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72% in favour of violent games ban to minors in US

Tuesday, 14 September 2010 10:50 GMT By Johnny Cullen

gtaiv33

According to a recent study from Common Sense Media in the US, over 72 percent are in favour of a ban of selling violent games to minors. Shock, there.

According to Big Download, 2,100 people were asked for their opinions.

The survey also showed that half of adults in America sees the games industry in a bad light, saying it would rate it “poorly” when it comes to protecting minors from adult titles.

No GTA for Jimmy under the Christmas tree, by the looks of it.

There’s a lot more on the survey through here.

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45 Comments

  1. Gheritt White

    While I do blame the parents for little Johnny having access to GTA4 or CoD:MW2, I have no problem with game age ratings being legally enforced.

    However, holding these opinion forced me to stop posting on GamePolitics, so I don’t expect they’re too popular with “gamerz”.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. orakaa

    I am not a huge fan of prohibiting things and major regulations, but I must admit that I am part of those 72%.

    I mean, games that are ultra violent and aimed toward adults are what they are : aimed toward adults.
    I don’t think they should be freely sold to minors like that. It’s too easy nowadays for a kid to go to a store after school WITHOUT his parents knowing… and buy whatever he wants without the vendors reacting or warning him in any way (I’ve even seen vendors advising 7-8 years old kids to buy Modern Warfare 2 for instance…)

    It should be addressed just like pornography or alcohol for instance, and vendors should be a little bit more responsible.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. DrDamn

    I’m very surprised it isn’t already enforced legally. So a 10 year kid can currently walk into a game shop and buy CoD:MW2 in the US?

    #3 5 years ago
  4. mington

    Im in favor of 100% of minors partaking in violent games, like that battle royal film

    exploding neck bracelets FTW

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Blerk

    The issue is what classes as a ‘violent’ game. If they’re talking purely about ratings then that’s fine – ratings should be legally enforced. If it’s more wooly than that and they just want to option to stick a blanket ban on any game that they decide is violent then that’s not cool.

    It’s ironic really, because I think the games industry generally doesn’t do a bad job of protecting minors from adult titles. From experience it tends to be the parents themselves who are doing a bad job – the rating’s there for a reason, you morons! Don’t buy little Timmy God of War 3 for Christmas and then complain that you can shag things and then pull their heads off – the rating’s on the front of the fucking box!

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Freek

    From what little I understand the situation is bitt different in the US then in Europe.
    In Europe, in allot of countries, all media is regulated, games are no different.

    In the US only porn has a legally enforced age limmit. So singleling out videogames, equating them to porn and forcing laws onto them will most likely result in a negative impact for games. It’s an unfair treatment of a growing media.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. mington

    Well worth watching
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/extra-credits/1961-Free-Speech

    #7 5 years ago
  8. StolenGlory

    Hippies.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. RickyWicky

    Some games are excusable. But some games, like GTA and MW2 as mentioned above, should be treated with more discretion. People like the ESRB and Pegi have their purpose and the retailers (and many parents) ignore them. Right now it’s not so much age restriction as it is age recommendation and that should be addressed. I guess that makes me part of the 72% as well.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Freek

    But other media that is unsuitabel for minors is no different. If you want to adress this you need to adress it as it’s core and not just focus on games.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. daytripper

    this reeks of a lack of common sense, for a start these type of games have ratings and they are there for a reason. what annoys me is when a GTA game is launched there is always some thick as pig shit parent on the radio,newspaper or tv moaning about how much adult content is in the game and it could disturb her children, games like these ARE NOT meant for kids yet parents, dont they fucking see the ratings logo on the box?

    #11 5 years ago
  12. frostquake

    Game Ratings are NOT, I repeat NOT enforced in the United states that why today, Sept the 14 the case of Supreme EMA v. Schwarzenegger…Yes the Terminator guy is being heard by the US Supreme Court.

    This could open a flood gate of problems here in the USA.

    I think if Game Ratings were ENFORCED then we wouldn’t be having a problem with minors getting this. My 9 year old nephew went into stores here and bought himself, MW2, GTA,Solider of Fortune, the Punisher, I don’t know if that one will run isn’t it an older Xbox 1 title?

    Yes it is his parents fault, but it also all the stores fault for not enforcing it.

    Here you can’t Buy Cigs, unless you PROVE your 21…should be the same with M rated games here, but is it not. There need to be HUGE penalties like Ten Thousand dollar fine per case, and then stores will stop doing it, but until then, it is all about the all mighty dollar.

    The problem it is turning into here, is into a form of censorship. I as an Adult don’t want that, and I don’t want developers being impacted by that. The USA already can’t handle Nudity in any form..GEESH!! The USA see’s nudity more brutality then a 9 year old boy, decapitating hookers or watching brains go splatter, or that 9 year old boy laughing as he is gunning down everyone in sight including Police Officers and such!

    I keep reminding my Nephew that everything in games is not like real life, and real life has consequences, but I’m not the parent! In fact maybe if USA parents looked after their kids instead of letting TV and Video games raise them, oh JEEZ, I gotta get off my soap box…I think you get the jest.

    The only problem, is I am afraid if they try and take it away here, they take it ALL away, even from Adults like me…Gotta Love the USA…We go BIG and HEAD first before we even know what the Hell is going on…SIGH!!

    EDIT: YES I BLAME PARENTS TOO!! Believe me though, My Nephew trades games at school with his friends too…but ULTIMATELY the PARENTS SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE…Maybe if the parents were FINED as well, we wouldn’t see some RED NECK BUCK TOOTED PIG EATER Saying little Johnny is bad because of the games, when SHE can’t get off the couch long enough to see what little Johnny is doing, because she is watching her “Dancing with the Stars” and stuffing her face with Bon Bon’s while Dad is at work stooping his secretary male or female or both while wearing Womens Panties for their comfort…OMG I gotta stop..LOL

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Blerk

    Is it really easier to censor game content than it is to make ratings enforceable by law?

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Moonwalker1982

    Heh….i thought the rating on these fucking gameboxes already meant that its NOT suitable for younger people? So exactly what is there to ban for them? They shouldn’t even be playing this.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Freek

    Censorship is exactly the problem. If games are treated like a specialty case and recieve special laws then it most likely will lead to self censorship. Games being seen as more corrupting then other media leading to a “chilling effect”.
    A game like Heavy Rain? Probably not going to get funding in that sort of climate.

    If on the other hand you make the laws sensible and aplicable to all media then you’d have a normal creative climate. That media in general is something that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike and have apropriate age ratings.

    It makes no sense to allow movies, books and music to be self regulated while blaming all of societies problems on games. It’s a skewed view.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. mojo

    13:
    germany sais: it is.
    here u get censored games. Thats why much core gamers from germany import from uk. and because the games are way cheaper there.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. OlderGamer

    Several little things complicate this issue.

    First is what is considered too much for minors. Halo is Mrated, and if you took away the game from minors, you would lose half or more of the user base. Thats true for a lot of games.

    Having said that what game publisher truely wants to enfource the laws and keep their games out of the kids hands?

    Its like politics, they want to be heard as caring, but in the end it doesn’t serve them.

    Another problem is our rating system is flawed. We have E E10 T M and A.

    There is a big difference in the mature levels of a 13 yr old and a 16/17 yr old. Yet neither gamer could play said Halo game under the law.

    And each kid is different. We all know that kid that just can’t handle anything mature(he spazzes out, can’t sit still, cracks jokes 24/7), and we all know that kid that acts so mature we actualy enjoy their company.

    And those things is what leads us to a bigger problem, parents. Most American parents grew up playing video games. But be it Atari w/Pacman, Zaxxon, Space Invaders, Yars Revenge or NES w/Mario, Kirby, Duck Hunt, Zelda. Those games are grossly different then what we have today. Compare NES MGS to the PS3 MGS. It leaves many parents with the idea that games are truely for kids and completly harmless.

    Toss in there that when they(parents grew up) they heard the samething about music(and TV) being anti social kid destroying media. yet those parents survived Black Sabiath, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister, AC/DC, Guns n Roses and lived thro hours upon hours of TV. In other words many parents will tell you that “they”(people that make these claims about games/music/tv/movies) have been at this for years. In the end the games are harmless and no big deal.

    Plus, lets talk about split homes. You know where mom and dad are competing for the “love” of their kids with an Xbox360 and its games. My youngest just had his best friend move out of state because his Dad won custody. His mom watched what games he played. The kid is 13 and owns a Wii at his moms. But once he moved he had a nice new XB360 waiting for him at his dads.

    These types of things can not be enfourced the way thay stand right now.

    And lets talk about the games themself.

    Do you think that a game with foul language, buckets of blood, and sex mini games is Mature? I don’t. Just the oppesite to be honest. I agree that a kid shouldn’t play that game. But just because it gairners a Mrating doesn’t make it a game that I, as an adult, will want to run out and play. I will not, ever, play another God of War game(because of the sex – for example).

    And I think that brings up another point. In whos eyes lay the charge of judgment?

    I feel there is no need for sex/nudity in a video game. Ever. Thats my two cents. If I was in charge of rating games, I would not ban those games. Instead I rate them with an A rating(meaning, in the states, Adult Only). I can also think of a few games that are over the top violent that I would also slap an A rating on.

    But that is just me.

    I am sure some of you would think I am off my rocker and tone it down considerably if you were the ones in charge.

    And in truth, our ratings board is flawed beyond belief. I come back to Halo. I have not seen a Halo that warrented a M rating yet(not played Reach yet). But there it is again, just one persons opinion. And that does not a standard make.

    Plus, I know I have read that many ratings are out right bought. Again clouding the waters.

    Am I in favor of banning games? No.

    Am I in favor of reworking the raiting system? Yes.

    If a game carries a A rating Walmart won’t sell it. Gamestop might not sell it. That game will not get advertised on TV. In truth that A rated game will get treated an awful lot like Porn. Its out there for adults, but harder then hell for kids to get. When they do get it, it is ussualy second hand(someone got it for them or they stole it). IMO, games should be treated the same way.

    My biggest concern is tha the trend of beefing up the games with Graphic violence and adding in sexuality to improve sales. You know they are doing it. The longer they can get away with that the worse this thing is going to get. Because those things will become normal, accepted, and worse expected. There will be no sense of moral right or wrong, no sense of responsibility. On the part of the game devs/pubs, the stores that sell ‘em, or the parents that believe its no big deal.

    You can not sell a Porn Movie on the same shelf as Harry Potter. Why should video games be any different?

    Untill that one single asspect changes not much else will.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Blerk

    I’m kind of with you on several of those points, OG, but specifically on the ‘wildly varying ratings’ thing. Halo is really not a 16-rated game. Seriously. You see worse stuff on the news.

    It seems that some companies go over the top on the violence in order to encourage a higher rating – I can only surmise that this drives sales. If the ratings were legally enforced I wonder if we’d see a similar situation to cinema whereby a film will be edited down to barely scrape into a lower age category just to gain the greatest potential audience?

    #18 5 years ago
  19. OlderGamer

    Yea, what I wonder is where is it all going.

    If casual games sold and raked it so much money they dwarfed the core games, we would see a huge influx of cheaper to make, casual games.

    Some would argue we already are.

    And, maybe in counter to that, we are also seing an influx of over the top games. Perhaps trying to hang on to the core market.

    The result I think is that games will devide themself into two catagories. The over the top M-stuff and the stuff my wife likes to play(I still have nitemares over Boogie Bunnies).

    If those segments are were the money is, thats were the games will be. But I might be getting ahead of myself.

    I just feel that as an industry, games are in a couple of deep ruts that I would love to see us get out of.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. Mauller

    If parents took more of an active interest in what their children are doing, they could monitor this type of thing. Hell, they can put rating restrictions on their profiles on their xbox and lock things out if they cared to. I do agree that sale of mature content should not be sold to minors however.

    #20 5 years ago
  21. Kerplunk

    @20 It may be a cliche but I agree with you.

    Why not make proper parenting enforced by law. That’d solve a lot more issues than just violent videogames.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. OlderGamer

    I don’t mean to seem like an advocate here for this thing, but the lock outon the xb360 has some uninetended side effects.

    I know, because I attempted to use it.

    For one thing if you set it, you can’t watch or play unrated stuff.

    A couple of things my then 11yr old son couldn’t use were:

    Alf(the TV show)
    Any indie games, couldn’t even download them.
    The Cosby Show
    A large section of Netfilx instant view(like the offensive Beethoven, Cats and Dogs, Hercules, etc)

    The reason is that many many things do not get rated at all. they remain unrated. TV shows that get sold at the store are often like that. Movies often add extra scenes that are not rated, and thus the whole of it remains unrated. Indie games are never rated. he also couldn’t use a lot of his DLC for different games he already bought.

    I know it is easy to blame the parents.

    But there is more to it then it might seem.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. orakaa

    @ Mauler and others about parenting:

    I am not saying it is NEVER the parents’ fault, but as a father myself (2 daughters, 10 and 3 years old respectively), I can tell you that it is NOT that easy.
    I tend to discuss a lot with my kids and spend time with them… but as we need to work both my wife and I to pay the bills, we can’t be at home as much as we would want to be (it takes us 1 hour to go to work and the same to go back).

    The thing is, even if you try to control/monitor a bit of what the children watch/play with, children are NOT dogs and 1- they need some privacy/space 2- when they are at school, at some friends’ house, you can’t ALWAYS be on their back.

    Things have changed nowadays, but haven’t you ever smoked cigarettes, or watch a porn movie when you were a teenager… without your parents knowing ?
    Now, that is still NO excuse for not being there for your children and act as a responsible parent (if my oldest daughter ever comes back home with Modern Warfare 2, I’d have a serious discussion with her… and I wouldn’t buy it for her).

    But regarding the topic, I think the ESRB ratings should just be APPLIED/ENFORCED.
    Here in France, as I said in my first message, is not in place and sellers tend to try to sell as much as possible, even if it means selling MW2 or GTA to 7-8 years old… and even if the father comes back to the shop complaining, there not much the seller can be blamed for : ESRB (called “PEGI” here) are JUST recommendations.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Kerplunk

    @22 Last time I tried out the parental controls on 360 if something was blocked you were told and offered to enter your ‘parent code’ (a one time 4-input code set up elsewhere in the dashboard like A,B,X,Y or up,up,up,up) which allowed you to access the content. Wouldn’t that address the issue you experience with unrated media?

    #24 5 years ago
  25. Blerk

    Oh yeah, legally enforcing the ratings is just a way to shut the moaning parents up. Kids will always find a way to get the things they know they’re not supposed to have – it’s part of the fun! :-)

    #25 5 years ago
  26. Tonka

    Violent games are murder simulators. I herd there was a game from Activision where you kill innocent people because you play as a terrorist.

    Disgraceful

    When I was young I played “Hover Bover” and Paperboy.

    The only slightly “out there” game I played was Dancing Monster.

    #26 5 years ago
  27. reask

    I mean most of the players on MW2 are 12 to 15 year olds.
    They just have fun playing it.

    #27 5 years ago
  28. Blerk

    When I was a lad we had good, wholesome games about drugs by Jeff Minter!

    #28 5 years ago
  29. reask

    I played cowboys and indians as a kid.
    We were that poor that we got the guns one Xmas and the caps the following one. :D

    #29 5 years ago
  30. OlderGamer

    @22

    Right, but think of the problems with that system.

    It isn’t practical at all. I can’t sit in there and enter the code each and everytime he wants to try something different.

    Plus how long before your kid cracks the code? Took my son three days.

    In theroy it is a great idea, but unless you can add a long list of exceptions, and even then, not feesible to add in three hundred movies/tv shows/indea games/dlc one iteam at a time, each time they pop up.

    This is just one of the quick and easy way outs that the idustry tosses out there. They then can claim that they care and are providing the tools.

    But its practical aplication is flawed.

    @Blerk

    I loved Temptest!!

    #30 5 years ago
  31. Kerplunk

    @30 I can’t be sympathetic to that response at all.

    The point is that parents should know what kids are doing with the console. If it’s too inconvenient for you to enter a 4-digit code every once in a while then I’d question whether you should leave your kids alone with a console at all.

    And if the kids crack the code, change it.

    In the grand scale of things, neither of those tasks are any more inconvenient than, say, swapping a disc – something a lot of gamers insist is no bother at all.

    It’s not the system that’s flawed. It’s people’s approach to it.

    #31 5 years ago
  32. stretch215

    @12 I don’t know where you live, but where I live almost EVERYONE gets carded at GAMESTOP. I am 30 years old with a full beard and I have to show id at every GAMESTOP. The parents are the ones buying the games for their children, at least here anyways.

    #32 5 years ago
  33. DSB

    The principle of the government telling you what you can or can’t play is pretty nauseating.

    If you’re a kid, your parent should certainly have that sort of power, but it should never be left to a bunch of moralists who can’t even be called informed, let alone professional in evaluating the content they’re rating.

    You can’t ban anything unless it’s harmful to people. Unless a game is found to provoke anxiety or other clinically documented negative effects in kids, then you can’t justify a law that says kids shouldn’t be playing it. That’s gonna be up to the parents.

    Developers are already doing self-censorship and running evaluations on what ratings their content is likely to get.

    #33 5 years ago
  34. Gheritt White

    What would be lost if age ratings became legally enforced? If there’s nothing to lose and even a bit to potentially gain, why not do it?

    Same should apply to movies Stateside too – what’s the point of an age rating if it doesn’t have the force of law to back it up?

    #34 5 years ago
  35. Tonka

    @28 Impostor! The Minter never did games about drugs. He made games about cutting lawns and shooting camels.

    #35 5 years ago
  36. Blerk

    While on drugs.

    #36 5 years ago
  37. DSB

    @34 I just don’t see any gain.

    I think you need a better reason than some imaginary quality to ban something by law.

    Clearly a percentage of 72% hints at people (who apparently watch too much TV) actually buying the bullshit that violent videogames lead to violence and schoolshootings, when these things have been going on for centuries of recorded history. It’s ignorance, imo.

    I don’t want kids to be scarred by games, and I’m fine with people preventing that, but they really need to prove that that’s what those games do.

    #37 5 years ago
  38. Tonka

    @36 WTF heathen! What’s trippy about running over a dog whilst using your neighbours lawnmower to cut some other neighbours lawn?

    #38 5 years ago
  39. Blerk

    #39 5 years ago
  40. OlderGamer

    “What would be lost if age ratings became legally enforced? If there’s nothing to lose and even a bit to potentially gain, why not do it?”

    Sales/revenue.

    Changes are lobbied against by, you guessed it, our friendly neiborhood games industry. They like the current set up. And because not only would enforcing be hard, it could be costly to fund.

    The ideas in place right now satisfy most people. And they can be used to fight critics. The number one cry in that fight is Parents. Its their fault. Nevermind that most parents are grossily underinformed. A informational campaign needs to be launched to fix the problem. But someone would have to fund that too.

    And while we all know if Gamestop IDs(in most cases) then of course ALL stores do. Therefore the game industry IS policing itself. No need for the Gov to get involved.

    lol.

    Honestly you just can’t win.

    Because with all of these great tools inplace, the fact is that kids get their hands on games they shouldn’t. And anytime someone tries to bring up a few flaws and open things upto a descusion it becomes about parents and cencorship.

    My two cents is that some of us need to understand that no one is looking to take games away from you. No one is banning anything. I really think that has a lot to do with it. Younger adults that would claim they grew up on PS1 and played all sorts of Mrated level games and they turned out fine, are just going to say its the parents fault, thier job to do something. After all isn’t it just THOSE parents that are making all of this trouble/noise?

    And when you have significant research to back up the fact that kids are not only playing whjat they shouldn’t, but that they are suffering ill effects because of it. I think that should push us into the notion of “Ok, so this broken” and work to find a solution.

    I think Gamestop carding is a great idea(they don’t do that where I live btw – my teens could by anything they wanted).

    And I think educating parents is also a great idea.

    But I think if people just took the time to give a damn, that would be an even better idea.

    Not saying you don’t GW, just aiming that at a couple of other folks.

    #40 5 years ago
  41. Freek

    If only the games industrie is singledout for legaly enforced ratings allot more then sales will be lost. It blames only games for all the issues with media.

    Self censorship will lead to games going to the way of comic books in the 60s and 70s (Comics Code Authority): only safe family friendly content will be made and any mature content will be cutt away.

    And no I don’t just mean the for fun explosive fest. Games like Heavy Rain that try to explore these topics in a mature way will be far less likely in a creative atmosphere hostile to mature content.

    If you want to deal with it, you have to deal with it properly. One standard for all media, not just games.

    The issue isn’t so much having rating, it’s blaming everything on one medium and trying to regulate only that one. In the past it’s been music, comic books, TV and now they’re targeting games.

    #41 5 years ago
  42. The_Deleted

    Have to disagree, Freek. Violence sells, regardless of Age Rating, kids will get clueless parents to buy these games.
    The audience for gaming is made up of mature adults on the whole, the ones with disposable income. Sure, they’ll always be kids who pester their parents, but a parent should be aware of the content of any media their child takes an interest in and not use it as babysitter or bribe.

    #42 5 years ago
  43. DSB

    The focus on censorship just rubs me the wrong way.

    There’s no proof that there’s any sort of brainwashing quality to videogames. If a kid is violently disposed, he can get keyed up watching the Ninja Turtles. They have some real meanies on that show.

    Fact is, the show still isn’t the deciding factor of the equasion.

    The capacity of kids is always going to vary, and that’s why parents will always be the deciding factor in helping or worsening a troubled disposition.

    Even if it’s “just” videogames, I think people need to think long and hard about restricting peoples freedoms, especially when there’s no such thing as an enlightened consensus on the subject.

    #43 5 years ago
  44. sebbie16

    I guess parents should get rid of their kids cause obviously they need laws to say what a kid can/can’t get. If they are going to do this to games they might as well do this to movies and books.

    #44 5 years ago
  45. N.E.R.D

    whenever jimmy gets access to games like silent hill or manhunt2,jimmy will like to see some blood….
    also i were one of those minors played such games,and it really affects how i see the world,in both ways,postively and negtively

    #45 5 years ago

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