Mississippi Attorney General Urges Parents to Check ESRB Ratings

December 6, 2007 -
Unlike some of his colleagues around the United States, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (D) hasn't opted for the Full Monty ESRB partnership (which includes a televised public service announcement).

However Hood has officially urged parents in the Magnolia State to pay attention to video game ratings. As reported by the Hattiesburg American, the A.G. said:
As a parent, I appreciate that caregivers want to purchase their children these exciting games. I understand that it’s easy just to grab whatever’s on the shelf, but I encourage all parents to check a game’s rating to make sure that what they’re giving as a gift is okay to play.

Comments

Nice intelligent reminder. No "Dem vidya games is da satanic cult!". Just simply "Hey! There are some tools you should be reminded of that can help you make appropriate decisions for your own child! Cool, huh?"

Works for me.

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

It seems, regardless of buddying with the ESRB or not, that this particular politician is sending out the right message, rather than demonizing the games market and gaming in general, he is making sure that parents are properly informed. This has to be the primary task. Educate people on the ratings system. Maybe make the ratings simpler, and try and make some of these less than bright parents understand that just because its a game, doesn't mean its for children.

Quick! Photoshop that picture!

@Neebs

Oh...the possiblities...

Good reminder though, of something parents should be doing anyways...

All this debate in America about ESRB kinda makes me wonder that if America was more like UK in how it rates games then you wouldn't have a problem. In the UK it is illegal for a shop to sell an 18 certificate to people under the said age. Not illegal to play it... just to buy it.
I know you have prats like JT campaigning for this, which doesn't help.
But it seems to me that America would save a lot of hassle if they just outlawed the sale of M rated games to minors etc. Is it the same for buying R rated films on DVD in America or can any child buy some hardcore porn?

A lawyer who doesn't use hyperboles, scare tactics, or ambulance-chasing to describe the ESRB...?

I need to lie down, this is not right...

@ gweedo: America has this hassle because the constitution prohibits the government from regulating in this area. And that's the ways I likes it.

about time someone got the right idea.

@neebs
oh yes. the possibilities unfold!

seems to me like Americas constitution causes more trouble that its worth, does this mean a 10 year old boy can waltz into a store and buy Saw on DVD and some porn too ? cause thats just plain wrong if you ask me. But hey if a 300 year old piece of paper says you can, so be it!

Yes Gweedo, thats the way it goes down over in the colonies... But thats their laws, and who are we to question it?
The idea of a constitution or bill of rights is fantastic, and something every country should have. The issue comes from how they are written and whether its content is appropriate some 320 years after it was originally authored.

Same piece of paper lets every adult own a gun, and then you get incidents like Omaha yesterday. Has that been blamed on video games yet?

Finally somebody gets what we've all been saying for years.

@ Qweedo

Kid tries to buy Saw III - Legal and protected by the first amendment
Kid tries to buy Manhunt 2 - Legal and protected by the first amendment
Kid tries to buy Horny House Wife X - Illegal Was ruled constitutional to prevent the sale of pornographic material to children.

There are no laws preventing children from buying movies or games as long as they are not classified as pornographic.

A sensiable politican!!! *gasps* I have to be dreaming!

If, after a certain age, I decide that my child can handle playing more "adult"-themed games, then I shouldn't be chastised or made to feel like so by our elected officials who seem to think that violent games are causing more problems than they actually are.

However, at least this guy isn't grandstanding. He's actually making a coherent suggestion, instead of endlessly babbling about how violent games are bad for our children.

well that leaves me a little confused, how come the law can be changed to stop the sale of porn to kids but not other adult themed films/games. Because porn isnt art ?
Still seems to me that America is shooting itself in the foot for the sake of not updating a very old document.
And as for a bill of rights that all countries should have, yes i agree, us britons have the Magna Carta which was made in the 1200s but i do believe it was updated as time went by

@gweedo

It comes down to the concept of We the People. While the government can't, legally, prevent most pornography from being made because of the constituion, we can draft laws to prevent the sale of it to minors. This is largely because we, as a society, agree that kind of sexual material isn't healthy for them.

but you don't as a society, agree that the sale of 'ultra' violent film/games isn't healthy for children? Therefore surely laws could be drafted to prohibit the sales of these to minors? then surely debate on this matter would close.

Gweedo,
Funny thing about the US's inconsistancy is it's lack of being able to tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

Most notably are the age limiting laws throughout the country, on every level of government.

Comparing the laws regarding what can and can't be bought (movies (including porn), magazines (including porn), chemical products (alcohol, tobacco, etc), etc) and what an individual can DO legally and at what age is most interesting.

For example, here is a list of Age of Consents from around the world, including the US. Compare that to what one is allowed to buy as far as porn goes and then compare that too to the constantly proposed age limiting laws regarding video games, where the age limit is determined by the ESRB or other rating system.

Seriously, where is the logic and intelligence in the legal system?

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Gweedo,
It shouldn't be an issue of whether SOCIETY decides what is or is not appropriate for children.

It should totally be left up to the individual Parent to decide what is or is not appropriate for their own children.

There are a great many things I don't find appropriate for my own child. But as much as I dislike them, that doesn't mean that someone else doesn't have the Right to expose their own child to it.

Note how the BBFC decided not to rate certain games, therefore denying the sale of those products to ANYONE. The ESRB AO rating is the same, and it isn't government enforced. So, not only are the products unavailable to children, but they are unavailable to adults.

HOWEVER, in the case of the US, it isn't the GOVERNMENT that says "you can't sell it, no matter what", it's the retailers who decide whether to carry AO rated games. Not only are consumer Rights violated by the BBFC's bannings, but so are Retailer Rights. And those consumers are both individuals AND Parents.

Also note, I started off a couple of years ago thinking that such laws sounded reasonable, simply because all I heard were the laws themselves. When I started hearing the arguments BEHIND the laws, that's when I realized True Agendas had nothing whatsoever to do with "protecting the children" and more along the lines of creating dictatorships, small or large, based on personal, religious, and/or political beliefs that were to be FORCED on other individuals and Parents.

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

For example, here is a list of Age of Consents from around the world, including the US.

Where? (>_>)

He gets it. HE ACTUALLY FARKING GETS IT!

I'm astounded - an intelligent politician???

That photo was either clearly staged, or the this guy is a huge fan of Phoenix Wright

Oh doppy me. That's embarrassing. :)

http://www.avert.org/aofconsent.htm

For the age of consent link I mentioned above.

Thanks x(wai)x. :)

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

MP,
Nah, he was probably just pointing at a board display or something. :)

Somehow, I just can't imagine REAL courtroom battles being so dramatic as on TV. :)

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

It always brings a tear to my eye when it comes out there is actually a politcian who actually encouages the PARENTS to make the right decision.

Gweedo i'd just like to add that there isn't a single thing on the Magna Carta that is now applicable in UK law. It has all been superceded by other laws. We need a modern Magna Carta in the UK now. To stop the erosion of our civil liberties that people seem all too willing to give up.

@ Nightwing and Gweedo:
I think gweedo has it right on in that he's just showing we have a bit of hypocracy with what we feel the government is obligated to regulate. His point is that feel that certain material should be regulated at the point of sale with consequences to age appropriate audiences. We do as well, but only with pornographic (and also the FCC on national broadcast) material. He finds it odd (and it is) that we stop there and don't logically extend that thought into ultra-violence.

Night, you say "It shouldn’t be an issue of whether SOCIETY decides what is or is not appropriate for children", but we do with porno... so which is it? Should it or should it not be an issue? I think this is gweedo's point.

To truly answer gweedo's question... the Constitution is a wonderful thing, but people's interpretation and application of the document after all these years takes away from it's intended purpose often. Overall though, it's fantastic.

Besides, America hates to think that any other country in the world gets anything better than we do... AMIRITE?

@ Nightwing:
"Somehow, I just can’t imagine REAL courtroom battles being so dramatic as on TV."

I was reading the testimony of the guys over the Facebook trial... if that's any indication of what a majority of cases are like, then I'd go there to catch up on my sleep.

http://www.02138mag.com/magazine/article/1724.html
http://www.02138mag.com/magazine/article/1764.html

Salute,

Captain Obvious. Third Commander of the Obscenely Ignorant Fleet.

Thomas,
"Night, you say “It shouldn’t be an issue of whether SOCIETY decides what is or is not appropriate for children”, but we do with porno… so which is it? Should it or should it not be an issue? I think this is gweedo’s point."

To be honest, I wasn't old enough to make the same argument back when laws were being considered to "protect the children" from any material deemed as "pornographic" or even laws regarding "community standards" or all the laws and policies arguming "moral majority" or "family values".

But, yes, I WOULD have made the same argument about violating the Rights, not only of individuals, but of Parents that I just used about video games.

Just as I would if someone argued that exposing children to bigotry and hate in the teaching of religion is harmful to them and that they need to be protected from such teachings. It is truly the Right of the individual, and even Parent, to decide what is or is not appropriate for themselves or their own children.

One might yank out a XXX movie and argue "Is this appropriate for children?". But I would come back with "No matter WHAT you pull out, that decision isn't mine to make in regards to children who are not mine. It should be the decision of the specific child's Parent as to what is or is not appropriate to expose their child to. It may not be the same things that you or I would choose for our own children, but that doesn't make the Parent a 'bad' Parent."

Note also that there is a difference between exposing a child to various media and allowing/forcing them to PARTICIPATE IN that media. Allowing them to watch an XXX movie isn't the same as making/allowing them to be in child porn. And showing them an educational video about sexual positions isn't the same as letting them have sexual relations. Actual participation has it's own sets of arguments (Age of Consent issues, Rights of a child, differences in laws regarding child incest versus adult incest, etc). Actual real participation (as opposed to fictional participation such as in video games) is entering an arena outside the Freedom of Speech issue. So when I argue here about the Rights of Individuals and Parents to make their own decisions for themselves and their own children, I'm arguing about issues that don't require a child's direct participation in the real world.

That sounds a little confusing, but I hope that comes close to explaining my views on what I see as different situations. I used the Age of Consent to compare the laws regarding "age limiting laws". I just find it odd, for example, if a teacher has sexual relations with a 15 year old boy in SC and she can't be charged with a sexual crime or labeled a sexual predator (though if you look up various news stories, you even see inconsistancy regarding various cases there in SC) but there are folks who would say that same 15 year old boy shouldn't be able to buy Halo 3 until he's 17 or 18, can't join the military and die for his country til he's 18, and can't get drunk legally til he's 21. As it applies to "age limiting", it seems... stupid.

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Putting up the right message ,and striking a Phoenix Wright pose to boot. Nice.

check the ESRB rateings....DUH morons

as a parent its sorta your job

dont for get the sounds of mentally retarted people while reading my last comment

I feel I can speak with some authority about this. I lived in Mississippi for a number of years. Whatever this guy is selling; don't buy into it. They should turn the state into our Australia.

Hustler can be regulated because, its not art.
Manhunt 2 is an interactive literary work, so it can't be regulated due to the 1st amendment.

My caption, which is obvious. OBJECTION!!!

well its a start.

To quote ATHF:

*ding* *ding* ACCEPTABLE!

lol, just another liberal trying to make it look like he's doing something. I'm pretty sure parents have been urged enough to check ESRB ratings.

See Jack, Lee, and Liberman(don't care if I mispelled his name) it isn't that hard to say what those letters are. You don't have to call for a dooms day for the ESRB.

[...] Note: To be fair, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Utah, Iowa, Rhode Island, Idaho, and South Carolina,  have all shown some support for the current ESRB standard and “urge parents to be responsible and check game ratings”. It’s good to know there are some sane states left. [...]
 
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