from these large retailers refusing their products. I think, since more and more of the US is getting broadband coverage, the "industry" needs to look at Half-Life as a model. Deliver content completely online, and price appropriately for the lack of packaging (rather than trying to shear the same prices as a boxed game).

The law may have far-reaching implications for many people's jobs, either way. I hope that the ESA or someone will stand up and point out how stupid this is. I'd do it myself if I weren't a poor college student. :p

June 15th, 2006, 11:37 AM
No legislation,short of banning violence from games period,(not an acceptable option) is going to work to keep violent games out of the hands of children, because they ALLWAYS (at least as far as I have seen) focus on the wrong end, the games themselves and those who make them.That is NOT the problem, the problem is the parents/grandparents who cant be bothered to take an extra 30 seconds out of their bussy schedule to actualy look at what they are buying for their kids.
A store isn't suposed to sell a mature game to minors, some do we know, but you treat it just like they do when they sell alcohol to minors, you bust them on it, fine them, etc. untill they get the idea that they have to check i.d's when selling a mature rated game, this is allready in place, it just needs to be enforced.
BUT, as we all know,(except for the polititions and interest groups), its not little 10 year old billy buying from the store himself that is the main problem, its little billy's mother/father/other who just blindly tells the clerk, yes i want a copy of postal/GTA/(insert name of latest political bait here) without bothering to even look at the thing.(ANY rating system is pointless if the idiot parents wont take the time to use it) Then later she see's billy playing it and gets all shocked.
I mean realy, if i went out because my 12 year old wanted a video for his birthday, something called debie does someplace or another, is it the porn industrys fault my kid is watching porn, or mine for buying it for him without bothering to check what i was buying?
This is going to be an issue as long as parents refuse to take responsibility for their actions and the raising of their kids.
At least if some clueless parent baught porn by mistake, they can at least blame it on the brown wrapper covering the thing so you cant see what it is.(relativly speaking, you'd still be a dimbaulb)
What excuse does the parent who bought GTA/whatever have? (Its not like they hide what is in the game, or try to obscure i somehow.) I just couldnt be bothered to look? just dosnt seem all that good of an excuse when you think about it.
Just a few months back a friend of mine was in walmart checking the latest games, when some lady comes to the counter and asks the clerk if they had a copy of GTA:SA, it was her sons 12th birthday this week and he really wanted it. The clerk said yes one moment and went to get the case key, my friend asked the lady if she knew what the game was like, and of corse she didnt, so he tells her the highlights, needless to say she didnt buy her son GTA,my friend then explaned the rating system on games to her for future refrence, and recomended kingdomhearts, which she bought, and thanked my friend for the help.
Now, if my friend wasnt there, maybe she would have bought gta for her son and maybe she would have looked at the box and decided not to, we will never know, but we can all guess. Curtainly the clerk was no help, his only job is to sell merchandise, but a warning, given what the lady said, would have been nice.
anyway, im sure you get what im saying.

June 15th, 2006, 01:21 PM
According to figures provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services, up to 600,000 men, women, and children go homeless each night in the US.

Recent evidence confirms that homelessness among families is increasing. A survey of 25 U.S. cities found that in 2000, families with children accounted for 36% of the homeless population (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2000), with requests for emergency shelter by families with children increasing an average of 17% from previous the year.

In New York City alone, city officials estimated that there were 30,000 people utilizing the shelter system on a daily basis, more than at any other time in the city's history.

Children who are homeless are one of the fastest growing segments of the general homeless population as for every four homeless persons, one of them will be a child. Families with children make up 37% of people without homes. When children become homeless, they face additional setbacks such as in education. Requirements of legal guardianship, lack of a permanent address and immunization records often delay or prevent homeless children from enrolling in schools and receiving an adequate education. Without a chance to get an education, children who are homeless are often unable to acquire the necessary skills they will need to escape from the poverty that led to them to become homeless in the first place. Thus, a vicious cycle is set in motion where poverty results in homelessness and homelessness, through the obstruction of education, leads to future poverty for the children.

You'd think that if these parents against 'XY&Z' groups, and the government were truly concerend about anything more than publicity, they'd focus their efforts on things that really matter, like rising homeless rates for families with children, education, sex ed, child neglect/abuse, etc. Of course none of those problems have an easy a fix as a black plastic wrapper. So hey, lets hide video game boxes! For the children.

As a side note, this reminds me of an episode of Law and Order SVU I caught a couple weeks ago with Lewis Black as a radio dj ala Howard Stern. In this particular episode there was some mother crusading against a scantily clad 16 year old tv starlet, who is so wrapped up in her fight, she can't even be bothered to take her own two children to school. Long story short, her son ends up raping the aforementioned starlet, mother blames Blacks dj character, whom her son listened to without her knowledge, then shoots the dj when her son is found guilty of sexual assault, claiming the dj ruined her sons life.

You want a culprit for violent children? Look no further than their parents, assuming you can find them, that is. Anyone, child or adult, incapable of discerning the difference between a video game/movie/book/song, has a problem, and if it isn't GTA/Marilyn Manson/Harry Potter/the Bible that sets them off, something will eventually.

Sorry for the long rant, but I take offense any time the government, and the thought police, try to legislate to make up for inadequate parenting.

June 15th, 2006, 01:55 PM
eh...why does anyone care...i'd think most of us here are over 17, so we are old enough to buy M rated games...that and 9 times out of 10 we already know what we are going to buy before we even go to the store, so why cry about something blocking the cover of the game?

let the idiots have their fun, let them think they are saving the world...in the end minors will still be playing M rated games and kids will still bring guns to school

June 15th, 2006, 02:27 PM
"Video games don't affect kids. I mean, if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all run around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music." --Kristian Wilson, CEO of Nintendo, 1989


That might explain the medical industry actually...

But I digress.

June 15th, 2006, 08:16 PM
Not everyone here is over 17. I, myself, am 15. And also think of the other people's children, or your own (If you have any). This doesn't just apply to yourself or the adults on this site. Their are many younger than 17.

Okay, sorry for that small rant, but I just had to get that out.

June 15th, 2006, 09:19 PM
My gripe is we're already doing this, or something just as good.
I work at Hasting's, and any title that comes up "M", or "AO" (or "R", "NC-17" or even "NR" (Not Rated), which hits some made for TV childrens fare), gets a popup screen at the terminal warning about selling or renting to underage persons.
However, requiring blackout bags will restrict visibility of the box. Period.
We keep most of our games in clear cases with hand-holes to manipulate the boxes. The rest are in "clamshells" that are opened with a sixteen prong comb-like "key".

With this, the CHEAPEST we could probably market most adult-focused games, (and by that, I mean anyone who is an adult, not anyone wanting smut), would be to use tinted clamshells for all our "M" and "AO" titles. Doing this would mean the games would be out of the case, where frankly, they are easier to steal, (we put the bargain titles in the clamshells, currently.)

Now, if they were to offer to certify the existing, vendor developed, systems, when they work, (ours does,) I'd be a lot less annoyed.

Annoyed, but less so. People telling me how to live still annoys me. People making decisions that don't DIRECTLY effect me, but still effect how I can live, still annoys me. Wal-Mart already pulled the "M" games. Fortunately, our town has a Hasting's. If it didn't, Wal-Marts decision would have effected Consenting Adults freedom to Live As They Choose.

As for violence in sports. Good luck. I'd back you just to see academics take the front seat in our public funded education that it should have always had. Do I object to violence? Between equally consenting individuals? No.

June 16th, 2006, 01:15 PM
I play video games because they are violent. Who wants to play video games about smelling flowers and petting puppies?

Sorry... Nintendogs is it? Just had to mention it...

June 17th, 2006, 09:16 PM
"The legislature needs to drag their heads out of their asses long enough to let the ESRB's rating system be useful. "

That would be too easy. They gotta dream up some way to get their butts re-elected.

June 29th, 2006, 08:02 AM
Interesting side note for the state of Oklahoma: I've seen a lot of posts in this about the ESRB ratings. Which I agree is a fairly effective tool for deciding what games children should play. I just think it's a little strange that the law stipulates that the bottom 2/3 of the box be covered... Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that the same portion of the box that displays the rating?