ESRB Success in Chart Form

September 16, 2010 -

If you know anyone that thinks that it is easier to get videogames than any other form of media and you don't want to take the time to rattle off a bunch of numbers, then I recommend you look at this simple chart at Ars Technica. This chart shows the percentage of youngsters that have been successful in buying Mature-rated games at retail from 2000 - 2009. That stat line in the chart is contrasted by other stat lines for R-rated movies, music, and DVDs.

What is the shocking conclusion? That video games are harder for children to get than DVDs and music with parental advisory labels. They also have an easier time getting into an R-rated movie, than buying and M-rated game. So where did this data come from? The Federal Trade Commission.

The government - like the State of California - think they can do a better job than what the game industry already does using the ESRB as a guideline, but how can they possibly do better than what the chart shows - according to the FTC?

The truth is that they can't. Show this chart to your mom, your neighbor. Or better yet, email it to your elected officials.

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Comments

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

I think any parents concerned about their kids getting their hands on violent video games need to do a google image search for "free porn".  Personally, I'm more concerned about how easy it is to access that material for free with no age check than a $60-$70 game where the kid is likely to get turned down at retail even if they have the money.

In general I'm less concerned about anything MS, Sony or Nintendo allow on their console than I am about what's right out in the open on the internet.

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Chris Kimberley

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Chris Kimberley

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

This should be a case for the X-Files.  The Truth is out there. 

But sadly will simply be downplayed or flat out ignored as being inconvient. 

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

So its easier to get into a R-rated movie then it is to get an M-rated gamer huh? Interesting info from the FCC.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

Unfortunately the chart's not that simple. How do we account for the shift from 15% to 80% in the past ten years, when the ratings system itself (which came into effect in 1994, so had already had six years of people getting used to it by the beginning of the graph) hasn't changed? One could just as easily argue that the reason retailers are paying more attention to the ratings system now is because of the hysteria from enraged parents and political lobbyists that's surrounded the issue, putting them under pressure.

I don't think we can really conclude from this that the ratings system is working. I really would love to conclude that, but I just can't.

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

You are right. There was a time when the Games Industry needed the pressure to clean up its act, but that pressure does not need to be rule of law. It needs to come from parents and gamers.

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

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

 Actually i would like to add that the rule of law doesn't always increase pressure and may actually ease it. If i recall, the similar studies in the UK where their are laws on regulation showed that game retailers here in the US are doing a better job. Once you make laws, people think it's over and done with and that gov't is taking care of it and thus stop paying as much attention themselves. 

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

If they REALLY wanted to solve the problem, the media could reach 90% of parents with a fairly short media blitz. The biggest problem is a number of parents still don't understand that games=/=for kids. There are kids games, then there are teen games, then there are adult games. Think of them like Candyland, Spin the Bottle, and Hide the Balogna respectively. Or the Hokey Pokey, the Electric Slide, and the Lambada.
Now, I'd like to bring up a ancedote that shows that the problem is not limited to games. I had a grandmother recently complain to me about a movie she rented to show her kids. It starred Jim Carry, and apparently he was dressed on the cover in a tutu. It was rated PG-13 and the kids were between 6 and 8. She didn't look at the rating of the movie, she looked at the cover, and figured it would be OK for kids. When it turned out it wasn't, do you think she accepted the responsibility for failing to check the rating? No, she blamed the movie company for putting a misleading picture on the front. Lack of accountability is a major problem for Americans (it's cool, I'm an American so I can say that). So when they buy an adult game and give it to their eight year old to buy, it must be the game industries fault! And so there "otter be a law!" Here is the irony... this law STILL would not stop hen from stupidly buying the game for their kid.

The only way to fight this is to educate the parents. And for that to work, the parents have to want to learn. Let's face it, a lot won't.

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

No the work of parents would increase these numbers. I'm not sure but i think the FTC's numbers are based on studies they conducted to test the enforcement of ratings in retail; the work of parents is completely irrelevant. This is not about how many kids actually DO get their games this way, just how likely they are if they wanted to. As the study in the other article trys to tell us, less than 10% of kids buy M-rated games on their own, and less than 15% do not have permission to do so.

 
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Andrew EisenThat doesn't mean there has to be a movie though. Having said that, I've no doubt that we will eventually get a Black Panther movie. But Stan Lee will probably learn about it around the same time you and I do.09/02/2014 - 2:34pm
MaskedPixelanteWell they have to get to him eventually. Captain America's shield didn't grow on a tree, the minerals to make it had to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is Wakanda.09/02/2014 - 2:31pm
E. Zachary KnightYes, but it has never been confirmed as in development, or even pre-production.09/02/2014 - 2:21pm
MaskedPixelanteBlack Panther's been on the short list for a while.09/02/2014 - 2:18pm
E. Zachary KnightIt is possible that Stan Lee mispoke. I don't think he knows everything Marvel movies. But it is a sweet idea if true.09/02/2014 - 2:04pm
Andrew EisenSo says Stan Lee who almost certainly wouldn't know.09/02/2014 - 2:04pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.cinemablend.com/new/Marvel-Black-Panther-Movie-Confirmed-By-Stan-Lee-66993.html Black Panther is apparently getting a movie. And maybe one for Black Widow, even though I think it's too late for her.09/02/2014 - 1:53pm
Cheater87Look what FINALLY came to Australia uncut! http://www.gamespot.com/articles/left-4-dead-2-gets-reclassified-in-australia/1100-6422038/09/02/2014 - 6:49am
Andrew EisenHence the "Uh, yeah. Obviously."09/02/2014 - 12:53am
SleakerI think Nintendo has proven over the last 2 years that it doesn't.09/02/2014 - 12:31am
Andrew EisenSleaker - Uh, yeah. Obviously.09/01/2014 - 8:20pm
Sleaker@AE - exclusives do not a console business make.09/01/2014 - 8:03pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that, despite the presence of a snopes article and multiple articles countering it, people are still spreading a fake news story about a "SWATter" being sentenced to X (because the number seems to keep changing) years in prison.09/01/2014 - 5:08pm
Papa MidnightAnd resulting in PC gaming continuing to be held back by developer habits09/01/2014 - 5:07pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that the current gen of consoles is representative of 2009-2010 in PC gaming, and will be the bar by which games are released over the next 8 years - resulting in more years of poor PC ports (if they're ever ported)09/01/2014 - 5:06pm
Andrew EisenMeanwhile, 6 of Wii U's top 12 are exclusive: Mario 3D World, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8, Wonderful 101, and ZombiU. (Wind Waker HD is on the list too but I didn't count it.)09/01/2014 - 4:36pm
Andrew EisenLikewise, only two of Xbox One's top 12 are exclusive: Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome (if you ignore a PC release later this year).09/01/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenNot to disrespect the current gen of consoles but I find it telling that of the "12 Best Games For The PS4" (per Kotaku), only two are exclusive to the system: Infamous: Second Son and Resogun.09/01/2014 - 4:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/01/beyond-two-souls-ps4-trophies-emerge-directors-cut-reported/ MMM MMM, nothing quire like reheated last gen games to make you appreciate the 400 bucks you spent on a new console.09/01/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenThat's actually a super depressing thought, that a bunch of retweeters are taking that pic as an illustration of the actual issue instead of an example of a complete misunderstanding of it.09/01/2014 - 4:20pm
 

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