Three editorials offer just about every side of the New Jersey Governor's push to study and then regulate the sale of violent video games in the State. The first two are two different sides from a special dueling editorial in The Star-Ledger called "Do violent video games breed violent behavior?". The first one, "Do violent video games breed violent behavior? Yes " was written by Paul Boxer of Rutgers-Newark.
Oblivious to a Federal Trade Commission report released this week that said that only 13 percent of under-age secret shoppers it deployed (as part of a Secret Shopper Survey program in 2012) were able to buy video games from national retailers (see the story here) New Jersey Assemblyman Sean T.
The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) today applauded the efforts of retailers in the United States for continuing to show record levels of enforcement of video game and DVD ratings. The praise comes in response to the results of a Federal Trade Commission survey released today. That survey found that video game retailers turned away unaccompanied 13- to 16-year-olds who attempted to purchase Mature-rated games 87 percent of the time and turned away under-aged children who attempted to purchase R-rated or unrated DVDs 70 percent of the time.
On this week's show we talk about Congressman Frank Wolf's hearing this week to slam "violent video games," changes being made to the ESRB, the ESA's plan for a PSA campaign, the latest SimCity news, and the results of the latest GamePolitics poll. Download Episode 45 now: SuperPAC Episode 45 (1 hour, 12 minutes) 66.6 MB.
It is the general consensus on the Internet that age gating videos is a way for the ESRB / video game industry to say "hey we're doing something about youngsters looking at Mature content" when in fact it is just a way for the industry to cover itself. So it is not surprising that the Entertainment Software Rating Board is relaxing the rules regarding the promotion of titles rated M for Mature.
Given a recent Harris national poll showing that a good majority of respondents either didn't know that much about the Entertainment Software Ratings Board's ratings classification for games or thought they were ineffective, the Entertainment Software Association makes a smart play today by announcing a new national public education campaign to educate American parents further about the tools and information available.
Earlier this week, we reported on a new Harris Poll that said, among other things, that 58% of 2,278 U.S adults (ages 18+) think that there's a correlation between playing violent games and violent behavior in teenagers. Many of us were wondering exactly how the question that prompted that response was phrased.
GamesBeat seems to have secured the exclusive on a new poll from national polling outfit Harris Poll about video games. The poll, which questioned 2,278 U.S. adults found that nearly three in five adult Americans - or 58 percent - think that video games contribute to violent behavior in teenagers.
The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) issued an action alert asking the Internet community and ECA members to let Rep. Jim Metheson's colleagues in the House of Representatives know that his proposed bill, the "Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act" (H.R. 287), is a big mistake for a number of reasons.
The Washington Times (thanks to PHX Corp for pointing this out) notes that the President is not looking for more regulations on video games and movies (through research announced today through the CDC), but wants the respective industries to provide parents with more tools so they can make more informed decisions about the content their children are consuming.
Late last night the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) broke its silence on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, offering its condolences to the families of the victims, but urging lawmakers to include a mountain of research that has shown no correlation between playing video games and real-world violence. The statement was likely a response to a bill in the senate sponsored by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) that calls for the National Academy of Sciences to conduct an 18-month study of the effect of violent video games compared to other entertainment mediums.
Senator Joseph Lieberman (ID - Connecticut), who gamers might know as one of the original critics of video game violence, is retiring from the U.S. Senate at the end of the month after a 24-year term.
Back in the early 90s, Lieberman led hearings on video game violence and threatened the industry that if it didn't do something, Congress would. And so, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) was born.
At a gathering of politicians and industry types this week in Washington D.C., Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello said that the industry needs a universal ratings system for games across all conceivable platforms and in all territories around the world. He made his comments to a gathering that included the FCC Commissioner and Chairman, according to a Polygon report.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) announced what they are calling a "streamlined, no-cost service for assigning ratings to all digitally delivered games." The ESRB's new "Digital Rating Service" gives developers and publishers access to a "brief but detailed online questionnaire" to define a product's content, age-appropriateness, interactive elements, and platforms.
I’m going to keep this brief because I have very strong opinions on this one and it’s difficult not to fill this post with arguments supporting my position on the subject. (In fact, I just deleted three paragraphs worth.)
So, the Adults Only rating. Do you think the ESRB should keep it? Currently, it prevents games with explicit sexual content and extremely graphic violence from making it out onto the market. Is that the way it should be?
In the United States, there is no law forbidding retailers from selling an M rated game to someone under age 17 and thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. EMA, that’s not likely to ever change.
But is that the way it should be?
Across the pond in the UK, retailers are legally forbid from selling PEGI 12, 16, or 18 games to kids younger than the rating indicates. Are the Europeans doing it right?
While other App stores such as Google Play and Apple App Store have eschewed the ESRB ratings system here in the United States in favor of their own internal systems, Verizon is taking a different tact. Verizon has been slowly adding the ESRB ratings system for all of the gaming apps in the Verizon App Store for its supported Android devices.
The Digital Media Association (DiMA), Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), and National Association of Theatre Owners declare June to be "Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month." June has been proclaimed "Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month" by the groups since 2004. The participating organizations are encouraging movie theaters, and retailers of movies, music, and video games to highlight the importance of ratings systems to their customers.
In a freshly-posted interview with Gamasutra, the ESRB's top executive talks about making the voluntary ratings system used by the North American video game industry a universal ratings system, among various topics including how to deal with getting consistent ratings on mobile and portable platforms such as Android and iOS devices and the challenges related to digitally distributed games.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has teamed up with Penny Arcade for a new PSA campaign. The three-part print and online campaign will feature "caricatures based upon real parents and gamers" who offer their perspectives about the ESRB ratings system and tools like rating summaries, and the ESRB mobile app. The ads will feature artwork designed by the creators of the popular video game webcomic. The ads will start appearing this spring in "parent-focused and game enthusiast media outlets" nationwide.
Maybe the comments on the Video Game Voters Network (the Entertainment Software Association's advocacy group for gamers) Facebook page are purely anecdotal, or represent what Lamar Smith (the Texas Republican Congressman who is to lead sponsor on the Stop Online Piracy Act) calls a very "vocal minority," but the entire page seems to be inundated with negative comments.
Take a look at this list. We love the companies on this list because, for the most part, they make great games. The problem is that they are members of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), and by proxy they support SOPA. And, according to the statement issued to Joystiq today, the ESA is not backing down from that support.
In a statement emailed to Joystiq, the trade group said the following:
Entertainment Software Association (ESA) CEO Mike Gallagher has written a letter to the industry and the public calling 2011 "historic." One of the key reasons 2011 was such a great year for the games industry and gamers was because of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. EMA, which shot down the California anti-video game law penned by California State Senator Leland Yee (D- San Francisco) - though there were certainly plenty of other milestones to celebrate.
The ESRB and the CTIA detailed a new ratings systems for mobile games this week - backed by such companies as AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless. Two companies that were curiously absent from that list hold the lion's share of the market when it comes to platforms: Apple and Google.
The Entertainment Software Association, the trade group that represents the video game industry, spent almost $1.1 million in lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. in the third quarter of 2011. The group lobbied on a variety of issues such as energy efficiency, entertainment industry ratings, parental control technology, foreign trade policy reform, the H1-B visa program, piracy, and copyright issues. The group spent about the same amount of money that it did in the second quarter of this year - slightly less than in the third quarter of 2010.
The ESRB and CTIA have finally revealed details on the voluntary rating system for mobile apps that was revealed last week. The ratings system currently has the support of six major mobile service and hardware providers including AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless. Apple and Google did not throw their support behind the new ratings system because they already have their own process and system in place - and it has been refined to their satisfaction.