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Tarrant Rahl
11-04-2005, 21:01
Found an article relating to the discussion about the ESRB and video game violence. Head over here (http://www.thehollywoodreporter.com/thr/columns/video_games_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000874859) for an interesting read relating to the ESRB, the conflicting opinions of game developers and politicians, and the difference in guidelines applied to movies versus games.

So what are your thoughts? Would agree the ESRB is at fault? How about this latest push against the ESRB?

I'm curious, we seem to have run the full spectrum of media and entertainment, what do you predict is next on the list to attack after video games?

Rampage_Starfire
11-04-2005, 22:07
Found an article relating to the discussion about the ESRB and video game violence. Head over here (http://www.thehollywoodreporter.com/thr/columns/video_games_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000874859) for an interesting read relating to the ESRB, the conflicting opinions of game developers and politicians, and the difference in guidelines applied to movies versus games.

So what are your thoughts? Would agree the ESRB is at fault? How about this latest push against the ESRB?

I'm curious, we seem to have run the full spectrum of media and entertainment, what do you predict is next on the list to attack after video games?


IMHO if it has been said by a politician it is usually not an informed opinion, just them reponding to another set of stupid constituents. Usually aging Baby-Boomers who remember the good old days waay back in the 50's and are incapable of dealing with the times as they are now, these are the same people who think thier children are angels, when they really are from the other place, but I digress....http://www.rpgforums.net/images/smilies/rant.gif

Judging by my own experience, and the articles I feel that the ERSB is doing an admirable job for a bunch of people who complain first and look at the problem later. Near the end of that article they state that it has never been proven that there is a market for games with the 'AO' rating, well I belive that is because that particular segment of the market has been stopmed out of existence and those of use who are mature Gamers would appreciate games made under that Rating, but we will never see them because retailers will not allow the games to be sold to the mass market.

And for games Rated 'M' or higher CARD THEM! CARD THEM ALL!!!

as for the next victim of stupid people and their even dumber elected officials? I can't even fathom a guess http://www.rpgforums.net/images/smilies/ponder.gif

Vexion
11-04-2005, 22:33
ESRB is doing just fine. If the game developers are afraid to make an AO game then that's their problem.

roojsa
11-04-2005, 22:38
Heh, I've been *insert swear word* for weeks that there needed to be an "NC-17" type rating for games and wouldn't you know it, it's already there. Why am I not surprised in the least that nobody will carry it, maybe because they would have to genuinely pay attention to who gets what then. I'm only 25 and i can remember going to R-Rated movies when i was 12-13-14 whatever years old. My sister is just a few years younger than me and she could never pull it off(for the record we both have the dubious problem of looking younger than we are). My point being is i can remember when theaters finally started to take the flack for letting kids in to see movies they shouldn't and suddenly I stopped hearing the movie makers get blamed so much. Wonder if we'll ever hit the point where stores take the crap they are supposed, it'd be nice to see Wal-Mart shoot themselves in the foot too, i'm getting awfully tired of seeing a new one every 6 months.

lostchyld
11-04-2005, 23:56
My solution would be to enforce some kind of control on who can purchase certain ratings. We have restrictions on tobacco products and alcohol, forcing stores to check identification for games shouldn't be that big of a deal. Some stores already enforce this, but it's my understanding that there is no law requiring it. It wouldn't be a complete solution, and the complaints that I've read are not that kids are purchasing these titles, but that their parents are.

The next thing that comes to mind is to adjust the rating system so that content that currently gets a T-rating earns an M-rating and what is now M-rated becomes AO-rated. But then, I don't really believe in protecting stupid people from their mistakes and if a 13 year old's parent or grandparent buys a game without researching it first (polling other parents, looking for reviews online, actually LOOKING at the rating symbol), then it's their fault if they don't approve of the content of the game. They bought it, gave it to their kid, and it's their fault they weren't properly informed.

Lack of information about any game isn't the problem. The smallest amount of information you can get about the content of a game is with the rating. Online retailers have a link to what the ratings mean, usually the link is the rating itself. Game boxes show the rating and the reasons why it gained that rating. That is plenty of information, for some people. In addition, the summary of the game is also on the box. Online, you can find reviews of games which will, in detail, go through the content of the game, there are websites devoted to the games; most containing screenshots, videos of gameplay, and other good indicators of the type of content in the game.

Essentially, the rating itself is an opinion formed by a small group of people. There may be guidlines to help form this opinion, but that doesn't make it any less of an opinion. That doesn't make it correct, applicable to every circumstance, or really much more than a "Hey, this is the general age level we think this content fits." Ratings are a tool, nothing more. You can buy a game based entirely on the rating, or you can take into account that the rating encompasses a variety of age levels and do some further research into the product.

In the end, it's the buyer's responsibility to be informed about the product they're buying, especially when the product is a creative work. Stricter rating guidlines won't help the situation, nor will restricting the sale of certain levels of material. Until customers (not specifically parents, but yeah, they're included) decide to be more informed about the type of game they're buying, the ratings will make no difference and there will always be complaints.

John Von Pert
12-04-2005, 00:54
I don't know if you've all seen this or not, but www.gamersalliance.org was developed in order to address a lot of these issues.

And as for your question of what will be attacked next Tarrant, it's whatever is making the most money at the time. Video games just happen to be making a crapload of money right now, moreso than the movie industry, so lawyers won't care whether there's quality entertainment or even what it's doing to people. They care about money, and if something comes along to make more money than video games, they'll go after that medium of entertainment. I have no idea what it will be, but something will, cuz look at books, movies, tv, porn, and now video games, it's just a cycle.

Ander Moonshadow
12-04-2005, 01:48
*sigh* don't forget music. that's the worst one.


But I must say, ratings are stupid. I really don't give a crap about them, they're a product of people trying to find a scapegoat in things they don't know, or don't like. I'm quite sure Tipper Gore was not a hip-hop kind of person before she tied that music up and only allowed it to spout politically pseudo-correct nationalistic propaganda. Now, all the depth and freedom of speech has been surgically removed from hip-hop (and music in general) and another artform has been made into cheap and very limited and controlled entertainment, and music is no longer art, but a business as cheap as door to door sales.

The ways of hollywood.

"Innocent until proven guilty", is a dream. "guilty no matter what", is reality.

Kazkie Yoko
12-04-2005, 03:11
Recently there was a post made about a law-suit involing gaming.

http://www.gwonline.net/article.php?artid=87&action=part1

Once this happen, my town also towns around my area in Mississippi, were not to happy. Many parents started to take there kids games away. My town is still in a uproar over this & many years of these conservertial games.

This brings up my question, in your town (or any that you know of) how is games being handled by the public or goverment? Do you know of any going to drastic measures or is it the same as it was a few years ago?

Many kids I know (about 10-up) have many conservertial games. Which most are the GTA series. The parents here have taken everything away some have not gone that far, some go farther. What is your point of view on this? Would you go this far to keep you kids or people you know? Would you go farther than this or not just do anything?

maid heartsong
12-04-2005, 03:29
I am a proud parent of a 11 year-old boy, and if he shows interest in a video game the first thing that WE do is rent it together from hollywood video.

I watch him play the game for a while, if its too violent, scary, difficult, or just plain wierd then we take it back and I inform him that he cannot purchase the game. He's very understanding about it and never whines or cries because he wants the game. All I have to do is tell him the game is not for people his age and when hes older he may rent it (he knows about the PG, PG-13, NC-17, and R ratings and understands them)

I always give him an alternative though, if he cant have that game then we rent another and so on and so forth until we come to a game that I find appropriate. Lucky for me he prefers racing and platform games and dislikes scary games so the chances of him picking out Resident Evil games are really slim.

Every parent needs to take a firm hand in helping thier child make age-appropriate decisions about games and movies and they need to stick by the decision and not allow the child to convince them to let it slide just once.

Maybe if more parents did this then kids would grow up to make good decions on thier own.

Merls The Sneaky
12-04-2005, 03:41
Well, my parent permitted me to play any video games or watch any movies i liked. (of course they viewed them beforehand) Many times these films were rated above my age. But because my parents had viewed them beforehand they were able to acertain that i knew these were not real situations and were made this way for entertainment purposes. I think that violent activity could, just as easily be seen in the film format. as for getting that whole busting out of a police station thing, look at the movie terminator, didnt the terminator bust into a police station killing a number of officers in pursuit of sarah connor. and in terminator 2 the liquid terminator hijacked police bikes and helocopters, break into a mental institution and killed a security guard. Can the defence prove that the thier client had never seen this situation on film as opposed to a videogame?

In shot you have to be a disturbed individual to not be able to seperate games from reality, Maybe its time to ban the childerens game cops and robbers?

Cantos
12-04-2005, 03:42
I remember back in 1993 or something, when Doom was going to destroy society. I guess the violent videogame thing is going to be here for at least another 12 years, but I cant summon much indignation for the whole affair. I'm old enough that I have no trouble buying anything anyway, and it's not the first, the largest or the last infringement of liberty I have seen or will see.

Conservertial? What a train wreck! To the dictionary, Batman! (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=2&q=controversial)

Hurin66
12-04-2005, 21:21
I think we have all already agreed that blaming video game violence for real life violence is useless (under that logic canada would have as much crime as us not 5 times less).

I do believe that parents should be aware of the content they are buying for their children aswell, although games such as doom 3 (look at the cover)and a title such as playboy:mansion, do not really require deep reviews.

Basically i think everything should be available to people even AO games, (in seperate sections maybe away from kids games). Also imo the M rating is over used, i mean 12 year old kids are still playing M rated games, so clearly the rating is either over done or its not communicating what it needs to be.

SoliS
12-04-2005, 22:16
thing is, ratings cover such vast content gaps they are impossible to use for anything without the 'content descriptor' (which is minimal at best)

I'll compare movies.

a 'mild' R movie, such as the Matrix. the violence BARELY surpasses a pg-13 action movie, there's not much swearing, and no sex.

take another movie... i've been into war movies lately, so how about black hawk down? this movie includes EXTREMELY realistic depictions of gore, violence, terrorism (well, fighting in the middle east against people with RPGs and AK-47s and such. terrorism is almost implied) and there's alot of swearing.

look at the gap between these movies. if you look at the descriptors theres not much difference - maybe brief language versus strong language, and sci-fi violence versus violence.

theres 'mild' M games, and 'strong' M games. like manhunt/the punisher versus diablo 2.

so if irresponsible parents see a mild game like D2, in their ignorance, perhaps they think every game is mild like that, and then go and purchase 'grand theft auto.' the NAME should be a tip-off. a crime versus the spanish word for devil.

there needs to be either more ratings or more robust and visible content descriptors.

Ander Moonshadow
13-04-2005, 00:12
And why do you think Grand Theft Auto, Manhunt or The Punisher would be traumatic for young children?

Games are just that; games. I remember some kid knocking down a lantern post on the street with a high spinning kick after watching Power Rangers.... OOH, BAN POWER RANGERS.

Come on please. I say don't ban anything. I know young kids, and I know that no young kid wants a game like Doom. When the kid wants a game like Doom, imo he's ready to experience it. If he likes it, great. Let him play. If he abhors it, then take it back or sell it. Videogames are not hurtful. I personally thought The Grudge was a really scary movie. Friends of mine thought it was "a bit bland and uninspired", were unaffected by the whole thing. They differ in that opinion, because they watched horror movies since they were little, all the time... but that doesn't mean they are any different for it. All my friends are pacifists, they do not endorse violence except in case of defence. They love it in movies and games...

It doesn't matter. Ratings are ways to ease the minds of stupid people.

lostchyld
13-04-2005, 01:16
And why do you think Grand Theft Auto, Manhunt or The Punisher would be traumatic for young children?

It's not that the games are traumatic for young children. It's that, without proper supervision, young children emulate what they see in a game or on tv. Even 13 year olds.


Games are just that; games. I remember some kid knocking down a lantern post on the street with a high spinning kick after watching Power Rangers.... OOH, BAN POWER RANGERS.

While I lived in Norway, eight years ago, Power Rangers was banned. A kid accidentally killed his friend while they were reenacting a scene from the tv show. I don't necessarily agree with that response, but in that instance, the danger was real.

I don't think that video games are responsible for school shootings. There's more than impulsive behavior to that and it's never an accident.


. . . I know young kids, and I know that no young kid wants a game like Doom. When the kid wants a game like Doom, imo he's ready to experience it. If he likes it, great. Let him play. If he abhors it, then take it back or sell it. Videogames are not hurtful.

I know young kids too and if something looks exciting they probably want to participate. Would you let kid onto a roller coaster if they didn't meet the hight requirements? Of course not, that would be dangerous. The same thing applies in an abstract sense to computer games and movies.

The truth is that anything can be harmful if mishandled. Even the truth, which is what's happening in this instance.

Wanting to play a game or enjoying a game doesn't necessarily mean a kid is ready for it. My sibs and I all played Doom. Not because we wanted the game, but because the foreign exchange student living with us played the game, therefore it was "cool". Whether we were ready for it or not, we had access to the game because it was installed on the family computer, so we played it. Fortunately, my parents were the responsible types and payed attention to what we were playing.

Unfortunately, there are parents who don't want to take the time to monitor what their children are doing. They also don't want to take the time to reinforce positive values. Supposedly, it's the school's job to do that. They also fancy themselves good parents and therefore see it as their duty to cry foul when they gave their kids a game that could break down such values as they have taught.

It goes back to kids emulating what they see and hear. If they play a game like GTA without the supervision and parental presence reinforcing moral values, there is a fairly good chance that a young person will begin stealing. There's a fine line between fantasy and reality and it's a parent's responsibility to enforce that. Even ignorant parents know this but taking the blame for one's own mistakes is seemingly taboo in America. Therefore, the responsibility falls on the game creators. After all, they're the reason the game was on the shelf in the first place, and the kids would never have asked for the game if it hadn't been on the shelf, and so on, back to the parent's buying the game. But it's not their fault it was there, so it's not their responsibility to deal with the consequences of giving it to their child. Or something like that.


. . . It doesn't matter. Ratings are ways to ease the minds of stupid people.

It actually does matter. Ratings are a method of warning people of content a game might potentially contain. If used properly, they're a good tool. The problem is that the people who use ratings misuse them. If they would properly research what they're buying, there wouldn't be any problems. It's because they don't do the appropriate research that there's heartburn over the rating system. Of course it doesn't give complete information there isn't enough space on the box to do that. That's why there's so many other places that do give complete information.


Come on please. I say don't ban anything.
I don't agree with banning. I also don't believe in protecting stupid people from themselves, which is what banning these games would do. Anyways, it's not likely to happen, there'll be a new target one of these years.

Ander Moonshadow
13-04-2005, 09:06
lol, they banned power rangers? Jesus. Even if they were acting that out, don't you think the actual REASON was something completely different than a childrens tv-show, or that the death was purely by accidents?

Accidents are unavoidable, take it as you go.

Video games can not be harmful, I stand by my point. If a videogame seems to be harmful for a child, that is the sign to start researching the education they're being given. If a child gets scared while playing resident evil, that's okay. There's nothing against being scared when seeing something gory and dark.

That does not mean it is traumatic.

I repeat, videogames are in no way dangerous. If you consider them to be, you're fooling yourself. Find me the research that proves people playing grand theft auto steal more, or people playing manhunt kill more... The 'research' anti-videogame people use is mostly very slanted in perspective and usually comparing apples to oranges. There is no proof that videogames can be harmful under any circumstances. In fact, there is proof they are the opposite.