Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Handy 'Print and Keep' Game-Shopping Guide for Clueless, Sue-Happy Parents

Ok, I’m turning into a broken record with this, but since I’ve just sat through yet another “Warning – videogames are violent, and what are the games stores doing about it?” feature on the news, I just had to write this.

Now the feature was about how parents need to ‘defend’ their children against videogames this Christmas, and how to make sure that these evil games don’t find their way into, and I quote “The wrong hands”.

Ok, so I decided to write a simple ‘Print out and Keep’ guide to keeping your young children ‘safe’ from videogames this year:

  1. Go to the Games Store.

  2. Look for the game that your kid has asked for.

  3. On the FRONT, BACK and SIDES of the game, in about a two inch square, is the ESRB Rating.

  4. These ratings are as follows: E for Everyone, E 10+ ( for ages 10 and older). T for Teen (for ages 13 or older). M for Mature (for ages 17 and older). Finally there’s AO for adults only.

  5. Also on the ESRB sticker is a description of the game content, stating what the gamer can expect to see. These are extremely specific . For example, It would tell you if you can expect cartoon violence, fantasy violence, violence, violence with blood, intense violence etc.

  6. Buy the game that you, as a parent, feel is suitable for your child. If you’ve checked the ESRB rating, and don’t want your child to play it, don’t buy it.

  7. Occasionally check your child’s games, especially if they trade with friends, to make sure no unsuitable titles have crept in.

There, that’s all the bases covered. By following this, there’s no reason at all why little Timmy should ever get his hands on an unsuitable game.

Also, bear in mind that if you’ve just gone into a store, stuffed the game in your shopping bag, and later hear the game’s name during another ridiculous moral crusade on TV, you shouldn’t even think the word ‘lawsuit’.

You bought the game, you ignored the warnings, and you decided to not actually bother parenting your child. It’s your fault, not your local EB Games.

(Oh, and a Game Controller is nothing like an actual gun.)


MC Etcher said...

I don't know... Gun controllers are gun-shaped, and could lead to an accidental police action.

Paulius said...

Well, I was talking more about your dual-shock type controller.

Anyway, that's almost a serperate issue, and the reason why all lazer-tag and toy guns tend to be coloured bright orange.

Ok, one more 'rule'. Parents, make sure your kids don't get a realistic looking light gun and point it at a police officer!

Vicarious Living said...

Did anyone complain about Duck Hunt back in the day? Hmm? What about the ducks?! (It was the only game my Dad would play, now that I think about it....)

Kato said...

Duck Hunt didn't make me want to kill ducks, but it did make me want to kill that damn snickering dog.

I think all gamers will agree that none of us know what the frigging big deal is. It's just another example of people who don't know what they are talking about making a big stink and trying to legislate something that doesn't need legislating. Gamers have more important things to do than holding up 7-11's (like levelling up, or beating just one more boss, or raising our online rank). You're guide is spot on--it's not that hard, people.

When are we gonna get a geek/nerd in Congress?