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BC Scraps Mandatory Video Game Ratings

chrisd posted more than 12 years ago | from the as-tipper-steams-in-anger dept.

Censorship 193

antarctican writes: "In their first intelligent move, the new government of British Columbia has scrapped the mandatory video game rating system which was brought into effect last year. At last some sanity in this attempt to rid youth of these e-v-i-l influences.... *smirk* We can only hope others in positions of authority come to their senses too." But we must protect the children!

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This comment is rated NC17. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577625)

Arse Wanker Bum Bollocks Titties.

Re:This comment is rated NC17. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577635)

None of those would earn anything a rating higher than "PG13"

Re:This comment is rated NC17. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577642)

Sigh ... yes, that's why it's funny.

If I wanted NC17 I'm quite capable of saying come and inject heroin into this [] then come a fuck this [] . Cunt. Dope. Stanley Kubrick. porn [] porn [alt.binaries.nc17] porn [alt.binaries.bestiality] porn [alt.binaries.lolita]

Re:This comment is rated NC17. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577649)

Indeed. Is NC-17 an American video game rating only? Or does it apply to movies too? I've seen it on video game boxes, but movies are rated by a Canadian agency here.

Re:This comment is rated NC17. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577661)

It applies to movies in the US too

First Psot!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577756)

I GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!


wow (-1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577822)

can the database crash any more today? way to go cmdr fucktard.

Bummer (-1)

Eso (205333) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577627)

This is not a last post. And quite frankly, that sucks.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577763)

haha ha ha hhe has hehh aa hhah aha ahha ha hahha

Did you ever... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577629)

Get that groovy, monkey-love feeling with your SO???...

Party on...h

Re:Did you ever... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577806)


Who says video game ratings aren't mandatory here? (2, Interesting)

Chardish (529780) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577630)

The movie industry is the same way. Sony/Nintendo/MS are the people who actually create the PS2/GC/Xbox discs, so they get to dictate licensing and royalties. And none of them will let you publish a console game with one of them if your game isn't ESRB rated.

The movie industry is the same way. Most theatres won't show non-MPAA rated films.

At least it's a legislative victory.


Whatever happened to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577643)

survival of the fittest???

Legally-blind guy at work, probably the nicest guy on the planet, is married, wife pregnant with #4.... All 3 of his current kids wear coke-bottle glasses... If I had some genetic defect, I would'nt be passing that shit on to the next generation... Some people are either too stupid to figure it out, or just don't give a shit...

Re:Who says video game ratings aren't mandatory he (1)

skeurto (113734) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577695)

Its clearly a form of economic censorship with video games, music, and movies. Ratings, which are unfairly and arbitrarily decided by industry groups with no public accountability, determine how many people get to see said works. For a movie, NC 17 is akin to a kiss of death, silencing alternative and unpopular viewpoints. Its the same with video games, where ratings often determine which stores carry particular games. Parents and their children should be determining who sees what, through analysis of each case, not arbitrary industry forces.

I thought it was the funniest thing when I got IDed a couple of months ago buying fallout + fallout 2 at target. Sure, I'm a little young looking, but still ;-)

It's the market, not the companies (1)

KingJawa (65904) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577700)

Don't blame Sony, MS, Nintendo, the MPAA, theaters, or record companies for the rating system being de facto ratings. It's not their fault.

The ratings are mostly harmless, at least to ideals such as free speech and free expression. It costs nearly nothing to put the ESRB rating on a game. But the benefits it extolls are enormous. Parents -- well, some of them, at least -- like the ratings. Those who don't could care less about the black-on-white tilted "E." But really, which kind of parent is going to scream if the label isn't there? From this view, it's a good PR move for the companies to have such labeling. For those who believe that companies should take the high road and refuse to crumbled under the public's (and, more importantly, their customer's) desires, PLEASE, do not go into business for yourself.

Second: Labeling shifts the burdern of suitability monitering from the parents to, well, no one.
* Movie theaters can refuse to allow teens into R-rated movies. Parents no longer have to pre-screen movies (either by viewing or reading reviews). Movie producers do not have to worry about the suitability of their content -- hey, it's labeled! Theaters are also usually under no legal obligation to deny access to R and PG-13 films.
* Since the TV ratings came to be, sexual content has skyrocketed. Why? Because TV producers push the envelope -- now that it is labeled (see above), parents cannot complain. No surprises equals no complaints.
* Remember how everyone shut up about the vulgarity of Two Live Crew after the "Warning: Explicit Lyrics" tag came to be? And remember how bands wore it as a badge of honor?

The exception to this is video/computer games. Quite simply, the ESRB rating came soon after the advent of console gaming -- within a few years. Well, at least within a few years of graphics good enough to be considered vulgar. They were a response more to other labeling -- not so much do to objectionable video game content.

This goes to show that the market demand for labeling exists -in and of itself-. The industries in question do not require them for the sake of limiting speech. They require them because it makes for a better -- that is, more sellable -- product. And they are right.

Hope this doesnt happen in the US (1)

astrotek (132325) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577631)

I need those M ratings to find the good ones damn it!

Re:Hope this doesnt happen in the US (-1)

Klerck (213193) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577684)

Game ratings aren't law in the US.


Re:Hope this doesnt happen in the US (-1)

buttfucker2000 (240799) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577791)


Quake 3 (1)

VA Software (533136) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577632)

Was Quake3 released in black and white only in Canada. No wonder they're miserable.

Re:Quake 3 (1)

seann (307009) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577730)


Re:Quake 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577755)

Was Black & White released in colour?

*Think of the children* (1)

Myselfthethoom (303715) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577634)

I'm afraid this argument has been downgraded to a "think of the children" and can be safely disgarded

Re:*Think of the children* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577803)

That quote comes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, the Planetary Datalinks secret project, unless you already knew that :)

Here We Go Again (1)

Atlas_Smirked (450172) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577636)

Oh shit! Here we go again. How deep do you think the threads in this "conversation" shall go? Lets have a lottery! You know, kind of like guessing the the gender and birth weight of the next baby to arrive. Perhaps we'll get lucky and it will be still born.

'tain't got no sig

wow. (0, Offtopic)

kellin (28417) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577639)

Hey, this only makes me want to move to canada even more. Not to mention BC has lots of pot.

Man, I havent used this account to post with in a long time.. I feel so c0re cause I just noticed how low my user number is.

Re:wow. (1)

Stripsurge (162174) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577817)

Just wait until the BC Marijuana Party gets elected. I really think they're going to get a lot of votes next time around :)

Do they matter? (0)

TMacPhail (519256) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577641)

I dont know if the ratings have really made a difference. I have bought several games previously that at the time I was not technicaly old enough to buy. Yet, nobody questioned me. So I dont see any major gain in having the ratings not mandatory anymore.

Re:Do they matter? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577656)

I believe buying video games under age was akin to buying Tobacco or Alchohol while under 18.

BC Liberals (1)

qubit64 (233602) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577650)

This is far from their first intelligent move. They've cut taxes, put nurses back to work (they'd already offered them the highest wages in CANADA and the nurses still weren't happy), and, most importantly, gotten rid of the corrupt BC NDP and their horrible financial decisions.

Re:BC Liberals (1)

cowbird (49696) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577705)

Gordon Campbell is one shady character though, you gotta admit. They were elected by default.

Athens, GA

Re:BC Liberals (1)

antarctican (301636) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577732)

Gordon Campbell is one shady character though, you gotta admit. They were elected by default.

Exactly, the Liberals weren't elected, the NDP was booted out for screwing up so much. Once the NDP get their act back together, bye-bye Liberals.

Campbell is a shady character, he scares me. Him and his whole party is like one slickly run television show.

Re:BC Liberals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577713)

Forget Canada... anex yourself to Britain or the US or something.

Liberals? (-1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577720)

You have a strange version of liberal. Here liberals raise taxes, pay people more welfare, make it mandatory to hire negroes (instead of the person who is most qualified for the job) and disregard common sense.

Re:Liberals? (1)

dadragon (177695) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577819)

Provincial parties are usually very different from federal parties. The Saskatchewan NDP is pretty decent, but the federal NDP has no hope of getting my vote.

Re:BC Liberals (2, Offtopic)

antarctican (301636) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577723)

Oh a wonderful job they have done you say, eh?

Let's see, hour deficit has doubled because of their premature tax cut. They're looking at breaking the contract with the nurses and rolling back their wages. They're cutting social programs left, right and centre. They're selling the province off to the private sector to pay back their corporate backers at the expense ove the working class of the province. Yeah, wonderful, turning the province into an American style capitalism, yuck.

A general strike in the province is coming, and I'm going to be there marching along side them. I'm counting the months until we can begin recalls.

Yes the NDP had become a bunch of fucknuts. However I'd gladly take them over these right wing "liberals" (read: ultra-conservatives).

social programs? (-1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577827)

Whats the deal with all these social programs? They don't work and I'm tired of paying for everyone else. Canada is closer to europe IMHO because its all about the group, not the individual. Yes capitalism does work, the US has one of the strongest economies and most valued money. Practically everything is compared against the US dollar. BTW is it true you need to wait 3 months for shit like xrays and routine outpatient procedures?

Re:BC Liberals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577844)

I've been pretty impressed so far with Gordon and Co. I don't think they are the best, or doing everything that is in the best interests of BC, but I do think that change was needed to get things moving again. Listening to CKNW, Raif Mayer has had alot of the new provincial governments ministers in, and they ALL sound very intelligent and coherent, they can back up everything they say, as opposed to anybody from any other political party who all seem to flounder when they come under a barrage of questions from the mighty Raif or Philip.

I'm willing to give them a chance. Change is needed, as is time, they've only been in 6 months. They've done more positive things in that time than the NDP ever did the whole time they were in power. I don't agree with everything they do, but I strongly feel that right now, they are BC's best chance for climbing out of the botomless pit the NDP almost finished digging.

We should adopt ratings based on content (2, Troll)

t0qer (230538) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577655)

Yet they should be fair. You mean to tell me you cannot come up with a game that would be considered innapropriate for young children?

Climb into my wayback machine.
The atari 2600 had a game named porky's. It wasn't based on porky pig it was based on a teen comedy movie that played heavily on sexualy deviant behavior. Apologies if I start sounding like the lesbo girls coach from the movie.

Anyways scene's included nudity, someone sticking their penis in a hole in the wall (only to be nearly ripped off by the female lesbo coach on the other side) and prostitution. Some of these elements were integrated into the 2600 game of the same name. It didn't look like anything XXX because the atari only did like 160x120 in 4 colors.

Take the wayback machine to present day.
The level of graphics today are coming closer and closer to reality. Now imagine a remake of porky's based on today's hardware. I wouldn't want my 6 year old nephew to play a game like that on his PS2. C'mon be real here, some material is really innapropriate for kids to see, imagine a game with japanese rape tenticle scene's in it (which I have seen DVD's of conviently placed next to the GAMES section) Video games can be just as addictive as nicotine, more so if there is japanese rape tenticle scenes and boobs involved. Sorry, don't mean to focus so much on those japanese rape tenticle scenes (sorta thing that sticks in your head once you have seen it) but I hope I made a good point.

American Pie (-1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577728)

I can't wait for the ps2/xbox port of American Pie!

Re:We should adopt ratings based on content (2, Insightful)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577812)

Video games can be just as addictive as nicotine

Wow. That's just... dumb. Really dumb. How can you possibly equate the addictive effects of nicotine, which has strong biological addictive qualities, with playing a video game? By the results of many studies, nicotine has actually been found to more addictive than both crack and heroin. That's really, really far from the addictive qualities of playing a game that has no direct effect on your bodily functions, bodily organs, or brain chemistry.

As for the rest of mind numbing post, you should learn that video games are not solely a children's medium. This is something that they've learn to grasp in Japan, but not in America. Much like the stereotypes Americans have of animation. According to recent statistics, the age of the average gamer is actually closer to the late teens and early twenties than to the average six year old. Should all of those gamers be forced to play only what is fit for a six year old? That's been the main question in censorship for many years. Should everyone only be able to watch, play, and read what is fit for a six year old? I say no. I happen to err on the side of freedom. You, however, seem to err mostly in the realm of FACTS.

"Video games are just as addictive as nicotine". I swear, some of my brain cells are committing suicide right now just so they won't have to process that piece of ignorant crap again.

Re:We should adopt ratings based on content (1)

desideria (140436) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577828)

If you're so uninvolved in your child's life that you don't know what games their playing without looking at a rating, you shouldn't have children.

What's wrong with ratings? (1)

cicatrix1 (123440) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577660)

What is the horrible deal with letting people know what to expect in games? I'm not a parent, but if I didn't follow games I know I could use a little help in knowing what to buy my children. These ratings only serve as an indicator of what to expect from the game, movies have been doing this for years. Ratings don't force anything upon anyone. It's just another label, what's the big deal?

Re:What's wrong with ratings? (2)

X-Dopple (213116) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577680)

The deal is that the ratings are often assigned by people with hardly any background in gaming. Many have never even picked up a video game controller in their life, and yet they decide what is and what isn't appropriate for millions of gamers. As more stores adopt these ratings as law, you should really be questioning this practice.

How does the ESRB rate games?

Three people are randomly chosen from a pool of 'trained' reviewers. Instead of actually playing the game to see if anything objectional is in there, these people will watch videotape footage of potentionally objectional scenes and will also review the script to a game. They then assign a rating without ever meeting each other, or actually playing the game. This kind of system leads to ratings like 'T' on Chrono Chross because it has 'suggestive elements'.

A parents opinion: The ratings are a good thing (4, Troll)

rwuest (2452) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577665)

I have a (now) 9 year old son. I used to believe that it didn't matter what was in the games he played, he would be who he was, he knew right from wrong, and reality from fantasy.

In the third grade (8yo), he was given several very violent games which he quickly mastered and played as much as he could. He also started getting in trouble at school with fighting and writing violent compositions. As a test, we took the violent games away. Within a few weeks, the violent behaviour ceased, too.

Some months later I convinced my wife to try again, to see if he went back to acting violently if we gave him his games back. It only took a week and he was in trouble at school again. We took the games away and guess what? The violent behaviour went away.

I'm not sure at what age a persons personality is fixed, but it certainly isn't for youngsters. I back the ratings systems. We rely on them. I think BC is making a mistake.

Re:A parents opinion: The ratings are a good thing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577685)

Oh? So you think that violent video games = violent behavior at school?

Have you checked in any other factors, like what kinds of friends he has at school, what kind of behavior he normally has?

This is merely little more than anecdotal evidence. Prove some real facts.

Re:A parents opinion: The ratings are a good thing (2)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577829)

This is merely little more than anecdotal evidence. Prove some real facts.

I think his methods, while not scientific, were a bit better than anecdotal evidence. He introduced an element, removed it, re-introduced it, and re-removed it. But if you need corroboration, as another parent, I will concur with his conclusion. My daughter watches a cartoon with someone hitting someone else, and she attempts to hit someone as well. She sees a movie with some Karate in it, and she attempts some Karate herself. It's such an obvious (and immediate, and easy to reproduce) cause-and-effect situation, that we no longer allow our kids to watch even "family" TV stations without some limitations.

People mirror their environment. It's called the "theory of social proof". It used to be called the Werther's effect. Go learn about it sometime.

Re:A parents opinion: The ratings are a good thing (2, Insightful)

DickPhallus (472621) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577689)

I see no need for ratings, simply just look at the games you are purchasing your son. Obviously you can tell the difference between a violent game and a non violent game simply by picking up the game and reading it's back. Use common sense, it's not that difficult. I still don't see the need to waste taxpayers money on paying someone to sit around and play games and decided whether they are violent or not.

Re:A parents opinion: The ratings are a good thing (1)

DaoudaW (533025) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577709)

Your argument is valid for (optimistically) 90% of parents. But for the other 10% money spent on early prevention, intervention is a real bargain compared to the costs of violence in society. Kudos to the Dad who was able to see what was happening and admit he was wrong!

Re:A parents opinion: The ratings are a good thing (1)

DickPhallus (472621) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577722)

Ya, for sure. Far and few between are people who can admit they are wrong!

Re:A parents opinion: The ratings are a good thing (3, Insightful)

jfunk (33224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577710)

I applaud you.

It's not the ratings that I take offense to, it's the parents who rely on them completely who create a bad situation.

Parents should have an active involvement in what their kids are doing, and you are doing just that. You made your *own* decision.

Most parents I've seen are content to let pop culture raise their children. They're lazy. I think that's much more sick than any kind of violence in the media. It creates a bad dependence on others. When someone else takes offense to something you think your kid *should* be exposed to... Well, you know the rest.

Personally, I think that you should not let ratings define your decisions. I think you should keep making the decisions yourself.

This is exactly what the opposition to ratings is all about.

I say to you: Bravo.

Re:A parents opinion: The ratings are a good thing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577738)

Don't be a fucking pussy. Young boys are SUPPOSED to be rough and tumble at school, unless you want them to grow up to be faggots.

Why do I feel... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577744)

...that this anecdote was completely made up, and justified with, "Well, it's okay to say it happened because I'm really sure it's what would have happened." ?

It's pretty damned rare behavior for parents to reintroduce what they feel is a bad influence to see whether it actually causes problems.

Re:Why do I feel... (1)

rwuest (2452) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577794)

It really did happen the way I wrote it. To start with, I didn't believe the games were the influencing factor. Even after his behaviour changed, I didn't believe it. There are many other people that argue the games don't cause adverse behaviour, too.

My son _really_ wanted his games back. I don't know if you are a parent, but if you are you know that kids can be very persuasive (from your posting I doubt you are). And one thing I have learned as a parent is just how little I knew about being a parent.

The "proof", to me at least, wasn't conclusive until the second time around. It's not like we were experimenting with rat poison (hey, it killed the first kid, let's try it on the next one just to make sure it was the poison).

Guinea Pig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577748)

Nice to see you use your child as a science experiment. Are you a Nazi per chance? That's a horrible thing to do do to a child just to prove something to yourselves. Tell me, how long can you hold a plastic bag over his head without him gagging?

Re:Auschwitz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577800)

Arbeit Macht Frei

Re:A parents opinion: The ratings are a good thing (1)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577815)

If your child is directly affected by such things, then I applaud your actions. However, this rating system did not leave it up to the parents the way the current ESRB rating system, which is present in both American AND CANADA, currently does. This system made violent or sexual video games so difficult for store owners to carry that it effectively banned them from 90% of stores in British Columbia. It took away parents' ability to choose that their child WAS mature enough to play such games, or for those parents with liberal views about sexual content to allow their children to see such things with their parental permission.

The ESRB ratings that are in place now give parents a choice. This government rating system would have taken it away from them, and enforced a style of parenting on the people of British Columbia. It also would've kept such games out of the hands of adults by making the games too difficult for retailers to carry.

There's nothing wrong with ratings like the ESRB, but there IS something wrong with ratings that have so much power behind them that they take away people's rights to choose what they and their children see. This rating system made the government the parent of not only every child, but every adult in British Columbia, and that's just wrong.

Re:A parents opinion: The ratings are a good thing (0)

jquirke (473496) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577845)

Maybe you just suck as a parent. That or your son's a retard.

Re:A parents opinion: The ratings are a good thing (2)

jtdubs (61885) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577853)

I understand and agree with your course of action in your presented scenario. I would just like to make sure it is understood that what happened with your child does not necessarily happen with all kids.

I grew up watching "violent" cartoons like road runner, g.i. joe and transformers as well as non-cartoons like A-Team, Kung-Fu and more.

Also, since a young age I've been a huge fan of martial arts. Jet Li is, of course, my favorite. :-). Anyway, I've seen LOTS of martial arts movies. I've studied martial arts. Since a young age.

However, I have NEVER EVER been in a fight. I've never even hit anyone. I never will. I've never been in trouble at school for anything other than talking-back and heavy duty slacking. I'm a lazy son of a bitch, but not violent, not at all.

Anyway, just some anecdotcal evidence to provide some perspective. Have fun,

Justin Dubs

Good! That's the way it should be! (2)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577667)

I think it is the responsibility of a child's parents, not the government, to guide children onto a good road for their life. Bureaucracy never misses a chance to miss, and whenever bureaucrats try to gain control over something, it becomes a big, inefficient and ineffective mess.

What difference does it make that a video game or music CD says "Parental Guidance" or whatever? Most folks know that movies have a rating system, and I think most of the same folks don't know that there is a similar system for other forms of media. What is the government going to do, prevent children under 18 from purchasing video games? Newsflash: That doesn't work for cigarettes or alcohol. Why should it work for video games?

Besides, if the government tries to take control over video games, to protect our youth, then the next thing you know, they'll pass a law that makes it illegal for minors under 18 to play for more than an hour on a school day or something ridiculous like that. Again, don't you think the parents should decide what their children can and can't do? That's all I'm trying to say. I don't want to argue about details, like what some rule, law, regulation--or whatever you want to call it--says. I'm just saying that in most matters, parents should be responsible for teaching their children, and once they're old enough, the children should be responsible for themselves. We don't need the government sticking their noses into yet more aspects of our lives.

Oh yeah... and yes, I do know what this story is about. I'm just trying to say that it's ridiculous that most governments have this urge to waste inordinate amounts of time and money trying to control things that really don't matter anyway.

Re:Good! That's the way it should be! (1)

Bradlegar the Hobbit (132082) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577696)

I think it is the responsibility of a child's parents, not the government, to guide children onto a good road for their life.

And the ratings system is designed to assist the parents in doing just that. Look at it not as a goverenment intervention ("Sorry kid, we can't rent you this game 'cause it's rated XXX w/ chocolate"), but rather as a tool to help parents find out what's inside the box. Parents have enough on their hands already; they may not have time to pre-screen every video game themsleves.

Re:Good! That's the way it should be! (1)

dadragon (177695) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577830)

The rating system made it damn near impossible to carry video games. The games WERE NOT SOLD. If the game isn't for sale, where's the choice?

Fairly leniant compared to Australia's laws (0)

jquirke (473496) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577852)

Exactly right. Does anyone really care, since it is only providing "advice" to people purchasing it - you can take it as seriously as the Bible, or completely ignore it. Your choice.

At least the system was only a ratings "advise".

Here in Australia, You CANNOT purchase games that are 'recommended' [BS] for an age level higher than your own. Technically, it's illegal for a 14-year old to purchase Half Life (although retaileres don't generally ask for ID, so its fairly easy to circumvent).

What's worse, the highest rating is MA15+. Anything higher than that is pretty much banned, as far as the law is concerned.

The Problem (1)

nervlord1 (529523) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577676)

The real problem atleast in my opinion with laws such as this is it continues to send the message that video games are something only kids do, im 17 and i play games, a teacher at my university often trades games with me! The point is: gaming is for all ages, and stuff like this being taken away is good for getting rid of the stereotype that only children play games, now if only Australia would let us play Mature games and introduce an 18+ catogory

Re:The Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577686)

I'll bet money that the teacher you mention is a homosexual pedophile, too. Next time you're sleeping over at one of his "game parties," you'd be wise not to sleep on your stomach.

Re:The Problem (1)

Stone Rhino (532581) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577751)

This is not worthy of a response. oops.

Re:The Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577825)


Re:The Problem (1)

Crackerman111 (201718) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577761)

The real problem atleast in my opinion with laws such as this is it continues to send the message that video games are something only kids do

I disagree. Movies are rated, but this does not lead people to believe that movies are only for kids.

Being a BC resident myself... (1)

AnimeFreak (223792) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577683)

I beleive it is up to the parent to decide what is right for their child to play. If their parent decides it is okay for their child to play World War II online, then it is her decision and not that of the BC government. A follow up from the Times Colonist [] is availble too. This is one of many things that I am happy to see from the Liberal government.

Re:Being a BC resident myself... (1)

Crackerman111 (201718) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577768)

I beleive it is up to the parent to decide what is right for their child to play. If their parent decides it is okay for their child to play World War II online, then it is her decision and not that of the BC government.

Yes, but ratings do not keep parents from deciding what is appropriate for their child. Ratings only help parents make this decision.

Heh, looking at the news... (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577688)

It's interesting, really.

If you looked at the papers, you'd see that people are complaining about this. Saying stuff like "The industry is ineffectual, and all this bad stuff" etc. (Well, they're partially true, but that's another matter). This is simply political - BC has a pretty whacky political environment.

Of course, what no one realizes is well, why do *PARENTS* buy these things then? Parents are the ones who carry that money to buy these games (after all, they do cost $50+, and no kid I know gets an allowance that large unless they were extremely rich [rich rich, not "Canada Rich" which is what the government calls people making > $60k/year (Canadian - probably about US$37-38k)]. So if the parent is purchasing these games, they're just as fault as the game industry. And if the kid manages to save that much money, or has a job, they're more or less mature enough already to play these games.

It's just a cheap call to avoid involvement with the child. Perhaps there should be birth licenses, since it seems these parents don't even want to take a 5 minutes to read that little tag explaining the meaning of the little game ratings down at EB or where else. Or even spending time at the computer playing (*gasp*, what a novel concept! Quality time! I should patent that!) with their child.

Re:Heh, looking at the news... (2)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577841)

if the kid manages to save that much money, or has a job, they're more or less mature enough already to play these games

Most of the 14 year-olds I know have jobs flipping burgers. This might not be the ideal way to gauge maturity.

needless cynisism (2, Interesting)

basking2 (233941) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577690)

Just some slight criticism:

Video games DO contain some really messed up concepts. Ratine systems provide parents with info so if there IS a real threat to a young child, then the parent can prevent the interaction.

The alternatives are not as "free" as rating systems unless you are suggesting that anything that goes on a store shelf is fit for a child to get in their mind.

The bottom line I think is that the cynicism was pretty inappropriate, IMHOP. I don'thave time to research video games and I don't want to say,"Nope, no video games for you kids, you may pick up a really nasty one by mistake." They should have some video games! They should NOT have Gore-Blaster IV: Chainsaw edition.

The cynisims implys that incorrect views (or some very irresponcible views) are held by some people.

Re:needless cynisism (2, Funny)

GISboy (533907) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577741)

Video games DO contain some really messed up concepts.

Yeah, I was thinking hey why don't we do this:
Make a Quake 3.1 and have the following:
No health, but "karma" points.
You are not longer shooting, but moderating your opponents.
machine/shot gun are mod points.
rocket launcher is a retort launcher.
grenade launcher is flamebait poster.
rail gun is pointed argument poster.
BFG is metamoderation.
Lava is now "red tape"

Quad damage is now Multiple owies.
Regeneration is 'Nap time'
Invisibility is "speak when spoken to"

And, all opponents never die they just get put into time out until they can play nice with the other players.

I dunno, too much /., too much Q3...

oh, well, Regen^H^H^H^H Nap time.

Re:needless cynisism (-1)

buttfucker2000 (240799) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577799)

That sounds like it would be the gayest websi...err, game ever. I'd bet the edito...err, boss monsters look like this [] because they take it up the ass so much they shit dick shapes.

Re:needless cynisism (2)

hearingaid (216439) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577780)

Oh, come on.

Exactly who needs the ESRB logo on the side to know what Grand Theft Auto (to pick a random example) is like?


The only people who need the censorship logos are the people too young to have clued in to where the dirty words are. That's why, when Ice T started creating his own warning labels, his sales went up.

Oh, yeah. It might help stupid parents too. But it probably won't, because their intelligent children will just hide the (game/music/movie) discs beneath the bed.

Professor Membrane says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577692)

"Son, video games develop hand-eye coordination and make children into BETTER HUMAN BEINGS!"
- Professor Membrane to Dib, "Game Slave 2", Invader Zim

Don't be so quick to applaud (2, Informative)

twilight30 (84644) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577694)

I live in Vancouver. There are a number of facts behind the rating system that were never (to my knowledge) publicised. I was curious as I bought the Linux port of SoF a week after the ban was 'implemented', so I asked a clerk at EB some questions. The answers surprised me.
  • 1. The RCMP in a Vancouver suburb were called in on the basis of a single parental complaint.
  • 2. They confiscated copies of SoF at EB, only one of many videogame retailers in the province.
  • 3. Copies of the unexpurgated version were readily available post-ban at Future Shop (recently purchased by BestBuy) and other retailers in the province, without restriction. For the sake of argument, if you think of this as akin to 'jazz' mags -- put at levels where younger children could not access -- this did not occur. Anywhere. I saw copies at several stores myself, easily accessible by youngsters, unstickered. It was only in the last two months or so that I personally noticed any difference.
  • 4. As the reference below should indicate, the newly-elected provincial Liberal government during its time on the Opposition benches openly supported the NDP ban on violent videogames at the time.
  • 5. As reported in today's local papers, several parental watchdog-type groups are up in arms over this change. You can expect the Liberals to waffle a bit on this issue. I apologise in advance as I don't have the URL to verify this.
  • 6. Most significantly, at no point ever was the Linux port of the game affected, for understandable (economic) reasons. I personally attribute this to ignorance as getting Linux game ports is pretty difficult, though not impossible.

  • More info on the change available here [] -- forgive the reference, I'm feeling lazy (The Vancouver Province is a tabloid rag).

How about a /. rating system? (1)

GISboy (533907) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577697)

Taco, hemos and chris, and katz ratings?

That is the scale, you decide the best to worst.

Like we need them... (3, Interesting)

kypper (446750) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577699)

Oh come on. I mean, Mortol Kombat wasn't obvious? The flaming people on the back of the package weren't obvious? Blood, gore, guts?

You can tell if it's going to be violent or nasty most of the time. If it isn't, take it away from the kid.

If you're unsure, rent it first.

BC recognises it's the parent's role to look at what their kids are playing. One person's PG might be another's R, and vice versa. Nobody should be paying for a standardized system we don't need.

Fixing my typo here... (2)

kypper (446750) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577707)

Sorry, Mortal Kombat.

Re:Fixing your typo there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577712)

Leprachaun: Now ya know what to do... burn the house down!
Ralph: Mmmhmm!

Leprachaun: Now ya know what to do... burn them, burn them all!

Thanks. (1)

kypper (446750) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577716)

Appreciate it.

Do Rating Systems Work? (4, Insightful)

guru_steve (205501) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577718)

I live in BC, Canada, and as far as i understood the law, it prohibited the sale of violent video games to minors. By scrapping the law, now it is the exclusive responsability of the industry to police itself.

BUT i've never quite understood how banning the sale of video games to minors would prevent them from playing the game. Wasen't that the original intent of the law -- to stop kids from playing violent games?

Yes, we only sell tobacco products to those of age. Does that prevent kids from smoking anyways? Hell no. More often then not it's in the early teens that kids start smoking.

Take it one step further - you can pirate any game online with minimal hassle. Now it's no longer a tangable, physical object to buy (like cigarettes,) but rather pirated software.

Get real. This law wouldn't stop kids from playing games. If anything, it would probably cost the game companies sales. Since little Billy Bob can't buy the game from Future Shop (now Best Buy, i guess,) his only option is to pirate it online.

Rating systems (1)

Fizzlewhiff (256410) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577724)

I used to think ratings systems were bad. It all changed once I became a parent.

Video Games Can Even Effect 32-yr-olds (2, Funny)

FrankDrebin (238464) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577746)

Like the other day I was frustrated in heavy traffic and actually thought about locating a railgun or BFG...

Back to Columbine (2, Interesting)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577753)

At that time many articles were written about how violent video games push kids to crime. After the Sept. 11 attack, I saw an article who also blamed violent video games because apparently the author believes that the gamers are reluctant to go to war because in games such as Quake and Unreal Tournament you always end up loosing at least one game.

Now for the shocking part. Please keep in mind that governments don't take their own decisions. Their decisions are based on what most of the voters want and what the pressure groups wants. In my experience, only 10% of the population is really against censorship. I thought that most slashdotters were against censorship to, but I got surprised when they were encouraging the government to stop WinXP from being published. Stop being hypocrites.

parents?? (4, Interesting)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577754)

being a former salesman in retail i can say that parents sometimes dont know about the current ESRB anyway. many times parents would buy an M game only to return it an hour later because it's not appropriate for their 10 year old. (I usually followed these up with a short intro to the ESRB system, and draw their attention to the "M - Mature, Ages 18+" box)

so for some, ratings dont matter. they'll just buy, and return if's too much for their kid.

ratings were a joke (1)

smic (512194) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577758)

I work at Toys R Us in Vancouver, in the electronics section, and really the Ratings were the biggest joke. Some had a Mature(18+) and *technically* we were supposed to ID kids buying them, but i saw some games that were worse and ok for the kids to buy.
TOtal crap

*Please* protect the children.... (1, Troll)

TheMCP (121589) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577764)

I really think it's time that we all need to make a real effort to protect the children...

Protect them from growing up in a world of censorship and enforced lowest-common-denominator morality.

Re:*Please* protect the children.... (3, Insightful)

psxndc (105904) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577808)

Ratings != Censorship. Rating Systems = (hopefully) informed consumers.

If I make a game that has psychos drowning kittens, should the government deny me that right to publish my game? No, of course not. But the government should force me to put some sort of labeling on my product so that consumers are made aware of its contents. Think FDA and stuff you buy at the grocery store. You may not know what half the crap in your Velveeta is, but they tell you so if you want to become informed, you can.


someday I'll get up and we can all be done with this...

Ratings aren't a bad thing (1)

meheler (193628) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577767)

I have no problems with ratings. They give parents a guide as to what might/might not be appropriate for their children.

What I'm 100% against is not selling games because of their content. It should be up to the buyer what is "too much".

A Modest VG Rating Proposal, a la Calvin & Hob (5, Funny)

Tsar (536185) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577773)

Remember the strip where Calvin's dad explained to him how they calculate the weight limit on bridges? He said they drove heavier and heavier trucks across it until it collapsed, then they rebuilt it exactly the same way and set the limit at the weight of the last truck that made it across.

Why don't we establish a video game's rating the same way? Let a control group of six year olds, seven year olds, eight year olds, etc., play the game for a month. Then set the minimum age for playing the game to one year older than the oldest child driven by the game to commit a violent and/or sexual offense.

Or would that be wrong?

Re:A Modest VG Rating Proposal, a la Calvin & (1)

Zspdude (531908) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577839)

In the strip, Calvin's dad was bluffing an answer in order to maintain his ego and to not let on that he had no clue how they derived the maximum bridge load. It is an undisputably impractical method. That being said, what level of detrimental effect is considered unacceptable? What would you consider to be a violent/sexual offence? Would you take the oldest child who murdered someone? Or would you take the oldest child who hit someone at school? Or would verbal abuse, agressiveness, and excessive beligerence be enough to merit rating the game one year higher? The simple fact is, if a game is unsuitable in content for a certain age, it does not have to drive them to murder in order to produce a detrimental effect on them. I'm afraid, "Yes, That would be wrong."

Isn't it ironic? (1, Insightful)

Stardo (465325) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577787)

I find it fascinating that I'm usually the oldest person playing on my favorite Counterstrike server and I'm 19. Most of the people playing are between 12 and 16. Ratings don't seem to matter to them very much, as they didn't matter much to me when I played Wolfenstein the first time in 3rd grade (or Doom in 6th grade).

Now, what I find ironic is the Counterstrike servers that don't allow swearing or porn sprays. So on these servers, you can watch a lifelike character's head getting blown away in full 3-d detail, but you can't express your disgust at the wall-hack cheater who capped you when you weren't looking, or show the newest fake nude photo of Britney Spears you found on the net by typing Britney into Google's image browser. I say if you're going to desensitize today's youth to death and violence, we might as well desensitize them to swearing and porn.

I mean, there is sort of a double standard with violence. When I worked at Blockbuster, a lady came in with her kids and they got the Matrix. She asked why it was rated R and checked the back to make sure there was no nudity in it. She was perfectly comfortable letting her kids see the graphic scenes of pure violence, but heaven forbid they see the semblence of a nude figure at such an age.

I dunno. I think we just all live in a very crazy world. I'm glad I'm too much of a nerd to ever get a girl and have kids.

Come now, remember what Kyle's mom says: (1)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577837)

From []

Sheila Broflovski:
Just remember what the MPAA says: Horrific, deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don't say any naughty words!


The children! The children! (1)

alpinist (96637) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577796)

When this issue comes up in the context of movies, music, or video games, we keep hearing about "protecting the children". This seems to come from parents who end up being labeled as 'lazy' for not playing an active role in their child's development. Obviously, when kids can build bombs in their parents' garage and stockpile weapons without Mom and Dad ever knowing, someone is more out of touch with their kids than can be explained by simple teenage rebellion and parental alienation.

What occurs to me though, is perhaps support of ratings systems by parents is more of a call for help from the parents themselves. The people with teenagers today are among the first generation who were raised on TV, former latchkey kids whose own parents were rarely there. Thus, with no role model who could offer guidance in the transition from childhood to the real world and all it's horrible truths, they also do not know how to guide their own children and are scared to death about making mistakes. A rating system offers them a quick, easy way to say 'No Johnny, see it says you have to be 18 to play that'. Unfortunately, they are passing down this lack of parenting skill to their children, who will find themselves dependent on an 'authority' to decide what is and is not appropriate for them to see, read, hear or play, and eventually what is approriate for their own children.

Off topic post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577833)

This is an off topic post. I'm only posting it so that someone with mod points will waste them on me and mod me down, rather than use their points on an on topic post. I love cheese.

my weekly drunken comment (1, Offtopic)

clinko (232501) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577842)

1. Why is linux better than windows? (assuming you have money) keeping point: (YOU DO HAVE MONEY TO BUY WINDOWS)

i'm like you. I like pizza. I like the beatles (but some songs are overrated). I like video games. Playstation 2 is awesome, X-Box looks awesome, but may not have the games that the new nintendo has. I want to know when I can have a DVD burner, and when I can chip out my PS2... I am one of your kind... But WHY WHY!!!! Why is linux "Better" than Windows...


Re:my weekly drunken comment (0)

jquirke (473496) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577855)

Interesting how you can suck up to moderators just by saying "linux is better than windows". Even though the comment was completely offtopic. What would happen if someone did the same thing, but declared Windows to be better than Linux?

What SHOULD we be rating? (2, Interesting)

Zspdude (531908) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577849)

I'm surprised that video games are only ever rated according to objectionable content. They should be rated according to addictiveness as well! Becoming addicted to a fantastic game (RPGs in particular are famous for this) and ignoring schoolwork, friends, and the real world, can have just as detrimental an effect on a child as the content of the game they are playing will on them. I know I've experienced first hand what happens when one only lives to play a certain game and lets the world revolve on past....
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