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Euro Parliament Wants "Red Button" For Shutting Down Games

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the say-what-now dept.

Games 167

GamePolitics writes "The European Parliament has actually requested that red, panic-style buttons be set up for use by parents whose children play online games. The buttons would allow the parents to quickly shut the game down should something inappropriate occur. Wouldn't the old-school on-off switch work just as well?" To be fair, the report isn't entirely crazy; it says games "can also be used for educational and medical purposes," and acknowledges that the "presence of violence in video games does not automatically lead to violent behaviour."

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167 comments

PC Games? (1)

Entropy98 (1340659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26823963)

What about online PC games?
 
--
  mafia rpg online [mafia-rpg.com]

Universal Remote (4, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824155)

They could employ the same system that the Xbox employs. Add an IR receiver.

I already have a button which turns off my Xbox 360 in one button press. It's on my Logitch Harmony. When I press "Off" it turns off my hometheater, including my 360.

If they want a quick "OMG boobs!" button then they just need a universal remote. Program it to the XBox's IR "Off" command and bam! Problem solved.

If people start swearing I could just press the "mute" button and it'll mute my receiver.

I guess the EU wants to legislate the ownership or at least education for parents to purchase a Universal Remote. PC games? Add an IR receiver. Again, mute is easy enough in windows. My keyboard has a mute button so there must be a hook. Also minimizing to desktop is a hotkey so that should be pretty easy to setup to an IR command as well.

No IR needed to toggle power switch (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824403)

You're over-thinking the problem. Your setup sounds nice, but all that's required --and a feature that's already implemented-- is just plain moseying over to the power switch and extending a finger at it. Any finger will do! ;-)

Re:No IR needed to toggle power switch (5, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824721)


I've got a better one. Tell your child to stop playing the game. If a parent can see what their child is doing in order to press a red button, then they can just as easily tell their child what not to do.

Relying on physical means to control your child's behaviour only sends the message that physical means are the only means to control their behaviour and if they can avoid or counter the physical means, they can behave as they wish. Are the people who proposed this bill afraid of their own children? Is physical control what they rely on?

Re:No IR needed to toggle power switch (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 5 years ago | (#26825155)

Er, and what do you do when the child says no? Ultimately it all depends on physical means - some better than others, of course. But "time out" only works because you physically put the child in a boring environment.

Re:No IR needed to toggle power switch (4, Interesting)

pla (258480) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826023)

Er, and what do you do when the child says no?

You walk over and unplug it, and take it away for a week or three.

That way, they quickly learn that undesired cooperation on the short term can result in a greater net gain in the long run.

You can back up your demands with physical action, but you probably shouldn't start by putting a pickaxe through the PS3.

Re:No IR needed to toggle power switch (1)

nobodylocalhost (1343981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26827677)

They also learn to scheme behind your back when you are not watching, or shoot your face like that halo addict kid did.

Re:No IR needed to toggle power switch (3, Insightful)

Ritchie70 (860516) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826215)

Er, no.

Someone doing what you say doesn't depend on physical means, it depends on respect.

Plenty of parents exert lots of control over their high school students - even though there's no physical advantage.

Otherwise I'd never be able to get the 6'4" kid I live with to do anything, cause I'm pretty sure I can't take him in a fight.

Re:No IR needed to toggle power switch (2, Informative)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826779)

Well, when my child is misbehaving the console itself goes bye-bye. It gets hidden beyond reach and doesn't come back again for some time (days or weeks at a time). He has learned very quickly that mom and dad mean business when it comes to listening to what they say.

Re:No IR needed to toggle power switch (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826923)

Relying on physical means to control your child's behaviour only sends the message that physical means are the only means to control their behaviour and if they can avoid or counter the physical means, they can behave as they wish. Are the people who proposed this bill afraid of their own children? Is physical control what they rely on?

Maybe the EU parliament members are too young to have read Clockwork Orange or even bothered to see the movie.

Re:Universal Remote (5, Funny)

Weedlekin (836313) | more than 5 years ago | (#26825009)

"They could employ the same system that the Xbox employs. Add an IR receiver."

A lot of people with an XBox 360 don't even have to go that far, because Microsoft have once again proved that they're ahead of curve, and have already equipped their system with a special facility that displays a red circle on the screen to indicate that all gaming has been suspended for an indefinite period. This lock-out mechanism so secure that the only way to resume gaming is by sending the machine back to Microsoft, where a specially trained technician will the reset the cunningly hidden Naughty Person flag, and then send it back after a suitable period has elapsed to teach people that being naughty has consequences.

Re:Universal Remote (3, Funny)

hab136 (30884) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826735)

If they want a quick "OMG boobs!" button then they just need a universal remote. Program it to the XBox's IR "Off" command and bam! Problem solved.

How does turning off the machine get me instant boobs? I think you have that backwards!

Meta time! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26823965)

Snark about first posts.

Let's teach kids to make hardware mods early (5, Funny)

Mrs. Grundy (680212) | more than 5 years ago | (#26823969)

Seriously.

1. phillips head screwdriver (to open case)
2. wire cutter (to cut leads to switch)
3. wire nut (to short circuit around switch)
4. profit?

The really clever kids will find a way to install a software patch that makes any game say "Show us your tits!" every time the button is pressed.

When I was a kid, my parents had a 'red button' called a leather belt. It was much harder to hack.

Re:Let's teach kids to make hardware mods early (5, Funny)

aerthling (796790) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824041)

When I was a kid, my parents had a 'red button' called a leather belt. It was much harder to hack.

Harder to hack, my arse! When this happened to me, I used to modify the client (my bottom) by increasing the resistance (extra underpants) and return a spoofed result to the server.

Re:Let's teach kids to make hardware mods early (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824527)

You got to keep on your underpants! Wuss.

I would have needed to get cheek implants if I wanted any extra padding.

Re:Let's teach kids to make hardware mods early (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26825165)

some even denied the request and sent a FIN response

Re:Let's teach kids to make hardware mods early (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26824059)

The really clever kids will find a way to install a software patch that makes any game say "Show us your tits!" every time the button is pressed.

When I was a kid, my parents had a 'red button' called a leather belt. It was much harder to hack.

Did you ever make the mistake of attempting to hide the belt just to find that Dad was handy in the workshop and could product a wooden paddle in about 30 minutes of swear words?

Re:Let's teach kids to make hardware mods early (3, Funny)

Faylone (880739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824769)

Yep, except it didn't take him a whole half an hour.

Re:Let's teach kids to make hardware mods early (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826547)

Arms race, eh? Steal the keys to the gun locker and see if he can top that.

Re:Let's teach kids to make hardware mods early (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26826693)

You just pop the buckle open. There, hacked.

Re:Let's teach kids to make hardware mods early (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26827415)

how about unplugging the modem?

I think the monitor has this covered. (2, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26823985)

Or to be an ISO 9001-complaint "video game maker" you have to code in some kind of red button? In Soviet Europe, the switch kills you.

Simply the act of pushing your kid out of the way and commandeering the mouse to click said button pretty much takes care of the situation. From there, a little parenting and you are all set. Clicking on the button at that point seems a little silly. You could just close the application. In fact, the button always existed...it's part of the OS GUI API.

Re:I think the monitor has this covered. (1)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824237)

Wouldn't the method you describe cause a violent reaction from children? The purpose of red button is to shield them from violence, but pulling the plug at the moment of climax is gonna make the kids wilder than ever.

Any example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26823989)

of a game for parents?

Sounds a bit useless (5, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824007)

Sounds useless, but to answer the question - using the power switch could cause file system corruption.

So if you could rig this up to the equivalent of "Alt-F4" then you can avoid that.

As for why it's useless, if your child is not ready to see "stuff", and they see "stuff", and then you press the panic button, they won't _unsee_ stuff. In fact, they would probably remember it for a very long time.

If your child is not ready, just don't let them play such games, and perhaps you should work harder at getting them ready.

You don't send soldiers to battle untrained and unarmed.

Brainwash/domesticate your kids before the world does it for you (they want your kids to buy/believe their stuff without thinking too much or even at all).

Yes you may think brainwashing is wrong. But it's usually better to train them "fire = bad", and hopefully they survive long enough to figure out the complexities and subtleties.

FS corruption? (0)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824537)

Unless you're using FAT, the problem is almost entirely unlikely to happen, especially under such light write loads.

Re:FS corruption? (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824665)

True, most filesystems these days don't become corrupt if you just pull the plug, but that doesn't mean they won't lose your data. Most filesystems these days by default only journal filesystem metadata, they don't journal your data. Pull the plug half-way through re-writing a file and your data is garbage whether you're using NTFS, ext3 (with default settings) or FAT16.

The data that was just written (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26825277)

It's only the data that was just (going to be) written that you'll lose. It's an entirely different problem than FS corruption, which means that the whole structure is f'd up and you don't know which block belongs to what file.

Re:The data that was just written (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#26827579)

"It's only the data that was just (going to be) written that you'll lose."

And if that 'data that was just (going to be) written' is a multi-gigabyte file that IE was downloading overnight, then 'only' is not a very good description of the problem.

Back when I only had 512k broadband I left my PC downloading a 2+GB game installer for a free trial, the power went out after it had completed but before I had closed down IE (which I was using because the game developer's site didn't work with Firefox), and NTFS scandisk kindly went and deleted the file for me because IE had never closed it.

Similarly, Firefox is notorious for losing bookmarks when you cut power on Windows; NTFS seems to lose the most recently added bookmarks whereas FAT32 tends to lose them all.

I've never lost data from pulling the plug on a Unix system, but I've lost gigabytes from doing the same on Windows.

Re:FS corruption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26825617)

Data journalling at the filesystem level is not going to help. You need it at the application level to be of any use, as only the application knows what is a safe state, and what is not.

AFAIK, Linux has no support for putting application level transactions into the journal, and thus no application uses it. So the only possibility is to add an entire journalling layer to the application, using fsync() to simulate write barriers. Real databases do this, but not much else.

Use SQLite already (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26825975)

AFAIK, Linux has no support for putting application level transactions into the journal, and thus no application uses it. So the only possibility is to add an entire journalling layer to the application

No problem. SQLite is ported to just about every popular multitasking platform.

Re:Sounds a bit useless (3, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824557)

This reminds me of when I was playing Red alert 1 with my cousin, when we were teens.

His mum got pissed off and hit the power switch.

Then the UPS kicked in. It really lessened the impact she was going for.

Re:Sounds a bit useless (2, Funny)

powerlord (28156) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826257)

Unless she hit the power switch on the "power strip" and not the computer, I'm not sure why the UPS would kick in.

This of course points the way toward the already installed "red button" on most computers:

- The power button on the computer.
- The power button on the power-strip (unless there is a UPS :) ).
- The power button on the monitor (less effective, since the speakers will keep blaring).

Re:Sounds a bit useless (1)

Phoenixhawk (1188721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26827355)

If it was an apartment building, chances are rather than having overhead lighting the rooms all have a switch to control that one plug that is supposed to be used for plugging lighting into.

These plugs which are never in a location you would actually want to put a floor or table light often come back to bite you in the arse. For most likely they end up being the location of your Computer / Entertainment center, alarm clock, and out of shear habit everyone always flips that switch on you including yourself.

Re:Sounds a bit useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26827523)

Also, the kill switch on the power supply (at least for most desktops)

Re:Sounds a bit useless (4, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824659)

As for why it's useless, if your child is not ready to see "stuff", and they see "stuff", and then you press the panic button, they won't _unsee_ stuff. In fact, they would probably remember it for a very long time.

If your child is not ready, just don't let them play such games, and perhaps you should work harder at getting them ready.

Why let a little common-sense get in the way of a perfectly good law that lets parents blame everyone else but themselves for bad parenting decisions?

I'm now a father and although he's only nine months old I'll probably do the same as my parents did: determine the suitability of the game based on the maturity of my son and let him play the GTA/Carmageddon equivalents before he hits the age rating if he can take it as it's meant - a game in a virtual world that has different rules to the real-world.

Also, what's the betting that this is mainly a "for the sake of the children, hide the tiny, brief flashes of flesh" idea (which you're less likely to know about) rather than a "for the sake of the children, stop the massed bloodshed" idea (which generally tends to be obvious from the format of the game).

Re:Sounds a bit useless (5, Insightful)

mike2R (721965) | more than 5 years ago | (#26825913)

Also, what's the betting that this is mainly a "for the sake of the children, hide the tiny, brief flashes of flesh" idea (which you're less likely to know about) rather than a "for the sake of the children, stop the massed bloodshed" idea (which generally tends to be obvious from the format of the game).

Probably not actually, since this is a proposal for a piece of misguided European legislation, rather than misguided US legislation.

The EU has many many faults, but thankfully over-regulating the human nipple isn't often one of them.

Re:Sounds a bit useless (1)

Phoenixhawk (1188721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26827649)

Few problems with that,

1.) You have to either know about it, in which case why are you letting them play the game.

2.) Or you have to see it, in order to know to push the frak'in button, and by the time you SEE STUFF, they already SAW STUFF, so unless its a LOOOONG cut scene or something, in case you now know and see rule number 1
 

Re:Sounds a bit useless (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824785)

You don't send soldiers to battle untrained and unarmed.

Hey, the Soviets did that all the time!!

Something about winning wars by drowning the enemy in the blood of their soldiers...

Re:Sounds a bit useless (1)

TheP4st (1164315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26825041)

Sounds useless, but to answer the question - using the power switch could cause file system corruption.

Not if you use the powerswitch on the monitor/television which would generate the desired effect too. ;-)

Re:Sounds a bit useless (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26825979)

Not if you use the powerswitch on the monitor/television which would generate the desired effect too. ;-)

Good luck hitting the power switch to anything on a GP2X, Nintendo DS, PSP, Pandora, Acer Aspire one, or other battery-powered device with its own screen.

Re:Sounds a bit useless (2, Insightful)

powerlord (28156) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826283)

If its a "handheld" that you "need to shield your child from" take it from your child's hands.

If they are big enough to hold onto the device, you are obviously mistaken that they need to be shielded from it.

If you CAN hold onto the device long enough to hit the power button, then you might be correct, but will now have to "discuss it" with your child.

2 girls, 1 cup, 9 years old (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826401)

If they are big enough to hold onto the device, you are obviously mistaken that they need to be shielded from it.

I don't follow this part of your reasoning. A nine-year-old can hold onto a PSP. A nine-year-old can watch the trailer for the scat film Hungry Bitches [wikipedia.org] on a PSP. But wouldn't you want to shield a nine-year-old from what has come to be called "2 Girls 1 Cup"?

Re:Sounds a bit useless (1)

matt328 (916281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826457)

Sounds useless, but to answer the question - using the power switch could cause file system corruption.

All the better. If the kid would have listened in the first place their console wouldn't be a brick.

After months and months of good behavior and begging, maybe they get a new console. You can bet the next time you tell them to turn it off, if they have half a brain, they'll listen

Re:Sounds a bit useless (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26827775)

As for why it's useless, if your child is not ready to see "stuff", and they see "stuff", and then you press the panic button, they won't _unsee_ stuff. In fact, they would probably remember it for a very long time.

That's why pressing the button will also send a charge of electricity through the electrodes implanted in the child's brain.

Whats that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26824013)

What's that white 'X' in that red square/rectangle, then?

Red Button Doesn't Seem To Be Literal (4, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824043)

From the EU Parliament Press release [europa.eu]:

Until PEGI on-line is up and running, the report proposes fitting consoles, computers or other game devices with a "red button" to give parents the chance to disable a game or control access at certain times.

Furthermore in the actual draft report [europa.eu], the word "button" never appears. As such, the red button doesn't seem to be a literal red button, rather a figurative term used in the press release as a euphemism for parental controls. I'm not sure how this is any different from how the current-gen consoles implement parental controls though.

Re:Red Button Doesn't Seem To Be Literal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26824127)

Perhaps current parental controls are too complex for parents, so they want a "red button" style control.

Re:Red Button Doesn't Seem To Be Literal (2, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824193)

Those of us who are worried about our kids' online gaming, and who also happen to be colorblind, are glad to hear it.

Re:Red Button Doesn't Seem To Be Literal (1)

3.14159265 (644043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824811)

Shouldn't shutting the damn thing off and "go to your room" be enough? Or just throwing the dvd out of the windows? Jeez...

Re:Red Button Doesn't Seem To Be Literal (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826313)

I think current controls usually use Rating levels to control access.

It sounds like the proposed law wants to allow parents to also either restrict specific titles, or to add time based access controls (no gaming after kids get home from school until they are done with homework and get parent to "unlock" console?)

crappy summary of a bad summary (5, Informative)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824107)

Ok, so this /. article links to an article that already is a bad summary of this press release [europa.eu], which sounds a little more enlightened:

To help parents choose, MEPs would like to see more public awareness of the content of video games, parental control options and instruments such as the Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) age rating system.

Sounds to me like they're doing the exact right thing: Making parents responsible and asking game companies to give them options.

Now the actual "red button" part reads like this in the press release:

the report proposes fitting consoles, computers or other game devices with a "red button" to give parents the chance to disable a game or control access at certain times.

That does not sound like an emergency "off" switch to me. It sounds more like a timer thing, where a parent can tell the computer "no online games for my son after 22:00". Unfortunately, I couldn't find a source beyond the press release, so what exactly they have in mind remains a mystery. It does sound a lot less exciting than TFA makes it to be. Selective quoting, anyone?

What About alt-F4 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26824117)

what about good old alt-f4???

Could I sell RED USB ALT-F4 buttons for parents?

Games are supposed to be educational (5, Funny)

jsse (254124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824143)

To be fair, the report isn't entirely crazy; it says games "can also be used for educational and medical purposes,"

I do agree that sex and violent games are meant to be educational.

Like last time I caught my cousin attempt to flirt with a CG girl in hope to have cyber sex. I pressed the magic red-button and gave him a few bucks, told him to go out and do a real girls like a real man.

The other time I caught him shooting polygonal guys on streets with lots of bullets and first-aid boxes scattering around. Needless to say, I pressed the magic red-button again and gave him a shotgun, told him to hit the street and shoot real people like a real man.

Re:Games are supposed to be educational (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26825301)

And when you caught him in a giant mech suit destroying other giant robots?
You pressed the magic red-button again and gave him a....
/please,please,please

More trouble than its worth (2, Funny)

AnotherAnonymousUser (972204) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824171)

On most computers, you have to hold down the power button to shut down the system, giving five unfiltered seconds of access to lewd material, derogatory language, and corrupting influences whilst you awkwardly try to cover the monitor with your body.

On/Off Switch and Parenting (2, Insightful)

SpottedKuh (855161) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824181)

Wouldn't the old-school on-off switch work just as well?

Provided that the power switch is visible and easily accessible to parents, then yes. And hey, it doesn't even need to be red -- I think the "red button" idea is metaphorical.

But, think about it. Like many people on Slashdot, I'm an advocate of responsible parenting: know what your children are doing (within bounds of privacy, dependent on the child's maturity), set reasonable boundaries, and take opportunities to discuss things with your children (i.e., make things learning experiences where possible). Is it such a bad idea, if a parent sees a child exposed to inappropriate media (whether it be music, television, or video games, always taking into account the age and maturity of the child), to hit the power switch? What better time to have a discussion with your child?

I mean, you could try to have a discussion hours later. Or, you could turn off the inappropriate movie / video game / whatever, and have a discussion about, e.g., reality vs. fiction. If you, as a parent, are convinced that the child understands the implications of whatever media they were viewing, and that they are mature enough to view it / play with it, then turn it back on. Worst case, your child is pouty about having to go back to their last save point.

Sure as hell beats being one of those parents who doesn't understand why the government didn't stop them from purchasing GTA IV for their six-year-old.

Re:On/Off Switch and Parenting (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824215)

Like many people on Slashdot, I'm an advocate of responsible parenting: know what your children are doing (within bounds of privacy, dependent on the child's maturity), set reasonable boundaries, and take opportunities to discuss things with your children (i.e., make things learning experiences where possible).

Okay smart guy, how is a politician like me going to get re-elected on the nanny vote with a message like that, hmm??? Newsflash: personal responsibility only sells at the polls if you're talking responsibility of people who aren't voting for you! Yeah, you obviously didn't think that one through, did you? That's why I'm a senator and you aint!

(I know I don't need to point this out, but this was a joke)

Re:On/Off Switch and Parenting (2, Insightful)

SpottedKuh (855161) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824299)

[...] how is a politician like me going to get re-elected on the nanny vote with a message like that, hmm??? [...] Yeah, you obviously didn't think that one through, did you? That's why I'm a senator and you aint!

Despite being a tongue-in-cheek joke, your comment says so very much.

I'd love to enter politics, because I feel like I could make a difference, and because I would love to help solve some of the problems faced by the people in my country. That being said, I know that my voicemail would be filled with non-sarcastic versions of your post, 24/7.

I'm honestly curious how many people with a passion for solving problems were driven away from politics for this very reason. After all, an aspiration to genuinely confront issues is rarely compatible with appealing to the lowest common denominator (and thus being electable).

Re:On/Off Switch and Parenting (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824463)

Is it such a bad idea, if a parent sees a child exposed to inappropriate media [...] to hit the power switch? What better time to have a discussion with your child? [...] Worst case, your child is pouty about having to go back to their last save point.

You don't even need to hit the power switch: just tell your child to pause it and come have a talk.

There's no five-second rule when it comes to inappropriate media. Once they've seen it, you may as well leave the screen on.

Re:On/Off Switch and Parenting (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824549)

And to think, for YEARS, all my game consoles have been on all the time! Running up my electricity bills!

This "power button" idea is ripe and ready for environmental conservation.

Re:On/Off Switch and Parenting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26825861)

And also, turning off the child's monitor right after him seeing boobs causes that image to remain planted in his mind a lot more firmly than if you simply let it slide. The last thing sticks. It's the first rule of social engineering.

Use a spoon. (3, Insightful)

Eun-HjZjiNeD (1001079) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824247)

Why don't we just dig out the eyes of our kids so they never have to run the risk of seeing something the parents fear may harm the child... You all see how ridiculous this paranoid over-protectionist crap is, right?

and an icepick (1)

scotsghost (1125495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824695)

Don't forget to puncture the eardrums while you're digging out the eyes. Wouldn't want the little tykes hearing something that may harm them when they're running around blind, now would we?

I'm all for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26824363)

Give one to this kid's parents:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgASIJMalgM

There is already such button. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26824373)

It's called right hand

When I was about 8 (4, Insightful)

Dr. Hellno (1159307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824449)

and this was just about 12 years ago, one of my friends told me about this awesome cheat code for Duke Nukem 3D where if you entered the code and then pressed space bar in front of a lady they would sing (or some other stupid thing). Of course, when I entered the code and hit space, the lady (stripper) took off her top and showed me her boobs (vague lumps with pink squares in the middle).
Of COURSE, at this juncture, my mother entered the room. I don't remember the exact look on her face, as such, but attempting to recall it now, I envision Munch's "the Scream ( :O )"

She told me to turn off the game, or I would be grounded, and would have no more access to the computer. That's it. No magic button was required. Her finger did not even have to touch some mundane "on/off switch". I took one last glance at the cardboard-pixel boobs dancing haltingly across my screen and decided that, whatever this was exactly, it wasn't worth the infinite punishments my mother seemed prepared to apply.

Considering that day now, I don't see much need for some sort of "red button". Setting aside the fact that various consoles and televisions already have remotes with buttons serving the mandated purpose, I lay before you this objection: parents already have (very nearly) absolute power over their children. Button or no button, you can stop them from participating in any leisure activity that you feel is inappropriate with little more than a threat and a stern tone of voice. You certainly have the power to take away any consoles or computers which might allow them to defy your violence/profanity/digital-titty embargo.

A button makes it easier, less personal, more secret. It also puts an additional burden on the video game industry, to the glee of family values groups everywhere. It is not a necessarily solution. It is at best a crutch used to control your offspring, and at worst a lie used to manipulate them.

Should you ever see your children looking at something that you don't think they should see, then tell them that they can either stop, or lose some privileges.

Leave it to Slashdot... (4, Informative)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824473)

Leave it to Slashdot sensationalism to spin an EU report which is generally very positive towards gaming as some kind of evil plot...

Read the Reuters article in the summary for more info on what this was actually about:
http://uk.reuters.com/article/healthNewsMolt/idUKTRE51A60H20090211 [reuters.com]

Re:Leave it to Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26826567)

WTF, a javascript button to take me to page 2??

Unlikely to be useful (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824513)

That would mean that parents should be actually and actively looking after their children during their spare time.
That's unlikely to happen as they use Internet as a baby sitter.
Thus in the end, the panic button will cost money and resources with very little usefulness.

a thought... (2, Insightful)

polle404 (727386) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824515)

Here's a novel thought?
Try parenting!
Check the PG rating, it's even on the package in EU, read up on the game?.

think about it, what would make your kid hate you more,
not letting them buying the game,
or letting them buy the game, and then take it away after a few minutes?

"Red Button" - I like it; but we need more (3, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824535)

So many other things could also do with a panic button to shut things down "should something inappropriate occur"; the list is endless, but we could start with:
- The international banking system, (too late)
- The North Korean politburo
- The Australian parliament
- The Canadian parliament and,
- The European parliament!

Already there (1)

s1lverl0rd (1382241) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824559)

The XBOX360 already has something called parental controls, and Windows Vista has them too. Parents can use them to disable games for certain age levels (no 16+ games, for example) or times (22:00 is bedtime). So what's new about this?

The idiot box (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824643)

The reason "just using the off switch" won't work for this, is because the end-goal is to create the "right" that parents can plunk their children down in front of the digital idiot box, just as they used to do with the analogue idiot box, and have it mind their children.

This is the reason behind the filtering in Australia. It isn't really about making children "safer" but about making the parents life easier.

Just as "adult" programs are proscribed to certain times and broadcasters heavily punished for any "adult" material that slips through, expect more and more attempts at legislating away parental responsibility. Although it can never work without cutting off nearly all international networks, these attempts will not stop until citizens of these countries stop being sheep and remember what self-sufficiency is.

A better plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26824645)

Attach the panic button to an ejection seat to rocket your child to safety when anything objectionable shows up in a game.

Think of the Parents! (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824747)

I see this being more useful for the kid to keep his parents from seeing what he's doing...

Who knows how many accidents have occured while trying to turn off a monitor, mute audio, and zip up a fly simultainously, as Mom walks in.

Blood EVERYWHERE.

Red Panic Button for Legislatures (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26824835)

I want a Red Panic Button to shut down law making when Legislatures are being dipshits.

It's time to hit that panic button (2, Insightful)

moz25 (262020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26824949)

You know, it's time to hit whatever button will cause this unnecessary overreaction to halt.

The most harmful thing for kids is having controlling adults around them who can't prioritize actual dangers. The kids already know all the bad words and most likely they know more bad words than you.

If you want to keep your kids from hearing bad words, keep them isolated from their peers.

Why stop there? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26825031)

Why not just beat them?

Beat them when they play a violent game.
Beat them when they play cowboys and indians (dirty racists).
Beat them when they listen to rap music (gun and drug culture).
Beat them when they watch music television (lewd imagery and soft sexual content).
Beat them when they watch the news (war, rape, murder, animal cruelty, fraud, theft, and binge drinking).
Beat them when they get up in the morning, just in case.

Seriously, this is one fucked up piece of news.

Great idea, for workplaces. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26825461)

Yes, we need this red panic button on every laptop and desktop in each and every office.

Imagine, one button to close all those Freecells, Minesweepers, ./ or pr0n windows.

I'm 100% for :-)

Kids would profit too, just one button to press when they hear their parent's wedding ring touching their door handle.

Re:Great idea, for workplaces. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26826031)

If it's a Windows box, just install KDE and use the workspaces. Put all the not-for-work windows in a workspace. Switching is easy and fast.

Excellent (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#26825693)

I don't think we have much to worry about guys.

From the posts I've seen, I think we have finally gone beyond the 1990's and have acknowledged the fact that video games are just video games.

Seriously, 18 year old's can vote. We've grown up with Doom and GTA, this unchecked aggression will not stand man!

OMG!!1!11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26825715)

As parent you actually have to EDUCATE your children, you must SPEND TIME with them and teach them about stuff and you must take a look what they do?

You cannot just buy a PC/TV and put in whatever program happens to be shipped to shops?

WTF!11 If I had known that before... where can I give those children back? Or wait, I just dial 0800-EUROPE (alternatly use 0800-UNITEDSTATES, 0800-CORRUPTION, or 0800-STUPIDITY) and the some magic politicians who promise to have The Clue(TM) will take all that responsibility from me! Phui, that was clsoe!

Bender got it right this time... (4, Funny)

Durinthal (791855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26825755)

Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?

power button, X in the corner... (1)

Hellershanks (1315357) | more than 5 years ago | (#26825791)

Or simply let parents parent. Hell the games have a rating on them and list what is in them, online games... Would they let their little innocent kid out on the internet unsupervised... it's full of things they don't want little bobby to see. You can legislate it in... but none of the parents that would use it... would need it because they already are parenting The ones that want it are not parenting to begin with, and wouldn't be there to use when they let the TV/Net babysit the spawn

Stop being stupid. (1)

chrish (4714) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826271)

OK parents, how about you stop being stupid and actually take responsibility for raising your kids?

My son's eight and he loves video games. He's got his own DS, and he's even been trying out an MMORPG (Fusion Fall [fusionfall.com] by the Cartoon Network).

We don't let him play excessively (even though I have a tendency to want to play video games excessively), we don't let him play unsupervised (all computers are in public areas, he won't have a computer in his room until he goes off to university), and we teach him about the dangers of being online.

Ultimately, you are responsible for your kids and what they do. Grow some balls and stop trying to blame other things for your inattentiveness and ignorance.

Reverse engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26826375)

Kids will quickly reverse engineer the so called red button to shut down their parents and/or shut down the lawmakers

Not *all* bad... (1)

smithmc (451373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26826541)

I'm not saying I'm excited about parents being able to kill their kids' gaming experiences, but the idea of a Big Red Button that turns off your PC might sell well on ThinkGeek etc. I could see myself using it at quitting time, flipping open the clear protective cover, hovering my hand over it as I count "3... 2... 1"...

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