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Family Group Releases Annual Games Report Card

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the let-me-spoil-it-for-you-they-don't-like-games dept.

Games 72

The National Institute on Media and the Family has released their annual 'report card' for the videogames industry. Brian Crecente has some great commentary on the release, which he refers to as 'increasingly out-dated and unnecessary, something that probably explains the desperate tone of this year's report'. "What's interesting is that the summary cites very specific examples for the positive, such as Target removing Manhunt 2 from shelves after finding AO content was viewable with a hack, or that GameStop has started firing people for selling M-rated games to minors, but doesn't really do the same for the negative. Instead [NIMF's David Walsh] writes that 'Complacency, especially on the part of retailers and parents, appears to have caused a backslide in ratings awareness and enforcement.'" The ESRB was quick to point out the flaws in the group's assertions, while a UK study indicates that some 75% of parents are worried about the games their kids play.

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Then 75% of parent's (4, Insightful)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#21576821)

Should make sure they don't play the particular games they are worried about. It beats the alternatives I can come up with.

Re:Then 75% of parent's (3, Funny)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 6 years ago | (#21576863)

Parents? responsible for taking care of their own children?

you sir, are clearly a terrorist. :/

Re:Then 75% of parent's (4, Insightful)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577121)

75% of parents are worried, eh? Yet, when a Fox affiliate interviewed a group of parents about the parental control settings on the Xbox 360, most of them had no idea there were controls and the ones who did had no idea how to set them. Laziness > Concern.

Re:Then 75% of parent's (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577267)

Should make sure they don't play the particular games they are worried about. It beats the alternatives I can come up with.

True enough. However....

The problem I forsee is that while parents might be able to ensure their kids only play appropriate games at home, it is very difficult to do the same at the homes of their children's friends, where a different set of parents (or older siblings) are the responsible parties. It is entirely possible that a 15 year old kid, or some well-meaning, but "hands-off" parents wouldn't think to prevent a 6 year old neighbor from playing any game in their video game library.

In other words, being a responsible parent is harder than some people think.

Re:Then 75% of parent's (2, Funny)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577369)

Well damn, it looks like we need to pass a law to put warning labels on your kid's friends' parents.

Re:Then 75% of parent's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21577423)

If you find out that Billy's parents let them play games unsupervised they don't get to goto Billy's house anymore. Not so hard is it?

Re:Then 75% of parent's (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577577)

The problem I forsee is that while parents might be able to ensure their kids only play appropriate games at home, it is very difficult to do the same at the homes of their children's friends, where a different set of parents (or older siblings) are the responsible parties. It is entirely possible that a 15 year old kid, or some well-meaning, but "hands-off" parents wouldn't think to prevent a 6 year old neighbor from playing any game in their video game library. In other words, being a responsible parent is harder than some people think.
I don't know any "responsible parent" that would let their child go under the supervision of another adult without first speaking with said adult and sorting out things like not allowing them access to violent or pornographic media.

Re:Then 75% of parent's (2, Insightful)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577801)

I don't know any "responsible parent" that would let their child go under the supervision of another adult without first speaking with said adult and sorting out things like not allowing them access to violent or pornographic media.

I expect that most people, if they thought that the other adult in question would NEED to be advised to keep the child away from violent or pornographic media, just wouldn't allow their children to visit. That is not where I see the potential problem.

The issue is where the adults in question don't supervise their children especially closely, and generally assume they are keeping out of trouble as long as they are not making too much noise. Add a teenager into the mix, and the likelihood that the children are properly supervised has potential to decline without any obvious negligent behaviour by the adults in question.

Essentially, someone who believes responsible parenting is easy/simple is not well informed; it requires a LOT of work and personal involvement.

Re:Then 75% of parent's (1)

PlatyPaul (690601) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584517)

Essentially, someone who believes responsible parenting is easy/simple is not well informed; it requires a LOT of work and personal involvement.

Exactly. The problem is when people have children but are unwilling or incapable of putting in that level of work and personal involvement.

And, sadly enough, such cases are commonplace.

Re:Then 75% of parent's (1)

The Aethereal (1160051) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596051)

The issue is where the adults in question don't supervise their children especially closely, and generally assume they are keeping out of trouble as long as they are not making too much noise.
I'm not a parent, but as a former child, isn't it when the children are not making too much noise that they are most likely getting in to trouble?

Re:Then 75% of parent's (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21578071)

I don't know any "responsible parent" that would let their child go under the supervision of another adult without first speaking with said adult and sorting out things like not allowing them access to violent or pornographic media.


Seriously? You expect that the parents of a ten year old will say things like, "Hey, Chuck, you're not going to let my kid watch any porn, are you?"

Being a "responsible parent" isn't hard because parents don't want to do right by their kids. It's hard because they have differing opinions as to what constitutes "doing right," or even "responsible." Finding out where those differences lie can cause a lot of friction between adults.

Re:Then 75% of parent's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584201)

Which is why you should get to know other parents before turning your spawn over to their care... but that's just common sense... can't have any of that. If you don't get along with the other parents because of such vastly different personal standards, then don't allow any single set of parents to watch over the young ones.

And if you have this problem frequently, consider not being a nutjob to help alleviate the problem.

(In before "but I work long hours and I'll miss my TV show if I do that")

Re:Then 75% of parent's (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596419)

And if two parents can't agree what is right for a child - I don't see how an entire nation can agree, so that's all the more reason to leave it to the parents and not have a nanny state ban games for everyone.

Re:Then 75% of parent's (3, Interesting)

HappyDrgn (142428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577591)

This is not very hard to do. My son knows which games he can play and which ones he can not play. When I buy a new game and he sees it he will always ask first if it's a game he is allowed to play. If he wants to keep playing games and wants me to keep buying him new ones, then he is to not complain about which ones he can play. Which there are some very fun kid friendly games out there, mostly for the Wii, which he has a large library. The xbox is a little limited however, I've only found a few that are for his age. This works the same for movies too! I don't understand parents who have trouble with this. I was over at Gamestop the other day picking up Mario Galaxy for him and Mass Effect for myself, while a mother was there buying Halo3 for her son. She asked the guy at the counter if it was violent and if it had adult language. When he answered yes to both questions SHE BOUGHT IT ANYWAY!!!
 
That being said I would like to see better parental controls in game systems. An access allow/deny list type thing would work perfectly if added into the xbox style profiles. Give each person in the house a profile, perhaps with a password and choose to allow all access or only certain games to each profile. This would prevent a child who was able to buy/borrow/rent a mature game from a store that did not care the ability to play it. This is not to say good parenting can be replaced with a switch on the game system (which is how most parents would treat it I'm sure), it would be a reliable extra step to make sure kids dont play adult games in my house however.

Re:Then 75% of parent's (2, Funny)

Von Helmet (727753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584149)

When I was little (like, 6 years old) I asked my dad about various board games that we had in the cupboard. I remember asking whether we could play Monopoly, and he said not yet, but that I could play it when I was older. I thought it must have boobs or something in it. Imagine my disappointment...

Re:Then 75% of parent's (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585389)

The article is useless without the actual survey questions. I would bet the question was not "Are you worried about the games your kids play", but more along the lines of "Do you think there are some games your kids should not play." Makes a world of difference.

Ratings systems (5, Insightful)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21576889)

Rating systems are no substitute for good parenting. That includes playing or at least monitoring the games your children play.

Re:Ratings systems (5, Insightful)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577341)

Absolutely, but there is nothing wrong with a rating system in general. As a parent, am I expected to keep up on every game for the game platform(s) in my household. Suppose walking through the store one day a child sees a game on sale and wants it. The child has been behaving and doing extra chores, and I feel buying a game for him/her is not out of the question. If there is no rating system, I have little choice but to say "No", or at least "Not yet", and go home and research the game before returning to the store to purchase it, or another instead.

As a parent I'm all for the rating system and fining retailers for not enforcing them. If, as a parent, I feel its okay for my child to play a game rated for older than he/she is, then I will go to the store with said child and purchase it for them. This is not a big deal to me, and certainly preferrable to my child doing hookers and mugging them afterwards in a game, when they're too young to even know what sex is.

When my children are old enough for games, they will only be playing them in common areas of the house so we can monitor what they are playing. But as much as you try to, you can't watch what they're doing 24/7.

Re:Ratings systems (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577531)

So, you just don't want to do the research? Nevermind that your kid probably knows before you leave what game he'd want. What about parents who have kids in the 14-17 range? Should they have to buy the game for their kid, even if they don't mind their kids playing an M game?

I also see a problem with you wanting to watch your kid 24/7. You don't trust your kid? You don't think you would have done a good enough job raising them? You can't let them outside their bubble, so that maybe they see the world isn't just like their little neighborhood and that they must be able to think on their own?

Re:Ratings systems (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577701)

So, you just don't want to do the research? Nevermind that your kid probably knows before you leave what game he'd want.
I don't mind doing the research at all. If my child comes up to me and asks if I'll get him a specific game for his birthday or Christmas or something, I have time to do the research before hand. However, there isn't always the opportunity to do the research beforehand.

What about parents who have kids in the 14-17 range? Should they have to buy the game for their kid, even if they don't mind their kids playing an M game?
Yup. They should have to. That's the point. Its not like the kid is going to be buying a new game every day. Even if its once a month, I don't mind going down with my child, and I would suspect that most parents wouldn't mind either, if it meant the likelihood of their child getting inappropriate material at a young age was significantly decreased.

As far as watching my kid 24/7, you're taking a very literal approach to what I said. Of course I don't expect to, or even want to watch my children every moment of their lives, but I do have a desire to protect them and only introduce certain parts of life to them when they are ready, regardless of age.

Seems most of the people who are against the rating system fit into one of two categories. Kids who are not old enough to purchase the game without a parent around, or the parents who couldn't be bothered to go down with their child to purchase the game that they deem is appropriate, regardless of the rating.

Re:Ratings systems (2, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577927)

Yup. They should have to. That's the point.

Who are you to tell another person how they should be raising their child? If another parent feels comfortable enough to let their kid make their own decision about what game to get, what gives you the right to force them to do more effort?

As far as watching my kid 24/7, you're taking a very literal approach to what I said. Of course I don't expect to, or even want to watch my children every moment of their lives, but I do have a desire to protect them and only introduce certain parts of life to them when they are ready, regardless of age.

Well those were your words, not mine. It seems to me that if a child should stumble upon something, you'd be able to talk to them about it, thus making them more ready then pretending they're not going to get exposed to something you dislike and not talking about it.

Seems most of the people who are against the rating system fit into one of two categories. Kids who are not old enough to purchase the game without a parent around, or the parents who couldn't be bothered to go down with their child to purchase the game that they deem is appropriate, regardless of the rating.

I'm neither. I do resent though be carded to buy a game. I also resent that games are toned down to fit into some box, and that other games are never even created at all because of console maker rules. You chose to have kids, yet more and more that choice is affecting my life and freedom. Ratings systems lead to censorship, I don't appreciate that. Nor do I apprecate having to jump through hoops because you would rather a ratings system so you don't have to research. What's worse is that you are willing to do the work, you'd just rather not.

I tend to think that if you want to shelter your kids, its your choice to create and maintain that bubble. It shouldn't be societies cost to help you do it though.

Re:Ratings systems (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21578359)

Who are you to tell another person how they should be raising their child? If another parent feels comfortable enough to let their kid make their own decision about what game to get, what gives you the right to force them to do more effort?
I'm not telling anyone how to raise their child. They are free to allow (or disallow) there child to play any game they want. I'm sorry if you feel that a parent spending some time with their child is such an enormous effort.

It seems to me that if a child should stumble upon something, you'd be able to talk to them about it, thus making them more ready then pretending they're not going to get exposed to something you dislike and not talking about it.
If my child asks me about something, then he/she is obviously ready to know at least somethig about it, and I welcome those conversations. I'm not pretending they're not going to be exposed to, I know at some point they will.

I'm neither. I do resent though be carded to buy a game. I also resent that games are toned down to fit into some box, and that other games are never even created at all because of console maker rules.
So don't buy the game, or buy it online with a credit card. I don't really care. Your inconvienance is not my concern. Nor is how gaming companies choose to make their games. There are enough games out there making money that have hard core graphics and adult gameplay to convince me that a good game will still make a profit, even with higher ratings. So either blame the developers, or blame the stores that won't carry them, its not the rating system's fault

You chose to have kids, yet more and more that choice is affecting my life and freedom. Ratings systems lead to censorship, I don't appreciate that.
Yup, I did choose to have kids. Everyone that does affects everyone around them. That's the nature of society. Deal with it. Rating systems do not lead to censorship. I see movies being released all the time that minors aren't allowed to see. Same with magazines. The porn industry certainly isn't being censored. If you're going down the slippery slope path, at least come up with some evidence to back it up.

Nor do I apprecate having to jump through hoops because you would rather a ratings system so you don't have to research. What's worse is that you are willing to do the work, you'd just rather not.
I never said I'd rather not, in fact I said given the opportunity I would do the research ahead of time and make an informed decision. I'll even go with my child to buy the game if its rated too high for him/her to purchase alone. I don't appreciate you pushing a system that allows any minor to view any content, regardless of its obvious suitability for that age.

Re:Ratings systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21579799)

His point about censorship is really a point about artistic integrity. Game companies have to push their products so hard, and in general are forced to supporting an idea that is already proven successful. This is why you see the same soccer game over and over, and the same Metal Gear Solid gameplay.

They also need to make their games available for as many audiences as possible, because catching a "wider demographic" means removing 2 pints of blood from a single scene rather then any real look at the meaning behind the content. This leads to not only a loss of artistic vision from the original creator (to remove something too "offensive", even if it's romance or comical), but also causes strange battle within ratings systems.

These battles to include larger demographics are due to LEGAL RESTRICTIONS on purchases. Your PG-13 movies like the bloody heart removing, limb removing, naked Angelina Jolie movie called Beowulf. If this movie had been done with live actors, it would probably not have recieved a pg-13 rating. The "beloved" rating system causes companies to push products to younger audiences.

If there were no legal ramifications of age classification, there would be more emphasis on the moral implications of the rating, and more investment from parents in general. I know the first rated R movies I saw, and the first violent videogames I ever played were at a friend's house, who had parents more relaxed then my own. You can't tell them how to raise their child, but you CAN tell them they need to make 'adult' decisions/store purchases for their children? Those sound like conflicting statements.

Making laws and restrictions nearly mindlessly, sometimes based off of Christian values, is not a proper intelligent method of controlling a child's content. I submit it is more counterproductive than productive.

So you can have your ratings and I can think of 100 ways a system could work that prevented your child from playing those games rated a little more mature, but don't force my 17 year old child to talk to me about every game he wants to buy simply because it is cencored based on some arbitrary speed of the Earth travelling around the sun.

Re:Ratings systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21581651)

There are no legal restrictions on purchases based on ratings. A 13-year old can legally go into an R-rated movie or buy an M-rated game. The movie theater or game store may not allow it, but that's a matter of company policy, not the law. And that's as it should be.

Re:Ratings systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21589925)

Which sounds good in theory, until parents start pushing companies to make these changes. Say I live in a small rural town, which has a single movie theater and a single videogame store. Both don't allow minors to buy products not appropriately rated (lets say the music store does the same thing with explicit content).

I am proverbially "stuck with comcast as my only option".

that's a matter of company policy, not the law. And that's as it should be.
That's a matter of the distributors bending to the will of other peoples parents. I mean look at Adult Only rated games in the US... oh wait, companies won't even let them get produced, let alone distributed.

A child's legal gaurdians should be the only people allowed to tell them what they can't buy, otherwise I will bet there is corruption and misuse.

Futurama made the same point: If you take away my right to watch ultra-porn because I mysteriously de-age my body, it has no bearing on my maturation or FREEDOM!

Re:Ratings systems (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585339)

I'm not telling anyone how to raise their child. They are free to allow (or disallow) there child to play any game they want.

You're forcing them to buy something for their kid, which they would perfer having their kid purchase themself.

I'm sorry if you feel that a parent spending some time with their child is such an enormous effort.

When said "child" is 15 or 16, its natural that they become more independant. Your wish to force a rating system is forcing the kid to be more dependant that the parent wishes them to be. It has nothing to do with spending time with the kid. Stop with that drivel.

If my child asks me about something, then he/she is obviously ready to know at least somethig about it, and I welcome those conversations. I'm not pretending they're not going to be exposed to, I know at some point they will.

Yet you seem to be doing quite a bit (and requiring society to bend to your will) to prevent exposure.

So don't buy the game, or buy it online with a credit card. I don't really care. Your inconvienance is not my concern. Nor is how gaming companies choose to make their games. There are enough games out there making money that have hard core graphics and adult gameplay to convince me that a good game will still make a profit, even with higher ratings. So either blame the developers, or blame the stores that won't carry them, its not the rating system's fault

Really? My inconvience isn't your concern? You realize I can say the same thing about you having to go to the mall, not having any ratings, then having to go home and research and possibly going back later right? Go fuck yourself, you arrogent prick. Last I checked, censorship is a bit more than in inconvience, much more so than you spending more time buying a game.

How about this; we get rid of the ratings system, and you don't even buy your kid a gaming system until he's 18? That will leave you more time to spend with your kid.

Yup, I did choose to have kids. Everyone that does affects everyone around them. That's the nature of society. Deal with it.

Fine, then I'm going to choose to break into your house and steal your TV. Crime is part of the nature of society, so deal with it.

I see movies being released all the time that minors aren't allowed to see. Same with magazines. The porn industry certainly isn't being censored. If you're going down the slippery slope path, at least come up with some evidence to back it up.

Because so far no one has said DVDs can't be used for porn. The fact that there is less censorship on one kind of media doesn't mean there isn't more on the other. Where are the AO rated console games?

At any rate, forgetting porn, you do realize that many movies have scenes cut out to appease the ratings board, correct? If you read some of the directors' take on this, sometimes it forces them to cut what would be a very powerful scene. Unrated DVDs help this somewhat, but I don't think art should be forced to be cut up to be seen in a theater.

I never said I'd rather not, in fact I said given the opportunity I would do the research ahead of time and make an informed decision. I'll even go with my child to buy the game if its rated too high for him/her to purchase alone. I don't appreciate you pushing a system that allows any minor to view any content, regardless of its obvious suitability for that age.

If you're willing to do the research, then we shouldn't need a rating system. Where does a kid get money for a game anyway? Either from the parent (which gives you a chance to do the research) or from a job (which probably means they are mature enough for the content they purchase).

Its really funny, because I grew up prior to any ratings systems, and games just as violent. My entire generation did. Yet we turned out fine.

If you choose to exercise that control over your kids, that's fine, but I don't think myself or parents that don't have an issue with games should be forced into your system. Would you have issue with a group of people forcing all stores closed on Sunday because of religous beliefs? Or would you say that one religion shouldn't be dictating their beliefs to the group? I never said parents never can censor what their kids buy, I said it should be soley the responsiblity of the parent.

If you really want to involve society though, I want to insist that your child isn't raised with any particular religion. Only seems fair, if you think that your choice can rightfully impose on society, society should have say in how you raise your child, no?

Re:Ratings systems (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588137)

I was trying to have a reasonable debate with you, but resorting to insults and name calling ends my intrest in it.

Re:Ratings systems (1)

LoofWaffle (976969) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584213)

I'm neither. I do resent though be carded to buy a game. I also resent that games are toned down to fit into some box, and that other games are never even created at all because of console maker rules. You chose to have kids, yet more and more that choice is affecting my life and freedom. Ratings systems lead to censorship, I don't appreciate that. Nor do I apprecate having to jump through hoops because you would rather a ratings system so you don't have to research. What's worse is that you are willing to do the work, you'd just rather not.
Sorry, your argument, though well formed, has a few discrepencies.

I'm going to assume that you are old enough to purchase your own titles (up to AO) since going to the store with your parent to purchase a title doesn't seem to be much of a hoop to jump through. With that said, what is so difficult about presenting your identification? Unless you carry cash everywhere, you should want to do it (for security reasons) when you make a credit card purchase or cut a check. Do you also resent being carded to purchase alcohol or cigarettes? I realize that video games (and movies) are a bit more innocuous with respect to the harm their misuse would cause, but the ratings system is designed to provide an easy to understand, FIRST ORDER of protection. It is meant to protect consumers as well as developers and publishers on the surface and without additional hoops to jump through, not censor them. The GTA Hot Coffee issue comes to mind here. Had Rockstar revealed all of the features of their game, then the ESRB would have issued an initial AO rating instead of the M it received. They circumvented the protection for the consumer in order to ensure the game's successful launch with all major retailers. With the AO rating, GTA would still be released (just as uncensored, mind you) but it wouldn't appear on the shelves of retailers who are more family oriented.

With respect to the ratings system in lieu of research, I'm reminded of a grandmother who bought GTA for her 14 year old grandson because that was what he wanted for his birthday (or Christmas). The ESRB Rating is clearly displayed on the front and back of each game box with a general description of the age appropriateness of the title. Now, in her defense maybe she didn't have time to read the rating in the corner, and maybe she isn't technically savvy enough to check out the background on the game at the developer's website, and maybe the clerk who helped her didn't realize that she was purchasing this title for someone else but even a non-technical person of low intelligence would be compelled to wonder why her grandson would want to play a game titled Grand..Theft..Auto. For titles that aren't as obvious, the rating system remains the most appropriate and unobtrusive measure.

Re:Ratings systems (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585627)

With that said, what is so difficult about presenting your identification?

In a free society, a free person shouldn't have to prove to his goverment that he is allowed to view some content.

Unless you carry cash everywhere, you should want to do it (for security reasons) when you make a credit card purchase or cut a check.

No one checks ID for credit cards, and i don't use checks because they are inconvient and slower than a check card. I don't have a worry about fraud, because I watch my statement and report any fraud to the police and my bank.

Do you also resent being carded to purchase alcohol or cigarettes?

Yes. Again, in a free society I should be able to purchase whatever substance and consume it without approval from the government.

I realize that video games (and movies) are a bit more innocuous with respect to the harm their misuse would cause, but the ratings system is designed to provide an easy to understand, FIRST ORDER of protection. It is meant to protect consumers as well as developers and publishers on the surface and without additional hoops to jump through, not censor them.

If we can't prove harm, then I think we have a problem right off the bat. Rating systems increase costs, besides being inconvient. Also, we do know that games / movies get cut to appease the ratings boards. I'm not sure what consumers you think are being protected; games being the cost they are, I doubt many just pick it one up on a whim, you probably have some idea what the game is already. Given that some of our Senators are STILL taking exception to Manhunt 2, I think one of the goals is censorship. They believe the game should never have been released at all, and that point has been made pretty clearly. Again, over something that has no proven harm when "consumed" by minors.

The GTA Hot Coffee issue comes to mind here. Had Rockstar revealed all of the features of their game, then the ESRB would have issued an initial AO rating instead of the M it received.

They effectively removed that content though. You have to change the program to access it. Would you sue an auto manufacter if you modified your car and it blew up as a result?

They circumvented the protection for the consumer in order to ensure the game's successful launch with all major retailers. With the AO rating, GTA would still be released (just as uncensored, mind you) but it wouldn't appear on the shelves of retailers who are more family oriented.

Which limits the audience severely. Do you really still have free speech if your audience is taken away by law or policy?

With respect to the ratings system in lieu of research, I'm reminded of a grandmother who bought GTA for her 14 year old grandson because that was what he wanted for his birthday (or Christmas). The ESRB Rating is clearly displayed on the front and back of each game box with a general description of the age appropriateness of the title. Now, in her defense maybe she didn't have time to read the rating in the corner, and maybe she isn't technically savvy enough to check out the background on the game at the developer's website, and maybe the clerk who helped her didn't realize that she was purchasing this title for someone else but even a non-technical person of low intelligence would be compelled to wonder why her grandson would want to play a game titled Grand..Theft..Auto. For titles that aren't as obvious, the rating system remains the most appropriate and unobtrusive measure.

Yet the ratings system failed to do what was intended. Without a ratings system, you still have this scenario. I'm left to wonder how effective it really is. It seems to me the costs (money and in terms of limiting free speech) outweight any benefits (of which we can't really prove that there are).

Re:Ratings systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21588397)

"With the AO rating, GTA would still be released (just as uncensored, mind you) but it wouldn't appear on the shelves of retailers who are more family oriented."

Wrong.

The console version wouldn't show up on any shelves anywhere, or even online. In fact, the console version wouldn't even be RELEASED, as Sony, Nintendo, AND MS don't allow AO rated games on their systems. End of story. This goal of keeping to an M rating isn't just to sell to 17 year olds. It's to allow console users of ANY age to play the game.

When ASUS tells me I can't play Fahrenheit (which was never released in America in its uncensored version) on my own computer, then people are going to take notice.

The letters on the side of the box are good. The arbitrary laws of who to sell them to are NOT.

Re:Ratings systems (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21582575)

Seems most of the people who are against the rating system fit into one of two categories.

Then you are not very perceptive.

There are good reasons to have gun toting government enforcers walking around.
There are also bad reasons to send gun toting government enforcers walking around.

This falls in the latter category.

There is no law to enforce movie ratings. Where does anyone get the loopy idea that it would be a good or appropriate idea to send gun toting government enforcers around trying to enforce REPEATEDLY court ruled unconstitutional content discrimination in distribution of speech?

If we're going to have armed enforcers "merely helping parents control what dangerous content" their kids are exposed to, then I damn well want want to add to that list. I damn well want those very same enforcers going after any Cult member who hands my kid his text or video or game religious indoctrination materials. I damn well want those very same enforcers going after any Jehova's Witness who hands my kid his text or video or game religious indoctrination materials. I damn well want those very same enforcers going after any Atheist who hands my kid his text or video or game religious indoctrination materials.I damn well want those very same enforcers going after any Jew who hands my kid his text or video or game religious indoctrination materials. I damn well want those very same enforcers going after any Christian who hands my kid his text or video or game religious indoctrination materials. I damn well want those very same enforcers going after any Muslim who hands my kid his text or video or game religious indoctrination materials.

And that's just for starters. If we're going to have these armed enforcers merely "helping" parents control what materials their children have access to that they baselessly deem dangerous, then we can just make it illegal for anyone to ever sell anything to anyone under 18.

And yes, the courts have found these game restrictions BASELESS. Some parents don't like some games or books and other parents don't like other games other books, and there are games and books that I don't like, but in each and every court case they failed to back up their rants that the games were dangerous.

Again, there is no law to enforce movie ratings. Go ahead... explain it to me where you get the loopy idea that it would be a good or appropriate idea to send gun toting government enforcers around over games but not over movies?

And while you're at it, why don't you explain it to me why you are are unable to be a parent to your kids? If I tell my kid he's not allowed to eat Twinkies, then I damn well expect him not to buy Twinkies. I don't expect the police to go around pointing a gun at the local supermarket cashier "helping" me. And if I do find a box of Twinkies under my kid's bed then I'm damn well going to deal with it... and I won't need any police assistance.

You are seriously incapable of telling your kid what games he is and is not allowed to buy? You are seriously incapable of bothering to look are what games are sitting in your house? You are seriously incapable of dealing with a child who violates a rule? And in the grand scheme of rules that kids violate, you seriously think this ranks as anything more than MINOR run of the mill misbehavior? You seriously think this ranks as an "Oh my God my kid is gonna die CALL IN THE COPS" rule violation by a kid?

I dunno who's worse... the radical leftwing loons or the radical rightwing loons. They both want a goddamn nannystate.

-

Re:Ratings systems (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584533)

And while you're at it, why don't you explain it to me why you are are unable to be a parent to your kids? If I tell my kid he's not allowed to eat Twinkies, then I damn well expect him not to buy Twinkies.
If you can honestly say that your child has never disobeyed a rule you've given him, your child is either so scared of you as to make you an unfit parent, or your living in some sort of fantasy world.

Re:Ratings systems (1)

randyest (589159) | more than 6 years ago | (#21589529)

[So] your child has never disobeyed a rule you've given him

He didn't say that at all. He made a lot of valid points in my opinion, but you just ignored them all and made up something out of thin air to disagree with. That's odd.

And if I do find a box of Twinkies under my kid's bed [after telling him not to eat the] then I'm damn well going to deal with it... and I won't need any police assistance

Hmm, it's almost like the poster is explaining that he would deal with disobedience without police assistance, but somehow to you this means he's claiming his child has never been disobedient? Are you, um, developmentally challenged?

Re:Ratings systems (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21589585)

If you can honestly say that your child has never disobeyed a rule you've given him

I did not say that.
Did you stop reading my post when you reached to that sentence? Because I addressed exactly that issue. I'll just copy past the rest of my post after that sentence, and specifically highlight the portions answering exactly that:

I don't expect the police to go around pointing a gun at the local supermarket cashier "helping" me. And if I do find a box of Twinkies under my kid's bed then I'm damn well going to deal with it... and I won't need any police assistance.

You are seriously incapable of telling your kid what games he is and is not allowed to buy? You are seriously incapable of bothering to look are what games are sitting in your house? You are seriously incapable of dealing with a child who violates a rule? And in the grand scheme of rules that kids violate, you seriously think this ranks as anything more than MINOR run of the mill misbehavior? You seriously think this ranks as an "Oh my God my kid is gonna die CALL IN THE COPS" rule violation by a kid?

I dunno who's worse... the radical leftwing loons or the radical rightwing loons. They both want a goddamn nannystate.


Some parents don't want their kids getting video games with one rating level of gore and violence. Other parents don't want their kids getting video games with a "T" rating level of blood and violence. Some parents don't want their kids exposed to Harry Potter Books.

It is not *your* place to be deciding that *my* kids need to be protected from computer game X and for *you* to decide that *my* kids do not need to be protected from computer game Y and decide *my* kids do not need to be protected from Harry Potter books.

It is not the place for you to decide that, it is not the place for the government to decide that, it is not the place from armed government enforcers to go around threatening people in order to enforce it. And if it were the place for police to "help" parents enforce those choices for their children, then they equally need to help enforcement for parents who do not want their child buying Harry Potter books.

So either either (1) parents are responsible for raiding their kids and enforcing their own choices and their own rules, or (2) you tag each kid with what his parents do and do not permit him to buy and have police enforce that, or (3) you just make it illegal for anyone to sell anything to a child under 18.

Why are you any less capable of parenting your child than someone who does not want their kid buying Harry Potter?

If your kid does buy a video game, why are you any less capable as a parent than if that other parent's child buys a Harry Potter book?

Why are your content choices for raising your child any more deserving of gun-carrying government enforcers, than the choice of a parent who wants to protect their kid from the dangers of Harry Potter?

Any why oh why is it magically more appropriate for arbitrary content ratings to be to legally enforced for video games, than for movies?

-

Re:Ratings systems (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21589767)

I didn't feel the rest of your comment was worth reading, let alone responding to. Every law does not have to be enforced by "gun toting".... Not to mention you're questioning of my parenting abilities, which I find insulting. You start insulting me, I stop paying attention, its that simple. If you want to have a calm debate/discussion, thats fine.

Re:Ratings systems (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21591933)

Every law does not have to be enforced by "gun toting"

Yes, they do. Even parking tickets are ultimately enforced by "gun toting".
If you decline to pay the fine "gun toting" will eventually seize assets and/or lock you in a cell.

I'm no radical libertarian, but I do understand and assert that ALL laws are ultimately "enforced by gun toting". There are all sorts of things we would like to achieve, but using the law to enforce achieving that result ultimately requires presuming the authority to point guns at people who decline to comply.

Seriously. You're law wouldn't accomplish squat otherwise.
If not, then fine you pass your law. And cashiers in stores simply decline to comply, and go right on ahead selling videogames to kids. And maybe your law says store owners have to fire cashiers that sell video games to kids, and again they too simply decline to comply. And your law says there that cashiers and/or store owners that sell video games to kids they have to pay a fine. And they simply decline to comply and decline to pay the fine.

If you want to pass a no-enforcement law that says "we would think it would be really really swell if you didn't sell video games to kids", well fine. It's a total waste of time, and I won't waste my time opposing it. But if you actually want a law, and you actually want it to have any effect, then yes it does ultimately require your law to sooner or later involve gun-toting enforcement against anyone who persist in declining to comply. If not then it's not an actual law enforcing an effect.

Too many people overlook that. They say "heay wouldn't X be great", and they figure "no big deal we'll just pass a little law and *poof* we've achieved it". And maybe their law doesn't even have anything about prison sentences for anyone, maybe it doesn't even impose fines against anyone, it just says that this is the way things have to be... and it may not be obvious but somewhere down the line in some way or another it does ultimately have to lead to gun toting enforcement against people who persist in declining to comply.

I'm no radical libertarian, there are all sorts of things where yeah, we are going to have laws to do X and Y and Z, and yes we are ultimately authorizing government guns to actually enforce X and Y and Z in the end. But it's a bad idea to forget that. A bad idea to casually pass every "harmless" little law for every "harmless" little thing that we feel would be really swell to do.

Not to mention you're questioning of my parenting abilities, which I find insulting.

You are doing the insulting. You are not only insulting other people's parenting, you are declaring their parenting decisions to be WRONG and presuming to have the police impose your parenting decisions upon them and their children, for you.

You are presuming to declare my parenting wrong or invalid if I do not want my children to have Harry Potter, that my parenting does NOT have the same standing in law, that my children are legally allowed to buy Harry Potter. You are presuming to declare my parenting wrong or or invalid if I do not want my children to buy bloody violent games arbitrarily rated 'T' by a random gaggle of private idiots at some random private rating squad, presuming to declare my children are allowed to but that 'T' game. You are presuming to declare my parenting wrong or or invalid if I do allow my children to buy bloody violent games arbitrarily rated 'M' by that random gaggle of private idiots at the random private rating squad, presuming to declare my children are not allowed to buy that 'M' game.

Not to mention the fact that it is unconstitutional to assign a private entity government enforcement power over whatever arbitrary preference they have about what speech they like and what speech they dislike.

And you presume it appropriate to point guns at people to enforce your child raising judgments, and to assign that use of force authority to government enforcers to raise your children for you and to raise my children for me. You are presuming to declare your parenting right and legally enforced if you object to video game X and other's parenting wrong and not legally valid if they object to Harry Potter.

I do not expect the police to parent my kids and I do not expect the police to enforce my parenting views upon your children as well. I expect to parent my kids and I expect you to parent your kids.

You still fail to provide any justification how you presume to declare that someone else's children shall be protected against the dangers of videogame X and shall not protected against the dangers of Harry Potter, when that parent has the exact opposite judgment about how their children should be raised.

You have still failed to present any reason it is right and appropriate to legally enforce the arbitrary opinions of a random private game rating squad and not legally enforce the arbitrary opinions of a random private movie rating squad.

-

Re:Ratings systems (1)

coolGuyZak (844482) | more than 6 years ago | (#21580801)

You don't trust your kid? You don't think you would have done a good enough job raising them?

Don't be so naïve. It's not about trust, it's about authority. If the console is in the main room, it's like a warning label that screams "You're gonna get caught if you try". And they will (one way or another), and they'll meet your authority. If a child wants their own game system, they can earn it by demonstrating responsibility in one way or another. In other words, it's part of raising them.

Re:Ratings systems (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587177)

I never said anything was wrong with keeping the system in a main room. I questioned whether or not he trusted his kid to not buy things that he was told not to. So much that he expects OTHERS to be watching his kid and enforcing his rules.

Re:Ratings systems (1)

thebdj (768618) | more than 6 years ago | (#21579073)

Absolutely, but there is nothing wrong with a rating system in general.
Indeed, this is rather true. Ratings systems have their uses; however, it is important for them to be used appropriately. It does not good to rate things if PARENTS are not willing or incapable of using the system to ASSIST in determining what their child should/can play or watch.

As a parent, am I expected to keep up on every game for the game platform(s) in my household...If there is no rating system, I have little choice but to say "No", or at least "Not yet", and go home and research the game before returning to the store to purchase it, or another instead.
You should be going home and researching the game anyway. Ratings systems are not a catch-all, and they can only be used as a guide to assist a parent in making a decision. It is pretty clear that all 'R' rated movies are not equal, and what was once considered an 'R' rated film 30 years ago is more likely a PG-13 (since it didn't exist then) or maybe even PG (since the acceptability level has changed greatly in this amount of time). Also, there are people who have ignored ratings for one reason or another. I know people who took their kids to see The Passion of the Christ (poor kids) and others closer to my age who saw Schindler's List.

The same can be said for games, since all 'T' rated games are not created equal, and the line between AO and M is incredibly thin. (Because we all know I underwent some huge maturation between 17 and 18.) Remember, these are all recommendations and each kid is different in what they will be able to handle and when. Some mature better then others and can reasonably play higher rated games at an earlier age, while others should probably never play them. There is a lot to be said for maturity and mentality in these decisions. (Hint: This is where your role as a parent comes into play.)

As a parent I'm all for the rating system and fining retailers for not enforcing them.
Why? They do not do this to movie theaters. (If you think they do, you are another confused individual. The policy is "enforced" by theaters and is not a legal binding.) I believe some consoles even have the console equivalent of a "V-Chip" that allows you to block based on rating. Of course, this is as effective as your TV's V-Chip. This is to say, not that much. In the end, ratings are only a guide (I sound like a broken record.), they should be neither legally binding (IN ANY WAY) or be used as the only parental determination for what to allow a child to see or play.

Ratings systems rated +5 dangerous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21580469)

"Rating systems are no substitute for good parenting. That includes playing or at least monitoring the games your children play."

Another reason not to let your kids read slashdot alone.

So 75% of parents need help parenting (3, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21576931)

If you're "worried about the games your kids play," then you either
a) haven't taught them to listen to you when it comes to not playing certain games
b) haven't bothered to look at what games your kids play to begin with
c) don't trust your kids to not be adversely affected by the games they *do* play
d) haven't a freaking clue about games, period, and don't understand that they don't affect your kids in any harmful way unless there's some other serious issues that need looking into in the first place.

Re:So 75% of parents need help parenting (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577279)

If your children don't cower in fear upon your entry into the home, you have failed as a parent.

Re:So 75% of parents need help parenting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21577487)

There's a shirt for that now.

Re:So 75% of parents need help parenting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21577649)

My bad [theworstpa...iverse.com]

Re:So 75% of parents need help parenting (2, Insightful)

krotkruton (967718) | more than 6 years ago | (#21579911)

I think this was just another poor use of surveys. The article's title said "worried", but used the word "concerned" in the body. I agree that parents should be concerned about what their kids play. They should be concerned about how well they are doing at school as well as what they eat and who their friends are.

If asked if you are concerned about the types and content of games your kids play, I think most parents would say yes. If asked if you are worried about your kids playing violent video games, I think a much lower percentage would say yes. It's all about the wording in those damn surveys, and this one seems like it had quite a bit of spin to it.

Re:So 75% of parents need help parenting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21580083)

Interesting perspective, but it raises a question: have you ever seen or interacted with a child?

Didn't think so.

Re:So 75% of parents need help parenting (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21582423)

Oh no, not me, I am a bark-eating hermit who only interacts with society over the 1nt4rn3t. I think the first bit of your response is stolen from a forum spambot.

Why are violent games controversial? (2, Funny)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577281)

We live in a country whose government considers torture both moral and lawful. How else do they expect us to condition children to accept that if we don't start early? I mean, it's not like many eight-year-olds watch 24, it comes on after their bedtime.

Re:Why are violent games controversial? (2, Interesting)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577545)

You should talk to a third grade teacher. You'd be shocked what parents let their kids watch.

Re:Why are violent games controversial? (1)

arkanes (521690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21578113)

My third grader has decided that he wants to eat termites after watching Man vs Wild. I probably should file some sort of lawsuit.

Re:Why are violent games controversial? (1)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 6 years ago | (#21578507)

Maybe he should be filing a lawsuit against *you* if he's determined that termites are an option over your cooking. :-P Besides, they're a great source of protein. If he wants to sleep inside a dead camel, on the other hand, you might have some problems.

Re:Why are violent games controversial? (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21582625)

If he wants to sleep inside a dead camel, on the other hand, you might have some problems.

No kidding. Where the hell am I going to get a camel?

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Re:Why are violent games controversial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21578843)

Controversies are easy to understand. Violent games are controversial because the people who disagree with me are stupid and disconnected from reality. If everyone thought like me, there would be no controveries.

Re:Why are violent games controversial? (1)

dank zappingly (975064) | more than 6 years ago | (#21580827)

Someone should come out with a Guantanamo simulator for the Wii with motion-control waterboarding rated E for everyone due to lack of torture and compliance with the Geneva Conventions. That would shut them up.

Re:Why are violent games controversial? (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585431)

We live in a country whose government considers torture both moral and lawful.

No they don't. "Enhanced interrogation techniques" are not torture as long as the President says they're not. By law. And the law is just because John McCain said it was a landmark victory against torture. McCain wouldn't sell out on torture, now, would he?

PAIN! (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577303)

I just downloaded Pain for the PS3. I'd love to hear what they have to say about that game.

BTW, it's the funniest game I've played in years, literally gut-busting LOL.

Nice to see Parental Involvement rated. (2, Insightful)

dbhost (1129727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577371)

But I honestly believe Parental involvement is a KEY factor in controlling the development of a child. If I were issuing the grade it would be F -. If you believe that Violent video games have a damaging impact on your child, and then you bring a game console into your home, allow your child an allowance, and do not monitor that child's usage of said console, or time spent with his / her friends, what right do you have in being surprised when your child is impacted by something you do not approve of. It's not the government's, nor is it the media industries job to raise YOUR child. Be an adult and do your job!

Excellent Buying Guide (1)

GammaKitsune (826576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577389)

Luckily, the NIMF has been kind enough to point out the quality gaming experience that is Hannah Montana: Spotlight World Tour. Also, I hear that this Bioshock game is good, and it isn't on the Don't Buy list, so it must be good for all ages.

Re:Excellent Buying Guide (1)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | more than 6 years ago | (#21578307)

Luckily, the NIMF has been kind enough to point out the quality gaming experience that is Hannah Montana: Spotlight World Tour. Also, I hear that this Bioshock game is good, and it isn't on the Don't Buy list, so it must be good for all ages.
Bioshock encourages playing with your little sister.

Re:Excellent Buying Guide (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21580167)

Bioshock encourages playing with your little sister.
Oh really? Time to live up to my name!

Gamers release annual Family report card (0, Offtopic)

Ang31us (1132361) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577403)

D- due to the majority of parents using the television as a tool for distracting children and not knowing the games that their kids are playing.

Unlike DVD's (1)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577867)

I think one of the big problems with the Video Games industry is that it's still considered to be entertainment almost exclusively for children. This is why you get these parents groups up in arms about ultra violent video games being available.
You have to compare video games to some other form or entertainment to actually get some perception on it. You can get both movies for children and adults in the same format that play on the same DVD player. Somehow people have managed to figure out the difference between the two and not rent pornographic movies to children, and not attempt to have violent movies banned from being sold.

Of course parents who get up in arms about violent video games are idiots to begin with.

Interesting implication (0, Flamebait)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21578105)

Based on the summary at least, it seems that approximately 75% of the responding parents t 'worry about the games their children play'. So... that means those parents have no control of what their kids consume. We can safely assume this doesn't refer to the games they the kids play at their friends house and don't know about. Maybe they just shouldn't give these kids allowances, or credit cards... or are they afraid that their kids will give blow jobs for cash to buy games?

Concerned != worried (4, Insightful)

PMuse (320639) | more than 6 years ago | (#21578397)

From TFA: 75 per cent of respondents were concerned about the content in videogames that their children played.

Of course parents are concerned. Any responsible parent would be. But that's not the interesting question. The interesting question is "Do you feel that you have access to enough information ensure that the games your kids own meet your standards for content?" Put that question in your survey and smoke it, why don't you!

I'll always be concerned at one level or another about what's in the media my kids consume, but I'm not worried about it in the slightest.

The full NIMF report card (2, Informative)

bn0p (656911) | more than 6 years ago | (#21578717)

The full NIMF report is located at http://www.gamepolitics.com/images/legal/NIMF-2007.pdf [gamepolitics.com] . Some of the report makes sense (like having parents learn more about game ratings) and some of it does not (e.g., recommending that the ratings board review all the code in a game before assigning a rating, not just the "official" game code - how many games would get rated each year if they had to do that?).

Their main gripes about the ESRB seem to focus on children somehow getting to Adults Only (AO) content in Mature (M) rated games like Manhunt 2. Is it just me or is it not common sense that an "M" rating means that a 12 year old should not be playing the game in the first place?


Never let reality temper imagination

But, you know... (1)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 6 years ago | (#21579065)

Eh. Personally, I automatically discount the findings or views of any organisation with "Family" in their name. Putting emotive words in a name doesn't automatically make them an authority worth listening to, especially when they don't even get basic facts [wikipedia.org] right...

We should ban violent games, like the FDA does (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 6 years ago | (#21579071)

Suppose that the US FDA allowed companies to sell dangerous foods, but put a big honking label on them that says "OMG! THIS WILL KILL YOU DO NOT EAT IT!" I bet 75% of parents would say that they are concerned that they might be buying deadly poisonous foods, but don't have time to check the labels. They might cite that it is much easier to just put the food in the cart and buy it, because little Jimmy likes to eat "Radioactive Puffs" and it shuts up his whining.

Re:We should ban violent games, like the FDA does (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596481)

Suppose that the US FDA allowed companies to sell dangerous foods, but put a big honking label on them that says "OMG! THIS WILL KILL YOU DO NOT EAT IT!" I bet 75% of parents would say that they are concerned that they might be buying deadly poisonous foods, but don't have time to check the labels.

1. Violent computer games are fiction, and don't kill.

2. It is entirely legal to sell many substances that will kill you if eaten, the problem and danger is in labelling such a substance as "food", which would be misleading advertising.

Anyone seen this one? (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 6 years ago | (#21580665)

http://www.whattheyplay.com/ [whattheyplay.com]

Done by John Davidson previously of Ziff / 1up fame, seems to summarise games into who they are suitable for and what they contain.
Also seems to be quite unbiased to boot, no leaning towards any system / developer, probably a good thing.

This is what happens... (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 6 years ago | (#21583415)

...when the entirety of the legislative branch at least is at the age where they should rightfully be in nursing homes, not in the halls of government. I can't remember the last time I saw a bio page for a US senator where the photo didn't look like that of a re-animated corpse.

There needs to be a legal prohibition against anyone holding political office over the age of 40. Churchill was right when he said that the mind's proclivity towards fascism generally increases with age. The single main problem with nearly anyone associated with American politics is that they are of a sufficiently advanced age that their brain has begun to literally decompose inside their head.

Can't really disagree with the report card (1)

Frostclaw (1006995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584089)

I don't think the report card is far from the truth. I think the only score I disagree with is the one given to the ESRB itself, which I think is doing a pretty good job. As far as retailers and rentals, I think it's worth noting that movie ratings are probably enforced far less than game ratings. That's not to say both shouldn't be better monitored. There are more than a few companies in the industry whose practices have really tarnished the industry as a whole. For that reason, I think their grade is deserved too. I do think parents need to monitor their kids. However, as stated before, you can't monitor your kids 24/7.

No kidding it's outdated... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21585021)

the kids on the cover of the report are playing a PSX.
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