Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

ESRB Ratings Promoted by Georgia Attorney General

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the not-the-craziest-thing dept.

44

fiorenza writes "At least one state is forgoing the process of cooking up gaming legislation only to have it thrown out in the courts. Georgia is working with the ESRB to educate parents in the state about game ratings, with the state's Attorney General leading up the charge. The obvious question is, why wasn't this tried first, before the mad rush to pass laws that never stand judicial review on account of first amendment issues? The article suggests that similar cooperative announcements from other states may soon follow."

cancel ×

44 comments

an excuse to pass the laws? (1)

redstar427 (81679) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928036)

Perhaps in other states, they wanted to use the alleged "dire" situation to quickly pass the laws. Where the cooperative method would interfere with that agenda.

Re:an excuse to pass the laws? (1)

dorbabil (969458) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928433)

It's always nice to have a "Think of the children" law in an election year.

This year it was violent video game legislation. Who knows what it'll be in 2008.

In the case of Georgia... (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928048)

I can't speak for the other states but for the state of Georgia this is what's being tried first.

Re:In the case of Georgia... (3, Insightful)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928668)

I'm actually impressed... Not only that a state is trying the more appropriate method before resorting to passing more laws but even more so that it's Georgia of all states that is leading by example. Nothing against Georgia but it's not one of the states I would have guessed to be the first for something like this.

Re:In the case of Georgia... (3, Informative)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931013)

I'm not targeting you, but I really hate the perception people have of Georgia. We are not all dumb ass rednecks and uneducated slave decendants. That is an ignorant misconception.

  • Anyone get a job off ComputerJobs.com? That's here.
  • The CDC is here.
  • We have the largest concentration of College educated African-Americans in the United States.
  • We like to design lotsa weapons at Lockheed-Martin
  • Hartsfield-Jackson, the worlds busiest airport is here.
  • Georgia Tech and Emory are no slouch schools
  • We are expecting 3% annual job growth through 2008
  • Turner Broacasting Systems, CNN, Earthlink, Coca-Cola, UPS, Manhattan Associates, Radiant Systems, Home Depot, Newell-Rubbermaid, Southern Company, Georgia-Pacific, Bell South, Convergent Media Systems, and Delta are all headquartered here.


Hell, I can go on and on - read a report here. [timeinc.net] We may not be Silcon Valley, but the tech community here is the largest in the South East. And we do regularly pull talent from out West and up North.

Being that we have such a technically savvy, young population - it makes perfect sense that we would try this( the median age here is 33). Atlanta is almost completely populated by the gamer demographic - our reps know this. Also, being a southern state, our reps have had had to deal with Federal gun control laws - they personally know what it's like to have restrictions thrown on them. They aren't to quick to do it themselves.

Oh, and I'll pit a Georgia Southern Belle against any Manhattan Socialite or West Coast hottie any day - AND rumor has it girls outnumber the guys almost 2 to 1 in Atlanta.

I LOVE it here.

Re:In the case of Georgia... (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#15933925)

Yeah, Georgia is more than just a Delta hub!

Re:In the case of Georgia... (1)

zerocommazero (837043) | more than 7 years ago | (#15935665)

Doesn't matter. Atlanta will end up at the bottom of the ocean someday in the future. I bet my shiny metal ass on it.

Re:In the case of Georgia... (1)

hollismb (817357) | more than 7 years ago | (#15935954)

Hey, I've lived in Atlanta all my life, and I'm even impressed the GA was the first to go this route.

Now if only the parents would cooperate... (2, Insightful)

tacarat (696339) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928051)

You know, try to find out what their kids are playing. I think parents that buy games for thier kids and complain about all of the ESRB labeled "mature" issues in said games, such as sex and violence, should just be brought up on child neglect charges. Not the stores. Not the game companies. It's about the same as buying a 12 year old hardcore pornography and then trying to sue the publisher.

I think the sad part of American culture right now is that I'm probably not the only one to think that's not so implausible.

Re:Now if only the parents would cooperate... (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928312)

I think parents that buy games for thier kids and complain about all of the ESRB labeled "mature" issues in said games, such as sex and violence, should just be brought up on child neglect charges. Not the stores. Not the game companies. It's about the same as buying a 12 year old hardcore pornography

Again, who's being hurt by either of those actions? The kid wants it, and if the parent allows it, it's none of your business what they buy for him.

Re:Now if only the parents would cooperate... (2, Insightful)

tacarat (696339) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928390)

I was shooting for an example of dumb parenting, not so much hardcore porn's morality. How about sueing a company that makes cleaning chemicals after buying their product and feeding it to the kid who gets sick and dies? The blame would go to the parent for whatever happens afterwards, not to company (which had warning labels) or the store (which sold it to an adult). My point focused on the parents that buy and complain about what their kids are exposed to, not the parents that are only buying the game.

Re:Now if only the parents would cooperate... (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928731)

Oops. My bad.

Re:Now if only the parents would cooperate... (2, Insightful)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928426)

You missed the important part. He said "parents that buy games for thier kids and complain about all of the ESRB labeled "mature" issues in said games...should just be brought up on child neglect charges." (emphasis mine).

If someone wants to buy their kid a game or a movie or a book, that is their own prerogative. But if you buy the kid a game, then complain about it [msn.com] then you are just dumb. And in that situation, you obviously did not want your kid playing such a game, yet you bought it anyway, even though it was clearly labelled, you weren't just negligent, you were a willful accomplice. The GP was being too kind. You should be charged as willfully contributing to the deliquency of a minor, using your own standards.

Now if you buy an M-rated game for your kid and never complain, then those charges aren't brought against you. But by complaining even though you bought the game, then you have shown you are a bad parent.

Why wasn't this tried first? Easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15928097)

...not enough lawyers are involved this way.

No more scapegoat? (1)

the_crowing (992960) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928124)

What is everyone going to use as a scapegoat the next time there is a school shooting if they can't pass the blame onto violent videogames? This might cause parents to face the fact that they are ultimately responsible for what their kids are exposed to.

Re:No more scapegoat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15928394)

"What is everyone going to use as a scapegoat the next time there is a school shooting if they can't pass the blame onto violent videogames?"

I say, Paris Hilton's album. It sure makes me want to shoot someone.

Kudos to Georgia! (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928134)

Thank you Thurbert Baker for doing something that makes sense.

Georgia DOES have some intelligence! (1)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928232)

And also, they know Georgia Tech will have Atlanta's balls in a vise if they cut off their access to good games...

Re:Georgia DOES have some intelligence! (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928670)

Yeah, politicans really fear nerds.

Re:Georgia DOES have some intelligence! (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#15929941)

You know, the major Internet backbone exchange for the whole southeastern US is literally just down the street from campus. I would be willing to bet a bunch of Tech students could shut that down fairly easily.

Re:Georgia DOES have some intelligence! (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#15932411)

How is his being in somewhat close physican proximity pertinent? If he were 20 miles away or 50 or 150, would it make any difference?

Also, ho does this screw him, anyway? Like you are going to take away his internet access so that you can go quickly vandalize his wikipedia page and he won't be able to do anything about it for a while?

And if the people you are referring to (Tech students) take down the whole backbone for the internet in the southeast, wouldn't that screw themselves (being nerds after all), far more than than it would hurt Mr. Baker (who is, I'm guessing since he is the attorney general, an attorney)??

I saw it in action this Tuesday (3, Insightful)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928156)

I was in an EBgames shop and two teenage boys were trying to buy a game. The clerk refused to sell it to them because they looked under age and had no ID with them (or didn't want to produce it). They argued. They begged. They left without the game. They cussed loudly on their way out.

The clerk, backed up by at least one other clerk on duty and a little shaken by the situation, said she was just trying to do her job, and that was the policy of the store. I applaude the store and I applaude the clerk.

Knowing that stores will not routinely sell mature games to minors helps me feel that I have backup. Knowing theatres won't routinely let underage kids into see R rated movies helps me feel I have backup. It's easy for me to override these hurdles. I just buy the game or I take her to the movie. But it's my choice.

I know that many times they get ratings wrong. It's an imperfect system. But it gives me someplace to start, a default position if you will. If I see the game is labled as mature, I can then investigate furhter to see if I'd really find it objectionable. My daughter is 17 so this is no longer really an issue for us, but I would have been somewhat miffed if she had been sold Grand Theft Auto when she was 14. On the other hand, I routinely let her play Unreal Tournament at an even younger age because by my personal standards, its less of an issue. That's my choice as a father, the choice to allow my daughter to use media of a mature nature, or to just say no. The ratings help me do that, and I'm glad they're helping others as well.

Re:I saw it in action this Tuesday (1, Troll)

thebdj (768618) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928208)

You have a 17 year old daughter who plays video games? You might have a lot of requests from teenage slashdotters for a/s/l now...and in a year possibly the rest of the /. community.

Re:I saw it in action this Tuesday (2, Funny)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928266)

Please. I'm 20 and female and I've only heard that a few times in the past months. O_o

Re:I saw it in action this Tuesday (1)

eosp (885380) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928303)

Old Sig: The Internet is the place where men are men, women are men, and children are the FBI.

obligatory "oh snaps, a female!" reaction (1)

MrSquirrel (976630) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928499)

Are you doing anything Friday? Want to play some video games?

Re:obligatory "oh snaps, a female!" reaction (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928789)

Dude! You've got it all wrong. You're supposed to ask her if she wants to play with your joystick...

Re:I saw it in action this Tuesday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15929468)

You covered a and s but forgot l.

Re:I saw it in action this Tuesday (1)

isellmacs (661604) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928289)

I'm pretty sure she's 17/f =P

Re:I saw it in action this Tuesday (1)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928324)

I don't know about GTA, but every iteration of Unreal Tournament that I have played has had parental controls over the blood and guts. I don't know its ESRB rating but let's just assume it's rated for 17 year olds because of the violence and gore. If you can reduce this in the game (and lock it down with a password the way UT does) then it would probably pass as acceptible for a 14 year old according to ESRB criteria. My point is that we, as parents, must evaluate the games for ourselves using the ESRB ratings as a guide.

Re:I saw it in action this Tuesday (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928330)

That's my choice as a father, the choice to allow my daughter to use media of a mature nature

Um, she's seventeen. I think the large majority of her life has been out of your hands for quite some time now.

Re:I saw it in action this Tuesday (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928489)

Shhhhhh! Allow us fathers to enjoy our delusions of control!

-Rick

Re:I saw it in action this Tuesday (1)

MrSquirrel (976630) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928532)

I applaud you as a parent -- I have seen first-hand too many parents walk into a video game stores dragging 9-10 year olds and saying "okay, pick a game", the youngster snaps up the nearest "cool" game, and the parent buys it without another word. Most video game chains have adhered to the ESRB ratings pretty strictly (I look pretty young so I always get carded). Thank you for being a responsible parent.

Also sir, I would like to take this time to ask for the opportunity to court your video-game-playing daughter.

Re:I saw it in action this Tuesday (2, Interesting)

the_crowing (992960) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928709)

About 2 months ago I was in EB games purchasing Half-Life:Anthology, an M-rated game, and upon handing the game to the clerk I was asked for a piece of ID to ensure that I was at least 17 years of age. I was a little shocked at this because it was the first time I had ben IDed while purchasing a video game, however, I was actually glad that I got IDed because I know that if I got IDed, then they must be doing the same to a lot of people and effectively preventing "under-aged" kids from purchasing violent or sexualy explicit video games.

Being a 20-year-old, I had no problem with the purchase, but this actually came as a breath of fresh air for me to see someone actually taking steps to prevent kids from being exposed to explicit content and trying to releave the games industry of the constant, misdirected accusations that it has been getting over the pat few years.

Oh come on (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928169)

How difficult are these ratings anyway: http://www.esrb.org/ratings/ratings_guide.jsp [esrb.org]

The only requirement to understand them is that you are able to read. So I guess the ESRP ratings have a 8+ rating themselves.

Any game that has an M or Ao rating might not be suitable for kids (but this is up to the parents to decide).

Re:Oh come on (2, Insightful)

RESPAWN (153636) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928314)

It's not so much a matter of education what the ratings mean as it is educating the masses as to their existance. What we really need is an awareness campaign. Too many parents are probably not even aware that there are ratings on video games (despite the ratings clearly plastered on the boxes). I applaud the state of Georgia for this matter. If I were registered to vote here instead of my home state (I currently reside in Georgia), the attorney general would definitely get my vote.

Here's hoping that more campaigns such as these start to spring up in more states. Maybe once enough people are aware of the ratings system, they can stop with these needless, and trivial lawsuits against the gaming companies.

I'm curious: did the movie industry have these same problems getting their ratings system "adopted" by the public?

Re:Oh come on (1)

MrSquirrel (976630) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928600)

I remember an article where a grandmother had bought her grandson GTA: San Andreas -- she was expressing outrage about the hot coffee mod... yes grandmother, you should be mad... at yourself. The game features some other content you'd probably enjoy (you could've read the back of the box or even just looked at the pictures on it, hell, just ask the store clerk): drive-bys, carjackings, burglary, arson, killing prostitutes, gang warfare, and beating people over the head with a big purple dildo!... oh, even if you didn't look at the game content, grandma, the game is still rated 18+.

Education is hard, but it's the most effective way to stop trivial lawsuits and "the corruption of children".

Ah, some sanity for a change. (1)

alexwcovington (855979) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928254)

It's nice to see that not every political body is joining the "OMG SEX AND VIOLENCE" lynchmob. If I was their constituent, I'd send them a very nice letter.

Re:Ah, some sanity for a change. (1)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928336)

You don't have to be their constituent. Do it anyway. Positive reinforcement and such.

Re:Ah, some sanity for a change. (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928352)

I'm not their constituent, but I might still send them a very nice letter, expressing my thanks that at least one state has grown something of a brain, and CC it to my own lawmakers. If we all did the same, maybe the rest of the country could be shocked into catching up to Georgia.

Re:Ah, some sanity for a change. (2)

Brothernone (928252) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928391)

I just send him a nice letter(yes, hand written) and I'm not his constituant. In a momment i'll be doing the same to my Gov/AG and point out his example. What we need in the our government right now is more people like Baker. I applaude his understanding and hope that more programs spring up. This is a good start to pointing out that it's not the games that are causing violent children. The more people are aware and understand the idea behind the ESRB ratings the better. The more people that understand they have to take responsibility for the media their children are exposed to the better. I'm happy, and I can only hope that more people notice what is happening here.

Re:Ah, some sanity for a change. (1)

Brothernone (928252) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928419)

Send him a nice letter anyway. I plan on it, and I hope more people notice this program. I think it's a good thing people are activly trying to point out the ratings, not refine them. They are a good indication of the content, not a report. People need to understand and use the ratings not demand "better". I can only hope more people follow this example and help point out that the big M in the bottom right hand corner of the game means something besides "Money".

Because (3, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#15929199)

The obvious question is, why wasn't this tried first, before the mad rush to pass laws that never stand judicial review on account of first amendment issues?

Because rational thought doesn't earn votes.

Game Ratings (1)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 7 years ago | (#15932429)

How's this? Just as with any other adult material, (Hustler, booze, smokes, etc.) make the purchaser of the rated M games show ID. Maybe then the parents will get the idea...

Face it - what 12 year old has $50 to spend on a video game. The parents are the ones shucking out the $$ for the games and most of them would never buy their kid a Playboy but they'll get him the BMX XXX without batting an eye because it's "just a game".

Besides the gaming console is not a baby sitter. PS/X-box/etc is not a subsitute for parental interaction.

I also think that stores that sell video games should be required in letters no less than 2" high be required to explain the rating system, ages, etc. along with the notice about not being able to sell the games to anyone under 21.

Furthermore games with built chat (MMOGS) need to have a warning on them about allowing children to play online unsupervised. Our gaming clan is quite active and in the past year I've made 7 reports to the FBI of incidents that occured "in game" where adults made inappropriate comments to children. Pedophiles have figured out that chat rooms are a bust but these games, espeically the ones that require cooperative play, have chat built right in. For $50 Freaky Pete has access to a whole world of unsuspecting kids...

Just my 2 cents,

QueenB
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...