Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia School & Community Groups

June 12, 2008 -

The Fairfax County Times reports that Beer Pong, a soon-to-be-released Wii Ware title, is sparking protests by local advocacy groups.

The game's T (13+) rating has been called into question by Lisa Lombardozzi, chairman of the Greater Herndon Community Coalition. Lombardozzi, who has circulated a petition demanding a re-rating by the ESRB, told the Times:

The game encourages younger kids to emulate the patterns of college-age kids.

Gen. Arthur T. Dean, who heads the Washington, D.C.-based Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, was also critical of Beer Pong. Of the game, Dean said:

Beer pong is an activity that normalizes and encourages heavy binge drinking, shows blatant disregard for the dangers of alcohol poisoning, and can cost lives and result in injury.

 

Furthermore, promoting the video game Beer Pong in the Frat Party Games series under a Teen rating ignores the fact that many youth involved in fraternities on college campuses are not of legal drinking age and that youth as young as 13 can purchase the game under this rating.

The Northern Virginia Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving are also said to be looking into the sitiuation. Readers may recall that MADD came out strongly against the simulated drunk driving in Grand Theft Auto IV.

(GP: although, in my mind the performance hit Nico Bellic takes when drunk is a strong motivator NOT to drink & drive).

JV Games spokesman Vince Valenti responded to the criticism:

I think it's kind of funny. The game promotes the sport of beer pong. We are not advocating drinking any more than watching cartoons or watching the TV show 'Cheers,' or even going bowling or to a baseball game... if anything, you're going to be drinking less. Because you are too busy playing the game, trying to beat your opponent, to be constantly picking up a beer and drinking it.

 


Comments

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Gallagher can araç kiralama say all he wants, but I strongly rent a car believe it's due to his crappy leadership and E3 being a joke. ESA's Board of Directors need to find a way to get out rent a car of this horrid contract with this Bush cronie before there's no one left on the Board.

Btw, I think Atari and Midway will drop out too, but mostly travesti because  these guys have done nothing ttnet vitamin or little and need to start saving costs.

 

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

I'm part of the Beer of the month club and though I see people heavily drinking every weekend I still don't drink. I don't think a game can influence the kids to start drinking.

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

ok this is ridiculous. news flash to all the paranoid soccer moms, dumbshit politicians, and anti videogaming activists: ITS A FREAKING GAME!!!! there is no real alcoholic beverages involved unless the person decides on their own  to drink and sincw when does bouncing a ping pong ball into a damn cup encourage binge drinking? what the hell are the idiots in virginia thinking. this is the same damn issue as the violent videogaming issue. just because i kill someone on GTA4 or GOW does not mean im being brainwashed into thinking MURDER and DEATH is ok. I know the laws well enought to assume that killing = bad and wrong. Ask any gamer that may have murdered someone if they were influenced by videogaames to do it and they would laugh in your face. my conclusion, SHUT THE HELL UP AND PLAY WHATEVER GAME WE WANT WITHOUT ALL OF THE BULL S!

thank you. :)

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Heres an idea, if you dont like it, DONT FUCKING PLAY IT!!!!!

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Does the hot chicks in the video come with it? And they missed the cup so they need to show tits or gtfo

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Why do random morons try to be the parent for my children?!?    I don't need some jack off from some high-and-mighty organization trying to tell me how to raise, how to protect and/or how to set moral standards for my children, that is a job for my wife and I - not Christians, not special interests groups, and it never is the job of the government.

My daughter is oldest of three children who is growing up fast.   We just enroll her in college at 14.   She will be exposed to a lot of stuff much earlier than most kids.   But I have very little worries, why?, because we talk to her very openly about life.    Do I think this game would encourage her to drink?  No.   Actually, I more worried about the non-stop beer and liquor ads on television (remember, liquor ads on television used to be banned - but the right-wing controlled (and liquor industry lobbied) government lifted that restriction - where is the right-wing concern for the children in that decision?!?).  Anyone been to a NASCAR event lately - alcohol ads - how does that not promote drinking and driving?

Anyway, I am not worried.   I have told my daughter to never get in a car with someone who has been drinking - I will come and get her - no questions asked - anytime day or night.    I have also told her that if I catch her drunk while she is still a minor - she better pray the cops find her first - I think she got the point.

Stop this stupid nonsense about video games.   I have played them since 14 years old - the criticism is just hype - usually religious backed pious morons trying to tell me that I need to live in a bubble.    That's ridiculous and they really should just shut the F! up.  I think for myself,  make moral judgements based on common sense and really don't need your help at all in raising my children.

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

I don't get it, how are they promoting drinking?  It's just the name of game.

If it's just a name that’s upsetting them, then they should do something about the liqueur store across my street that has "BEER   WINE    SPIRITS" in huge neon lettering on the front of the building.

As well, I can't think of an episode of the Simpsons or Family Guy were the main characters aren’t always drunk and stumbling around and that’s primetime TV...

I love this country but I really think America needs to grow a skin.

 

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Watch the commerical...there isn't any drinking.  It's throwing a ball into a cup before the other person does....Are you telling me the violence in GTA or RE or any other game out there is ok and they don't protest that, but you better not let the kids throw a ball in a cup!! Are you serious with this?!?!  I'm curious to know if these people let thier kids watch The Simpsons or Family guy where they get loaded and it's a great laugh.  I think these people are bunch of hypocrites with too much time on thier hands!!!

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Its unbelievable how these idiots have a job looking out for kids yet the very problem they say they are fighting gets worse and worse every year.  They say they want to fix the world but sue parents, schools, teachers etc... that try to correct their kids.  NOW, They actually have a coalition against the Wii Fit balance board because it can tell a person if they are over weight.  Can you believe this???  As far as the rating of this game they really need to get with how the rating system works.  Its just like the movie industry...Just because it says "Beer" doesn't mean that it needs to be rated M, otherwise you may as well change the whole rating system of everything including puting baracades in 711's where beer is sold!  of course I wouldn't put that pass them

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Do these people actually have jobs?!  I love how the Tipper Gore's in the world have nothing better to do in thier spa filled days, than to bitch about how other people should be "babysitting" thier kids.  I don't see what the big deal is here.  There's not even any drinking in the game.  I agree with Mike.  Be a parent.  Don't let your child play it if it bothers you that much.  Most of the people complaining prob don't even know what games thier kids even play!!! 

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

I think it's up to the parents to say yeah or nah to what thier kids do or do not play.  Grand theft auto is more damaging to kids, thus the reason I do not allow mine to play it.  It's called parenting.  Give a try! Give it a rest already. 

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Oh my god... THIS is the game people have been up in arms about?!?!

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

This is a classic example of where parents should understand the games that they buy for their children and actually take responsibility instead of passing the buck.

 

On another note, the ESRB doesn't have black and white rules as to why a game gets a rating.  It is my understanding that they get a panel of people to decide what they feel a game should have.  Further, games can be submitted multiple times until a game gets the rating the publisher wants.  So if you want to rant and rave, go after the ESRB for more consistant rating systems.  However, this game isn't a poster child for change with the ESRB.

 

End of story, leave it with a T rating because of alcohalic reference and parents if you are that worried about this game don't buy it for your children. 

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Didn't World of Warcraft get a T rating yet you can actually GET drunk in it?

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

 Looks sooo stupid

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Boy, they sure do like to throw around the terms "normalize" "encourage" and "glorify". Seriously though, this is silly to me. If someone get's wasted and plays Super Mario, is that game considered a horrible influence on the wee sponge children? Whatever.

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large.

EDIT: Seriously though, how does this glorify drinking? There is a reference to drinking, but does that mean it glorifies it? If that's the case, does my sig glorify TITS and CANDY? C'MON! That's fuckin' rediculous!

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

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Tits & Candy are the 2 most glorious things on the planet already, they hardly need glorifying!

Every time I see one of these objections, I can't help but think of mrs lovejoy on the simpsons screeching "Won't someone PLEASE think of the children!"

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Don't these people have any real work to do?

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Sorry for the double post

Pong: Rated M?

I could see it now, Boom Blox: rated M for object throwing.        

When you think about it, if these folks had thought the same exact thing about pong, it could've been rated M. I mean, many overprotective groups could've read too into it and thought it was about two drunkards passing a beer bottle to each other.

Back on topic, I believe it depends on how much they're going to put beer in the game. If it's just in the title and a barely visible cooler, I see no problem. If they are going to place it everywhere they can and allow the player to make hand motions to simulate drinking, I see a big problem. I believe that if it had a lot of beer placement before, they should just tone it down for the ESRB.

One final note, if your going to make a Frat Party Games series, you're just asking for controversy. Hopefully, it won't convert kids into frat boys (most probably won't)

                                                    

Pong: Rated M?

I could see it now, Boom Blox: rated M for object throwing.        

When you think about it, if these folks had thought the same exact thing about pong, it could've been rated M. I mean, many overprotective groups could've read too into it and thought it was about two drunkards passing a beer bottle to each other.

Back on topic, I believe it depends on how much they're going to put beer in the game. If it's just in the title and a barely visible cooler, I see no problem. If they are going to place it everywhere they can and allow the player to make hand motions to simulate drinking, I see a big problem. I believe that if it had a lot of beer placement before, they should just tone it down for the ESRB.

One final note, if your going to make a Frat Party Games series, you're just asking for controversy. Hopefully, it won't convert kids into frat boys (most probably won't)

                                                    

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

How about we just say screw it and put this one on the parent's shoulders... No? Alright, we should definitely excuse the whole idea of a parental guardian... Stupid, shouldn't be an issue. I can't wait till games recieve the same equality as a form of media that movies and music do...


 

And I'll dominate any 13 year old at beer pong. Bring it.

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

"The game encourages younger kids to emulate the patterns of college-age kids."

Where exactly does the game do that? From the video all I saw were a bunch of adults playing a game where you throw a ping pong ball into plastic cups. Where is the beer in the game?(Aside from the name I mean) By emulating patterns of college-age kids, do you mean playing video games? And what the hell is a college-age kid? Last time I checked adults were the ones in college.

And as for MADD getting involved in this I am not surprised. You show a beer on TV, say it in a sentence on TV, show it anywhere near a car or in a video game and they explode with their usual idiocy that it is going to make kids drink beer and crash cars.

 

Beer pong is an activity that normalizes and encourages heavy binge drinking, shows blatant disregard for the dangers of alcohol poisoning, and can cost lives and result in injury.

 

Furthermore, promoting the video game Beer Pong in the Frat Party Games series under a Teen rating ignores the fact that many youth involved in fraternities on college campuses are not of legal drinking age and that youth as young as 13 can purchase the game under this rating.

Does the game in any instance show a character having to down beers? Does it show beer at all? Or does it just show those large party cups that beer is usualy held in? Kids who are already drinking will not be influenced by this game to drink more, kids who don't drink will not be influenced by the game to start drinking. This game is not going to make college kids drink beer, they already do that on a regular basis. It got a teen rating more than likely because it has the word Beer in the game title and may or may not have references in the game to beer. From the video alone I see no reason to rate it M.

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

You know, maybe the ones who raise the loudest protest, are the very ones, upset, that someone will say, they're ability to parent....SUCKS?  Watching that video, I could not see an instance of someone holding a cup filled with any kind of liquid (water, beer, hydrocloric acid, etc).  In every instance, the person shown is an adult, or looks to be of adult age.

As one poster replied, that if kids are getting beer, its not the company's fault.  Its someone who is of legal age and/or someone stealing without being 'of age'.  Either way, thats responsibility.

No, these groups are justing complaining to get noticed.  They are like little children, whom get in trouble, because no once takes notice of them when they are behaving.  Its pure ego, and zero ->REAL<- care of the issue.

PS: MADD should ask themselves if they see ANYONE driving before, during or after, in that video.  Otherwise, they'll have to rename to something like 'Mothers Against Alcholic Anything'.  In which case, I think each and every member of the group should be tested for alcholic content every meeting, and random drug testings.  Cause after all....Who Watchs the Watchmen? (er....Watch-women).

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

A rather tacky game, with limit appeal and replayability it looks like. More than anything its just a gimic with the Wii-mote (like 90% of all Wii games mind you). M rating? I'm not so sure, but it falls into the gray areas because it is Beer Pong, not soda pong, root beer pong or water pong.
 
BTW Dennis, I agree 150% with you about the drunk driving in GTAIV making you not want to do it. It's the only time in the game when the patrol cars actually chase me for speeding, red light running, cutting people off, ect. Not to mention it just makes me motion sick.

 

"The Good, the Bad, and the Videogame" Reviews on the best, worst, and controversial issues of Videogames. gryphonosiris.blogspot.com/

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Some of you (in my mind, anyway) are being absolutely absurd.  Watch the trailer.  The game involves bouncing ping pong balls into plastic cups.  Near as I can tell, the game is rated T for alcohol references: the title and a glass of beer icon on the HUD.  That's it.  There doesn't appear to be any drinking in the game and the game does not come with a coupon for a six pack.

Lighten up folks.  It's a video game.  If you're that uptight about your kids playing it then do your job and pay attention to what they're doing.

It's really that simple.  All the tools you need are at your disposal.  You just have to care enough to use them.

 

Andrew Eisen

Silly much?

Yeah, this seems silly to me. There is no actual drinking, no elaborate "EVERY TIME YOU SCORE A POINT, BOOZE SQUIRTS OUT OF THE WII-MOTE!" system, and also, just because the title says "Beer", does that mean kids are suddenly gonna be alchoholics? If that's so, parents shouldn't be allowed to drink either, because kids could see them drinking and emulate it!

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large.

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

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Maybe I dont see it, but people on here seem to be objecting mostly to the fact that it is called beer pong... Yet think if it was called root beer pong everything would ok. Are you serious? No one would be fooled, except maybe MADD, but past that you seem to think it would solve something. We make fun of idiot politicans for things like this, then we turn around and do the exact same thing? Changing the name does not change the inner content. "A rose of any other name would smell as sweet", either the game doesnt have any objectionable content and you object to the name itself (at which point you have no reason to rerate it) or you object to the content, at which point renaming it is NOT the solution.

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

And whats next? E rated driving games encourage kids under 16 to steal their parents cars and go for joyrides? Bullshit.

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Stealing a car is a felony therefore the game would be rated M for Mature.  (GTA anyone?)

-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: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

IIRC, some group has already tried that tactic.

 

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

I'm pretty sure they tried that after an 8 year old kid stole his teacher's car and safely drove it home.

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Meh, it depends on whether or not the game is meant to be played in a way where you drink while playing it, which obviously isnt the case, they cant give it an M rating because the actual content in the game is only alcohol references, you can drink in harvest moon, big deal, there is nothing stopping these kids from playing with soda pop if they so choose, it all comes back around to the parents.

 

Besides, teenagers dont need ENCOURAGEMENT to drink, if they are going to aquire and drink underage, they will do it, this wont have much of an effect.

 

By the way, what ARE the supposed to rate it? Even rating it AO is still not enough, because thats only 18+! there isnt any 21+ rating, its ridiculous.

 

 

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

New "T" rated games!

"Ciggy Flick" - can you flip the cigarette from thumb to mouth on the first try?

"LSD Tripper" - make warped and wacky images and share them with your friends!

"Coke Slalom" - try not to hit the Ajax in the tight turns!

They might be neat games, but c'mon folks... obviously not for kids. Is an "M" rating really such an afront to your gaming freedom?

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Those aren't exactly acurate comparisons considering the fact that this game does not contain any actual depictions of alchohol consumption. It's called BEER Pong. That's pretty much the only blatant reference to alchohol other than an icon in the game that looks like a beer cup.

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large.

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

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Agreed.  Just give the thing a god darned M rating and let this be over with.

 

Its alteast better than giving GTA 4 a AO rating because people might go drink and drive.  Drinking no be for teens so it getting a teen rating is sort of a puzzlement.  xD

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

If you argue this game needs an M rating then you ARE arguing that GTA 4 needs an AO rating.  As has already been stated, M is still 17+ when the typical, legal drinking age is 21.

-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: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

How is blaming this game any different than trying to lay the rap of teen violence and school shootings on GTA?  And before one jumps on me about, "Well GTA IV is rated M for mature."  Yes it is, but on the subject of the Beer Pong game someone of legal drinking age still has to aquire the alcohol for them if they are going to play the game with alcohol.

If you're saying this game needs and M rating or it will cause underage drinking then you're putting yourself in the "Games made my kids do it" camp.  Parents need to take responsibility for their parenting.  Can teens over the age of 13 get their hands on this game?  Yes?  Is that a crime or a problem no?  Can a 13 year old get their hands on alcohol?  Will the drink it if they do?  If you answer yes to both of those questions then you have an issue far beyond the scope of this game.

Last I checked underage drinking was a problem BEFORE the invention of Beer Pong for the Wii.

-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: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

I didn't see anyone saying this game will cause underage drinking. I didn't see anyone blaming this game for anything at all, at least not yet. I far as I could tell, this story is not even about concerns that people will drink actual beer while playing it. So far, this story is simply about a group of people who say that a video game based directly on a drinking game should receive an "M" age-appropriateness rating from the ESRB.

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Actually yes, it is an afront to gaming freedom, and its not the point, alcohol has a higher age limit than any other, its ridiculous to say the age limit of the game needs to be the same as that of the activity involved in it, and like I said below (sorry, triple post) even with an M rating they could still say it encourages underage drinking, the problem with your examples is they are all illegal, there is no age limit for them, so they rate them based on basic maturity levels of those playing, I was exposed to people drinking around me since I can remember, what they are trying to do is different.

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

"Ciggy Flicking" isn't illegal. And so what if LSD and coke are illegal. It's not like the game dispenses either substance, which seems to be the defining factor on which many here are hanging their hats.

And I didn't say that the legal age limit needs to match the rating (though in Europe, the 18+ M rating would match the drinking age). The ratings tiers are, theoretically, tied to maturity levels, and capability to understand actions and consequences.

I don't need to be in any "games make kids do things" "camp" to think that drinking games encourage drinking. It's pretty disingenous to argue otherwise.

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Hmm, now that I think about it, what I'm getting form these people is...

Teens drinking beer for real = perfectly ok

A video game that features beer but no actualy drinking of it = problem.

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Beer are stupid to think this will encourage drinking. Kids will drink if they want a drink! They dont need a damn game helping them. Besides, they should go after the people selling freaking beer to minors since they go after people that sale games to minors. Maybe that is too politically correct and doesn't work in the favor of these extreme groups. 

 

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Unless the game causes beer to shoot out of my Wiimote and get me drunk, I'm going to be gravely disappointed by all of this hype.

However, if that does happen, the game will have won my total support.

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

"I think it's kind of funny. The game promotes the sport of beer pong. We are not advocating drinking....."

Okay, in context or out of context.. that sounds a bit stupid considering beer pong isn't as fantastical a thing as your average game setting.

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

And if Nintendo folds to these fucking nimrods, I'll be surprised and pissed.

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

MORAL PANIC
Clap, Clap, Clap-Clap-Clap

MORAL PANIC
Clap, Clap, Clap-Clap-Clap

Seriously, they need to clam down. Teens are not likely to start drinking alcohol because of what they played on their Wiis, they're likely to drink alcohol if they're at a party. I've seen more beer ads on TV than junk food commercials in my short time on earth and I turned out fine. So relax, ITS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Unless the game comes with a bonus pack of beer I don't see a problem with this game's rating.

Where would the alcohol be coming from if they're under the drinking age?  Not from Nintendo.  Most likely from Mom & Dad, friends, older siblings.

Let's get real here people.  If you're not playing Beer Pong with a Wiimote then you're playing it the old fashioned way with red cups and a table.

-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: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

"Unless the game comes with a bonus pack of beer . . ."

I won't buy it it unless it did!

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

Re: Beer Pong Wii Ware Game Prompts Protests From Virginia

Since underage drinking is a teen thing, it's going to happen regardless of a game influencing them or not. Kids are stupid, and will do stupid things unless you keep your eye on them and parent them.

I don't agree with the rating, but as one poster said: How do you enforce it on the Wii Store?

Or what if a friend gifts it to them? There doesn't really seem to be a way to enforce the rating and making a fuss out of it that it should be rated "M" to prevent kids from getting it will likely have an adverse effect and make kids want it more because they think M equates a fun game that their parents don't want them playing.

I say make kids drink beer when they are little, it'll taste bad and they'll avoid it like a plague. Then when they get older, introduce them to manly drinks and mixes instead of crappy beer. I say do it at your own risk though, I just find it a funny way of something that could work.

 
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