Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rated M for Mature


     This if for the uninformed parents out there that buy games for their kids, then blame them for acting out all kinds of foolishness. I read an article on NJ.com that said "Last Friday, Christie outlined a plan to ban retailers from selling the video game — or others like it rated "mature" or "adults only" — to minors without a parent’s permission." Christie is the Governor of NJ and the video game in the article was Call of Duty- Black Ops and it has the following logo on it:  
From ESRB.org

 
      I work with a former GameStop employee and he informed me that not only are they not allowed to sell "M" rated games to people under the age of 17, but if a parent comes in to to buy one they have to make sure they are aware of the content in the game they are purchasing.  I'll use one of his experiences as an example; a parent walked up to him with a copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas ready to pay. He told her, "I have to ask you if you're buying this game for yourself or someone else?"  She replied, "My son. Why?"
"Because, this game has adult content in it that might be unsuitable if he's under the age of 17 and I have to make sure you're aware of it." he replied.  She came back with, "I'm in a rush could you ring me up please."  He did, as his job required him to do and went about his day.  Later, she came back at the perfect time of just before closing ,furious.  "This game has prostitute solicitation in it, I want to return this and complain to the manager!"  He was the manager, but you see what happened there right?  She was warned, bought the game anyway and that logo is on the front of most games so she had a secondary warning there too.  Regardless, she bought the game and took it home and wound up seeing the content for herself.
 
     The point of the story is, no matter how much you want to say things influence younger kids, until they are old enough to know better you have an obligation to make sure they are absorbing the media the right way.  I played a lot of Mortal Kombat when I was kid but I didn't go around trying to rip out people's hearts and hold them up as trophies over my cybernetic eye.  Instead, it fueled my interest in martial arts along with other media and I think I am a pretty decent adult.  The ESRB exists so that people who don't know much about gaming are at least  aware of what they contain so that it can be monitored.  It works the same as the MPAA, which has been doing it for the film industry for years so that people know what they're buying tickets for.  Even the Governor pointed out,"This is just common sense and means that parents and legal guardians are actively engaged and aware of the kinds of games their kids are buying and renting," Christie said.   Please do the research before purchases and rentals are made and unwanted content finds its way into your home.