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ESRB Ratings Promoted by Georgia Attorney General 44

Posted by Zonk
from the not-the-craziest-thing dept.
fiorenza writes "At least one state is forgoing the process of cooking up gaming legislation only to have it thrown out in the courts. Georgia is working with the ESRB to educate parents in the state about game ratings, with the state's Attorney General leading up the charge. The obvious question is, why wasn't this tried first, before the mad rush to pass laws that never stand judicial review on account of first amendment issues? The article suggests that similar cooperative announcements from other states may soon follow."
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ESRB Ratings Promoted by Georgia Attorney General

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  • by tacarat (696339) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @01:43PM (#15928051) Journal
    You know, try to find out what their kids are playing. I think parents that buy games for thier kids and complain about all of the ESRB labeled "mature" issues in said games, such as sex and violence, should just be brought up on child neglect charges. Not the stores. Not the game companies. It's about the same as buying a 12 year old hardcore pornography and then trying to sue the publisher.

    I think the sad part of American culture right now is that I'm probably not the only one to think that's not so implausible.
  • by Total_Wimp (564548) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @01:52PM (#15928156)
    I was in an EBgames shop and two teenage boys were trying to buy a game. The clerk refused to sell it to them because they looked under age and had no ID with them (or didn't want to produce it). They argued. They begged. They left without the game. They cussed loudly on their way out.

    The clerk, backed up by at least one other clerk on duty and a little shaken by the situation, said she was just trying to do her job, and that was the policy of the store. I applaude the store and I applaude the clerk.

    Knowing that stores will not routinely sell mature games to minors helps me feel that I have backup. Knowing theatres won't routinely let underage kids into see R rated movies helps me feel I have backup. It's easy for me to override these hurdles. I just buy the game or I take her to the movie. But it's my choice.

    I know that many times they get ratings wrong. It's an imperfect system. But it gives me someplace to start, a default position if you will. If I see the game is labled as mature, I can then investigate furhter to see if I'd really find it objectionable. My daughter is 17 so this is no longer really an issue for us, but I would have been somewhat miffed if she had been sold Grand Theft Auto when she was 14. On the other hand, I routinely let her play Unreal Tournament at an even younger age because by my personal standards, its less of an issue. That's my choice as a father, the choice to allow my daughter to use media of a mature nature, or to just say no. The ratings help me do that, and I'm glad they're helping others as well.
  • Re:Oh come on (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RESPAWN (153636) <caldwell@@@tulanealumni...net> on Thursday August 17, 2006 @02:07PM (#15928314) Homepage Journal
    It's not so much a matter of education what the ratings mean as it is educating the masses as to their existance. What we really need is an awareness campaign. Too many parents are probably not even aware that there are ratings on video games (despite the ratings clearly plastered on the boxes). I applaud the state of Georgia for this matter. If I were registered to vote here instead of my home state (I currently reside in Georgia), the attorney general would definitely get my vote.

    Here's hoping that more campaigns such as these start to spring up in more states. Maybe once enough people are aware of the ratings system, they can stop with these needless, and trivial lawsuits against the gaming companies.

    I'm curious: did the movie industry have these same problems getting their ratings system "adopted" by the public?
  • by tacarat (696339) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @02:16PM (#15928390) Journal
    I was shooting for an example of dumb parenting, not so much hardcore porn's morality. How about sueing a company that makes cleaning chemicals after buying their product and feeding it to the kid who gets sick and dies? The blame would go to the parent for whatever happens afterwards, not to company (which had warning labels) or the store (which sold it to an adult). My point focused on the parents that buy and complain about what their kids are exposed to, not the parents that are only buying the game.
  • by Chosen Reject (842143) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @02:20PM (#15928426)
    You missed the important part. He said "parents that buy games for thier kids and complain about all of the ESRB labeled "mature" issues in said games...should just be brought up on child neglect charges." (emphasis mine).

    If someone wants to buy their kid a game or a movie or a book, that is their own prerogative. But if you buy the kid a game, then complain about it [msn.com] then you are just dumb. And in that situation, you obviously did not want your kid playing such a game, yet you bought it anyway, even though it was clearly labelled, you weren't just negligent, you were a willful accomplice. The GP was being too kind. You should be charged as willfully contributing to the deliquency of a minor, using your own standards.

    Now if you buy an M-rated game for your kid and never complain, then those charges aren't brought against you. But by complaining even though you bought the game, then you have shown you are a bad parent.
  • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @02:43PM (#15928668) Homepage
    I'm actually impressed... Not only that a state is trying the more appropriate method before resorting to passing more laws but even more so that it's Georgia of all states that is leading by example. Nothing against Georgia but it's not one of the states I would have guessed to be the first for something like this.
  • Because (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dachannien (617929) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @03:41PM (#15929199)
    The obvious question is, why wasn't this tried first, before the mad rush to pass laws that never stand judicial review on account of first amendment issues?

    Because rational thought doesn't earn votes.

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