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Credit Card Required To View 'M' Rated Information

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the a-little-extreme dept.

Games 103

John Callaham writes "Gamecloud has a special feature article titled 'Going Through The Age Gate'. Why are some downloads of game trailers and demos are now requiring that a person declare their age before accessing them?" Not only are some sites requiring you declare your age, Activision is requiring a credit card to view "M" rated game information. From the article: "Asking for a credit card number, even if that the message says it will not be charged, brings up some very serious questions. Why is Activision asking for credit card numbers to access product pages that promote 'M' rated games when the ESRB and every other publisher only use the required 'age gate'?"

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Question... (2, Insightful)

non0score (890022) | about 9 years ago | (#13768548)

Aren't credit cards obtainable only at the age of 18 or greater? If so, this would satisfy the case of being 18 or older to view the content (granted not all 18 year olds or over have credit cards, but this is Activision's loss).

Re:Question... (4, Insightful)

Holi (250190) | about 9 years ago | (#13768592)

Gee no parent ever gets there children credit cards in america. Age verification via credit card is not even close to fool proof.

Re:Question... (1)

non0score (890022) | about 9 years ago | (#13769271)

Sure, but I think in those cases, the parents already pretty much forfeited parenting all together. So I guess this scheme only addresses those who don't have credit cards and are under 18?

Re:Question... (1)

fafaforza (248976) | about 9 years ago | (#13772782)

Can you explain how obtaining a credit card for a young adult is forfeiting parenting altogether?

Re:Question... (1)

Prophet of Nixon (842081) | about 9 years ago | (#13775136)

Its not forfeiting parenting so much as it is forfeiting sense altogether. Credit cards are unreasonable debt for instant gratification. I still can't understand why everyone gets the things, other than their being normal and expected these days.

Re:Question... (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about 9 years ago | (#13780670)

True, but they help build up a credit rating. So long as you pay off your entire bill before the end of the months you don't acquire interest. I make sure I'm always completely paid of at the end of the month, sometimes checking/paying my balance online 2 or 3 times a month just to be sure.

I'll admit, when I first got a credit card I was making like NO money. Instead of saving up for a few more months to buy the parts of a new computer I decided to use a credit card. So I had a big bill for the next few months. That was a mistake that I learned from.

They aren't bad, but you need a credit rating. Otherwise you can't get house or car loans, or you have to pay an obscene amount of money upfront for a cellphone service. You just need to learn how to use them responsibly. Unfortunately, an 18-year-old kid won't learn that lesson right away.

Re:Question... (1)

Holi (250190) | about 9 years ago | (#13782071)

Actually credit cards for children (under 18) have no effect on their credit rating as the accounts are actually in the parents name (just have the children's name on the card).

Re:Question... (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about 9 years ago | (#13787618)

True, but the grandparent was saying how he can't figure out why people bother getting them at all. I was just saying that used responsibly they are quite useful.

Re:Question... (1)

Prophet of Nixon (842081) | about 9 years ago | (#13791869)

That's funny, I have a fine credit rating, perhaps because of paid off student loans, and actually just got a house about 2 weeks ago. Granted, it makes me want to scream, since I hate debt (hence the paid off student loans already, they were priority 1)... but I guess its better than throwing away money on an appartment.

Re:Question... (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about 9 years ago | (#13793979)

Same here. Remember, there is 'good debt," which credit cards rarely fall under. Student loans and House loans help out a lot, car loans a little less, and credit cards even less (to the point that they can hurt). So long as you don't start falling behind, you're fine. The problem is with credit cards most people bite off more than they can chew.

Having a student loan helps out A LOT. Paying it off helps a lot, but even just paying it every month brings your score up.

I'm in the same boat, I hate debt. I'm almost done paying off my student loan. Afterwards though I'm going to need to buy a car, so back into debt I go.

Re:Question... (1)

BlueCodeWarrior (638065) | about 9 years ago | (#13783500)

Most debit cards act just like credit cards. I had a job at 15, and I had a debit card linked to my checking account where I put money from said job to spend on eBay from about 16 or so.

Re:Question... (1)

non0score (890022) | about 9 years ago | (#13776419)

Kid: Hey mom, I want to get Black and White 2. Is that OK?
Mom: *thinks* B&W2 isn't violent */thinks* Sure! Just put it on your CC.
Kid: *goes on* Hrm...Quake 4 looks cool. I guess mom won't care since they cost the same.

And last I checked, VISA statements doesn't say exactly what you bought in the store, just how much you were charged from that store.

I think I came off a bit too critical with the words "forfeiting parenting altogether." What I mean is that maybe parents don't necessarily intentionally not parent their children, but that their actions may lead to such situations that effectively result in lack of parenting.

Re:Question... (3, Insightful)

nunchux (869574) | about 9 years ago | (#13771557)

Gee no parent ever gets there children credit cards in america. Age verification via credit card is not even close to fool proof.

Really though, it might as well be consent. If a parent gives a teen a credit card the kid has either proven themself to be extremely trustworthy, or the parent's so rich or out of it he doesn't give a fuck what little Dylan/Dakota/Paris does. A 16-year old with a credit card can get in a lot more trouble than buying an M-rated game with 3-D models of boobs.

check cards (3, Informative)

MBraynard (653724) | about 9 years ago | (#13768660)

People under 18 can get check card without a parent's permission, and the activision server cannot distinguish between a check card and a regular credit card.

Re:check cards (1)

garethx1 (557678) | about 9 years ago | (#13802042)

This is so true. They asked if I wanted one when I opened an account for my 2 month old son. I had a job and a debit card at 15. (actually an ATM card then, but the same thing now) If all they need is the number w/ no charges, no parent would even know even if they looked at the statement.

Re:Question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13769005)

In college, a friend of mine's dog had a credit card. I guess theoretically it was of-age in dog-years, but I don't think that's what MasterCard had in mind when they sent out the card.

Re:Question... (1)

Meagermanx (768421) | about 9 years ago | (#13769947)

I don't know, some canines can be very careless billpayers.
You know, buy a dog bone on credit here, refurnish your doghouse there... It all adds up, if you don't pay it off quickly, and that means high interest rates.
Your friend's dog may have been just the type of customer Mastercard was looking for.

Re:Question... (1)

kd5ujz (640580) | about 9 years ago | (#13770816)

A guy I work with, found out at age 18, that his parents had credit cards in his name for 5 years, and had trashed his credit. I thought of taking them to court over the deal, but for some reason did not. This is a common thing in south texas. That and selling SSNs to illegals/tax write offs for cash.

Re:Question... (2, Funny)

kd5ujz (640580) | about 9 years ago | (#13770877)

err, that "I thought" should be "he thought". Fruedian slip. My parents are not to blame for my blemished credit. I attribute that to ebay and alcohol.

Re:Question... (1)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | about 9 years ago | (#13771382)

Lets see. I'm 23. I don't have a credit card. Nor does anyone I know. Why should I pay for a card I don't want nor need to prove I'm above 18?

Re:Question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13772048)

I am 24 and have had a credit card since I was 18, I have never paid one cent to have any credit card. your notion that it costs money to have a credit card is rediculous. There are plenty of card companies that charge no fees to have one, besides sometimes a credit card is a necessity.

Re:Question... (1)

nairobiny (601844) | about 9 years ago | (#13772265)

and your spelling of the word "ridiculous" is rediculous. Pip pip!

Re:Question... (1)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | about 9 years ago | (#13772401)

mmm, Visa: 19,83/ year.
Mastercard (and visa) (different bank): 37

Got a free one in Belgium? I don't.

Re:Question... (1)

thesnarky1 (846799) | about 9 years ago | (#13773761)

I got my first one at 16. Banks'll let you do it, especially if a parent will sign on it with you. (Think of it, teenage girls and shopping, why WOULDN'T they want that interest to build up an extra 2 years?)

Re:Question... (1)

Xabora (758413) | about 9 years ago | (#13774114)

As much as this sucks there is a way around this check.
Right Click -> Open in a New Window.

Why? (4, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | about 9 years ago | (#13768565)

Why is Activision asking for credit card numbers to access product pages that promote 'M' rated games when the ESRB and every other publisher only use the required 'age gate'?

It's pretty obvious why they're doing this--this is classic Cover Your Ass.

Sure, nobody has sued a game publisher over the good ol' fashioned trust system yet--but Activision really doesn't relish the thought of being that lucky test case. Hence, they've decided to close this particular avenue of litigation.

A better question would be to ask whether or not Activision is overreacting to the percieved threat of a lawsuit.

Re:Why? (1)

max born (739948) | about 9 years ago | (#13769136)

It would be an even bigger story if Activision could determine your age from your credit card number. I might be wrong but I doubt they can. Just because you have a credit card doesn't mean you're necessarily over 18, does it?

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

NMerriam (15122) | about 9 years ago | (#13769770)

I had my first gold card when I was 16. I don't know why people think credit cards are an age verification -- banks aren't exactly shy about handing them out to anyone with a checking account.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

bob_jordan (39836) | about 9 years ago | (#13769503)

Its an odd way to cover your ass.

You can access this violent content if you either ...

a) Have a credit card and are therefor 18 or over.
b) Have parents who let you use their credit card online.
c) Are able to write simple programs and can type "luhn number" into google.


Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | about 9 years ago | (#13769614)

That doesn't stop those who buy a prepaid visa debit card from the local mall.

Advertising 101 (1)

James_Aguilar (890772) | about 9 years ago | (#13773606)

And an even better question is, "Will anyone ever look at this page versus a page that only has an age gate."

Hint: the answer is, "No."

Porn sites do it to "keep minors out" (2, Interesting)

scenestar (828656) | about 9 years ago | (#13768566)

And apparently that works.

So why should "violent content" producers be any different than "adult content" producers?

(not that I've ever used a credit card to verify my age)

Re:Porn sites do it to "keep minors out" (1)

Meagermanx (768421) | about 9 years ago | (#13769967)

Sure you haven't.

WinkWink, NudgeNudge, Saynomore Saynomore.

Re:Porn sites do it to "keep minors out" (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 years ago | (#13770590)

thing is, it doesn't work.

if it's not going to be charged you could use just _anybodys_ cc you ever had access to, too, without the cc owner even knowing.

however, what it DOES work for is TRACKING YOU, so have a shot at profiling and so forth.

It's pretty obvious (4, Interesting)

jpowers (32595) | about 9 years ago | (#13768622)

Because you can't show them your driver's license or photo ID over the internet. The only way they can even try to check for age is to see if you have a credit card (you can only get your own if you're 18 in most states). I'm sure collecting the card lets them verify your ID, but it's useful marketing data for them, too. They can match you wherever you put in that card # and see what you're interested in.

I'm not thrilled about putting my credit card number in online when there's nothing to buy, but I don't think this is for them to charge it - imagine them treating the card like a doubleclick cookie and you see where they may be able to gather a little bit of data about their users. I'm not as paranoid about personal data as some, so it's not much of a concern to me, but if we had some other unique form of ID I'd be more comfortable with this.

Re:It's pretty obvious (1)

tuzzyfoad (685628) | about 9 years ago | (#13768704)

Because you can't show them your driver's license or photo ID over the internet. The only way they can even try to check for age is to see if you have a credit card (you can only get your own if you're 18 in most states).
My dog is only 6 and he gets credit card apps all the time, including the pre-approved ones you activate with a phonecall.

My niece is in 9th grade and gets apps all the time as well.

Re:It's pretty obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13768897)

application != credit card

Re:It's pretty obvious (1)

tuzzyfoad (685628) | about 9 years ago | (#13768991)

True, but those pre-approved ones are.

As for the apps, if my dog had a SSN, I'm fairly certain I could get a card out of the 10-30 apps he receives in a month.

A minor most certainly could, especially one with an income and a bank account.

Re:It's pretty obvious (4, Funny)

Meagermanx (768421) | about 9 years ago | (#13769983)

Sounds like SOMEBODY has been signing their dog up for "Free iPods".
"Do you wanna iPod, boy? Doya? Huh? Yes you do. Yes you do want an iPod!"

Re:It's pretty obvious (1)

k_187 (61692) | about 9 years ago | (#13769444)

yes, but if you went and called and got your dog and/or niece a card, that wouldn't make it legal would it?

Re:It's pretty obvious (1)

tuzzyfoad (685628) | about 9 years ago | (#13769716)

yes, but if you went and called and got your dog and/or niece a card, that wouldn't make it legal would it?
Dunno, would it?

I'm sure if I did so and then used the card to make purchases it would be illegal, however, we're talking about using one for supposed proof of age. No purchases are taking place.

Re:It's pretty obvious (1)

Maserati (8679) | about 9 years ago | (#13771275)

Not really, no. The trick is getting your dog to call.

Re:It's pretty obvious (0)

kevstar31 (871244) | about 9 years ago | (#13768840)

Could some one use one of those programs that generate fake card numbers?

Re:It's pretty obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13771231)

That's no problem, they can start asking for the expiration date and security code on the back to authorize it too.

Re:It's pretty obvious (2, Interesting)

jonfr (888673) | about 9 years ago | (#13769859)

It is pretty obvious that there credit card check is faulty, i only get the year 2002 as final year. My own credit card however runs out this year (2005), so pepole with legal credit cards can't even check in. However there way to check age is fishy, they are not trustworthy of this peace of info.

Game-related? (3, Insightful)

diamondmagic (877411) | about 9 years ago | (#13768686)

Wouldn't this belong under YRO?

Microsoft passport requires this to access many first-party features, so it isn't somthing new. But the fact you do need to enter a credit card number is disturbing, not just detering people away from the game. Passport stores your number in a database after you enter it; would this?

I had a Credit Card at Seventeen geniuses!! (4, Informative)

StandSure (778854) | about 9 years ago | (#13768738)

I live in California and I had my first Credit Card at 17. So just having a credit card doesn't make you an adult.
At the time it was guaranteed by my mother but I still had a number on it. So if they want to protect themselves it had better tie into a real database somewhere down the line which will tell them your age.

Re:I had a Credit Card at Seventeen geniuses!! (2, Insightful)

SoCalChris (573049) | about 9 years ago | (#13769189)

On that note, what is stopping a young teen from going to 7-11, and paying the $10 fee for one of their prepaid credit cards [] ?

Morons. (2, Informative)

RyoShin (610051) | about 9 years ago | (#13768762)

Because everyone knows that you just cannot have a credit card if you're under 18!

Unless you get a card on your parent's account.

Or get a credit card while 16 (I started getting massive solicitations about that age.)

Or find/loot/steal a credit card from someone.

Or get someone who has a credit card allow you to use their number.

There are some things I will give up credit card numbers for. Getting another credit card, for instance. Or buying something. But I'm not going to release my financial information to view a trailer for a video game. I'll just wait until some independent game site sticks it on their server, thanks.

Next thing you know, we'll be getting stories on Slashdot like "Activisions's New Game (first born and credit card required) is said to put the 'mat' in 'mature'."

Re:Morons. (1)

DavidTC (10147) | about 9 years ago | (#13768830)

Or just get a check card. Minors can have checking acounts.

Re:Morons. (1)

damiam (409504) | about 9 years ago | (#13769808)

Since the site doesn't actually verify your info with the CC company, you don't even need a valid number. A randomly generated card number [] works just fine.

Re:Morons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13770220)

Another one to join the torrent of "this works" - an American Express GiftCard, which is not only not a credit card but is often held by under-18s, works fine.

Most of my opinions have been posted, but what exactly is Activision trying to do here? Build a gigantic credit card database so they can sign up to lots of porn sites? Why does one have to be 18+ to see information about a mature-rated game? Would said information include something such as the ESRB's rating information for the game?

The computer game industry didn't do enough when Columbine et al were happening, and now they're getting screwed over for it. Studies all over the place say that television causes violence, but god forbid taking away television--why, that's as American as apple pie--or, for that matter, the right to bear arms... could, perhaps, freedom of speech be used against this?

Re:Morons. (1)

LittleBigLui (304739) | about 9 years ago | (#13771708)

from parent's sig:
sine cosine cosine sine 3.14159!

Sounds like a spell from Harry Potter and the Lessons of Trigonometry. :)

Re:Morons. (1)

RyoShin (610051) | about 9 years ago | (#13771733)

It's actually a quote from an episode of Third Rock From the Sun, that old NBC nightly sitcom. :)

Ah, Dick, the laughs you brought me...

Re:Morons. (1)

LittleBigLui (304739) | about 9 years ago | (#13771944)

It's actually a quote from an episode of Third Rock From the Sun, that old NBC nightly sitcom.

No wonder i didn't recognize it then. Didn't watch that show much, and then only dubbed in german which probably would have crippled it beyond recognition anyways.

Re:Morons. (1)

Jakeypants (860350) | about 9 years ago | (#13773333)

Well I'm sure it works a whole lot better than age verification by asking you to enter your birthdate. What's easier - getting a credit card or just entering 1/1/1970?

I don't want to enter a credit card number if I'm not buying something, so I won't be using this site. But don't say this is a stupid measure - it's the best web-based age verification method that I can think of, besides requesting both a CC number AND a birthdate.

Another 30,000 CC #'s stolen (5, Funny)

PetyrRahl (880843) | about 9 years ago | (#13768849)

That will be the next headline. They'll get hacked, the CC #'s will be stolen and ID theft will abound. Later it will come out that it was an ambitious VP who was in on it, made out like a bandit and is still at large.


Re:Another 30,000 CC #'s stolen (1)

TheCarlMau (850437) | about 9 years ago | (#13770984)

I doubt that they actually store the credit card information. At least, I hope not! :-)

Just a second... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13768889)

This thing isn't asking for name, billing address, CVC/CV2 number, experation date...

It's asking for a number and a DOB.

What this thing is doing is running the number against a check of Visa/Mastercard/AMEX's available card numbers to see if the algorithms check out. For example... 1111 1111 1111 1111 is not a valid card number. In fact, there are credit card number generators out on the net that do nothing but figure out bank information numbers and card holder numbers, throw it together, and give you a 16 digit account number.

Any credit card generator program could easily be used to bypass this if people are being uptight about the authorization.

The whole reason behind this is so that the parents realize that little Billy is digging in the wallet trying to figure out what a real credit card number looks like.

Is it so bad that, instead of really looking at the information, we dig out the pitchforks over any little thing?

Re:Just a second... (1)

borkus (179118) | about 9 years ago | (#13770607)

From what little I know about credit card transactions, you can't really validate a card with its bank without making a transaction. While you can make a transaction and roll it back, both of those acts would cost the website money. Also, banks don't like it when you put charges on a card that you don't intend to complete. Because of that, I'd imagine that the above post is correct. In fact, they probably don't even store the card number and revalidate it if you log in - they just keep a flag stating that you at one time did give them a possibly valid card.

What tickles me so much is that something so easy to do in real life (verify someone's age) is so inherently difficult to do online with computers.

Re:Just a second... (1)

6ame633k (921453) | about 9 years ago | (#13770649)

Perhaps they are tackling it from the wrong direction - maybe they should lobby to make it illegal for children under 17 to be on the Internet without parental supervision - put the burden on the parents! Yeah...that'll happen....

Err... What are you guys talking about? (0, Offtopic)

code-e255 (670104) | about 9 years ago | (#13768915)

Err... What are you guys talking about? [] [] Check them out yourself. I'm asked to input my birth date by those sites, not my credit card number.

Re:Err... What are you guys talking about? (1)

dbhankins (688931) | about 9 years ago | (#13769258)


It explicitly states that it's the Activision site that's asking for CC#s, and that some of the game-specific sites - in particular, the two that you mentioned - aren't currently asking for them. The Activision Value site doesn't even have an age gate.

Re:Err... What are you guys talking about? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13776620)

I had my first credit card when I was 16.. It was also under my own name.. I didnt need my parents help getting it. I live in Ontario and dont quite know the laws.

I would however never give any1 my credit card # for age verification. I would just not goto the website.

Game Sites (4, Informative)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | about 9 years ago | (#13768964)

First off, I can't remember the last time I for game information from a publisher's site. Does anyone seriuosly go to to look up the features of Big Mutha Truka 2005? No thanks. I read off-site previews and reviews. Something like mediareviews, 1up, or gamerankings always has enough information on the games I find interesting.

Second, these guys are only hurting themselves. Let's say 10% of gamers actually go to a publisher's site to get something. How many will actually have a CC? How many will be willing to put that number in? I think not many. The traffic to what is, in effect, an advertisement will fall. And with the adverts not getting clicks, the game sales will fall sharply.

Finally, let's say they have an exclusive demo or make you register to get updates. Well, the demo will be out on eMule and ISOHunt within a few days. If not, the full game will be out no later than 2 weeks after the release. And if people can't access a demo, sales will fall and piracy will rise. Updates and patches will end up mirrored by tons of fan sites; they are rarely hosted back at the publisher's site anyway.

Look, I really understand that game publishers are scared. After all, they are in a position where screenshots and in-game videos will get you sued while Tubgirl and Rocco float around unmolested. It really is sick when selling a game to a kid will result in a bigger fine than selling him porn or alcohol. The pubs are scared. But taking this first step is really going to hurt them in the eyes of the precious few consumers that actually try and read their sites.

Re:Game Sites (1)

EvilNTUser (573674) | about 9 years ago | (#13794928)

"It really is sick when selling a game to a kid will result in a bigger fine than selling him porn or alcohol."

I agree that the fines are stupid in general, but if we are to fine people, selling violent games to kids should damn well be a more serious offense than selling them a magazine with some unclothed human beings. Don't fall for the "porn is evil"-propaganda.

Re:Game Sites (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | about 9 years ago | (#13795333)

What kind of idiot are you? Have you actually seen porn since the mid-1970s? Kids do not need to see things like Juggs. I shouldn't have to explain why a fat woman is squirting milk into some dude's cereal. Kids shouldn't see things like Hustler where girls are pissing on each other or a girl is taking it in the ass and in the mouth at the same time.

That shit is not normal. To let anyone be tainted by such perversions at an early age should be a criminal offense.

I don't care if my kids see a boobie or two. Even a muff shot every now and agian is ok. But when a girl has her feet behind her head and her boyfriends is playing gynocologist with his fingers, that shit should be kept behing lock and key untill someone asks for it by name.

Re:Game Sites (1)

EvilNTUser (573674) | about 9 years ago | (#13797082)

I'd rather have my theoretical kids see any of the things you mentioned than let them play games that for example idolize gangster culture*. I hardly think someone is going to start enjoying triple penetration just because they saw it in a movie. And if they would enjoy it, it's none of my business as long as they use protection.

What kind of idiot are *you*, who thinks we should censor things that hurt no one but the prudes?

*Of course, if my kids had already demonstrated their intelligence and good manners, I'd let them do that too.

Countdown for system failure. (2, Insightful)

AzraelKans (697974) | about 9 years ago | (#13769004)

And the entire webpage will get 0 visits in .. 5,4,3,2,1...

Sorry but I seriously doubt someone could be naive enough to release a CC just for seing a website. (unless is a payment site or is Actually a KID doing the visit) specially when several websites have the material, I dont really see how this could work in anyway for anyone. (except for hackers to have a grand opportunity at CC farming)

Borrowing (1)

NotMyNickName (922171) | about 9 years ago | (#13769018)

Since I was 15 or younger if I needed a credit card for something all I had to do was ask my parents. As long as I gave them the money for the purchase they didn't mind. And if you take a parent like that, add to it the mentality of many parents today who don't pay much attention to what their children watch or surf on the net and it shouldn't be too hard to get a credit card number. Of course over all it's just a stupid idea. I realize it's CYA but still...

stupid.... (2, Insightful)

B3AST! (916930) | about 9 years ago | (#13769068)

very bad more chance for someone to steal your credit card number and you aren't even BUYING anything from's one thing if i at least was getting something out of the deal, but to just be getting a trailer when they steal it?? that's sad

this is like when companies use your SS number for verification or worse, for your employee wasn't designed for that and should not be used for that

Dumbest Marketing Move I've Ever Seen.... (4, Insightful)

telstar (236404) | about 9 years ago | (#13769135)

I just checked out Activision's website ... that's just nuts. Requiring a credit card to access the content of Doom 3? They're only hurting themselves and their sales. I'd NEVER enter my credit card just to access content. Hell, I won't even register for many free websites just to read content that's blocked behind authentication.

Worse yet, they request your credit card number in this small popup with pretty much no supporting text that's helpful in identifying that it's a popup coming from Activision. For all you know, it's a popup from some advertiser phishing for credit card numbers. From the titlebar, you can see that the page uses https, but that's about it. Dumb, dumb move for a company trying to promote their product.

fake card? (1)

fixer007 (851350) | about 9 years ago | (#13769578)

Anyone know if it actually verifies card info?

if not you could just change your own CC info just enough to get by. Maybe they are only doing a MOD10 check.

I guess you would only do this if you cared to see this stuff...

Re:fake card? (2, Informative)

caitsith2 (773099) | about 9 years ago | (#13770502)

MOD10 check only. You can even use fake numbers like 4242 4242 4242 4242, or 4000 0000 0000 0002. However, if it fails on either the birth date, or the credit card number, a cookie is set, to completely disallowing of a second chance, unless the user knows how to clear the cookie.

seconded (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 9 years ago | (#13776672)

seconded, i just tested with a generated visa number and it works

VeriSign sample numbers (4, Informative)

BushCheney08 (917605) | about 9 years ago | (#13769656)

Well, the sample credit card numbers on the VeriSign page [] seem to work okay. I only tried a few, but they worked. And it only took a few seconds of googling to come up with those.

Visa policies? (1)

oGMo (379) | about 9 years ago | (#13769660)

I thought Visa and other CC companies had policies regarding not identifying customers by CC information. As much as they'll bend you over themselves, they seem to be pretty strict with merchants, reserving the bend-you-over right for themselves. Anyone know the specific policies on this?

Re:Visa policies? (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 9 years ago | (#13776692)

activision only does the mathematical (mod10 i think is the name) test for validity, and credit card generating tool or list of generated numbers will work

Remember all those CC generators you could use? (1)

Inoshiro (71693) | about 9 years ago | (#13769914)

Back in the 80s and 90s, of course. The algorithm for verification of a CC is not hard to implement. It's trivial to generate millions of them.

How does Activision think that's going to stop anyone? Generate millions of fake CCs for getting past this, and continue. Hell, use fake CCs for all sites that won't charge your CC. Not charging it is the same as not checking, right?

What about gift-cert cards? (1)

Myself (57572) | about 9 years ago | (#13770092)

It's been stated that Activision doesn't even verify the cards, they're just checking the number, so any generator should work for this.

But for other purposes, like buying AdultCheck IDs, why not just get one of the little cash-reloadable cards? A few years back, 7-11 had AmEx "gift cards" that you could add value to just by handing cash to the clerk. There was no ID or age check to get one.

That pilot program ended, but I think recently there've been a few other cash-card systems that appear as a CC to the merchant. If there's no ID check to get the card, then any kid could plunk down $20 for one and "age-verify" to all sorts of sites, particularly the AdultCheck network.

Travelers Cheque cards from American Express (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 years ago | (#13770599)

A few years back, 7-11 had AmEx "gift cards" that you could add value to just by handing cash to the clerk. There was no ID or age check to get one. That pilot program ended

If it ended, then why is American Express still advertising its Travelers Cheque Card program [] ?

What's the problem? (2, Funny)

cgenman (325138) | about 9 years ago | (#13770223)

We should all feel comfortable entering our credit card information at Activision [] . In fact, I'm going to do it right now on their super secure server [] .

I suggest you all follow me and just do it [] .

Firefox Bypasses It (5, Interesting)

rajivvarma (71946) | about 9 years ago | (#13771388)

Firefox seems to bypass the Activision window blocking access to the "mature" site. All you have to do is open the link in a new tab (middle-click or ctrl-click on the link).

Re:Firefox Bypasses It (1)

stupid_is (716292) | about 9 years ago | (#13771723)

Hell, if you "Open in new Window" in IE or FF you bypass it. How dumb is that?

Re:Firefox Bypasses It (1)

sckeener (137243) | about 9 years ago | (#13772528)

looks like they closed that loop. I just tried and failed doing a ctrl-click.

Re:Firefox Bypasses It (1)

Osty (16825) | about 9 years ago | (#13779641)

Firefox seems to bypass the Activision window blocking access to the "mature" site. All you have to do is open the link in a new tab (middle-click or ctrl-click on the link).

It's just a silly onclick event handler on the link. Turn off javascript, and you're in. Right-click or middle-click and you're in (those don't register a click event). If you're into being productively lazy, write a simple Greasmonkey script that strips onclick event handlers from anchor tags on Activision sites (maybe be smarter about it and only strip those that call the checkCCCookie() method). Use a proxy to dynamically replace [] with an implementation that stubs out checkCCCookie().

This silly little check isn't going to stop anybody. So far it doesn't appear that they've implemented this half-assed check for patch downloads. If they do, they will have just shot themselves in the other foot.

Debit cards, anyone? (1)

faloi (738831) | about 9 years ago | (#13772596)

Can't you get a debit card as soon as you open a bank account nowadays? Are these systems sophisticated enough to care whether it's a debit card or credit card, or are they pretty straight-forward (i.e. with that information I was able to put a one cent charge and reverse it)?

LOL (2, Funny)

Kylere (846597) | about 9 years ago | (#13773078)

I will skip activision game data, I have seen the coding of their games, their is no way I trust the coding of their "secure" servers. Really anyone willing to give up credit card data to see a game trailer/preview is seriously confused about life priorities.

If I'm not mistaken (2, Informative)

Kingrames (858416) | about 9 years ago | (#13773320)

there was an article on the local news not too long ago about a woman who filled out a credit card application for her preschool daughter. It was accepted, and she was sent a card.

So I suppose it IS all about the money.

Test number 4111-1111-1111-1111 works (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13773704)

For anyone who has done any CC validation testing, the test number of 4 followed by fifteen 1s works on the site- so you don't even need to enter in a valid CC number to see the information.

What about Movie Trailers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13773957)

You don't see age verification over at Apple's Quicktime movie trailer site, do you? Even when trailers are rated R...

Hrm? (2, Insightful)

Rinisari (521266) | about 9 years ago | (#13774502)

What about the people who are over 20 and don't have a credit card because they simply don't want one? Granted that segment of the population is fairly small, but isn't the goal of entertainment companies to entertain everyone they can?

Re:Hrm? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 9 years ago | (#13782345)

"Granted that segment of the population is fairly small, but isn't the goal of entertainment companies to entertain everyone they can?"

No, the goal is to get everyone they can to purchase their product. It's a cost/benefit thing.

Risk of lawsuit for not verifying age * (Cost of settlement of lawsuit + cost of lawyers to negotiate settlement and/or handle civil suit)


Lost profits due to people not buying because of CC verification.

Besides, if a game trailer is forbidden, you can bet that every kid is going to want to see it.

And now for the best hack since... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13778548)

...holding down the shift key when inserting a CD.

Go to the Activision site and try to go to the page for an M-rated game. When the credit card activation page comes up, look at the link that the "submit" button takes you to. Get the url that it submits to the script, and go straight there. You'll be at the M-rated page without it stopping you :)

Oh well. (1)

thelonestranger (915343) | about 9 years ago | (#13780031)

As one of the few people in the UK whos never bothered with credit cards, I guess this means I wont be viewing any of this oh so important information as I'm unable to prove my age. Oh well, Im sure I'll get over it.

Reverse logic (1)

ozTravman (898206) | about 9 years ago | (#13787911)

Maybe Activision are smarter than they think. They know the only people to give out their credit card to view a trailer will be kids! So if you put in your credit card details maybe it then denies access to the trailer.

It's Better Than Nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13791689)

It is better than a simple age gate (any 8, 10, 14 etc -year old can figure out that simply entering a birthday before 1987 will make them appear to be 18)

You aren't being charged for anything either.

Yes, lots of people who are teens have credit/debit cards... society is moving away from that paper stuff called cash into electronic payments. Everyone 18+ should ahve a credit card and teens should at least have debit/check cards.

But the CC# thing will help keep younger kids out ... provided they don't steal daddy's gold card (and he may never know b/c no charge shows up... mabye they should charge you $1 and then credit you back $1 ... so somethign shows on the statement but there is no actual cost to the consumer)

Uhh.. damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13797403)

I'm virtually 24, but not had much success with getting a credit card, guess no dirty games for me :(
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