Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check Video Game Ratings

May 17, 2008 -

Apparently in response to recent complaints about violent and sexual video game content, Rob McKenna (R), Attorney General of Washington, has issued a press release reminding parents to check video game ratings for their children.

McKenna said:

A Washington state law requires retailers to inform consumers about video game ratings. Parents need to be aware that some of the most popular games contain content that is potentially harmful for youth and may be deemed offensive. A rating of ‘M’ for mature can include intense violence and sexual scenes.

Grand Theft Auto IV came in for a brief mention in the press release, which also noted objections to the game lodged by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).


Comments

Re: Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check

Yep... Up for re-election this year.  Can you tell?

Ugh.

Mr. McKenna may I remind you that your state in which I reside includes the likes of Microsoft, Nintendo, and Valve along with many, many other video game companies in this state.  Do us all a favor by shutting up and getting to real issues.  This statement is nothing more than your way to get some free press, put your name in front of the public, and try to appeal to the "save the children" type voter.

-Loudspeaker
"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

Re: Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check

Actually the ESRP rating can be considered "Nationally recognized" because most retailers have signs posted about the ratings and as far as I can tell every piece of game software has a rating on the package, most often on both the front and back lower right corner of the box, and again on the disk/cart. itself.

Either way, i'd rather hear someone saying "There is a rating system, please LOOK at what your buying your kids before you buy it." then idiots like Thompson spouting nothing but inane nonsense and vitrolic stupidity.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check

Ah, but law is all about semantics.  Both of us are technically right.  You're right in that it is "recognized" by most people in the US.  I'm right in that it isn't "recognized" (not officially) by the federal government.  So, if anyone decided to challenge this law (I don't see why, it's a perfectly sensible regulation), then they would probably win.

Re: Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check

Ahh there is the crux of the problem, Politicians these days don't want SENSIBLE, they want something that they can say "Look! I'm protecting you (whether or not you need or even want me to) from all those "Bad Things" out there that we don't want to understand so you don't have to consider or even THINK about what we are saying."

 

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Law is unenforceable

While I commend anyone that reminds parents to pay attention to the ESRB, and not force it upon them by law, I have a comment on the "Washington State Law" that the guy brought up.  It says:

Every video game retailer shall post signs providing information to consumers about the existence of a nationally recognized video game rating system, or notifying consumers that a rating system is available, to aid in the selection of a game if such a rating system is in existence."

The ESRB is privately run and funded.  It is not "nationally recognized" or supported in any way by federal law or oversight.  So, while I would like for every store to have the ratings posted, the State governement cannot enforce this in any way.

Re: Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check

Though a nice message about paying attention to raitings, The message got lost and destroyed when he went on about the potential harmful affects. Parents will probably pay attention tothat part instead of the first part.

Re: Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check

He's still using the "harmful to minors" schtickt.

 

-GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check

Need I remind you governer that some of the most popular games besides from GTA IV are also Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit, Brain Age and the new Banjo Kazooie game that is making some news in the gaming world is also a popular one. Also the fact that you, Washington Stage Attorney General, is just cashing in on the publicity and have not ever PLAYED a videogame before to even understand what are the most popular games. I hate how politicians get attention like this no matter how genuine their own comments are. you lost me when you said that line that most of the popular games out there contain content that is harmful to children

Re: Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check

We should all listen to this guy, because we all know kids will become killers after playing violent video games.  *eyeroll*

Re: Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check

Eh, he doesn't even say that..

Besides the "sex scenes" bullsh#¤, all he really did say was "oh there's a law, sure, but parents; DO SOME PARENTING!"

Re: Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check

Umm the sex scene part is right. They wont be as bad as what you find in a R movie, or an AO game, but there CAN be sex scenes in games.

Re: Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check

But sex isn't bad.  It's not evil.  It's natural.  So why are you all afraid over it.

BOOBIES ARE THE DEVIL!(JOKE)

Oh, you are just the most naive little boy in the world, aren't you? Everyone knows that female nipples emit a radio signal which makes men stupid and vulnerable to mind control from those Goddamn stinking communists. Seriously though, blood and guts are considered perfectly fine, but if a kid sees a booby, someone's gotta get lynched. F$#king awesome.

-GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check

Didn't I read this about three weeks ago? (Not the same politician of course.) It makes me curious why this kind of press release is brought up every time it's made.

 

---- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians.

Re: Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check

Completely understandable, and fair.  He's focusing on the parents, and the law only stipulates that the ESRB rating information be present somewhere in the store.  All in all, this is fairly tame by the standards we are use to seeing.  Frankly, I'd rather see more of this than...well, practically all the other knee-jerk nonsesne we have seen thus far.

Re: Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check

I think the sort of people who buy games for their kids without even stopping to think about ratings and suitably are not going to listen to or even hear about the advice of a politician.

Re: Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check

those people shouldn't have kids in the first place

 
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Poll

Should ‘sexism’ factor into a video game’s rating?:

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You're not permitted to post shouts.
MechaTama31What was wrong with Remember Me? I liked that one... >.>11/20/2014 - 8:50pm
AvalongodI tend to see the violence and sexism issues as different. Historically we know that the violence issue is overblown. But sexism is real. Better representations of women in games WILL happen.11/20/2014 - 7:35pm
Andrew EisenAnd unless I completely missed it, there's nothing in there about "how Pokemon in general is sexist but you gotta look deep for it."11/20/2014 - 5:10pm
Andrew EisenSeriously, you're upset, irked and fearful over an opinion piece that suggests the Pokemon demo would be better with more options and a better-written female character? SERIOUSLY?!11/20/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://gamasutra.com/blogs/PugetAlain/20141118/230420/Nearly_Ripped_off_to_death_by_a_publisher__Get_better_by_yourself_and_wait_for_justice_Maybe.php Topware screws over an indie studio because they can.11/20/2014 - 5:01pm
Andrew EisenAre you SURE you provided the right link?11/20/2014 - 4:59pm
prh99And yeah that sucks, especially when bonuses are tied to it, but that is more a problem with crappy publisher policies and scoring in general than any discussion on what may or may no be sexism in games.11/20/2014 - 4:59pm
prh99But no one is on their legislative high horse or on the litigation war path, for that matter. The biggest effect is that a reviewer might give it a lower score and drag down their meta critic ranking.11/20/2014 - 4:56pm
Wonderkarpyup11/20/2014 - 4:51pm
Andrew EisenOh for crying out loud. Wonderkarp, I apologize for how rude this question is but seriously, did you actually read that article?11/20/2014 - 4:47pm
Wonderkarpits a stigma. people in power hear this crap and start getting on their legislative high horse. but I feel like we've already paid too much attention too a demo.11/20/2014 - 4:46pm
Andrew EisenHarm gaming how?11/20/2014 - 4:35pm
Wonderkarpcause it gets parroted around and is used by people to harm gaming like Jack Thompsons did with Violence. http://www.themarysue.com/pokemon-oras-sexism/ here's the article.11/20/2014 - 4:28pm
Andrew EisenNo idea why such an opinion would upset or irk you so I'd be interested in reading it. Got a link?11/20/2014 - 4:13pm
Wonderkarplook deep for it....reaching much. those kinds of people are what urk me.11/20/2014 - 4:07pm
WonderkarpI got upset the other day when a known feminist blog wrote a large article on how the demo to Pokemon Omega Ruby was Sexist cause you couldnt play as a girl. It was a Demo....who cares? but they went off on how Pokemon in general is sexist but you gotta11/20/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenHere's the panel that Sarkeesian quote from earlier comes from. Amazing what the proper context does, isn't it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0qxtKz2vZw11/20/2014 - 3:32pm
NeenekoSomething to keep in mind, we tend to look at physics as 'hard', but math and physics are trivial compared to soc/psych (I have worked in both), but FEELS like it should be simplier.11/20/2014 - 3:17pm
NeenekoI think what tends to make discussing sexism in games difficult is scale, the issues tend to be systemic in nature, but bite sized examples are not... and the systemic part ties into a lot of dry academic stuff requiring domain knowledge not everyone has.11/20/2014 - 3:16pm
Wonderkarpand I jumped for joy when the Cogs went multigendered in GOW. but I also like male protagonists like Kratos or Nathan Drake or Link.11/20/2014 - 2:58pm
 

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