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The Tale of Wal-Mart, Jack, and Bully 138

GamePolitics is reporting on something that seems like a simple decision: Wal-mart is no longer accepting pre-orders for unrated games. As a 'family-friendly' establishment, it makes a certain amount of sense. The catch is that, in the eyes of many, one of the U.S.'s largest retailers is bowing to pressure from Jack Thompson. The company denies these claims, with Kotaku running a short discussion with John Simley, Wal-mart spokesperson. From that article: "Simley says it has nothing to do with Bully, but rather is the outcome of discussions that the company has been in for 'weeks if not months' about how to handle rating pending titles. Bricks and mortars stores have never accepted pre-orders for RP titles, he added. 'I'd like to give credit to Jack Thompson, but there are a lot of Jack Thompsons out there and we are just listening to our customers,'"
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The Tale of Wal-Mart, Jack, and Bully

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  • I don't understand the problem here.
    • by digitrev ( 989335 ) <digitrev@hotmail.com> on Friday August 18, 2006 @01:46PM (#15936011) Homepage
      The problem is that it appears that Thompson managed to influence one of the larger companies in the States towards his agenda.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Enoxice ( 993945 )
        Walmart has always been on that side of the fence.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Soygen ( 911358 )
          I agree. I don't see this a big deal at all and probably has little to do with Jack(off). Wal-Mart is notorious for selling the clean/edited/lame version of everything. ;)
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            "Wal-Mart is notorious for selling the clean/edited/lame version of everything. ;)"

            It is? I purchased OZ dvds from there. If those are the clean/edited/lame versions... ugh.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ZephyrXero ( 750822 )
          The problem here is that Walmart is THE largest retailer, so if they don't carry something, there's almost half as much chance for it to be sold. Walmart generally doesn't carry anything rated over Teen, BUT it carries all the R rated, if not even Unrated DVDs for some reason..... So this makes publishers/investors less likely to put their money behind M rated games, and does affect the industry in the long run...

          However, last time I checked Bully was probably only gonna get a Teen rating, but with Rocks
          • The problem here is that Walmart is THE largest retailer, so if they don't carry something, there's almost half as much chance for it to be sold.

            I understand your concern but I do not think it is as serious as you think it is. If anything this will lead to more business for independent games stores (and chains that sell adult games, although they're generally in the minority anyway.) Sure, less copies of some games will be sold because kids won't be able to talk their parents into buying it - they won't

          • Who cares if Wal*Mart is the largest retailer. God, what is with men and size?! Look, I live in Texas where Wal*Marts are a plenty, but I rarely shop there. I shop at the local HEB (Texas only grocer). HEB has much higher quality fruits and veggies. Yes, I know I could get better prices at Wal*Mart, however, the quality is crap since Wal*Mart bids at the lowest bidder.

            You see, the great thing about this country is the freedom to choose where you go to buy food (or in this case - video games). Size means not
            • The problem with Wal-Mart being the largest is that they, all by themselves control sizable portion of the retail market.

              It's extremely common for companies to make special versions of products specifically tailored to Wal-Mart's specifications, probably the most visible example of this is sanitized versions of music CDs but it also occurs in other product segments.

              For many companies who can't or don't want to make a special version of a product just for Wal-Mart they may opt to just make all of their p

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by allenw ( 33234 )
              The problem is that there are many parts of the country where Wal*Mart is the only local retailer. The mom and pop shops were driven out a long time ago. You're not going to get a Target or whatever in a city with a population of ~9000.

              On the plus side, Internet shopping has really taken off in small-town America. So hopefully it will become increasingly irrelevant what Wal*Mart does.

              • by krell ( 896769 )
                "The mom and pop shops were driven out a long time ago"

                Who do you blame when the mom-and-pop shops are gone and there is no Wal-Mart anywhere near?
              • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
                I'm sorry, I keep hearing this, but really, how many places are there in which WalMart is absolutely the ONLY store? I've never seen a place like that. I mean, I'm sure they exist, but I'm equally sure they are few and far between, and insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

                The bottom like is WalMart is allowed to sell whatever it wants to (or not sell, in this case). You don't like it, shop somewhere else. I don't shop there, but the sad thing is that I really doubt that every single person who co
                • by Psmylie ( 169236 ) *
                  Maybe they aren't the only store, but they can sure reduce the number of local businesses a lot. I've seen it happen where my wife is from, which is a small town that has had many grocery stores and hardware stores close down since WalMart moved in. I've heard rumors (sorry, too lazy to find a source at the moment) about WalMart moving into a new area, usually a smallish town, and having prices so low that they're barely breaking even or even working at a loss. Local businesses can't compete, because they d
                  • "Maybe they aren't the only store, but they can sure reduce the number of local businesses a lot."

                    What? You mean people choose to shop at Wal*Mart and not the other stores, and that has some kind of economic effect? That's crazy talk!
                • by allenw ( 33234 )

                  I'm sorry, I keep hearing this, but really, how many places are there in which WalMart is absolutely the ONLY store? I've never seen a place like that. I mean, I'm sure they exist, but I'm equally sure they are few and far between, and insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

                  I've always heard that this was part of Sam Walton's plan: sell to the consumers who didn't have a major department store nearby. By saturating the market, you can undercut your competitors because you can buy in bulk and they c

                  • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
                    But your annecdotal story makes my point - I never said that WalMart didn't matter in the grand scheme of things, I'm talking about those heart wrenching stories about how all the mom and pop shops had to shut down because of WalMart, I'm talking about these supposed towns where there is absolutely no choice but to shop at WalMart... if they exist, THEY are inconsequential compared to the other 99.99% of stores in areas with a lot of competition.

                    And I honestly believe that if all these people who complain a
            • by chromatic ( 9471 )
              Who cares if Wal*Mart is the largest retailer.

              Publishers, without whom it's difficult to fund game production. If a publisher doesn't think your game will sell enough copies to make its investment worthwhile, it won't invest in your game.

              If your game won't make it onto Wal*Mart's shelves, cut your expected sales in half. Good luck with your publisher then.

              • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
                I find that hard to believe, but then I suppose people do pretty stupid things like buying a game they don't want simply because it's on sale at WalMart. I mean, that's like going to a movie theater and picking from the movies that are showing instead of picking a movie and going where it's playing. Who does that? I know there are people who do that, but they're a tiny minority...

                You want to see a particular movie, you go where it's playing.
                You want a game, you go where it's being sold.

                Now how about this
          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward
            First off, Walmart has not said they will stop stocking games based off of ratings (with the obvious exception of Adult Only games; all Walmart said is that they would stop allowing people to pre-order games where the rating is pending. I have to agree with their decision on this one.

            Ultimately Rating Pending is a bad rating for a company to deal with mainly because they don't know what rating it will get so how do you handle a 14 year old that wants to pre-order the game? If the game gets a Mature rating a
            • Your argument is lame. The parent should do more research into the game's rating (or lack thereof) and not rely on Walmart to do their parenting for them. Would you just assume that candy given at Halloween is safe?
          • Vote with your dollars. It is very simple. If you don't like a store, don't shop there.
            Anyhow, the parent makes a good point- Wal Mart affects other companies stock (as in inventory)- everything seems crappier. My fave example is paper towels. Wal mart demands cheap prices, so my favorite paper towel maker lessens the quality. Which I wouldn;t care about, if they had a cheaper line sold only at Wal Mart. The problem is, all their paper towels have gotten crappier/cheaper, even the ones sold elsewhere are t
      • The problem is that it appears that Thompson managed to influence one of the larger companies in the States towards his agenda.

        The problem is that Walmart had to pull product off its shelves.
        The problem is that pissing off the world's largest retailer was not good business for Take Two and Rockstar.

      • Well, that may be true, but the thing about Wal*Mart is they were already partly onboard with Jack's agenda. Two things I know about Wal*Mart:

        1. The underrated game Sacrifice from Shiny had to have a rated 'T' cut made for Wal*Mart, even though the game was 'M' everwhere else.

        2. The Comics Code Authority was on it's last legs. It was gasping its last breath and heading toward the dustbin of irrelevence... and the Wal*Mart decided to require it on comics that would be sold in its stores.

        Another thi

    • The deal is that, if you cede ground to an asshat, you are an asshat. "For evil to succeed, it is only necessary that..."
      • For example, Asshat has gun. Asshat points gun at cute child (tm). Asshat threatens cute child (tm) with gun unless you give him all your money. You comply. Therefore, YOU are an Asshat, too!

        Now, I know this hypothetical (but not unreasonable) example is far from the current situation (Walmart is not a cute child, nor cares about cute children, and no cute children had to be threatened for it to fold like a cheap envelope. Secretly, it wanted to fold like a cheap envelope and all it needed was a stron

    • Why not only allow pre-orders for unrated games to be sold to those 17+, since that is the highest rating walmart will sell anyway?
      • by Enoxice ( 993945 )
        Because it is unrated. What if the 17 year old is still under strict parental control for some reason? As an alternative answer: "Because it's Walmart."
        • walmart has no concern over whether a 17 year old's parents don't want them to play a game, but whether or not its legal to sell that game to a 17 year old. Honestly if a 17 year old lets his parents treat him like a 12 year old, then I don't think there's any hope for that kid in any case.
        • It won't be unrated forever. Once it's rated, even if it's rated M, Wal-Mart can sell it to a 17 year old. Not just legally (legally they can sell it to whoever they want) but by normal standards of appropriateness it's ok to sell a game rated for 17 and up to 17 year olds.
          • Actually, the whole rating system is by honour. In most place you can sell an M rated game to whoever you want.
      • by Total_Wimp ( 564548 ) on Friday August 18, 2006 @02:42PM (#15936400)
        That was my first thought too. Then I remembered that the ESRB had raised the rating of GTA: San Andreas to "Adults Only" after the Hot Chocolate mod was released.

        Yeah, I know, RockStar would rip out scenes of Bully right and left if necessary to get it down to a "Mature" rating. However, theorectially it could still get rated "Adults Only". Wal Mart doesn't want to be put in the position of having presold a game that it would like to turn around and not sell at all due to company policy. They don't want surprises like San Andreas.

        Now, as to why Slashdoters care, that's another issue. I can understand them not wanting speech infringed, etc, but I'm pretty much completely failing to see how this could either infringe free expresion or even provide a "slippery slope" to infringing free expression.

        I think this is actually kind of smart for Wal Mart. They're waiting to see the exactly what the product will be before they start to sell it. I'd want to know if a game called "Pleasant Dreams" was a title for 5 year-olds, a soft core pornography game or a game where you hack up bloody nightmare monsters before selling it too.

        TW
    • Walmart is neglecting to realize that a large percentage of the market is over 21 and they are usually the one buying the games; dad buys the game for junior because he wants to play TOO!

      This is a dumb move by Wal-Mart. If there is a consumer demand for something, why limit yourself? They are a company and as a company (especially retailers), they have to listen to consumer demand. Regardless of their ability to artificially create a consumer demand just by CARRYING a product, do they honestly think consume
  • by tacarat ( 696339 ) on Friday August 18, 2006 @01:46PM (#15936010) Journal
    ... now get the rest of the RP games out there off the preorder list. If you're going to do it for violent or racier games, then I expect to see every unrated, family safe Disney game get the same treatment before release.
    • Disney won't get held to the same treatment; they're a big corporation with lots of money.

      Just so you know... rules, such as they are, are meant to keep you little people in your place. The wealthy and the corporate elite are above the rules because if they weren't, they would lose money and then they would take their business to other, more cronyi^H^H^H^H^H^Hfriendly nations overseas.

      It's time we put an end to this "fairness" crap and put the needs of the herd aside for the needs of the alpha dogs in the p
      • by punkr0x ( 945364 )
        Oh and Take-Two interactive is a poor little independant publisher? I don't think so, this has nothing to do with influence. Wal-Mart is probably one of the only retailers out there who cares about the age limits on M rated games, and a game from Take-Two certainly has a higher chance of landing that rating than a game from Disney. Call it censorship, call it ridiculous, but don't call it favoritism.
        • Compared to Disney, they're poor and little. Your example doesn't disprove favoritism; Take Two is not a market mover like Disney is. Who outside the gaming community has even heard of Take Two?

          Lemme explain something to ya. Society is kept in check by providing them food and circuses; it's an old Roman Empire saying. Disney is one of the biggest circuses in town. Mess with Take Two and some gamers will grouse about it; mess with Disney and you've got a big problem. Disney could open up their own stores and
    • If you're going to do it for violent or racier games, then I expect to see every unrated, family safe Disney game get the same treatment before release.

      Disney has been in publishing and the toy business for eighty years without making politically-charged headlines in The Daily News and The Miami Herald.

      • by hal2814 ( 725639 )
        Ummm... They've been the target of a Baptist boycott and the ire of many minority groups whenever "Song of the South" is uttered. Disney doesn't make a habit of it but they have their politically-charged headlines from time to time. On that same note, I imagine if Wal-Mart were looking over a list of upcoming games and a yet-to-be-rated Disney game called "Song of the South" were on the list, Wal-Mart might also decline to take pre-orders on that one.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Phat_Tony ( 661117 )
      If the reason they're holding back on these games until they're rated is to avoid carrying games with mature ratings, then there's no point in them holding Disney games where it's 100% positive the game will get child-friendly rating like EC or E. If you don't want to carry any "A" games, then it makes sense not to accept pre-orders on any "RP" games that are known to be shooting for an "M" rating until they are actually rated. If the ESRB really plays hardball and requires dramatic changes to meet "M," the
      • But, err, if you read TFA, they're also pre-selling other violent, sure-to-be-M-rated games. Like Crackdown, which is being made by the team who made the first two GTAs.
        • Sure, so they should treat all unrated games expected to be near their borderline rating the same. If you'll notice, I was just replying to a parent saying "then I expect to see every unrated, family safe Disney game get the same treatment."
      • But Disney isn't going to "accidentally" include a sequence where you murder prostitutes and bathe in their blood in the next "Learning With Nemo" title

        No, you're right. They're going to "accidentally" include photographs of naked women in their animated movies:
        http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/rescuers.htm [snopes.com]

        So it's good to give Disney the benefit of the doubt and not Rockstar.
    • by SendBot ( 29932 )
      Speaking of Disney, in the movie second hand lions there is a scene where everyone grabs their guns to run out to the cornfield and meet the lion menace. Protrayed humorously are two children (like 6-7) handling a rifle at the same time with many unconcerned adults present. They are shown again later "hunting" in the grass again again handling the rifle simultaneously.

      I'm not really the offendable type, but I am concerned about gun safety - unloading my landlord's guns in the house and whatnot. I think such
  • I agree (Score:2, Insightful)

    I actually agree with this. I wouldn't necessarily allow a kid to preorder a game that might be rated M or above (unless it was named 'Elmo's Adventure' or the such). Similar to movies, I wouldn't want a young kid to get a R or higher rated movie just because when the preorder was out it was "unrated." At least they finally take the ESRB seriously for what they were created for.
    • by Bastian ( 66383 )
      Ditto. Hopefully more retailers will take steps like this. I think the games industry has already done plenty with setting up ESRB. Retailers follwing their initiative and being more responsible about who they sell games to is probably the best way to avoid more attempts at enacting draconian legislation.
    • by Gags ( 199956 )
      Maybe, but what about "Elmo's Adventure in hooker land."? Would you let a kid pre-order that?
    • by punkr0x ( 945364 )
      Well they would have to go pick up the game at some point, and then their little scam would be exposed.
  • Terror (Score:4, Funny)

    by spoonboy42 ( 146048 ) on Friday August 18, 2006 @01:50PM (#15936045)
    The most terrifying words ever uttered: "There are a lot of Jack Thompsons out there."
    • by tacarat ( 696339 )
      That's what happens in a world of "Jack Thompson's Grand Theft Hot Coffee Bully Clone" games.

      Ph43r!
    • Best game premise ever.

      No one knows how the army of Jack Thompson clones were formed. It is up to you to destroy them using whatever weapons you can get ahold of before they destroy the video game industry forever. Dodge lawsuits and incoherent rantings while fighting your way through an undending army of Jach Thomsons on your quest to take out the person or persons behind this evil plot! Fun for the entire family!

      Seriously though Wal Mart was already pretty much guaranteed to not have the game you were

    • "There are a lot of Jack Thompsons out there."

      How much ammo do we have left?

    • To the tune of... well, you figure it out:

      Will the real Jack Thompson please stand up? I repeat, will the real Jack Thompson please stand up? ...

      We're gonna have a problem here.

      You all look like you've never seen a censor before, jaws all on the floor, like that time John Romero burst through your door and started making you his bitch worse than before he made Quake, putting his Daikatana in you,

      it's the return of the, oh wait, no way, he didn't just say what I think he did, did he?

      And Dr. Suess said, nothi
    • Wal-mart is no longer accepting pre-orders for unrated games.

      If I can no longer pre-order unrated video-games at Wal-mart then the terrorists have already won!!!

      Or the snakes on a plane have already one?

      I think I'll be rooting for the snakes.
  • Not really... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by steveo777 ( 183629 ) on Friday August 18, 2006 @01:57PM (#15936100) Homepage Journal
    Wal-Mart has always had this stance. I doubt Jack has anything to do with it. I still remember back when Mortal Kombat came out and they didn't carry the Genesis version because there was blood in it. But they had the SNES version becuase it was colored gray (sweat).
  • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <[gro.daetsriek] [ta] [todhsals]> on Friday August 18, 2006 @02:00PM (#15936122) Homepage
    Why do people fall for the whole preorder scam? Giving a store your hard earned money months in advance for something you have yet to recieve is foolish - once you factor in interest you are paying *more* for the game than you would if you just waited until release day - and there are *never* shortages of games on release day.

    • I guess I forgot to pay interest that time I preordered Civ IV.

      If not for that preorder, I wouldn't have had the game on release day, and since I love the series I wanted it as soon as I could get my grubby hands on it. It's not always a scam, the only scam associated with preordering is the jerks at gamestores who try to pressure you into it because they have a quota to fill.
      • by brunes69 ( 86786 )
        You did pay interest. Any time you give money for something in advance while recieving nothing in return, you are indirectly paying interest because in 7 months the money you paid out will be less valueable than it is now due to inflaction. Basic economics.

        You can think of it another way, you could have placed that money in a high-interest savings account and earned 3% or more interest on it during the period you had the game on pre-order. Since you did not, that difference is how much the pre-order cost. (
        • See, your whole point is invalidated by you saying that I *could* have put it in an account somewhere and earned extra money. I didn't. Therefore you cannot say that I paid more money than I should have in the scam. I was going to spend $50 + tax. I spent exactly $50+tax, and I did not take it from my savings account to do so, I took it from my non-interest-earning checking account. Also, you can't just pull numbers like 7 months out of thin air, I preordered it two days before release. The time it would t
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by dctoastman ( 995251 )
          A game costs $50.
          Doesn't he gain money then?
          Because if he paid $10 a year ago, and if that $10 is worth $8 when the game is released, then he only needs to come up with the last $40, instead of $42.
          In a way, that $10 did earn him interest because it was protected from deflation by being held in a private trust.
          And if he prepaid for the game, then he really paid $40 adjusted for inflation.

          Hell, you convinced me, I'm preordering my PS4 now so I'll only be paying $200 after adjusting for inflation.
          • You've got it backwards. The $10 that he spent a year ago had MORE buying power than the $10 that he didn't spend today, assuming inflation. Inflation makes yesterday's dollars more valuable than today's dollars. An odd way of looking at it: suppose he invests in marbles. Any money that he doesn't spend on games, he spends on marbles. He could have bought n marbles with $10 a year ago, so in opportunity cost, he paid n marbles a year ago. So the total cost of the game is $40 + n marbles. Today, those
    • Seems to me it's mainly a hangover from the cartridge days when there were often shortages on game launch day. Doesn't make a lot of sense these days as I can usually walk into my local supermarket and pick up new launches with no hassle.
      • Seems to me it's mainly a hangover from the cartridge days when there were often shortages on game launch day.

        Yeah, I was at GameStop the day Godfather came out, which they were taking pre-orders for months for. I was able to get my copy without a pre-order, -and- they tried to upsell me to the special edition... If you've still got 'em in stock, you didn't need to take pre-orders. They tried to get me to pre-order Scarface last time I went in there just to browse around (everyone I know's been getting th
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This is why preorderers are typically compensated with a poster, or some other freebie (I got a free $10 link cable when I ordered Crystal Chronicles) worth the 90 day interest on your $10 deposit.
    • by lowe0 ( 136140 )
      "and there are *never* shortages of games on release day."

      Where on earth do you live? I've had to drive all over town to find games on release day, and I live in a city of 3/4 million people.
    • by milkman_matt ( 593465 ) on Friday August 18, 2006 @03:46PM (#15936787)
      Giving a store your hard earned money months in advance for something you have yet to recieve is foolish

      NOW you tell me... stupid DNF pre-order.. I've been waiting for years :(
  • I understand that this seems incredibly bogus, and I agree. However, you have to understand where Wal-mart does the bulk of its business, in my experience. This decision didn't come down to affect scientifically enlightened locations like Silicon Valley or New York City. These are areas where if the local church objects, there will be mass boycotts and negative media attention, because EVERYONE in town goes to that church. And, of course, the local church will object to anything that sounds like it's not a) conservative, b) WWJD, c) wont someone think of the children, etc.
    • Umm... since Walmart regularly carries "R" rated movies, and "M" rated games, etc that's probably not the reason.

      More likely the reason is that because the game hasn't been given an "official" rating yet, they feel they could be a civil case risk. If some 12 year old pre-orders the game now, but upon delivery it actually has a "M" rating; in our sue-happy society someone is going to go after the big-money Walmart. And it will cost them millions to just fight the case, or multiple tens of thousands to simply settle it. Theoretically they could possibly be even held legally liable by the government, it's not passed yet but look at Clinton & Liberman's "The Family Entertainment Protection Act", which would make it illegal to sell adult games to minors. (Clinton's made direct complaint's about Walmart's selling of games to minors, so they know they are the politician's crosshairs)

      This is simply a CYA move, why would any large company take preorders on a game in limbo like this assuming the significant amount of possible risk associated to it with not much to gain?
      • I agree that the lawsuit risk is big, but there's more to it. If you want to see what I'm talking about, take a look at this article:
        http://www.firingsquad.com/news/newsarticle.asp?se archid=10518 [firingsquad.com]
        Minnesota will FINE you if you're a minor and purchase a M/AO rated game. These are the type of people you see in the movie Footloose, just with a more modern cause.
        • by krell ( 896769 )
          "Minnesota will FINE you if you're a minor and purchase a M/AO rated game. These are the type of people you see in the movie Footloose, just with a more modern cause."

          Except they speak in slow, folksy and sonorous tones, and have a head like a rumpled bag of flour [speakers.com].
      • by taustin ( 171655 )
        It's rather more complicated than that in "the heartland," which is to say, rural America. First of all, most of the population of the US lives in urban and suburban areas, which are far, far less subject to that sort of nonsense.

        But rural America is Walmart's core market, and always has been. But . . . their normal tactics are to drive all local competition out of business as quickly as possible. So within a few years of a Walmart opening, no matter how much they hack you off, if you want to boycott them,
        • by shawb ( 16347 )
          From the rural America I know of, AO and M video games will just be sold at porn stores. Probably be some of the least expensive merchandise in the store. Granted, I don't know Bible Belt rural America to well, more grain belt.
      • by Evro ( 18923 )
        This seems like such a non-issue. You can...

        A) Wait for the game to be released and get it at Wal Mart.
        B) Preorder the game elsewhere.

        So what if they listened to the retard? This is a decision with a net impact of zero. Worst case scenario, you get the game a couple days later because you choose to get it at Wal Mart.
      • by kabocox ( 199019 )
        Theoretically they could possibly be even held legally liable by the government, it's not passed yet but look at Clinton & Liberman's "The Family Entertainment Protection Act", which would make it illegal to sell adult games to minors. (Clinton's made direct complaint's about Walmart's selling of games to minors, so they know they are the politician's crosshairs)

        Oh yeah, there it is again why I voted for Bush rather than Gore. The more that I listened to Lieberman, the more that I reliazed that he want
    • You ever actually been out here in the heartland? We rarely have a single church. More like 2-3 churchs for a medium sized village. (And usually at least 1 bar for every church, though that is supposedly just coincidence....)

      Plus, it is usually a politician that stirs up morale outcry, not a preacher (unless the politician IS a preacher...) The preachers are usually too busy actually, you know, PREACHING morality IN their church.

    • by MBCook ( 132727 )

      I understand that this seems incredibly bogus, and I agree. However, you have to understand where Wal-mart does the bulk of its business, in my experience. This decision didn't come down to affect scientifically enlightened locations like Silicon Valley or New York City. These are areas where if the local church objects, there will be mass boycotts and negative media attention, because EVERYONE in town goes to that church. And, of course, the local church will object to anything that sounds like it's not a

      • ZCMY

        ZCMI, the Zion Cooperative Mercantile Institution.
        Founded by Brigham Young in 1868, and generally regarded as the first american department store. The Mormon Church held 51% of the stock when the store was sold to the May chain in 1999.

        • by MBCook ( 132727 )

          Dang, so close. Thanks for the info. I haven't lived there in 14 years or so. I just got rid of a couch I bought there last year.

          I remember going there quite a bit while we lived there. They had a good toy department, as I remember.

    • You're correct as far as stating that Wal-Mart serves the Bible belt and doesn't want the perception that they sell the Devil's games (or the Devil's videos or whatever media). However, that's due more to the general culture in these areas than any direct church influence. Around here there's simply not as much demand for violent or explicit video games. No pastor is going to directly condemn Bully; he'd have only marginally more success than those who tried to condemn Harry Potter (some tried, but I can't
  • by dtfinch ( 661405 ) * on Friday August 18, 2006 @02:36PM (#15936365) Journal
    He might as well have said, "I'd like to give credit to that asshole, but there are a lot of assholes out there and we are just listening to our assh^H^H^H^H customers."
  • no effect (Score:1, Interesting)

    by dlc3007 ( 570880 )
    I really couldn't care less what Wal-Mart does or does not sell. I refuse to shop there for anything anyway.
    • I have to agree. Seriously, does anyone here in games.slashdot.org preorder games at Wal-Mart?
    • by krell ( 896769 )
      "I really couldn't care less what Wal-Mart does or does not sell. I refuse to shop there for anything anyway."

      I try to get as much stuff as I can there. Games are a big exception, however.
    • by jonwil ( 467024 )
      Wal-Mart matters to everyone, even those who dont shop there.
      No mainstream games company is going to produce a game unless Wal-Mart will sell it.
  • Walmart may sells pre-orders for games early on their website, but Walmart as a whole doesn't really have a pre-order system, that's why guys were camping out for 2 days in my local walmart last November for a 360.

    The fact is this news is a nothing but a news story that signifies a "win" for Thompson. It's a pretty sad thing too because it will hurt the industry if everyone did this.

    First how many games get their ratings in the last weeks of development? The game my company is releasing in weeks got it's
    • I don't really see anything in your post about how will it kill the industry. Sounds to me like it will just kill pre-ordering. People who want the game will still buy it, pre-order or not.
      • Many companies rely on pre-orders for expected sales number. In addition stores like Gamestop order and distribute games based almost soley on preorder numbers. A store that gets 5 pre-orders gets something like 7 total games, a store that gets 1 preorder will likely see 2 games.

        In addition if games don't get the word out fast (first week), many stores start cutting down on copies shown. If game X sells 1 million copies, and game Y sells 500,000 copies, game X will retain more shelf space longer.
  • Acronyms (Score:5, Informative)

    by posterlogo ( 943853 ) on Friday August 18, 2006 @03:37PM (#15936721)
    I wish there was a footnote when acronyms are used. This is an ongoing problem with Slashdot. What does "RP" stand for -- can someone please define it? I tried to trace the articles but that cleared up nothing.
    • by dlc3007 ( 570880 )
      Rating Pending, I believe. Just a guess and I could be wrong.
    • Re:Acronyms (Score:4, Informative)

      by illumin8 ( 148082 ) on Friday August 18, 2006 @05:44PM (#15937493) Journal
      I wish there was a footnote when acronyms are used. This is an ongoing problem with Slashdot. What does "RP" stand for -- can someone please define it? I tried to trace the articles but that cleared up nothing.
      RP stands for "Rating Pending", and is the term used by the software company to indicate that the game has not yet been rated by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Ratings Board). It's pretty much the equivelant of that big "This film has not yet been rated" message you get when you're watching a film trailer of a film that's still in production or far in the future.
  • ...and we are just listening to our customers

    He misspelled "lawyers".

  • That Wal-Mart's PR guy is nimed "Simley". I look at that and immediately think Smiley, and picture them interviewing that big flying smiley face. Gives me a chuckle.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by krell ( 896769 )
      "That Wal-Mart's PR guy is nimed "Simley". I look at that and immediately think Smiley, and picture them interviewing that big flying smiley face. Gives me a chuckle.

      Since he's in PR, I immediately thought of the other close anagram, "Slimey".

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