Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

March 30, 2010 -

A Spanaway, Washington mother got a surprise when purchasing what she thought was an “E” (Everyone)-rated game for her nine year old daughter.

The game Kara Petrich bought at a Tacoma Big Lots store was labeled as an entry in Ubisoft’s Petz videogame series, in which players care for a virtual pet. Unfortunately, reports Komo News, the game inside was the “T” (Teen)-rated game Sprung, a title billed as a “flirty” dating simulator. The game cartridge itself was also mislabeled, adding to the mom’s confusion.

When Petrich’s daughter started playing the game, she was presented with dialogue like “Make sure you bring your life jackets, condoms,” and “You wanna rock my mountains, don't you?”

Petrich said she was angry about the mixup, saying, “Most important, I want parents to know that you can't just hand kids a game and then send them off.”

This is a common manufacturing mix-up, though one perhaps more common in the music industry (imagine buying a Metallica disc that contained Prince tunes instead), but it’s understandable why the mom is upset.

Thanks Andrew!


Comments

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

 What gets me is that this is an instance of a woman who was responsible enough to make damn sure what she was buying before getting it, but the manufacturers just put the wrong game in the box. I mean, that's a problem no matter who's buying it. When I buy God of War 3, I want God of War 3, not Karaoke Revolution: Jonas Brothers Edition.

Beh. I'm actually with the angry mother on this one; that's obviously NOT what the box AND the label on the cartridge said it was.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

I don't see how anyone wouldn't be with the mom on this one.  I know I'd be pissed if I bought a game for my nine-year old daughter, only to find out that it was a T-rated game with sexually suggestive content.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

Sprung? That really early DS title?

 

Oh god, the launch era game drought of the DS was horrible.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

The most offensive thing is how bad that game actually is.

Secondly mix ups do happen my cousins recieved copies of Urban Strike and Jungle Strike for the Genesis, everything was labeled right and pack right but the programs themselves were mixed up.

Third this might be the reason this batch of games ended up at Big Lots.

And lastly Ubisoft is to blame here and should not only give the family the money back but also give the family a copy of every single Petz game for the DS.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

"...but [Ubisoft should] also give the family a copy of every single Petz game for the DS."

And such should continue so long as Ubisoft continues to make Petz games.  New Petz game?  This girl gets it a week before street date, straight from Ubisoft HQ.  Playtested, to make sure it's actually a Petz game.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

Lets just be thankful that it was a Western Style Dating Sim game from Ubisoft and NOT a Japanese adults game...or else we would have seen some major shit hit the fan if this mother was more of a moral panic instead of a sensible person that she is now.

For me who takes the time to play the games before allowing my younger cousins to play them...I would strongly suggest that parents do their own research and PLAY the game themselves when they have time to do so, or at least watch while their kids are playing if they did not understand how to play it.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

And the moral of this topic is, "get your eyes examined before purchasing a game."

What we got here is failure to communicate!

What we got here is failure to communicate!

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

Maybe you need to get your eyes examined, because the game box and cart sticker both said Petz on them.  The story plainly explains that.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

“Most important, I want parents to know that you can't just hand kids a game and then send them off.”

FINALLY SOMEONE THAT GETS IT!

 

"Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson'll justify it in the end." - nightwng2000

"Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson'll justify it in the end." - nightwng2000

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

On the one hand, they paid for one game and got another, so they should at least get a refund. On the other hand, it's just suggestive dialogue rendered over cartoon suggestive graphics. Your child isn't suddenly broken for having read it. Get over it!

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

No, but as a parent, I want to do what I can to restrict my child's access to such material.  This mom seems on the level, parent wise, buying a game (or at least thinking she is) targeted and appropriate for her child.  Instead, she ended up with a T-rated game, and I haven't seen any T-rated games I would say would be truly appropriate for a 9-year old.  Again, it's a case-by-case basis, but I, too, wouldn't want my 9-year old playing a game with sexually suggestive materials if I could help it.

And, in theory, I can, by buying games based on their content.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

“Most important, I want parents to know that you can't just hand kids a game and then send them off.”

Most important, I want parents to know that the magic box that shows the pretty pictures in the living room is not meant to replace them.

===============

Chris Kimberley

===============

Chris Kimberley

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

Finally, someone whose anger related to video games is justified.  Also, she gets much respect for learning a lesson on top of it all.

 

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

Lets hope Ubisoft gets this problem sorted out. I wonder how many more mixed-up games like this are on the selfs.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

I remember something similar happening to me.

My brother and I were looking for a SNES RPG and decided on "Eye of the Beholder" We brought it home and fired it up and the game was really "Breath of Fire 2" We loved it and I am now a huge "Breath of Fire" fan. Several years later I got the chance to play "Eye of the Beholder" and I can tell you honestly, we got a much better game in the mix up.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

I hope you kept hold of it as I reckon the SNES cart would be worth a fair few dollars these days :)  Sadly misprints don't add value like they would with stamps ;)

 

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

I wish I was that lucky when I got Eye of the Beholder...


Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

Wow, how does that even happen?

Guessing an employee didn't actually bother looking inside the box of a trade-in.  I'd expect that at a thrift store (I remember being excited once to find a rare Genesis game at a thrift store in a college town, only to open it up and discover a completely different game in the box -- fortunately this was BEFORE I took it up to the counter), but Big Lots is a big box store and should pay closer attention.

On the other hand, making minimum-wage employees follow all the rules will always be an uphill battle.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

Again, it was a manufacturing mixup.  The box said Petz, the cartridge hat a Petz sticker on it, but the game itself wasn't.  During manufacturing, somehow the cartridge ended up on the wrong sticker line.

Thus, the Metallica cd reference.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

You're right; I should have read the post more carefully.

Which brings us back to "How does this even happen?"  I can't think of another example like this in all the years I've been a gamer.

I've a hunch it has something to do with a low-budget publisher cranking out shovelware -- they're out to make a quick buck, and quality control is not their primary concern.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

I've a hunch it has something to do with a low-budget publisher cranking out shovelware

That's exactly how I describe Ubisoft as well.

As for how that happens, They use the same manufacturing and packaging plant. Some carts get left on the assembly line after being coded with one game and get mixed in the coded carts for a different game.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

(Facepalm)  Going to finish my coffee before I say anything else.  This thread is proving very embarrassing for me.

(And yeah, I understand how it happens PHYSICALLY.  What I meant was, how does quality control allow such mistakes to occur?)

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

What they should do is label the cartridges first and THEN put the data in them. That should lower the chance of a mix-up happening, hopefully.

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

Even with great QC, things can happen.  Look at what Toyota is going through.  I believe every current model they offer, going back three to five years is on recall, most for accelerator switches and one - the Prius - for horrible brakes.  Before such, Toyota had one of the best QC reputations in the world of automotive manufacturing.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

(And yeah, I understand how it happens PHYSICALLY.  What I meant was, how does quality control allow such mistakes to occur?)

Quality control usually happens before the manufacturing process when it comes to digital media like this. They press a few sample copies, make sure everything works as expected and then flip the big switch at the manufacturing plant.

Some plants may do random sampling of carts after processing, but it is not enough to catch all bad prints.

Plus most carts go straight from encoding to labeling to packaging with no control in between steps.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

This is why you should buy games from competent retailers. I've never heard of Big Lots.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

Big Lots is a large chain of discount stores in the Mid West. http://www.biglots.com/

I shop there on occasion for discounts on packs of CD-Rs and DVD-Rs. There are also times when they have good deals on games and movies. I bout Guitar Hero 3 with guitar for $15 at Christmas and had previously found a copy of Baldur's Gate for $5 a few years back.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

This post seems awfully close to an advertisement to me...

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

Word of mouth is still advertising. So yes, you may consider this an advertisment.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

heh, well, he is being truthful about the store. I got a good set of PC speakers there for under 20.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

So have I!


Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

The retailer had nothing to do with it.  It was a manufacturing mixup.  This could just as easily came from Gamestop or Amazon.com.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

“Most important, I want parents to know that you can't just hand kids a game and then send them off.”
 

Probably one of the most intelligent things I have heard from a parent regarding games...

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

Exactly. This woman should be praised and awarded for learning such a common sense lesson that everyone should learn.

Unfortuantely, we live in a world where such lessons are ignored for the more lucrative path of litigation. Imagine this happening to someone else and them suing the game company.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

I doubt this is the last we'll hear about it.  If one game was mislabeled, it's likely that others were too.  I think that under the circumstances, a recall would be justified.

Litigation would be an overreaction, but the publisher definitely needs to investigate what went wrong and make sure it doesn't happen again.  I think she was right to go to the press with this.  While parents should certainly watch what their kids are playing, they should reasonably be able to expect the game they have purchased is the same one its label says it is.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

I'm sure that the publisher is going to launch an investigation, but to assume it won't happen again is very naive.  Manufacturing mistakes of this caliber happen in every type of manufacturing, and are very present in all forms of media, dating back to phonograph records.  This type of mistake has happened with 8-tracks, audio tapes, cd's, disc-based games, VHS tapes, Betamax tapes and DVD's and Blu-Rays.  It isn't going to go away as long as people are responsible for manufacturing.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Mislabeling Puts Dating Sim in Hands of 9-Year Old

Or, you know, it could just be a single incident? Just like hairs that end up in peanut butter?

 
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