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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MattsworknameAndrew: target asutraila, GTA 5. You were saying?07/28/2015 - 5:27pm
Andrew EisenNatir - Everything. I've been here since the beginning but we're not talking about ethics in games journalism right now. Did you really want to switch subjects?07/28/2015 - 5:25pm
Andrew EisenYes, how a game works, how characters are portrayed, how the controls operate, tone, themes, writing, etc. are all up to the devs. But that doesn't mean any of that is off limits to criticism by the people who consume it.07/28/2015 - 5:25pm
NatirAndrew, what do you exactly know about the GamerGate issue and the history behind it?07/28/2015 - 5:23pm
Andrew EisenYou're being absurd. No one is bullying or threatening developers and publishers.07/28/2015 - 5:23pm
MattsworknameAs far as im concerned, if feminist are allowed to bully and threaten retailers, developers, and publishers, then so should men, blacks asisans and jews. but thats NOT how it works, And thats why aniita and company are bullshit07/28/2015 - 5:22pm
NatirThe point is that there are tons of games that have women in lead roles. How someone is portrayed (woman or man), is up to the developers and writers of the story.07/28/2015 - 5:21pm
Andrew EisenDon't type angry. Your spelling is getting worse and you dropped an f-bomb which is why I deleted one of your comments.07/28/2015 - 5:21pm
MattsworknameMen do not get to decide how they are portrayed in games all the time, not do people of specific races. So why should women suddenly have the right to tell the industry how to portray them.07/28/2015 - 5:21pm
Andrew EisenI get to argue anything I damn well please, thank you very much. And again, no one's arguing that women don't exist in games. They're critiquing how they're generally portrayed.07/28/2015 - 5:20pm
Mattsworknameroles07/28/2015 - 5:20pm
MattsworknameYou dont get to argue that andrew, men or women do NOT get a say in how a game portary them, That is at the whim of the developer. YOu may not like how it's done, but the list hows, clearly, that women get a large amount of representation in the industry07/28/2015 - 5:19pm
Andrew EisenAlso, those few hundred games aren't from 2014. They're from the past couple decades. I spotted one from as early as 1990 and a bunch that aren't out yet.07/28/2015 - 5:19pm
Andrew EisenBecause the argument is not just how many games have women in them but how they are portrayed in those games.07/28/2015 - 5:16pm
Mattsworknamerepresented in games then Aniita and company like to claim?07/28/2015 - 5:15pm
MattsworknameAndrew: Even if you low ball the number of games on that list, or were to discount those that don't have exclusively female protaganists, that list is 36 pages long, 10 per page, thats HUNDREDS of games. how does that not show that woman are far better07/28/2015 - 5:14pm
Andrew EisenI never said you said sexism or harassment doesn't exist and didn't mean to imply it either. No, I'm not cherry picking. Obviously.07/28/2015 - 5:11pm
Andrew EisenNo, gaming companies are not on their knees. That's silly. They're free to listen or not listen as they see fit.07/28/2015 - 5:09pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, you are not labeled a misogynist for simply disagreeing with people like Sarkeesian or Quinn. That is completely untrue.07/28/2015 - 5:08pm
Andrew EisenSorry for the all caps but we don't have the ability to bold in the the Shout box.07/28/2015 - 5:08pm
 

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