ESRB Ratings "Awareness" May Be Maxed Out

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ESRB Ratings "Awareness" May Be Maxed Out

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The president of the ESRB says awareness and use of its videogame rating system among parents may be as high as it's going to go.

Whenever the topic of videogames and violence comes up, somebody always mentions how important it is to make parents aware of ratings. The "Gun Violence Prevention Task Force" report filed earlier this month made a point of noting that "the entertainment and videogame industries have a responsibility to give parents the tools to make appropriate choices about what their children watch and play." But what do you do when everybody who wants your tools already has them?

"We have seen a fairly stable percentage of parents in terms of awareness and use in the last several years," ESRB President Patricia Vance told GamesIndustry. "I don't know how much higher we're going to be able to push that. We're now at about 85 percent awareness among parents with kids who play videogames, and 70 percent say they use them all the time or most of the time."

Vance said those numbers could slowly rise as lifelong gamers become parents themselves, but it could just as easily go the other way as parents who are more familiar with games and less suspicious of their deleterious effects decide for themselves what their kids can play without relying on ratings. Either way, Vance said the agency will continue its consumer outreach activities. "I don't see us backing off despite high awareness and use levels," she said. "It's part of who we are."

She also dismissed questions about taking part in unified ratings for television, movies, music and games, saying that such a system would be "dumbed down."

Source: GamesIndustry

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No cure for reading it seems. Seriously people, the ESRB rating is on the front and back of the freaking box. If you can't notice that, I'm not sure what else to say here.

A related question, why the resistance towards legally enforced age rating for games in the US?

J Tyran:
A related question, why the resistance towards legally enforced age rating for games in the US?

Because it's viewed as inhibiting freedom of speech as videogames are legally classified as "art" in the US. We had a big case over it with the Supreme Court and they ruled the law as unconstitutional.

J Tyran:
A related question, why the resistance towards legally enforced age rating for games in the US?

It can be a bit of a slippery slope when the government is deciding things like that. And most retailers are already doing a decent job on their own, even if it could be tightened up online.

EDIT: Also what he said^

J Tyran:
A related question, why the resistance towards legally enforced age rating for games in the US?

It's mostly about freedom of speech. Theoretically, you cannot restrain people's access, regardless of age, to the works protected by freedom of speech (which is the case o videogames)

(At least that's what the supreme court ruled here in Brazil. I guess the same must apply in the USA)

It's funny that the same people who think that free healthcare encourages dependency, yet feel that parents still aren't getting enough enformation when the content of the game is spelled out for them. Everybody can have any gun they want, but games need to be regulated by law.

if that's true how come so many parents still complain about violent video games(teen or mature) getting into the hands of young children??

J Tyran:
A related question, why the resistance towards legally enforced age rating for games in the US?

The First Amendment is the "freedom of speech" one, stating that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." That includes books, music, television, film, the works. There are certain exceptions which are exempt from First Amendment protections, but U.S. courts define those exceptions very narrowly and anything that does not fall within that definition is protected.

Legally restricting game sales is problematic for a couple of reasons. One, it opens the floodgates to similar restrictions on other media - the "slippery slope" argument that if we can ignore the First Amendment for games, then why not for other things as well? Second, it would impose restrictions based on the medium rather than the content. Look at this way: Pornography is exempted from First Amendment protections, but nobody is talking about restricting all movie sales because some movies are porn.

It's a complex issue and the U.S. is unique in the way it has codified freedom of speech laws into its constitution, but I think we're all better off for it.

J Tyran:
A related question, why the resistance towards legally enforced age rating for games in the US?

As others have said, free speech is the primary reason. Another reason is that it would put video games into the same category as: pornography, tobacco, alcohol, and firearms, in that it can be restricted by the government. No other form of entertainment media is "officially" censored or restricted by the government.

J Tyran:
A related question, why the resistance towards legally enforced age rating for games in the US?

While there has been plenty said about this above, I would like to provide an example of a government agency defining what we can see: the FCC. The FCC has a policy of refusing to thumb-up or thumb-own content before it goes to television and then responds to complaints with fines. The result is that fines get arbitrarily placed on certain content and there doesn't seem to be any restriction to other content which may or may not be viewed as worse. The point of the matter is that the agency is effectively being run by a set of people with a clear religious/moral agenda and in the end, this just doesn't jive with the values we've built this country on (don't bother with the hypocrisies, I know they are there). Any agency we set to adjudicate who can see what will have some agenda they will push, either their own agenda or another's. So if the agency decides that global warming is a scam by scientists trying to get those fat government-grant-salaries, then they could easily decide that any reference to global warming is not allowed. Or they might decide that violence against Arabs is fine but violence against Americans is not (see modern warfare). It's a possibility I'd rather live without.

ForgottenPr0digy:
if that's true how come so many parents still complain about violent video games(teen or mature) getting into the hands of young children??

"Best enforcement out of the bunch" simply means it's higher. It's still a long ways from perfect. As well, the enforcement is only as good as it's allowed to be. Too many parents blindly buy an M-Rated game for little jimmy not paying attention until they walk in and see a dismembered head on the screen. They then proceed to blame the industry for "exposing her precious child to such filth" because they don't want to admit that they are the problem.

thesilentman:
No cure for reading it seems. Seriously people, the ESRB rating is on the front and back of the freaking box. If you can't notice that, I'm not sure what else to say here.

The thing is, for all the blame being passed around, video games have the best rate of self-policing and the ratings system is well known/understood. It's a better system than the PA label on music, a better system than the MPAA, etc.

People are quick to jump on the "stupid people" bandwagon, but the ESRB is reaching more people than it's given credit for.

Now, if we could just do something about all those parents who let their 9 year olds play M rated games online....

J Tyran:
A related question, why the resistance towards legally enforced age rating for games in the US?

People insist free speech, though this concept is largely erroneous (sorry, Andy). The right to sell one's games largely falls under commerce, which Congress can control. I've always found this argument to be really stupid. You have the right to speak in any format in which you would like to express yourself. You do not have the unfettered right to release a product. The First Amendment was never intended to cover commerce. That's why we have like 90 sections that reference it explicitly in the body of the Constitution, etc.

Though on a related topic, I'm not a fan of a nanny state.

lax4life:

J Tyran:
A related question, why the resistance towards legally enforced age rating for games in the US?

Because it's viewed as inhibiting freedom of speech as videogames are legally classified as "art" in the US. We had a big case over it with the Supreme Court and they ruled the law as unconstitutional.

If you mean Brown v EMA, the ruling was specifically based on the grounds of the case, where California tried to rule that games don't qualify as art.

I'd be willing to bet that a case that went to the SCOTUS on commerce grounds would be a VERY different result.

The anti-gaming lobby is kind of like Ken Starr. Back in the 90s, there was a very good chance Hilary (and possibly Bill) Clinton could be nailed for a real estate scandal known as Whitewater. A special prosecutor named Ken Starr, in all his infinite wisdom, decided that he was going to instead crusade against Slick willy getting a consensual blowjob in the White House and effectively blew the case. No pun intended.

Schwarzenegger and company decided, instead of arguing on commercial grounds, played ball with the "free speech" argument and tried to remove free speech protections from games so that their current legislation would work. That's like trying to rebuild your entire car because you left "the club" on.

I'm really dating myself with this post.

ForgottenPr0digy:
if that's true how come so many parents still complain about violent video games(teen or mature) getting into the hands of young children??

It's usually parents complaining about other children, and this isn't a unique phenomenon. There's a similar case in Congress where everyone hates Congress but most people are fine with their own representation.

"Kids shouldn't have access to these games. Oh, but my kid is a special snowflake."

I really think NO child should be playing these games, especially not online. Part of the problem is that everyone does think their child is a special snowflake. I've heard kids cry because they lost at Modern Warfare, and nobody was even insulting them. They just lost. Parents always think their kids are different. They won't believe they are bullies or dicks, or whatever. Hell, even given proof most of them will be in disbelief.

The thing is, the FTC does undercover shopper tests every year, and games are pretty hard for kids to buy.

Without the aid of a parent or other adult. This is where the system tends to break down, but it's not a gaming thing.

This also brings up one of the big problems with any such legislation: unless you criminalise buying a game for your child, you're not likely to do better than the current self-enforcement. And really, if you try and make it illegal for parents to dictate what they can buy, you're going to lose the support of shitty parents everywhere, because "ain't nobody gun tell me how to raise my kids!"

Andy Chalk:

J Tyran:
A related question, why the resistance towards legally enforced age rating for games in the US?

The First Amendment is the "freedom of speech" one, stating that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." That includes books, music, television, film, the works. There are certain exceptions which are exempt from First Amendment protections, but U.S. courts define those exceptions very narrowly and anything that does not fall within that definition is protected.

Legally restricting game sales is problematic for a couple of reasons. One, it opens the floodgates to similar restrictions on other media - the "slippery slope" argument that if we can ignore the First Amendment for games, then why not for other things as well? Second, it would impose restrictions based on the medium rather than the content. Look at this way: Pornography is exempted from First Amendment protections, but nobody is talking about restricting all movie sales because some movies are porn.

It's a complex issue and the U.S. is unique in the way it has codified freedom of speech laws into its constitution, but I think we're all better off for it.

Having ratings enforceable by law is not restricting freedom of speech, how the US can be so backwards and allow kids to buy mortal combat I will never know. Yes there are guidelines that the stores should follow, but there's no enforcement and thus they can sell to whoever they want. All media needs ratings to be enforced, remember its banning games that restrict freedom of speech, not enforcing ratings. People that argue the slippery slope are paranoid over nothing.

LordLundar:

ForgottenPr0digy:
if that's true how come so many parents still complain about violent video games(teen or mature) getting into the hands of young children??

"Best enforcement out of the bunch" simply means it's higher. It's still a long ways from perfect. As well, the enforcement is only as good as it's allowed to be. Too many parents blindly buy an M-Rated game for little jimmy not paying attention until they walk in and see a dismembered head on the screen. They then proceed to blame the industry for "exposing her precious child to such filth" because they don't want to admit that they are the problem.

Or they insist Jimmy can handle it and then call everyone ELSE bad parents for doing the same.

Zachary Amaranth:
People insist free speech, though this concept is largely erroneous (sorry, Andy). The right to sell one's games largely falls under commerce, which Congress can control. I've always found this argument to be really stupid. You have the right to speak in any format in which you would like to express yourself. You do not have the unfettered right to release a product. The First Amendment was never intended to cover commerce. That's why we have like 90 sections that reference it explicitly in the body of the Constitution, etc.

I must respectfully disagree. If there was any reasonable case for game sales to be regulated under commerce laws, at least one of the many individuals and states who have attempted to impose such laws would have taken a shot at it - and not just with games, but with books, music, movies, literally every medium that has ever gone to market. We're not talking about whether or not you can sell your product but whether or not a citizen of the United States has a right to consume that product. Beyond very specific and narrowly-defined exceptions, the government cannot restrict a person's access to speech in any form.

Again, pornographic movies are legally restricted - movies as a medium are not. Likewise, pornographic games are legally restricted, but the medium of videogames is not, and should not be.

[/benstone]

I think as a gamer, when I become a parent, I'll use the rating system to decide if I need to observe the game more closely. E? Go for it. T? If the kid is at least 8, it's fine (seriously, T is a really low rating). M will require further scrutiny.

A "Halo"-like game is far less deserving of keeping out of children's reach than, say, Manhunt, or some similar game. At least in the first one, you were a SPACE MARINE shooting SPACE ALIENS because SPACE RING. And I'm not being a dick. I liked Halo. But it should have been in some not-yet-created "older teen" rating. Sort of the video game version of PG-13, because there's a HUGE gulf between PG and R. Maybe "T 15+"? Or the EU Rating. PEGI 16, is it?

... Just checked the PEGI website. PEGI ratings are 3, 7, 12, 16, 18. Because really. What's the point of E 10+, ESRB? Same with "AO," because those games are nigh-impossible to find (since they tend to basically be "porn-games" as opposed to being violent). But I digress, and the more I ramble, the more off-topic I get. Point is, there should be a little bit of a shuffle with the rating system. And as a gamer in his mid-20s, I'll know that "M" games at least deserve to be looked at a bit closer before purchase. Because it'll likely be "Call of Modern Duty 45: Gotta get Those Terrorists: Black Ops: Zombie Edition," than anything that'll actually scar the kid.

RicoADF:
Having ratings enforceable by law is not restricting freedom of speech, how the US can be so backwards and allow kids to buy mortal combat I will never know. Yes there are guidelines that the stores should follow, but there's no enforcement and thus they can sell to whoever they want. All media needs ratings to be enforced, remember its banning games that restrict freedom of speech, not enforcing ratings. People that argue the slippery slope are paranoid over nothing.

There are those who believe that the fundamental freedom of expression is pretty important, and sometimes that means taking the good with the bad - or with the things you don't happen to personally agree with.

Andy Chalk:

RicoADF:
Having ratings enforceable by law is not restricting freedom of speech, how the US can be so backwards and allow kids to buy mortal combat I will never know. Yes there are guidelines that the stores should follow, but there's no enforcement and thus they can sell to whoever they want. All media needs ratings to be enforced, remember its banning games that restrict freedom of speech, not enforcing ratings. People that argue the slippery slope are paranoid over nothing.

There are those who believe that the fundamental freedom of expression is pretty important, and sometimes that means taking the good with the bad - or with the things you don't happen to personally agree with.

Were not talking about restricting freedom of expression though. This is about ensuring that retail stores follow the guidelines about what's allowed to be sold to minors. If a parent buys the kid the movie or videogame its not illegal to watch/play. That way 10yr olds can't buy GTA behind their parents back. Ratings enforcement and censorship are 2 different things, which Americans can't seem to understand (probably because you've never had it, so fear the unknown). I will emphesise, this isn't restricting freedom of speech, its enforcing the ratings that already exist and are agreed apon.

edit: fixed spelling errors caused by phones stupid spelling auto correct.

RicoADF:

Having ratings enforceable by law is not restricting freedom of speech, how the US can be so backwards and allow kids to buy mortal combat I will never know.

I understand where you're coming from, but this is a nation that doesn't even want to restrict kids access to FIREARMS.

Andy Chalk:

There are those who believe that the fundamental freedom of expression is pretty important, and sometimes that means taking the good with the bad - or with the things you don't happen to personally agree with.

Yes, but this isn't about the fundamental freedom of expression--it is about the rights of commerce. The people who bring up free expression are being disingenuous and coming after people for not supporting such free expression is a borderline strawman on their end.

There is no right to sale of merchandise, even under the commerce clause.

I understand this is difficult for a lot of people--reading on this site, people frequently conflate the artistic elements of gaming with the business elements--but directing sales isn't a free speech issue.

Now, I'll take the good with the bad, and I don't really believe in either censorship or ratings laws, but I think making this a free speech issue is kind of ridiculous.

I always say this but while working at GameStop, I am constantly amazed at the amount of parents who let their kids buy anything, and I mean ANYTHING, as long as it keeps their offspring entertained and off their backs for a while.

Every time a parent buys an M rated game and it's obvious that he's buying it for his kid, I must warn them about the M rating and why its rated M. I once had a parent buy Left 4 Dead, a very gory game, and I warned them about the rating and all. Their response? "yes, but does it have sex scenes?!", the woman said. "Uh, no, but it's really gory and reccome--" "Yes, but no sex scenes, right? If not, then that's fine by me."
I mean, yeah, in theory, sex scenes are worse but still. The game was rated M for a reason. Most parents say something like "Well, they see worse things in movies and the news every day so it's fine" when it comes to M rated games.

But there's always those responsible parents who refuse to buy M rated games to their underage kids regardless of the fits their kids are throwing. And whenever a parent asks me what kind of game their should get their kids, the first thing I do is I teach them about the ESRB rating and let them decide what o do themselves. That's all I can do; I can't force someone to not buy their 10 year old the latest CoD game.

So yeah, people already have the tools to prevent violent games to reach their children's hands (That shouldn't even be an issue). They are just too lazy to use them. Heck, I'm proud to see parents appoach me and bombard me with questions regarding the rating system because it shows me they're making an effort to make a smart and responsible purchase (Though I might be the only GS employee ever to be glad to be asked questions). So to all those irresponsible parents, let me just say the following: Shut up.

Zachary Amaranth:

Andy Chalk:

There are those who believe that the fundamental freedom of expression is pretty important, and sometimes that means taking the good with the bad - or with the things you don't happen to personally agree with.

Yes, but this isn't about the fundamental freedom of expression--it is about the rights of commerce. The people who bring up free expression are being disingenuous and coming after people for not supporting such free expression is a borderline strawman on their end.

There is no right to sale of merchandise, even under the commerce clause.

I understand this is difficult for a lot of people--reading on this site, people frequently conflate the artistic elements of gaming with the business elements--but directing sales isn't a free speech issue.

Now, I'll take the good with the bad, and I don't really believe in either censorship or ratings laws, but I think making this a free speech issue is kind of ridiculous.

Finally someone who understands the difference! If I ever visit vermont again (visited during summer in 2011 and it was amazing, best state Ive been to), I'm shouting you a beer/spirit/softdrink/whatever.

J Tyran:
A related question, why the resistance towards legally enforced age rating for games in the US?

Its a combination of paranoia and a misunderstanding of what freedom of speech means.

Andy Chalk:

I must respectfully disagree. If there was any reasonable case for game sales to be regulated under commerce laws, at least one of the many individuals and states who have attempted to impose such laws would have taken a shot at it

By that logic, the fact that games were challenged under first amendment grounds should mean that there is some reasonable argument they're not art.

I go back again to the Whitewater scandal and the fact that they had a solid case against the Clintons but instead chose to make it about sex in the White House. You're relying on the faulty logic that humans will take the most reasonable course, something that can be demonstrated false pretty readily.

and not just with games, but with books, music, movies, literally every medium that has ever gone to market.

No surprise, these media also rubbed against free speech, even though that's logically a bad plan of attack. I would repeat, it's almost like people don't always make the right decisions.

Another tangential news example, but did you know that the man who shot and killed abortion provider George Tiller had attempted to sabotage the abortion clinic the week before she shot Tiller in Tiller's church?

Logically, this man should have been in jail by the time he commited that murder. Whether or not you agree with the law, there was a federal protection in place that should have kept him from killing George Tiller.

I think it's only reasonable, therefore, to assume that since there was a reasonable case to keep Roeder in jail, George Tiller must still be alive. Now, you can choose to ignore subsequent evidence of his death, or you can reside solely in the realm of what's logical.

What is logical and what we as humans do are not always in step and it is wholly unreasonable to assert that just because it hasn't been attempted means there's no good grounds for it. Hell, it took Republicans 40 years to come up with an idea to backdoor Roe v Wade legally.

As for whether or not games shouldn't be curtailed, this is a nonpoint but I don't think they should be regulated either. However, whether you or I think they should is meaningless in the case of whether they can, and under what protections. Brown v EMA was pretty specific on why it overturned the law as-is, so we might actually see a commerce argument come forth. If obscenity laws were a thing of the past when Rock music was around, we might have seen it then. But the fact is, we saw rock stations, stores and businesses shut down for being "obscene."

I don't know how old you are or what the scene was like in Canadia, but it wasn't that much before I was born that people were still fighting for the rights of books and music in the country where the First Amendment applies. Seriously. You still saw radio stations being shut down or sanctioned, book and music stores come under legal attack, etc in the mid-seventies, and maybe later. Nowadays, most censorship is corporate in the first place.

My best guess as to why we keep seeing people try and tackle the First Amendment is that it's easier to rally people on obscenity and moral outrage.

I cant reply to everyone individually, to many posts but as a general reply to the freedom of speech issue... The thing is the anti game lobby are not going to go away, even worse is the way the gun lobby are behind the anti game lobby to try and redirect attention away from them.

Politically the longer any industry defies regulation the worse it is when the hammer eventually drops, in the UK violent games where added under the same classification as movies and get 15 or 18 ratings if they are particular violent. Shops or individuals supplying anyone with age restricted material can be prosecuted, in practice its usually stores never parents or friends getting fined etc.

These laws completely pulled the teeth of the anti game lobby in the UK, sure they still carp on but the simple fact is that kids legally shouldn't have them and it leaves them no room for argument. Like it or not the game industry in the US will face regulation sooner or later, it might just gain momentum or you could get another Anders Breivik claim he used games for training and boom there will be whole raft of laws.

Accepting some regulation like legally binding age restrictions will deflect harsher censorship in the future, plus it would be good for games because it means a game with heavy violent or sexual content is less likely to be banned as it would be age restricted. Any witch hunts in the future would be based around "how did the kids get them" rather than "we shouldn't have these on sale at all".

The difference is, if I might be so bold, Tyran...

The USA isn't, as a whole, using 1984 as a GUIDE.
Unlike the UK where you can be tossed in jail for FINDING A GUN and REPORTING IT.

The UK is turning more and more into the police state they once fought against during WW2.

Parents know it and don't care, thats not a surprise to anybody who has worked in retail. Their nine-year old kicks and screams, and the parent gives in. The parents are trained, like in the Skinner's Box experiment, so that their reward for their action is that they won't have to put up with their kid for a little while. A lot of people react with: "Its right there, in their face, they acknowledge it, and they still want to shirk responsibility??" Yes, exactly, welcome to the United States of America.

On the bright side, it'd take a Supreme Court of the United States ruling to have government nose in and probably just make everything worse.

Zachary Amaranth:

RicoADF:

Having ratings enforceable by law is not restricting freedom of speech, how the US can be so backwards and allow kids to buy mortal combat I will never know.

I understand where you're coming from, but this is a nation that doesn't even want to restrict kids access to FIREARMS.

Where did you get that idea from? You have to be at least 18 to buy a gun anywhere except Vermont where it's 16, and 21 to buy a handgun

RicoADF:
Having ratings enforceable by law is not restricting freedom of speech, how the US can be so backwards and allow kids to buy mortal combat I will never know. Yes there are guidelines that the stores should follow, but there's no enforcement and thus they can sell to whoever they want. All media needs ratings to be enforced, remember its banning games that restrict freedom of speech, not enforcing ratings. People that argue the slippery slope are paranoid over nothing.

It doesn't matter much if said child can go get a parent to purchase it for them. A-lot of uneducated (on media/games) parents really don't care about buying their kid 'ShootyMcShooter 18: Double Guns". And at least they aren't able to access AO games as most retailers don't carry them.

Even if they put as stringent age verification on video games as cigarettes or liquor it doesn't matter if an ignorant parent or a parent who doesn't care goes and purchases it for them despite the clear rating and description on the box.

Unless you do a rating like NC-17 in the states where regardless of a parent authorizing said purchase, the retailer will not be allowed to sell it if they suspect it may be for someone under the age restriction.

Hell, I've been carded more often while purchasing games than buying movies or going to the theatre.

J Tyran:
A related question, why the resistance towards legally enforced age rating for games in the US?

There is that whole freedom of speech bollocks. Personally, I don't see a problem with forced ratings, since a majority of the world use it. Grand Teft Auto is R18 in New Zealand. "What's that, you're only four days to your eighteenth birthday? Lol, not good enough, bitch.". But then again, the US's rating system for everything is lax as shit. It's ridiculous.

E for everyone
T for Teen
M for Mature 17+ (Although many stores require you to show I.D. and won't allow you to buy unless you're 18)
A for Ault (Rarely seen EVER, and most A rated games aren't found in stores or public sales)

I started playing Contra with my mum at age 3 (although I was HORRIBLE at it), and other games like Mario at age 4. I've been a gamer my whole life, and the ESRB system has been burned into my memory harder then anything I learned in school. I can look at virtually any game and guess it's rating without even playing it. So when some idiot in a suit who has probably never picked up a damn controller in their life tries to tell us that the rating system doesn't work, or that games are too violent, they can SUCK IT!

Australian rating system

G - General . everyone. not restricted
PG - Parental guidance recommended for persons under the age of 15
M - Recommended for persons over the age of 15
MA - RESTRICTED to persons over the age of 15
R - RESTRICTED to persons over the age of 18
X - RESTRICTED to persons over the age of 18 and to licensed resellers (porn .. don't know of anything else in Oz under the X rating)

I see no problem with legally enforced age restrictions on games, movies, music, books etc.

It does NOT take away anyone's freedom of speech. Censorship and age restrictions are NOT the same thing. Not by a fucking long shot. And if people can't differentiate between the two.. then.. i don't know what to say.

People in the US seem to have no problem that pornography (i believe) is age restricted by law. What is the difference. I to be honest would rather my kids see some tits and a vagina or penis than someone sawing someones head off with a piece of piano wire, but maybe that's just me. Mind you, preference doesn't mean i WOULD let my kids see that.

If you have a problem with your kids viewing/interacting with porn and are happy that it is regulated then you SHOULD have a problem with them viewing/interacting violence and want that regulated too.. in my opinion of course.

lax4life:

J Tyran:
A related question, why the resistance towards legally enforced age rating for games in the US?

Because it's viewed as inhibiting freedom of speech as videogames are legally classified as "art" in the US. We had a big case over it with the Supreme Court and they ruled the law as unconstitutional.

Sure, but I have to stand with Tyran here... Honestly, I don't think it's the sort of freedom restraint that hurts anyone. In my opinion it should be legally enforced by the stores, allowing minors to purchase the game only accompanied by their parents (or anyone responsible). Why? Because many games get high ESRB for very stupid things, things that really won't harm the kid any more than seeing Bugs Bunny blow up a dog with a rifle. It's all in the parenting, it's all in the good sense and in feeling your child, each kid is unique, and while some won't sleep at night at the mere mention of the boogey man, others not care at all for that sort of thing.

Andy Chalk:
it could just as easily go the other way as parents who are more familiar with games and less suspicious of their deleterious effects decide for themselves what their kids can play without relying on ratings.

What, you mean parents might actually take responsibility for their own children instead of ignoring them completely and then complaining when someone else doesn't do their job for them? Seems unlikely really.

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