bit-gamer.net

The Ratings Game

Comments 1 to 23 of 23

Reply
DougEdey 22nd March 2007, 11:00 Quote
I think you're missing one of the strangest 18 ratings given to a game in the UK. NOLF is an 18 in the UK (BBFC) but in the US it's only rated as "Mature"
bilbothebaggins 22nd March 2007, 11:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
(...) if the governments implemented the system carefully with consumer privacy in mind, I think it could be a good one.

I rather doubt any of the mentioned governments (US, UK, EU, others) are able ...

There has been a lot of discussion in Germany on this topic in the recent past and most of the stuff I heard make me really dread what will happen if politicians try to solve this problem ...

well. there's hoping :)
f00dl3 22nd March 2007, 11:35 Quote
"...It wouldn't be all that hard to create a small, voluntary database for citizens to verify their age and have a unique password, even employ age or content restrictions for minors in their households."

Sounds familiar, like the Wiretapping thing.
r4tch3t 22nd March 2007, 12:05 Quote
I have all threeCarmageddon's, I got number two when I was about 8-9. Loved it, it was so much fun mushing those peds and smashing up the other cars.
Had to get my mum to buy it for me though.
inflatable 22nd March 2007, 12:10 Quote
So PEGI and ESRB are not enforced by law? Well, I think there's your problem, they should be imho.. If the movieindustry can do it, why can't the gamesindustry? I'm all for age resitrictions on certain games, but I'm very much against banning games all together, because as an adult I should be able to play any game I want.. We see these cries for bans on games because kids have access to them.. That's the problem that should get fixed.. And imho you do that by enforcing PEGI and ESRB age-limits in stores etc..

In the end, if it still goes wrong, blame the parents, not the game.. If the law says their kids should not have access to that game, it's their responsability..

I sometimes come accross very young kids on Xbox Live playing Gears of War, and I think to myself, 'ok, do your parent allow you to watch porn, smoke sigarrettes, and drink alcohol too?'.. Some parents just don't have a clue imho..
Lazlow 22nd March 2007, 14:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable
We see these cries for bans on games because kids have access to them.. That's the problem that should get fixed..

In the end, if it still goes wrong, blame the parents, not the game.. If the law says their kids should not have access to that game, it's their responsability..
Couldn't agree more. It's the parents who purchase the games for their kids, then come crying and blaming everyone (but themselves) that the game is violent and shouldn't exist.
DougEdey 22nd March 2007, 14:12 Quote
Everyone says this but then says that Thompson is evil and should be shot/killed/castrated but they don't realise that what he says is that unless an enforcable rating system comes in the games should be banned.
Veles 22nd March 2007, 16:33 Quote
Which is why he can go screw himself, freedom of speech and all that stuff, if I want to play a game, I want to play it, I don't want the BBFC telling me I can't watch/play something because they think it's too violent for the population. No-one is forcing people to play these games, if you don't like it, don't play it, if you don't think your kids should be playing it, don't let them buy it. I've heard all too often of parents buying kids games and then complaining about it because they didn't even bother to look at the back.

The best system would be a little section on the back of the box saying 'mild violence' etc. like the ERSB uses, but put no rating on it. Just say, this is whats in the game, you decided if it's suitable for your kids/yourself. If parents come and complain that their kids are playing a game they bought them, then they should get a slap.
Kipman725 22nd March 2007, 18:51 Quote
"
Digital distribution removes this barrier for not just one store chain, region, or even nation. If the governments arguing over ratings practices were to instead help invest in things like a working age verification model for digital distribution, legal enforcement could be handled by IP location and an age check. It wouldn't be all that hard to create a small, voluntary database for citizens to verify their age and have a unique password, even employ age or content restrictions for minors in their households.

The system could send an email to the person who actually approved the purchase, keeping kids from stealing a parent's password to buy games. However, if it's not tied in with the billing system, account information can be kept safely separate. This reduces hassle and security for both parents and teens, who may have a bank account and debit card to buy games with their own money.

A solution like this could be ideal, legally enforceable in any and all participating nations, and a boon for publishers and gamers alike. As we move toward digital distribution as an entertainment delivery system across many fronts, the rating and verification system could easily cross multiple aspects of entertainment to accommodate film ratings, age-restricted internet sites, or even "Explicit Lyrics" ratings for music."

I was going to flame you for this but then I decided that would be a little imature, so I will just ask you to fully consider this in a historical context and in the context of your own childhood. Also please consider that this involaves a huge govenment database accesible by private companies and all that entais. Also consider how easily this could be bypassed even if implimented (which would surley be the day that any form of free expresion died along with any last vestiges of personal privacy).

and most of all consider that you are imply that you are more mature than those you would opress "for there own protection" while hypocritaly asuming that you are imune to the effects of the same stimulas.

:)
Omnituens 22nd March 2007, 19:33 Quote
Where I work, I have to enforce PEGI. I'm not allowed to sell a PEGI rated product to anyone I believe is under the age stated on the game.

personally, I hate selling a game to an adult that is CLEARLY buying it for their kids who are too young for the title. I warn the adults about what the game contains, the just basically go "dont care, just put it though the till"

id say about 5% of the parents i warn actually listen to what i say, and ask for a suitable product.
Da Dego 22nd March 2007, 19:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipman725
I was going to flame you for this but then I decided that would be a little imature, so I will just ask you to fully consider this in a historical context and in the context of your own childhood. Also please consider that this involaves a huge govenment database accesible by private companies and all that entais. Also consider how easily this could be bypassed even if implimented (which would surley be the day that any form of free expresion died along with any last vestiges of personal privacy).

and most of all consider that you are imply that you are more mature than those you would opress "for there own protection" while hypocritaly asuming that you are imune to the effects of the same stimulas.

:)
I can't totally argue against this, i'm just offering the best solution I can think of. Ratings are here to stay, and there are just some games that probably aren't suitable for all minors. As always, that's the parent's responsibility to determine, which keying in a code could allow for. Do I think of my own youth at that time? Yes, and I think of my parents telling me I had to return Phantasmagoria because it was questionable for me at 14. I didn't like it then. But that's what being a parent is.

Not every parent is as careful as mine were. Sometimes it's out of the fact that they're lazy, but sometimes it's out of ignorance that the content can be that graphic in the first place. And though not every game deserves the ratings it is given, some level of parental consent isn't necessarily a bad thing to anyone except a teenager who just got told "no." :D

By implementing an active checking system, parents would be forced to choose to be lazy. They could give their kid the password and say "buy what you want." Or maybe their kid is responsible enough to trust with that. But the act of having to key that number in each time or at least receive an email that it was keyed in for you means a parent isn't able to just be avoided easily, wondering how their kid just bought Game X.

As far as my government ID system, it's absolutely no different than the guy checking your license at the cinema. I would want it to be implemented as such. :) I understand the privacy concerns, and I'd argue strongly for a system that takes them into account - THAT would be my recommendation ;) But the fact that it can be abused (as you're mentioning) is certainly good food for the discussion - where do we draw a line?
Kipman725 22nd March 2007, 20:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Dego
I can't totally argue against this, i'm just offering the best solution I can think of. Ratings are here to stay, and there are just some games that probably aren't suitable for all minors. As always, that's the parent's responsibility to determine, which keying in a code could allow for. Do I think of my own youth at that time? Yes, and I think of my parents telling me I had to return Phantasmagoria because it was questionable for me at 14. I didn't like it then. But that's what being a parent is.

Not every parent is as careful as mine were. Sometimes it's out of the fact that they're lazy, but sometimes it's out of ignorance that the content can be that graphic in the first place. And though not every game deserves the ratings it is given, some level of parental consent isn't necessarily a bad thing to anyone except a teenager who just got told "no." :D

By implementing an active checking system, parents would be forced to choose to be lazy. They could give their kid the password and say "buy what you want." Or maybe their kid is responsible enough to trust with that. But the act of having to key that number in each time or at least receive an email that it was keyed in for you means a parent isn't able to just be avoided easily, wondering how their kid just bought Game X.

As far as my government ID system, it's absolutely no different than the guy checking your license at the cinema. I would want it to be implemented as such. :) I understand the privacy concerns, and I'd argue strongly for a system that takes them into account - THAT would be my recommendation ;) But the fact that it can be abused (as you're mentioning) is certainly good food for the discussion - where do we draw a line?

As soon as someone is able to purchase there own games is the end of parental responsability in the matter. Individual responsibility starts as soon as you cna understand what your doing :)
DougEdey 22nd March 2007, 21:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipman725
Individual responsibility starts as soon as you cna understand what your doing :)

Who decides what age that is? In this country you can legally "make love" at the age of 16, but you can't look at nudity until you're 18?

In the US you can do a lot of stuff when you're 18, but can't drive?
Lazlow 22nd March 2007, 21:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
you can legally "make love" at the age of 16, but you can't look at nudity until you're 18?
That's one of the only laws I've never understood.
David_Fitzy 22nd March 2007, 23:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
personally, I hate selling a game to an adult that is CLEARLY buying it for their kids who are too young for the title. I warn the adults about what the game contains, the just basically go "dont care, just put it though the till"

id say about 5% of the parents i warn actually listen to what i say, and ask for a suitable product.
This to me sums up parenting nowadays, give the kids what they want to shut them up. Complain to friends about the retailer for telling them how to raise their kids (Regardless of actual wording), then are shocked about what they see in the game (only after the kid has had it for 6 months) or blame the game makers when their kid injures/gets injured by another kid

There's been a shift in parenting styles since my parents had me and other more recent parents.
Real Parenting: 25yo+ Plan Baby, teach right/wrong, teaching about the world and training for adulthood(relationships/money/children)
"Modern" Parenting: 16yo+/- Have sex, oh **** i'm pregnant, father dissapears, kid gets everything it wants because 16yo is too young to disipline/say no, kid grows up and also has child at 16 (and the cycle repeats)

No rating system sould need to be enforced if parents did their job it's that simple. Enforcing ratings with fines/penalties won't make parents start parenting.
I think we should blame Britney Spears (+ilk) she's made it fashionable to have kids for everyone and anyone regardless if they're ready or not.
Kipman725 23rd March 2007, 00:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Who decides what age that is? In this country you can legally "make love" at the age of 16, but you can't look at nudity until you're 18?

In the US you can do a lot of stuff when you're 18, but can't drive?

you do that's the beauty of having a mind of ones own, I genraly don't take any notice of laws or the government and am greatly amused by those that do. It's very easy to do what you want within sane limits as long as you don't appear to be doing it. Myself; I buy many items prohibited to me with relative ease because I want to :)

on occasion I have encountered people determined to make me conform to the behaviour of the general population and show some regard for there rules but I have always managed to get out of that :)

It's one of the reasons I'm a posed to surveillance, it means I can't have any fun without causing the people who are watching pain.

mod your life
Firehed 23rd March 2007, 02:50 Quote
Well... I was wondering why we didn't just require stores to enforce ratings and be done with it. Glad that was cleared up :)

That said, most stores do anyways. I saw some guy clearly in at least his mid-twenties get carded to buy an "M" game (17+).
Devrethman 23rd March 2007, 05:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Everyone says this but then says that Thompson is evil and should be shot/killed/castrated but they don't realise that what he says is that unless an enforcable rating system comes in the games should be banned.
That's still not a logical conclusion. He doesn't care if there's a rating system. GTASA had a rating of "M" (which isn't supposed to be sold to people under 18), yet he still wanted it banned.

Honestly, I don't think Game ratings should be legally enforced. If a parent can't raise their kids to use discression when buying stuff, then their kids will fail at life and they've failed at being a parent. The govenrnment is supposed to run the country, not babysit. However, I do think game ratings are a good thing, Honestly, I think the ESRB should just adopt the same ratings as the MPAA (people in the US who rate movies... I think). Everyone knows what the movie ratings are, so there'd be no confusion. Also, I like the little content descriptors on the back too.
Devrethman 23rd March 2007, 05:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firehed
That said, most stores do anyways. I saw some guy clearly in at least his mid-twenties get carded to buy an "M" game (17+).
I hate that. Stores have no clue what's going on. One time I walked into Best Buy to get a game, and my mom was sitting outside in the car (she didn't feel like putting makeup on). The guy wouldn't sell me the game until I went out and got her. We already have quite possibly one of the most effective ways of regulating stuff from little kids who shouldn't have it. It's called the driver's liscence. Little kids can't get places to get stuff they shouldn't without someone who can drive, and if they have someone who can drive them to a store, ratings are pretty much pointless, cause whoever drove would get the game anyway.

Aww crap, double post. Sorry. I'm used to a forum that automagically concatenates them together.
Sebbo 23rd March 2007, 11:03 Quote
kinda disappointed that Australia's OFLC wasn't mentioned...its both government operated and legally enforcable. it may only have a small number of classifications for the teen years, but is generally pretty good
G - General Audiences
PG - Parental Guidance
M - Mature
MA - Mature Audiences (Restricted to 15+)
R - Restricted 18+ (although games aren't classified under this yet, there's alot of us that want it introduced)

and like the ESRB it also has the content descriptors, with optional "Mild" and "Strong".
Classification is generally required before sale or distribution in Australia. Classification involves a fee (i think they all do), a description of the game and a copy of the game...so it seems like they actually play every game to determine its content... 1 Up on US and EU there. Appeals for reclassification is also available.

All in all it kinda seems like an ideal system. My only gripe is the (current) lack of R 18+ for games, but iirc most games that receive that high a rating elsewhere in the world generally get given an MA rating here...or they don't get rated at all or get toned down, in which case generally suck anyway

http://www.oflc.gov.au/ if anyone wants to do some further reading
DeSean 23rd March 2007, 12:19 Quote
Maybe one of the reasons parent are terrible at choosing age appropriate games is that graphics cards and games consoles weren't around in their youth... Even parents who we could describe as "good parents" in other ways will buy, for example, GTA for their child because they don't want it [the child] to be left out when all their friends have it.

Having said that, most well brought up children, excluding those will genuine mental health issues, are more than capable of separating games from reality. It's important that parents know what their kids are playing, make sure the content isn't too outrageous, and vitally, don't let them play too much! because then they become fat, stupid, short tempered and have a short attention span. lol

One last thing, the US system likely censors some violence, but it seems that America goes berserk when nudity and sex are involved. GTA Hot Coffee mod anyone? That imitation of fully clothed cartoonish sex is hardly going to inspire already randy teenagers.
dire_wolf 23rd March 2007, 16:39 Quote
I used to love blobby discs when I was growing up, anyone remember those? Let me play games like GTA, Twisted Metal, Duke Nukem, Quake etc without having to get my parents to buy them from a shop for me :D

Like others have said though, a child with a sound mind can easily seperate a game from RL, and if they play a game and go out and reinact a scene that could cause serious harm/death then they have something wrong up there anywho
jonwil 24th March 2007, 14:07 Quote
What I don't like is all the governments (such as state governments in the US) and others that want to implement their own ideas of what is and isn't acceptable and are trying to do end runs around the ESRB and PEGI and the like. If you don't think that the "E for everyone" rating given to People Hunter 2007 is appropriate, go to the ESRB and complain. If the ESRB in general is not doing its job, then the ESRB should be fixed, not overridden by state based decisions on what is and isn't ok.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums