UK Researcher Wants Parents Arrested for Buying Kids Violent Games

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Nuke_em_05:
Did I read the same article everyone else did?

This guy said "prosecute", not specifically "jail" or "arrest". Maybe he means like a fine? Who here has ever received a traffic ticket? Tada! You've been "prosecuted". This guy wants to make it illegal for parents to buy these games for their children, which is currently how many circumvent PEGI (and ESRB in the U.S.), but then the "parents" still turn around and run these ridiculous campaigns about the violent videogames that somehow got into their children's hands.

Isn't this suggestion the logical conclusion to the "blame the parents, not the game" mantra when the "games community" feels threatened by major media or legislation against violent videogames?

Personally, I'd rather government just stay out of everyone's business, but the dichotomy here confuses me.

You see, a system like this would not only persecute the lazy parents who unknowinly buy mature games for their children. But also the parents who, after informing themselves, decide that their kids are mature enough to play said game.

An awareness campaign would be much better in this case, a parents association would not be taken as seriously when they say this games are poisoning their children when there's a sign outside the retailer store saying that the M in the cover means that someone under 17 should not play this game

Ladies and gentleman!!! I bring you a total quack! Why allow your child to be damaged by the frequent exposure to violent media when you can simply jail yourself to ensure a childhood for your kids devoid of proper parental guidance and social, emotional development!!!

Aaaand that's why you don't ask politicians and so-called "politics experts" what to do when it comes to Parental Responsibility, Media and Art. Return to your boring grey life, little man.

Reaper195:

Timothy Chang:
He also points the finger at game developers for shying away from the responsibility of keeping kids from playing their products. He states that game makers are "absolved from the burden of responsibility" and instead defer to the state and regulator. He concludes that, as a result, more violent games are released into the market since companies are protected by the ratings framework.

So from what I can read here...it sounds like he thinks developers actually have any real power over how and where games are sold. I'm pretty sure id had no control whatsoever over the actual publication and selling of Rage, since they are only developers, while Bethesda were the publishers....

Also, that's like saying it's Einsteins' fault for the bomb being used to blow up Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yeah, sure, he founded the formula and whatnot behind it, but then his research was used by the military to bomb two cities into dust. Damn Einstein for not having control over the people that used his research. Damn id for not having control over Bethesda. Damn people with no power for not having the power to control things which they CAN'T ACTUALLY FUCKING DO!

<<

>>

Unless, I read that paragraph entirely wrong.

I understood it the same as you.

If I just change a few words from that quote:

He also points the finger at breweries for shying away from the responsibility of keeping kids from drinking their products. He states that breweries are "absolved from the burden of responsibility" and instead defer to the state and regulator. He concludes that, as a result, more alcoholic drinks are released into the market since companies are protected by the ratings framework.

I think this is the same thing. What could brewers possibly do, if parents buy beer and their kids drink them at home?

I've been saying for years that parents should be held responsible for what their children do and see, but this is getting pretty beyond the pale. What we need is a societal change (being free to call out bad parents for the idiots they are), not a legal one.

I...I just...this is just a whole new level of what is even the fuck?!

I worked for a video game supplier for years and we would always have kids come in with notes saying that it was "Okay for them to buy Manhunt". We thought that they wrote the notes themselves like you would to skip gym class, but no, angry parents would then come in absolutely furious that we made them get off their sofas and miss their daytime chat shows to come in and buy the replacement babysitter. I informed them that it was the law and would ask them if they thought it was alright if i sold them cigarettes or alcohol. They never said "no".

We have restrictions for films, pubs, and various other things. A similar system for videogames would be welcome. Yet, for some reason, it seems to be a lot more complicated.

I also see some of you people talking about how a nipple or a naked body is considered bad, yet a disembodied brain or an exploding body is perfectly ok, and wondering why this is the case. Well, sex and violence are two entirely different things. It's not the "maturity" level. It's the "content" area. You start seeing a lot of pornography and, no matter how much self-control you think you have, it will affect you in a very negative form. Yet, seeing tons and tons of violence will do nothing to you, unless you already have some sort of disorder, in which case it might do something.

I've killed so much in games like Half-Life: Source, [Prototype], Grand Theft Auto III, Shadow the Hedgehog, Halo: Combat Evolved, Doom, 007: NightFire, and so many other games, and it doesn't affect me one bit. Yet, if I were playing something like, say... a Duke Nukem game completely uncensored, I know the games' obvious sexual themes would affect me on a mental level. I wouldn't be able to get the images out of my mind, simply because I am human, just like the rest of you. Humans feel a much greater urge to sex than they do to violence. They are completely different things.

Whatever content games have, there really do need to start being more child blocks and greater awareness of the rating system for videogames, just like any other medium. A fine just might be the way to go. After all, anyone can be fined $1,000 for giving alcohol to minors for the first offense and $2,500 for each following offense. At least where I'm from, that's the case. Videogames could benefit from a similar system. Though, if it's a fine, it really shouldn't be as high as that of underaged drinking.

Two-A:

Nuke_em_05:

You see, a system like this would not only persecute the lazy parents who unknowinly buy mature games for their children. But also the parents who, after informing themselves, decide that their kids are mature enough to play said game.

An awareness campaign would be much better in this case, a parents association would not be taken as seriously when they say this games are poisoning their children when there's a sign outside the retailer store saying that the M in the cover means that someone under 17 should not play this game

I didn't say it was a good idea. Simply, it isn't as bad an idea as people seem to be making it out to be. As a matter-of-fact, it seems to be the exact same idea that this community rallies behind whenever parent's associations and the like lash out at "vidyagames". You are quite right, though; this, like any other hypothetical legislation, has the potential to be abused if you assume it is a simple law. Most laws, however, anywhere you are, end up with so many caveats and exceptions (like for your "responsible parent" scenario) that they prove largely ineffective or unenforceable once implemented.

The problem with "awareness campaigns" is that ignorant fools do not wish to make themselves "aware". The rating is on the box, most retailers card, ESRB posters are in most stores in the U.S., not sure about PEGI in the UK. Granted that anecdotal evidence isn't much to go on in official venues, but here goes: how many video game retail clerks can attest to warning a parent that a "Mature" game would not be appropriate for their child, only to have that parent scoff at them about "knowing what they're doing" only for the parent to return furious that the store allowed their child to play this "terrible" game? That is the kind of person we are up against in this situation.

Again, personally, I think the government should just stay out of everyone's business. I think the current systems are as good as we can get; developers and retailers follow ESRB/PEGI, those that don't tend not to last. "Responsible" parents follow the ratings, irresponsible parents don't and will continue to blame other people for their own failings.

I just love how everyone on this site say parents should be the ones responsible not the developers, publishers or retailers yet when someone comes out and says that everyone complains at him.

And the arresting part of it is only in the title and is never mentioned in the article, escapist should really change that.

getoffmycloud:
I just love how everyone on this site say parents should be the ones responsible not the developers, publishers or retailers yet when someone comes out and says that everyone complains at him.

And the arresting part of it is only in the title and is never mentioned in the article, escapist should really change that.

The parents should be responsible, aye, but not responsible by law. Parents should be able, based on a game's content, to decide if it's appropriate for their child.

Can't we just, you know, punch the parent in the face? Makes more sense than prosecuting them

Nuke_em_05:

Two-A:

Nuke_em_05:

I didn't say it was a good idea. Simply, it isn't as bad an idea as people seem to be making it out to be. As a matter-of-fact, it seems to be the exact same idea that this community rallies behind whenever parent's associations and the like lash out at "vidyagames". You are quite right, though; this, like any other hypothetical legislation, has the potential to be abused if you assume it is a simple law. Most laws, however, anywhere you are, end up with so many caveats and exceptions (like for your "responsible parent" scenario) that they prove largely ineffective or unenforceable once implemented.

The problem with "awareness campaigns" is that ignorant fools do not wish to make themselves "aware". The rating is on the box, most retailers card, ESRB posters are in most stores in the U.S., not sure about PEGI in the UK. Granted that anecdotal evidence isn't much to go on in official venues, but here goes: how many video game retail clerks can attest to warning a parent that a "Mature" game would not be appropriate for their child, only to have that parent scoff at them about "knowing what they're doing" only for the parent to return furious that the store allowed their child to play this "terrible" game? That is the kind of person we are up against in this situation.

Again, personally, I think the government should just stay out of everyone's business. I think the current systems are as good as we can get; developers and retailers follow ESRB/PEGI, those that don't tend not to last. "Responsible" parents follow the ratings, irresponsible parents don't and will continue to blame other people for their own failings.

You know, I don't like this idea, but I would love to see the face of a lazy parent when they tell him that he has to pay a 100$ fine because he bought little Timmy "Adventures of the Super Cool Murderer 5"

I find it ironic that the people who seemingly don't care enough for their children to check if the game that they want to buy is something that a kid should be playing are the first one to complain that these games are corrupting the children

Although I wonder what/if there's some system that could be implemented to make sure more people are informed (Aside from awareness campaigns)

Iszfury:

getoffmycloud:
I just love how everyone on this site say parents should be the ones responsible not the developers, publishers or retailers yet when someone comes out and says that everyone complains at him.

And the arresting part of it is only in the title and is never mentioned in the article, escapist should really change that.

The parents should be responsible, aye, but not responsible by law. Parents should be able, based on a game's content, to decide if it's appropriate for their child.

Your right they should be but large numbers of them aren't. I think legislation would be a good thing it would give the industry some protection for the parents that use there games consoles to raise there kid without doing some simple research on the games they are playing it isn't like it is hard to do and the threat of fines could help them do it.

The purpose of game ratings...assuming you're sane...is to EMPOWER parents. It is to take away a child's ability to buy a game that they are not ready for, and put that power in the hands of the parent, through a means which gives them the tools necessary to make an informed decision. The purpose is to make it so the parents, who know their kids, can get all the information they need easily, and choose what they want for their child.

This takes power AWAY from parents. It is arbitrarily enforcing one code of parenting on all children of all parents everywhere. It is saying that parents are not competent enough to parent, and that all children are identical. This is horrible. Games ratings are supposed to be conservative, because you want to be conservative about what control a parent has over a child. Yes, I am annoyed when a parent decides to buy there 6 year old a GTA game, but it HAS to be the parents choice.

By replacing parental choice with a catch-all rule for all children, all you are doing is absolving the parents of the responsibility of parenting because the government already wrote your values into law.

(Also, I understand the hyperbole but...come on. No ones talking about jailing the parents. This policy is stupic, but its not THAT stupid, and there is plenty to criticize without resorting to fabrication.

Is anyone else reminded of the South Park episode where the kids trick the police into arresting the parents for molestation and the kids become the tribes from "Road Warrior"? Somehow, I could see this happening if kids could fool parents into thinking "M" games meant something else - I honestly doubt it would be difficult to pull off.

getoffmycloud:

Iszfury:

getoffmycloud:
I just love how everyone on this site say parents should be the ones responsible not the developers, publishers or retailers yet when someone comes out and says that everyone complains at him.

And the arresting part of it is only in the title and is never mentioned in the article, escapist should really change that.

The parents should be responsible, aye, but not responsible by law. Parents should be able, based on a game's content, to decide if it's appropriate for their child.

Your right they should be but large numbers of them aren't. I think legislation would be a good thing it would give the industry some protection for the parents that use there games consoles to raise there kid without doing some simple research on the games they are playing it isn't like it is hard to do and the threat of fines could help them do it.

Read my earlier anecdote as to why I don't think legislation of that sort will work.

...

...

I am still waiting for the punch line. You know there is supposed to be a small pause between the joke and the final, but this researcher is taking way to long.

Two-A:

Nuke_em_05:

You know, I don't like this idea, but I would love to see the face of a lazy parent when they tell him that he has to pay a 100$ fine because he bought little Timmy "Adventures of the Super Cool Murderer 5"

I find it ironic that the people who seemingly don't care enough for their children to check if the game that they want to buy is something that a kid should be playing are the first one to complain that these games are corrupting the children

Although I wonder what/if there's some system that could be implemented to make sure more people are informed (Aside from awareness campaigns)

That very scenario might be worth the consumer rights violation.

I'm not sure there's a simpler way to say it than: "Dumb parent is dumb".

As for a system; most retailers card for M/18 purchases. I don't know a less intrusive way to say "the thing you are buying is not meant for your child". So, making that mandatory across the board would be a good way. The vendor sold it to an informed (at least at the minimum) consenting adult, what happens after that is on that adult.

This is where I draw the line, forbidding a store from letting little Jimmy buy Modern Shooter #45454 is a lot different than stopping his mom from doing so. A parent is the one responsible to make the decision of the whether the content their child consumes is for them, not the government.

Ah, England, what a ridiculous nanny state.

Is this any different than a parent allowing their child to watch an R rated movie? I know it was a bonding moment when my dad took me to see Terminator 2 at the age of 13 or something like that. I thought "wow, he thinks I'm mature enough to watch this!"

I also played Carmaggedon and Doom and many other violent videogames before I was 18, and I'm not running around committing acts of violence.

So maybe it's ok if a parent decides their kid doesn't need to wait for these arbitrarily decided age points to digest a bit of "controversial" entertainment.

I mean, sure, some parents are just gonna be blind idiots or whatnot, but I'd rather have freedom. Psychos are gonna snap and do awful things whether or not they played GTA at 15.

Glad I don't live in England.

Yes, that's exactly the answer. Let's arrest people who legally buy things for their family. Sure, it's not the best to give your 10yr old GTA and you would/should be socially condemned for it. But, now, are you going to insist we arrest people who let their children watch... the show Justified? (TVMA) Or South Park? What about buying albums with explicit content? Them too? Comso can be kinda... adult. Let's go there while we're so far head with our heads up asses.

I know this is the UK's issue... but you, US, don't even fucking think about it. Don't. I'm watching you. So stop while you can UK. Nanny State = Failed State.

Nuke_em_05:

Two-A:

Nuke_em_05:

That very scenario might be worth the consumer rights violation.

I'm not sure there's a simpler way to say it than: "Dumb parent is dumb".

As for a system; most retailers card for M/18 purchases. I don't know a less intrusive way to say "the thing you are buying is not meant for your child". So, making that mandatory across the board would be a good way. The vendor sold it to an informed (at least at the minimum) consenting adult, what happens after that is on that adult.

I don't get this card thing, but it gave me an idea. Maybe we could give the parents a copy of the ESRB/PEGI ratings whenever they buy a M/18 games. It doesn't feel as intrusive, and giving you a copy of the ratings for you to keep in your home could probably do some good

A parent can choose whatever education he wants to give his child, so s/he can sure as hell choose if he wants his kid to see titties and flying heads at age 8.

Stupid Stupid Stupid.
It's great that the guy understands it's the parents responsibility to pay attention, not the game's fault for being mature. That being said: this is stupid.

Why?

Because as long as parents know what is in a game, and what it is rated, the choice should be 100% theirs if they let or don't let their child play it.

I think most people will agree that PEGI and ESRB ratings should be GUIDELINES not RULES or LAWS.
If you want to let your kid play a mature game at 15, if you think he/she's ready, why should you be fined?

Surely it should be up to the parent to decide whether or not it's appropriate for their child? I've been playing 18 rated games since I was 12, I think, because my parents thought I was capable of dealing with it rationally and understanding the difference between the games and real life. I've turned out just fine.

Lugbzurg:
We have restrictions for films, pubs, and various other things. A similar system for videogames would be welcome. Yet, for some reason, it seems to be a lot more complicated.

The difference between films and pubs is that parental guidance actually counts. I can take my 14 yard old brother to a +16 movie as long as I, as an adult, take him.

TheIronRuler:
A parent can choose whatever education he wants to give his child, so s/he can sure as hell choose if he wants his kid to see titties and flying heads at age 8.

This. It sounded like he was trying to blame lazy parents, but he ended up saying that devs (of all people to blame...) were also responsible and that the government should introduce even more "nanny state" features.

You can't tell parents what they can and can't expose their children to. "That isnt already defined in the law" that is. This guy is just another raving nutjob that goes to angry mothers against everything meetings. "Were currently fabricating this evidence". : p

Two-A:

Nuke_em_05:

I don't get this card thing, but it gave me an idea. Maybe we could give the parents a copy of the ESRB/PEGI ratings whenever they buy a M/18 games. It doesn't feel as intrusive, and giving you a copy of the ratings for you to keep in your home could probably do some good

"Carding", as in, asking for an ID card. Such as when you purchase alcohol or tobacco, they ask for an ID card (like a driver's license) to verify you are of legal age to purchase it.

No one reads hand-outs.

Even if we entertained the possibility that kids are going to turn into violent monsters how on gods green earth does he expect this to be enforced?

How.

No really I would love to hear his plan because beyond peeking in peoples window's I don't see how this could even work.

I do tell you something. When I was younger I was bullied so bad and had such a bad home life I have (officially diagnosed) PTSD now. If it wasn't for games to take my anger out on and escape into I have no idea where or how I would have ended up.

Nuke_em_05:

Two-A:

Nuke_em_05:

I don't get this card thing, but it gave me an idea. Maybe we could give the parents a copy of the ESRB/PEGI ratings whenever they buy a M/18 games. It doesn't feel as intrusive, and giving you a copy of the ratings for you to keep in your home could probably do some good

"Carding", as in, asking for an ID card. Such as when you purchase alcohol or tobacco, they ask for an ID card (like a driver's license) to verify you are of legal age to purchase it.

No one reads hand-outs.

Oh that, guess I still need some English lessons.

I'm out of ideas then.

I just realized that a law like this just wouldn't work, I mean, how do you recognize when a parent wants to buy a game for himself instead of giving it to their children?, how do yo prove that a kid has played the game?

And what about those who are proficient enough at being parents that their kids can manage violent video games before they're 18?

I played Mortal Kombat and other violent games quite often since I was 13, and am not a violent or dangerous person. If I do as good a job as my parents did, I should have the freedom to allow my kid to do the same.

Please sir, stay out of politics until you've learned to think things through.

Ok the parents need to be educated and not gaoled this wouldn't help anything at all or even a fine. Movies and books don't get this why should games. I want what he was smoking when he decided gaol was a fitting punishment for this. Prosecution(as said in the article) and potentially gaol(not mentioned) is too much.

This is ridiculous.

Age restrictions are stupid in the first place. They should be more like guidelines. How about this researcher just gives it up and stops being a nanny state advocate? The government has no place in deciding what sort of content is or isn't appropriate for children. Parental discretion is key, and they and no-one else should decide.

So they want to waste valuable police and court time pursuing parents for something as trivial as this...

Berithil:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Wait.... He's serious.....

It's not the governments job to raise children, its the job of the parents. If mommy and daddy want to get little 6 year timmy grand theft auto for Christmas, it might not be the wisest decision, but its still their choice. Unless its a blatant crime like murder or meth cooking, the government has no business in what happens in the family home, period.

Oh dear, Just just thought of a new game, Cooking Mama: Meth edition

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