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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NeenekoAh, that old straw man. That is one of the ironies about the discussion, the whole point is showing how good people can still have problems with sexism and not realize it.09/17/2014 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenYes, there have been a handful of op-eds suggesting that the term “gamer” has become tainted (two that I know of) but that’s the opinion of only a few. I've seen an equal number from those who disagree.09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenExcept, you haven't provided a single example of a site that’s actually calling gamers a "collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling Manchildren."09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
TechnogeekIf you want to make the stereotype of gamers less painful, try calling people out when they do bad shit rather than handwave it away as "not all gamers". Even if it is a few bad apples, that'll still more than enough to spoil the barrel.09/17/2014 - 8:53pm
quiknkoldI'm not going to Sell Gamergate anymore. It can sell itself. But I will sell the integrity of the Gamer. That we are still good people, who create and donate to charitys, Who engage with those around us and just want to have a good time.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldpeople should not be harrassed and punished for the actions of a few. I've always welcomed and accepted everybody who wanted to join in. Who wanted to make them, or play them. I love good strong female protagonists, and want more.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldOne of the tennants of Gamergate is to stand up against Harrassment. That Gamers arent like those assholes. We can argue for days if the Sexism or Antifeminism or corruption is there or not, But the one thing I believe in and wear on my sleave is that09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldBut there were these websites, attacking me and people like me, for the actions of a few. and then others joined in on Twitter and other places. there was a hashtag that said "explain in 4 words a gamer" and it made me sick.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldManchildren who are awful people and that the Identity of the Gamer should die. This hurt me personally. I've always identified as a Gamer. Even in my childhood years, I was a Gamer. All my friends are Gamers. Its one of the core parts of my identity.09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldUltimately, With the whole Gamergate thing, I jumped on it due to the harassment. A small number of assholes harrass Anita and Zoe, and then all the publications lumped together Gamers as this collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldEZacharyKnight : Lemme ask you a question. We have people who cling to walls, people who fire lasers from their eyes, people who can shapeshift....and yet fabric needs to be upheld to RL physics?09/17/2014 - 6:54pm
james_fudgebody paint?09/17/2014 - 5:33pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I stand corrected on the buttcrack thing. Still, I know of no fabric that actually does that.09/17/2014 - 5:05pm
Andrew EisenSo... it's unethical to discuss the ethics surrounding public interest vs. personal privacy?09/17/2014 - 4:45pm
prh99The source for the game was just released not long ago, it's at https://github.com/keendreams/keen09/17/2014 - 4:43pm
prh99An Indiegogo champagin bought the rights to the early 90's game Keen Dreams to make it open source and release it on GOG etc. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-get-keen-dreams-re-released-legally09/17/2014 - 4:42pm
james_fudgeAlso http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/17/2014 - 4:29pm
Andrew EisenI read the Kotaku story. Nowhere does it say anything close to "Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers." It's commenting specifically on the crap being slung at people discussing gender issues in games. So, what's the problem?09/17/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenYeah, I can imagine Spiderwoman posed like in your second link.09/17/2014 - 4:00pm
Andrew EisenThat's not the same pose. Spiderman (who is wearing an actual outfit rather than body paint) is crouched low to the ground. Kinda like a spider! Spiderwoman has her butt up in the air like she's waiting to be mounted.09/17/2014 - 3:59pm
 

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