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Photo ID Required To Buy/Rent Games In Canada

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the papers-or-plastic dept.

Privacy 381

securitas writes "Metro International newspapers Toronto edition reports that Canadian gamers must now provide photo identification to buy computer and video games. The restriction is part of the Retail Council of Canada's Commitment to Parents initiative, in cooperation with the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) and the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). The RCC says that it has the support of 90% of game retailers in the voluntary program. Read the RCC video game photo ID press release. There don't seem to be any guidelines for how the program will be implemented - whether it will be a simple flash of a photo ID card (which many teenagers don't have) or a more detailed user database, with its inherent privacy concerns. The Ontario government plans to come up with its own game ratings system after the Ontario Film Review Board gave Manhunt an 'R' rating. More coverage at the CBC and CTV before and after the official announcement."

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381 comments

Do parents reallyt want this? (5, Insightful)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529500)

I suppose this is good for people who have lost control of their kids (I'm not parent-bashing, there are ways to lose control that have little to do with parenting). Do parents really want this? I don't care much either way because my kids aren't allowed to buy video games without my permission. They still end up with a lot of the popular titles ,though ,like Halo, SIMS 2, etc. This has been more of a problem for me at the video store where there are some R and NC17 movies that I simply will not allow them to rent. I know kids end up seeing this stuff away from home at times, but I am not going to give them the message that I think it's okay. Same with video games, they know how I feel about sex & violence in video games, but they still get some of those. It's a hell of a balancing act.

Re:Do parents reallyt want this? (0, Flamebait)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529528)

Big brother's grip widens.. now they will be able to track what our kids use too!

Soon they will embed subliminal messages into games telling them it is good to snitch on their parents and be a PATRIOT.

Before you know it, everyone is a thoughtcriminal. Oh wait.

Re:Do parents reallyt want this? (2, Interesting)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529578)

now they will be able to track what our kids use too!

Good. I know a good few parents who could use that...

Re:Do parents really want this? (3, Insightful)

John Courtland (585609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529600)

I think this is mostly a bad idea. Seriously, if a kid can earn the money (at a job, not from allowance) for a game or movie, I figure they're mature enough to handle it. Restricting the rights of the mature to cater to the unwashed masses... Gotta love it. Of course, that would mean more work for parents, being... parents...

I think, as you said, a parent should be vigilant about what their child does, while realizing there's no way in hell you're gonna stop them. It builds values yet doesn't impose a overly restrictive leash. Of course, do what you will, but keeping kids in a little black box until they're 18 is a great way to not only piss them off, but keep them socially inept for a good long time.

Re:Do parents really want this? (5, Insightful)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529640)

>> Seriously, if a kid can earn the money (at a
>> job, not from allowance) for a game or movie,
>> I figure they're mature enough to handle it.

But is it up to you to decide that for my children? For someone elses children? If you decide it's appropriate for your kids, then go buy it for them/with them.

Re:Do parents really want this? (4, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529821)

"But is it up to you to decide that for my children?"

You might as well ask whether it's up to the store to decide that for my children, for your children and for everybody else's children. How do you reconcile the fact that these kids are allowed to roam around the mall unsupervised with the notion that they're not old enough to choose for themselves what games they want to play? Indeed, is it the stores responsibility not to sell a game to a kid whose parents didn't care enough to accompany them?

Re:Do parents really want this? (1)

maddskillz (207500) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529690)

So, under your plan, is the store supposed to ask for the Income Tax form, to prove that the money they are using is from a job, and not from allowance?
There is no reason that this will make kids grow up in a black box. It just helps the parents control their kids a little better

Re:Do parents really want this? (1)

shufler (262955) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529750)

The last time I had an allowance, I had to earn it, by doing work around the house.

If you're suggesting kids are receiving money for doing nothing, then perhaps they deserve to play whaterver fucking game they so desire.

The Nazis... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529637)

had pieces of flair they made the Jews wear to buy videogames....

Re:Do parents reallyt want this? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529674)

A large part of the problem is the ratings system is so badly screwed up, at least in the US.

For example, Amelie is rated R in US, 14A in Canada and G in most of the rest of the world. Even Quebec has a special G rating for it within Canada. I would consider it appropriate for a 7 year old if they could understand it.

Fifth Element is rated PG-13 in the US. There's a lot of violence, and I'd be much more comfortable with my kids seeing Amelie.

Re:Do parents reallyt want this? (2, Insightful)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529834)

are you kidding? Kids will get aroudn this just as easily as kids in my highschool (or for that matter me and my fellow undergraduates) get beer. This wont help the problem of people not having intelligent conversations with their kids about the difference between reality and a videogame, itll make it worse because apathy will set in and parents will leave it up to a flawed system to do the job for them.

obvious workaround (2, Insightful)

theAedileDecimus (728792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529526)

This is worthless. There's no way you can just stop kids from buying games they want to play. Some obvious workarounds are ordering online and having a friend or relative buy the game.

Re:obvious workaround (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529562)

Hopefully a relative wouldn't do that for children if the parents are against it. As for friends, well the age gap usually isn't that large, so you might find a 17 year old with an R Rated (18 or older) game, but you won't find a lot of 18 year olds hanging out with 12 year olds (at least I hope not).
That's not to say this is foolproof. Look at underage smoking and drinking, its definitely there, but requiring photo id does reduce the access to products that they shouldn't have.

Re:obvious workaround (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529626)

...but you won't find a lot of 18 year olds hanging out with 12 year olds (at least I hope not).

Ok, how about an older brother or sister then? If you're 12 and your brother is 16 and he managed to get the game through a friend what are the chances he won't let you play?

/Mikael

Re:obvious workaround (4, Funny)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529645)

My experience of siblings is generally that, although they may help you buy (booze/cigarettes/porn), they will then randomly blurt it out over dinner a week later. Cousins are generally more reliable for obtaining contraband.

Re:obvious workaround (2, Interesting)

shufler (262955) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529836)

I pre-orded GTA:SA for my 17 year old brother. He already has both GTA3 and GTA:VC (I have them for PC, along with GTA, GTA:London, and GTA2).

The GTA series is our favourite game series, and we play the game together. We see who can beat missions first, the game first. We try to find more hidden packages than the other. We both love exploring the GTA world, regardless that technically, he's not old enough to buy the games (neither was I when the original GTA was released).

I see the rating system as a GUIDELINE for people who aren't familiar with a gaming franchise, name, or gaming in general, to make an informed choice before purchasing the game.

Neither my brother and I go out to szteal cars, kill drug lords, blow up police stations, kill hookers, beat up old golfers, or fire rocket launchers downtown. And we have no desire to either, because we know the game is a simulation. We do the things in the game for entertainment,.

The problem with these ratings becoming mandatory, is obviously censoring youths from material which, while one person feels is not appropriate, doesn't mean it's a travesty to all man kind.

I can't watch TV these days without seeing a warning message about the content of the material I'm about to view. The JOKE, is when these messages are placed at the start (and after commercials) of rerun shows that NEVER received these "warnings" when they were new. I'm seeing all sorts of warnings about the content in the Simpson's, and the other day actually saw an 18 rating. Implying that a FAMILY cartoon that originally broadcast on a SUNDAY EVENING, is now inapproprate for anyone under the age of 18.

These ratings are warnings. I have no issue with the stores deciding not selling games to minors (it's their loss, afterall). I DO have issue with these ratings becomming a manditory screening process for who can and cannot buy FICTIONAL material.

Re:obvious workaround (1)

Drachemorder (549870) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529741)

"but you won't find a lot of 18 year olds hanging out with 12 year olds"

I wouldn't make that assumption. I come from a rural environment and know a lot of homeschooling families, and people from these two groups do tend to make friends from a fairly wide spectrum of age groups. That's probably at least partly because homeschoolers aren't segregated with their own age group nearly as much as the rest of the population, and country folks don't have a dense population from which to make friends in the first place.

Of course, these are also small populations in which everyone knows everyone else, for the most part, and there's less risk of kids getting mixed up with the wrong crowd in the first place, so parents probably aren't as leery about their younger kids hanging out with older ones. Whatever the reasons, I do see it happening quite a bit around here.

Re:obvious workaround (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529573)

Some obvious workarounds are ordering online and having a friend or relative buy the game.

And how exactly do you order online without a credit card? Perhaps through paypal etc..., but it's pretty difficult to make online payments without either being 18+ or with the support of an adult.

Re:obvious workaround (2, Interesting)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529598)

It's much easier to trick your parents about a little 30x60 thumbnail image on a website than it is about the actual box at the store. Believe me, I still remember passing off Fallout 2 as "useful for my education."

Re:obvious workaround (1)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529577)

This is worthless. There's no way you can just stop kids from buying games they want to play. Some obvious workarounds are ordering online and having a friend or relative buy the game.


So few young kids actually buy games it's pointless. (read: download it online) This isn't going to stop young kids getting hold of games, it's just going to piss off the few valid game buyers.

Re:obvious workaround (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529673)

Some obvious workarounds are ordering online...

Yeah, using the credit card that all 10 year olds have right dumbass?

Re:obvious workaround - making copies (1)

VitaminB52 (550802) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529805)

Some obvious workarounds are ordering online and having a friend or relative buy the game.

Another obvious 'workaround' is making (illegal) copies of popular games. This law only boosts the sales of CD/DVD burners and recordable/rewritable media.
And what about the demo games that come with PC gaming magazins? Do magazin buyers need a photo ID too? If not, then this law has one big loophole in it.

Maybe it's for the best... (5, Insightful)

BHennessy (639799) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529529)

...because now politicians and parents won't be able to pin the blame on video games the next time some brat does something stupid.

Re:Maybe it's for the best... (2, Insightful)

nz_mincemeat (192600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529590)

The excuse-makers will find other scapegoats - such as online ordering...

In response, probably put pressure on customs and excise...

It's all an endless loop, in a way.

Re:Maybe it's for the best... (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529738)

> It's all an endless loop, in a way.

Oh it's endless, alright. Until the government ends, that is.. ANARCHY! ;)

Never overestimate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529592)

The capacity for a persons self-delusion, particularly if their spirit is being crushed by unfathomable guilt.

Age verification...no big deal (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529533)

I really don't have an issue with age verification. Movie theaters require that, heck Blockbuster even cards occasionally. Now, if the purchaser's name and information are recorded, well...that is another story.

Re:Age verification...no big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529547)

Kinda like Radio Shack asking for your phone # when you buy batteries. Stupid Radio Shack.

Re:Age verification...no big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529565)

I hate the crap and kindly decline to give it.

Believe it or not, Supercuts (barbershop) asks for that now. Amazing how many people voluntarily give it. I don't believe it will be used for some nefarious purpose, just telemarketing.

Re:Age verification...no big deal (1)

joeljkp (254783) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529717)

I give it, and I haven't received any telemarketing from them. When I'm there in the store, I'd just rather give it to them than decline. Maybe it's because I've never been burned by it, I don't know.

Re:Age verification...no big deal (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529569)

I can only speak for my little corner of the world but the three Radio Shacks in my town no longer ask you for anything when you make your purchase. It's been that way for going on a year. I haven't made a purchase over $10 in that time period either so maybe they aren't bothering with small purchases.

Kind of old (2, Interesting)

PKC Jess (797453) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529546)

I didn't RTFA but I have experienced this showing of ID. My brother tried to purchase Thief (a mature game as I recall) and Radio Shack made him get someone with ID (he's 16) and so, his big brother Jess just happened to have his ID (my health card which also allowed me to vote just a few days earlier) and we bought the game.

Re:Kind of old (1)

Peyna (14792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529671)

my health card which also allowed me to vote just a few days earlier

If you signature matches the signature they have on file, you can't be compelled to show ID to vote.

Hey... (5, Insightful)

ID000001 (753578) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529549)

They are simply enforcing an existing law.. why not?

Re:Hey... (2, Interesting)

Aash (130966) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529643)

Exactly. I'm always a little perplexed when people get mad about these types of things. Movies have had enforced ratings for years, and I don't think that there are many who would argue that this is a bad thing. In many cases video games are far more violent than most R rated movies, so why shouldn't they have enforced ratings?

Re:Hey... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529695)

> so why shouldn't they have enforced ratings?

The MPAA movie ratings are "voluntary" now, believe it or not. Just that refusing to submit to MPAA ratings means your movie probably won't run in anything but arthouse theaters.

Just another example of morality enforced at the point of a gun (behind all laws is force -- refuse to obey and see what happens)

Re:Hey... (1)

Aash (130966) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529743)

Well, I meant enforced by stores and whatnot. Games have been rated for a few years now, but the ratings are essentially meaningless because most places do not enforce them (though there have been certain games that have been toned down in order to get a "teen" rating over "mature" -- so I guess some places must enforce them).

Uninforcable (2, Informative)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529557)

Metro International newspapers Toronto edition reports that Canadian gamers must now provide photo identification to buy computer and video games.

More stupid regulation that can't be controlled or monitored. More excuses to steal from taxpayers. Bah -- it's uninforcable.

Oh wait...

FTA: "It's a voluntary program based on the ratings you already see on the game boxes."

Nevermind.

Re:Uninforcable (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529768)

"It's a voluntary program based on the ratings you already see on the game boxes."
So are ELSPA ratings (as opposed to BBFC, which are compulsory). So, I was suprised a few years back, age 16, when I went into my local Game to purchase the Diablo battlechest. (no BBFC rating at all, just an ELSPA one) I was asked for ID, being 16 and not planning on hopping over to France (or any other country that I would need my passport to go to) once I'd bought my game, I didn't have any ID with me...
The nice man explained to me that unless I could prove to him that I was over 15 we were each risking a £5000 fine and he therefore couldn't sell me the game, which was garbage. I knew it was garbage, perhaps he was poorly-trained, or just stupid, I don't know. Being only 16 and with people behind me, I didn't make a scene (although in hindsight, I should have demanded to see the manager, or someone with an IQ greater than that of a boiled potato), I simply paid for Theme Hospital and left. (Luckily I got TH, or I would have paid the rip-off fees charged by my local bus company to come home empty handed). So, I concluded that Game were now acting like brainless morons, asking 16 year olds to prove that they are over 15 to buy a game that they don't actually HAVE to be over 15 to buy.

Anyway, on to the next week, I go back, determined to get the game, I walk in (different person there), pick up a Diablo battlechest. Put it, £35 and my passport down on the counter. With a bemused expression the assistant looks at my passport and asks "why are you giving me this?"...
So, he explains that I didn't need ID and the guy the week before was wrong (ok, he didn't categorically say that - admitting that your own colleagues are stupid infront of the punters is a bad idea), which I knew all along...

What really annoyed me though was:
1)The embarrasment of being asked for ID, which I didn't have, to buy a game that I didn't need to have ID to buy [for those this hasn't happened to, it feels lke being treated as a quasi-criminal]
2)Having had to wait another week to play
3)Having had to pay for 2 bus trips
4)Then looking like a prat the next week when I handed the guy my passport - no queue that week luckily.

I would buy my games elsewhere, but there are only 3 stores, the other 2 of which have very poor PC selections :-(

Is it such a big deal after all? (5, Insightful)

nz_mincemeat (192600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529561)

As the article states, you already need photo ID for proof-of-age before buying cigerettes and booze...

In terms of privacy I can't see this requirement for video games being any more intrusive than that.

Generally, people who have a problem with this also disagrees with video game ratings in general. I think that's the real problem we'll encounter in this discussion :)

Re:Is it such a big deal after all? (1)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529603)

However, they only have the support of 90% of stores. Kids will catch on pretty quick and start buying games there. Hell, before we were 18, my friends found out which gas stations didnt card for cigarettes and thus werent stopped.

Re:Is it such a big deal after all? (1)

nz_mincemeat (192600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529665)

I think the government's attitude is somewhat "Wait-And-See". The voluntary nature of this program is infinitely better than having legislation slapped in your face.

If "they" see the desired results (I would dare say discreet change) there would be no incentive for them to rock the boat further.

Toys "PG-13" Us? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529613)

This won't affect E-rated or mild T-rated games, will it? The article didn't make this clear.

Re:Toys "PG-13" Us? (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529685)

It did when I read it. M and AO games. Which isn't a big deal. In addition to cigarettes and beer, you have to show your card to buy porn, many medicines (at least in my area). Some of the stores here card for R rated movies too. Most rental stores make you show ID no matter what, since you have to have an account to rent.

Re:Is it such a big deal after all? (2, Interesting)

Radical Rad (138892) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529654)

I have been asked for ID by Walmart when buying software. It doesn't bother me except that I thought the ratings were just suggestions to help old people pick out gifts that they consider appropriate. Codifying a voluntary rating system into law just doesn't sit right with me.

Re:Is it such a big deal after all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529716)

> Generally, people who have a problem with this also disagrees with video game ratings in general

I like the ratings myself. Specifically, "M" ratings in a game that's otherwise well-reviewed, and doesn't look like a bucks-o-blood gorefest or an embarrassment like BMX XXX usually means it's well-acted by real adults, not whiny kid voices. A good review on a "T" game could just mean "I thought the explosions were kewl".

Flight Sims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529566)

If you buy a Flight Sim with maps of New York city, the FBI will be starting a file on you.

Re:Flight Sims (1)

nz_mincemeat (192600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529605)

It's a lame attempt at a joke, but there is a point.

Political-correctness still knows no bounds. Wasn't one of the MS flight sims changed in the last minute to remove the twin towers?

Re:Flight Sims (1)

Peyna (14792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529651)

Wasn't one of the MS flight sims changed in the last minute to remove the twin towers?

A patch was released for Flight Simulator 2000, nearly a year after it was released, which would remove the towers. It was entirely optional, but it makes sense, because I can imagine some people might not want to see them there, since they really weren't there.

Later versions have them removed completely, which is no big surprise at all. I would imagine if a building in their landscape files was destroyed for any reason it would be taken out of the game.

Re:Flight Sims (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529697)

Nope, he's talking about the one where it was in the beta but removed from retail....

MS Flight Sim Reworked After Attacks [findarticles.com]

Microsoft Corp. will alter its Flight Simulator airplane simulator game to eliminate the World Trade Center, Microsoft officials confirmed late Friday.

A spokesman for Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash., said the World Trade Center would be removed from the game's next release, due out this fall. The introduction will also be changed to eliminate a scene where two people discuss crashing a plane into the Empire State Building.


or Release of "Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002" Postponed [about.com]

Minimal changes will be made to "Flight Simulator 2002." The only change that will be made is the removal of the World Trade Center. A patch for previous versions is in the works.

Re:Flight Sims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529839)

Speaking of political. In the States here, we arent required to have photo ID's to VOTE!!!

This is a great idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529570)

Now, if they'll only show pictures and personal information of all the software developers involved with a program, I'm sure the consumers would be all for it. After all, who wouldn't like the know who to blame for the mysterious system crash or buggy program?

Post Prediction (-1, Troll)

Wewtness (816638) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529587)

1. This is the fault, directly and indirectly, of American Capitalist Democracy because ... (insert stupid reason here) and therefore is proof that the system doesnt work correctly. 2. The Bush Administration is responsible in full (insert circularly reasoned argument here) for Canada's socialist failings and concurrently its reduction of freedoms as evidenced by this example. 3. Kerry is the only sensible solution to (insert totally unrelated problem here that will therefore boost confidence in him from the ignorant).

Re:Post Prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529818)

Bullshit.. and i think we are very Socialist .. and Bush is a facist so i'm blaming the UN and our continual bending over to any guidelines they have. But i do blame the Bush gov for stunting our economy.. nice try though .. better than ever.. atleast until yours crashes.. thanks NAFTA..

Re:Post Prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529828)

Insightful my ass. There are currently zero posts following this format.

Michael

Only SOME games (4, Informative)

Night Goat (18437) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529588)

The blurb didn't make this clear, but the article says that only games that are age-restricted will require ID. So kids without ID can still get sports games and games that are deemed OK for kids. I was worried there for a second... way to discriminate against a good chunk of your audience.

Good idea! (1)

euxneks (516538) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529591)

Maybe parents will finally know what little Jimmy is buying with his 500 dollar allowance.

Re:Good idea! (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529722)

You can buy video games for 500 Canadian dollars? There I was thinking they were worth about tuppence...

10% will not ID. (2, Insightful)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529597)

The RCC says that it has the support of 90% of game retailers in the voluntary program

Does this mean 10% WILL NOT ID? Well, if this is on a voluntary basis, then you (hopefullY) have those 10%. And those that won't ID will be rewarded by your business. That simple.

Re:10% will not ID. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529629)

Yeah, I guess the 90% will go out of business quickly and the 10% will become rich beyond their wildest dreams. Not.

Re:10% will not ID. (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529739)

Well, (In America, dunno Canada), most people are more than happy to give out their social security number- for stuff like cell phones, credit card, etc.

There are people who refuse to give out their SSN, and so they are on a prepaid plan, cash basis. Hey, its a personal choice. Personal liberity/freedom or a phone plan that doesn't have night/weekend. personal choice.

I got carded to buy Manhunt... (3, Interesting)

astro (20275) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529602)

...here in Oregon. And I am 35 (though I look young)! Having played the game through (loved it), I have a hard time seeing what the problem is to demand age verification before selling this M rated game to folks - it is truly an adults-only game IMO.

Want realistic games? Deal with realistic ratings (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529607)

Really, games aren't 'Pong' anymore.

If you're going to have cinema-realism in games, you're going to have to deal with the same cinema rating system.

Better that than to have the graphics dulled and content Barney-fied into safety.

/shouts for kids to get off his damn lawn.

No difference from a Blockbuster Account. (2, Insightful)

IllogicalStudent (561279) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529610)

There is really no difference between this, and a Blockbuster video account.

At the local Blockbuster, you have to show your membership card to rent a movie/game. If you're the primary card holder, they HAVE your ID on file, if you're not (e.g. it's your mom's), and you look like a minor, they'll ask you for ID before you can rent an R-Rated movie (happens this way at all the Blockbusters I've been to in Ontario, anyhow).

This initiative, which, IMO, is a good idea, just extends this principle to purchasing the games as well as renting them. It gives some power to the rating systems -- which most parents don't know exist. Now, parents will at least think that "oh, little Johnny needs an ID to buy this? Wonder why... oh, it's rated M, hmmmmmm." Mind you, just like movies, parents can choose to ignore the rating and buy the game for their kids anyhow.

Seems fair, power still lies with the parents to make the final call.

Fair is fair. (3, Insightful)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529619)

Why should one form of entertainment be different from another? If a state is going to place age restrictions on movies, they should do the same for games, music, concerts, theatres, sporting events....

I mean if something is too violent or sexual it is too violent or sexual, no matter the medium.

Not that I agree with that. Government has no place being a critic.

This isn't going to work (1)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529621)

The RCC says that it has the support of 90% of game retailers in the voluntary program.

So the kids who want to buy these games will go to the othe 10% of game retailers, and probably to buy all their games, not just the NC17 ones.

All this plan does is hurt the "honest" retailers.

Jason
ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]

Re:This isn't going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529650)

I know I wouldn't drive the extra distance to find the one in ten stores not asking for I.D. I also know my brand of consumer laziness is epidemic. The 90% will do fine. The 10% will do fine.

Re:This isn't going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529703)

You're probably also old enough to buy the games. Do you not remember how strong a drive most teenagers have to do anything they're not supposed to?

If it's shortly after they learn to drive it even has the perk of the longer drive being a great experience.

Getting the contraband game is half the fun. Are you also too lazy to play the game? Maybe it should include a demo so you can watch all the NC-17 scenes without even having to play it. Better yet, just get back to your coach and watch the playboy channel.

only for teens or adults too? (2, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529623)

because it would look sort of silly asking a 30 year old to show you an ID to obtain a game. Shouldn't they do it like they way they do cigar purchases? if the selling thinks you're too young he asks for an id.

hit me with a clue bat if they already mentioned it in the article. I'm just following the long established slashdot tradition of mouthing off without reading first.

Shifting the burden of parenting (3, Insightful)

Invalid Character (788952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529632)

This only shifts the burden of parenting and raising children away from the parents and onto retailers, and in the process inconveniencing everyone else. Whether or not a child sees or plays material that is R rated or NC17 is not nearly as important as the parents letting them know what is wrong and what is right, and making sure that they understand the difference between the fantasy world of games and movies and real life.
When they are young, children will take up alot of ideals from their parents, who should always be there letting them know whats right. But by the time they are teens and have to deal with peer pressure in ernest, if the parents have done their job then they won't get out of hand and if they haven't done their job then its a bit too late to do anything about it, especially in that rebelious time.
This is just more of parents being lazy and letting someone else do the work for them.

Re:Shifting the burden of parenting (2, Insightful)

nz_mincemeat (192600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529694)

The ratings labels are a guideline to help parents with their executive decision making as they are simply bombarded with information everyday.

The voluntary enforcement by retail stores is simply a logical step - the proverbial ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

Re:Shifting the burden of parenting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529815)

Agreed, only as long as it's a voluntary measure meant to help parents and not regulations enforced by the government.

This makes me angry. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529641)

I'm so sick of Bush and his cronies trying to tell us what to do. I'm fed up with those Nazis.

Canada is one of the finest National Parks the USA has, and it is going just too far, in my opinion, when we start over-regulating leisure activities like this.

um all teens here have photo id (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529653)

Depending on what 'counts' as photo ID everyone should have photo ID. New health cards (anything made in the last 15 years or so) has a picture on it, and students all have student cards from highschool.

Public school kids (under 13) probably shouldn't be buying games without a parent accompanying them.

Now if they won't let you use your health card as ID (which sometimes you can't) this could be a problem.

Kinda silly... (1)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529661)

Where do the kids get the money in the first place. Hell many of them ask mommy and daddy to drive them to the mall in the first place. If they have a job, chances are they are mature enough to handle the mature games. But its not like this is going to stop kids from ripping and warez'ing games from their friends.

whether it will be a simple flash of a photo ID card (which many teenagers don't have)
Out here in BC, high schoolers and middle schoolers are given photo id's for school and reduced bus fare every year.

In truth, i believe this was formed because it will add another layer of beaurocracy... something that canadians can't live without. It also shifts responsibilities from the parent to the retailers. Now angry parents can blame stores and video games when their kid does something stupid. It's part of the "i blame society" trend that has been rapidly emerging.

I say this everytime, and I always get modded down (-1, Flamebait)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529702)

Canadians have no civil rights as citizens. Canadians are chattel owned by an old crazy woman in England. When you are nothing but human chattel, you can be herded around however your owners see fit.

Re:I say this everytime, and I always get modded d (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529746)

Shame there isn't a -1 Incorrect or Misleading, because this isn't the only post I've seen which merits it. The feudal system died centuries ago.

Re:I say this everytime, and I always get modded d (0, Offtopic)

rudedog (7339) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529775)

Canadians have no civil rights as citizens. Canadians are chattel owned by an old crazy woman in England. When you are nothing but human chattel, you can be herded around however your owners see fit.

That's great rhetoric, but how does this [justice.gc.ca] fit into your world view?

Re:I say this everytime, and I always get modded d (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529800)

Cattle ?

How fucking stupid are you ?

Get the games elsewhere (4, Insightful)

BabyJaysus (808429) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529708)

"Damn, I'm underage. I can't buy it at the store any longer, so where can I get it from? Of course, on a P2P network, and for free! And just think, I would have wasted all that money giving it to the game developers..."

Re:Get the games elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529773)

When you grow up, please don't reproduce.

Bad idea, because... (0, Flamebait)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529710)

The ratings on games are self-imposed. By requiring a store to enforce those ratings, a game company now has a reason to rate every game they make with a 'G' rating (or whatever the lowest category is), regardless of the actual content. Or even, not rate it at all.

Don't pass stupid useless legislation, Canada. That's Bush's job. You're supposed to be the smart member of the family...

Re:Bad idea, because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529723)

I sure they have room for you in Canada. That way you could be with the "smart member" and away from Bush. I am amazed at the anti-American sentiment in this group. Move. I won't miss you.

Re:Bad idea, because... (2, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529801)

If they did that, the government would immediately step in to produce real regulations. The industry would have to be braindead to do that.

It's the same situation with MPAA ratings -- not legally imposed, but if they weren't there, the government would legally impose them.

Basically, "We must self-regulate, lest the government force regulation upon us."

I generlally try to buy games. (0, Troll)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529714)

Oh well. If they want to card me, theres limewire. Fuck em.

Re:I generlally try to buy games. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529744)

Your parents must be so proud . . .

Useless (2, Insightful)

Potatomasher (798018) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529726)

Whatever happened to letting the parents decide how to raise their kids ??

Re:Useless (1)

maddskillz (207500) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529745)

Isn't this a tool for the parents to use? If they think it's acceptable for their kid to have GTA3, they can pick it up for the kid. If they don't, it's just that much harder for the kid to get it.

Re:Useless (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529811)

What about the 16 yr old with a job who wants to buy doom3 or something?

As many others said this is just another "oh look we don't have to parent v-chip" sort of thing. Many many many kids grew up on the whole 80s gaming scene which led to the original doom/fps series.

Maybe if parents worried more about what they themselves were doing to raise their kids instead of what the public is doing to raise their kids the world would be a better place?

Tom

Re:Useless (1)

Potatomasher (798018) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529843)

Sure its another tool, but a pretty useless one if you ask me.

Parents should take enough care of their kids to know wich computer games they play. Let the 12 year old kid buy a copy of Leisure Suit Larry or Manhunt if he wants. Whether or not he'll be able to play it in my house is a different matter entirely.

Re:Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529781)

"Whatever happened to letting the parents decide how to raise their kids ??"

Damn straight!! I don't want the government deciding what's right and wrong for my children. That should be up to me and my spouse and only me and spouse. Keep the government the hell away from our's and our children's private lives and what we watch, play, read or listen to for entertainment.

Photo ID (2, Insightful)

disbaldman (804041) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529758)

This is a good thing--as long as it is limited to games which are rated mature. I'm tired of hearing about how kids are influenced by games to injure others. Of course, the parents should not buy/rent games like Manhunt for their children to play, but if a kid really wants to play the game, he/she can easily go to a friend's house who was able to get it and play it there. But, at least we're making it harder for them to do so.

Anyways, one of the first things a kid should know is the difference between right and wrong!!

Hah. (5, Informative)

Jippy_ (564603) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529760)

I was at EB last weekend here in Calgary. Some kids were ahead of me pre-ordering a game who's title I can't recall. But as the reciept was being printed up, the cashier said "When you come to pick the game up, make sure you bring the reciept and some ID, or bring an adult with you".

I didn't really think about it until reading this story now. Can't say I remember ever hearing that before when in a store like EB.

Not really a bad thing (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529769)

I don't really see this as a bad thing. The way I see it, making it hard for younger kids to buy violent games without parent's permission means that it's (hopefully) less likely that external preassures will end up causing fewer quality mature games to be made.
I remember when I was younger I got any game that I wanted (well, not as many as I wanted, but without regard to content), just as I got to watch any movies that I wanted. Instead of simply now allowing me to view certain content, my mother would sit down with me while I played the game and would explain the difference between the game and real life.
One of my good friends was not allowed to play any violent games (nothing with blood, no fighting games, basically he was allowed to play sonic and sports games) untill he was 18. His parent's were not around much to sit down with him and play games.
This system basically just re-enforces the two situations.
Of course there will still be parents who will buy their kids the latest GTA or Mortal Kombat without really knowing what is in the game, but it should at least give parents a little bit of an edge.
When I was a kid, as I'm sure is true of most slashdotters, games were primarily targeted at kids. Mortal Kombat is about the only game I can remember being released when I was still fairly young that was very violent. We didn't have Resident Evil or Grand Theft Auto. Back then, it wasn't such a big deal. Now days however, 18+ year old gamers make up the majority of gamers, and games are targetted thusly, and it presents a much larger problem.
Anyway, I've lost my train of thought, maybe someone will finish my rant in a reply.

Teenagers don't have ID cards? (2, Informative)

AlexMidn1ght (705563) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529770)

whether it will be a simple flash of a photo ID card (which many teenagers don't have)

Can't say for the rest of the world, but in Canada most teenagers have either a school ID, a yearly bus card with photo (at least for the Montreal area) or a medicare card (sun card for Quebec).

Also, as mentionned in other comments, this should be considered a good thing since kids won't be able to buy games they shouldn't be playing. Sure it won't be easily enforceable but isn't it the same thing for other age restricted goods (cigarettes, alcohol and adult magazines)?

Finally, I really don't get the paranoïa about retailers building databases of customers. I don't see why they would use this as a way to get your customer info. Aside from the needs of a system (hardware and software) to collect this information, this would be limited to customers between the ages of 14 and 24 (considering not many people over the age of 24 look underage).

I think most people in the industry will see this as a step in the right direction. At the risk of sounding like a troll (which is NOT my intention), I'd say it's better then restricting the sales to an entire population. At least adults can make a choice to buy a product and even let their kids play if they judge the game appropriate.

Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10529771)

While we're at it, lets have photo IDs required for library books. Some of them have adult material. Also, buying contraceptives. How is this infringing on anyone's rights? You have nothing to hide, do you?

LIES. Canadian ID is easy to obtain. (2, Informative)

KanSer (558891) | more than 9 years ago | (#10529783)

If a teenager wants picture ID he can request a provincial ID card. In BC where I live this looks similair to the BC licences, which can be obatined even EASIER once you turn 16. As such, anyone without ID most likely is not 16. Thus must have a parent to buy with them. I was this age not so long ago and I agree with a system such as this.

To keep things in perspective, kids die of hunger all over the world and don't even know what video games are. Therefore, one should feel compelled to suck it up and carry around a piece of plastic in his wallet.
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