The Master

The assault on video games

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Everyone in Illinois knew this was coming... and it's all thanks to NARC and JFK Reloaded. Two really shitty games. YAY!

Really though, do we need a law that forces stores to actually check IDs when selling games? I mean, theaters do it, why can't stores?

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Quite frankly I've said for a long time that the ERSB should be enforced (& I'm only 16) if the parents don't mind the kids having the game, it wont be a problem will it

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Really though, do we need a law that forces stores to actually check IDs when selling games?

Yes, we do. This isn't censorship. This just forces parents to pay attention to what their kids are doing, which they should do anyway. This bill, though I suppose that since it was proposed by the governor it will be signed into law, isn't nearly as offensive as that Washington one. It's even worse because the video game industry is much more important to Washington than Illinois, as the only development studio I know of in Illinois is Ensemble.

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Midway (Mortal Kombat) and High Voltage (Leisure Suit Larry) to name two. And Bungie started here as well. Oh, and Ensemble is in Texas.

Can a movie theater (or box office attendant) be fined (or arrested in the case of the attendant) for selling a minor a ticket into an R-rated film? If so, then I have no problem with the law. But otherwise it seems like they're targeting video games because it's an easy/popular target right now.

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Can a movie theater (or box office attendant) be fined (or arrested in the case of the attendant) for selling a minor a ticket into an R-rated film? If so, then I have no problem with the law. But otherwise it seems like they're targeting video games because it's an easy/popular target right now.

No, it's optional for movie theaters to card. Some theaters will even up their policies for certain films, something I know several theaters did with Sin City (treated it like an NC-17 film). They're targeting video games because most retailers won't enforce the gaming industry's policies. I think this is much more directed at retailers than at developers, since developers are universally adopting the ESRB system. Either way, I don't think this changes things very much. The vast majority of kids under 16 aren't gonna be walking around with $50 in pocket money that wasn't given to them by their parents. There's a great piece about that by the head of Acclaim in the 2000 Senate hearings about the marketing of violent materials to children. I think I have a PDF file with the whole record of the hearings, if you're interested in that.

And I could have sworn Ensemble was near Chicago, since when I was writing my Bruce Shelley bio for the Game Developer tourney it said he was living in the suburbs. Whatever though, my point still stands as Microsoft and Nintendo of America are both headquartered in Washington, not to mention numerous other studios.

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Then they better start fining theaters too, 'cause otherwise this is a biased attack against video game retailers.

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considering they are just enforcing the rating systeam and making parents moniter what their kid is doing, i really don't dare

i'm 20 years old so it wouldn't effect me at all. and when i have a child of my own, i planned on monitering what games they played anyway. Not a big deal at all

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I think I've mentioned this before, but the practice of carding everyone for M rated games isn't all that new. I worked retail at Circuit City for years, and you were constantly reminded that you'd immediately lose your job if you were caught selling an M-Rated game or R-Rated movie to someone under 18. I know Toys R Us has the same policy, since my old roommate worked there when we were in school.

I don't have a problem with it, personally, so long as it's applied universally like Yoda mentioned. What's the point of rating your products if nobody's there to enforce them?

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Yoda and Q with the truth. If it's universally enforced then good. As Q mentioned it is already a policy in some places and this merely gives the establishments statutory authority to card.

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Midway (Mortal Kombat) and High Voltage (Leisure Suit Larry) to name two. And Bungie started here as well. Oh, and Ensemble is in Texas.

Can a movie theater (or box office attendant) be fined (or arrested in the case of the attendant) for selling a minor a ticket into an R-rated film? If so, then I have no problem with the law. But otherwise it seems like they're targeting video games because it's an easy/popular target right now.

In the UK, it's illegal to sell a movie to someone under that age. It's not illegal for them to view it (unless it's R18 - hardcore porn), but it's illegal to sell it to them. I'm not 100% sure what the law is with regards movies in cinema's. But games are retail only, so I figure the same rules as with DVD's works for me.

Personally, in the UK, I always thought there wasn't enough notice taken on the age ratings on games.

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Welcome to the dark world of "Grand Theft Auto San Andreas," where killing cops earns you points, not prison.

Points? GTA has points now?

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“It's impossible as a parent to keep up,” she says

I don't really know how much becomes too much in the cursing stance of this board so I will leave my response to that quote as Bull$$$$.

The kids young enough that you should actually be weary of what they're simply do not have the resources to acquire these games or any game w/o the parent. A 9 yearold shouldn't be buying much of anything without a parent's awareness.

As far as keeping up goes, its as easy as the rating system or a quick research into the game. And if that is too much trouble then the parent has priority issues and there is part of the real problem with the kid.

Once they are old enough to go out and buy and play these games w/o parent assistance/knowledge then I don't think impact on the kid is going to be harmful, assuming they were raised anything but super poorly.

My stance

F.i.

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“It's impossible as a parent to keep up,” she says

I don't really know how much becomes too much in the cursing stance of this board so I will leave my response to that quote as Bull$$$$.

There are no rules against cursing. Feel free to say "bullshit" all you like.

So I was at Best Buy this evening and a mother was buying her nine / ten year old son an Xbox and was asking the clerk which games they should get. Before the employee could respond, the mother noted that her son has and likes the other GTA games (presumably for the PS2) and was wondering if San Andreas was any good. Wisely the employee told the parent that those games are extremely violent, and the mother's response was a muted, "Hmm." It was almost as if she was purposely ignoring his advice.

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I almost feel like this should end with a plug for Nintendo, especially since i'm a complete nintendo whore.

And of course, in my mass experience with kids, that's the type of parent who tends to get the rowdy kid and blames it on whatever medium is handy.

That is the type of woman I expect saying the quote I picked out.

Points for optimism: Mad props to the clerk who tried to express his opinion.

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I totally agree with carding people for video games, especially if it is done universally. If the ratings are going to mean something besides an advisory, make them mean something. Who cares if you have something rated M if anyone can purchase it, its not going to hurt sales. From a gaming industry point of view the M rating is probably a good thing because it makes them look edgier and makes kids want it more, expecting a GTA experience.

If nationwide there are laws about how old you need to be in order to purchase a ticket for a movie, or purchase a movie, or smoke cigarettes, or drink alcohol, then I say let them put an age on games. Make it so the ratings mean something. Better yet, beat the feds to the punch, the video game industry should impose these rules on themselves. They come out looking like the good guys, they are able to change the rule as is needed without going through all of the government bullcrap, and parents are forced to look at the game their kid wants to buy. Mrs. 'Innatentive parent who equates money for love' will not be able to just give Jimmy a $50 and send him to get whatever game he wants and never see what it is. She can give him the $50, and he can get anything rated for his age... or he needs to bring her in and have her buy the game. Hopefully putting it into her hand where she is forced to look at it and realize "Hey this game features killing hookers as a serious career choice.... maybe its not right for my twelve year old."

Any parent who has beef with the video game will be told "You need to be 18 to purchase it, if Jimmy got the game, it must have been through you, we would never allow a child to have that game" and the industry comes off clean.

Plus, and this is a big plus, game devlopers will actually be encouraged to make games with ratings like Everybody, or Teen instead of Mature. From a sales perspective they make more money by making a game not centered on stealing ambulances to use to run over police officers, and instead being innovative in gameplay, rather than innovative in graphic violence. I don't buy games like GTA, they don't entertain me in the long run. You can only enjoy killing so many cops and hookers before its boring.

I gotta back up the Retreater though. Ultimately it is the parents responsibility to take care of their kids. They should be involved in their life enough to know what video games they have, and know what those games involve. They might not need to sit down and actually play the games, but at least take an interest. Sit with the kid when they play at some point, and do a quick google search. It would take less than a minute on Google to find out GTA is not a game for children. If the parent is not willing to put in that effort, I don't want to hear them complaining about Television, Video Games, Comic Books, or Street Gangs, because their kid's bad behavior is their fault.

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Exactly The Steve. Controlling a kid in that respect is completely possible. There have been many times I've had to turn off TV shows because a kid much younger than me informs me that their parents don't let them watch a show. Rugrats is always the example that stands out in my mind. yeah it is a kid show but it really did a terrible job in the educational and manners teaching side of things.

Make a point to get involved and it will work on at least some level. In the same way, if you ever watch your kid play games you are bound to find them playing something in poor choice, if they play games in poor choice, so if your suggestions fail you can then enforce.

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Welcome to the dark world of "Grand Theft Auto San Andreas," where killing cops earns you points, not prison.

Points? GTA has points now?

And since when did killing a cop not equate to a 2-star warning level, and if you're caught, prison?

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Well, ever since I started at Hollywood Video, I've been making a point to inform the parents that their kids are attempting to rent an M rated game (I've seen as young as 9) and then ran down the content that is in the game and the amount of terrible things that you can do, and hear. Most parents? They look at me like I'm an idiot for informing them that they're pretty much a shitty parent if they rent this for their 9 year old.

I also make it a point to not allow kids to rent M rated games if they're under 17. Basically, the accounts have a level on there, and I simply tell them that the game is above the standard level that you can rent, sorry. It works.

We no longer carry GTA: San Andreas, by the way. I went in two days ago, and where it was occupying two shelves, amounting to almost 30 copies of the game, we had none. The cases and games have been taken down, and as they come back in to the store, we're putting them in the main office and probably sending them off to corporate.

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She bought an M-rated game for her 14 year old grandson and wants to sue Rockstar over it. Fuck almighty!

''The way you win this video game is by getting a stolen car, getting arrested by the police, killing the police and escaping,'' defense attorney Jim Standridge told the jury in opening statements Monday. ''Does that sound familiar?''

No, the way you win the game is by completing the missions and running your ass off once the cops spot you. Killing them nets you no victory. UGH!

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Either way, it's not a kid's game and buying it for a 14 year old is just another example of adult irresponsibility.

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So let me get this straight... if it happened in a video game that I play its not my fault? If we can equate video game reward systems to real world crime and punishment I suppose we can also equate it to other things... after all by the same reasoning used in the court case the makers of Paperboy should be recieving pay for job training.

It all comes down to one thing, people are responsible for THEIR actions. Video games are not a mind control device, they are entertainment. If you are not able to discern between actually shooting a police officer and aiming with a directional pad and pushing the X button you have no one to blame but yourself.

I cannot forsee Parker Brothers getting in trouble if some kid were to play the old board game "Operation" and then actually try to remove someone's funny bone. Same sort of logic should hold with video games.

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