Age Ratings and Responsibilities

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  • FuzzyDuck 5 Dec 2012 13:33:13 4,355 posts
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    Seeing as there's lots of discussion in the Far Cry 3 thread about this and not a lot of Far Cry 3, I'd figure I'd get things rolling.

    So what's everyone's thoughts? I worked in videogame retail years ago, and the deal was if a kid tried to buy a 16+ or 18+ game (or any person who were trying to get games clearly out of their age range), no way in hell they were getting it, and the place where I worked was (correctly) strict about this policy. If they came back with their parent to buy it, then that's the parent's decision to buy it for them.

    As far as I'm concerned, shops are correct in doing it this way - if the parent is happy for the child to view age inappropriate content, then as their legal guardian, that's their choice. We would advise them of the content of the game, and a few parents did actually take it on board (quelle surprise), but that was the fulfilment of the retailer's responsibility i.e. making the parent aware of what the kid wanted, placing the choice in their hands, and not supplying it directly to the minor.

    Now don't derail this with talk about Far Cry 3 ;)

    Edited by FuzzyDuck at 14:07:33 05-12-2012
  • Deckard1 5 Dec 2012 13:49:36 28,750 posts
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    Fuck it, just give them it. I had watched robocop and predator by the time I was about 7 or 8 and didn't do me any harm. Except for the prostitute liver thing.
  • spamdangled 5 Dec 2012 13:56:43 27,413 posts
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    I agree with the OP. it's not a shop's (or the state) to raise your kids for you, all they should be expected to do is to ensure the purchasing decision is in the hands of the responsible adult, and to inform them as necessary about content that may be unsuitable if they suspect the game is for a minor.

    The only one who is in any position to really know what a child can and cannot handle is the parent. There's a sensible limit where its obvious that any exposure is stupid, but as kids grow and develop the lines start to blur from one child to the next, until ultimately you hit the teens and then the line ceases to exist at all and instead becomes a big grey area.

    Edited by darkmorgado at 13:59:14 05-12-2012

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  • SClaw 5 Dec 2012 14:28:08 826 posts
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    The policy stated by OP is perfectly sensible, but I’m not completely sure I agree with the overriding attitude that it’s entirely the parents’ problem. Yes… it is… but…

    The reality is that in a modern family both parents work and little Timmy has been going on about Call of Brutal Murder because all his friends have had it for weeks and now they’re calling him a gaylord at school because he hasn’t got it yet. And yes… it says 18 on the front but I’ve got three back to back nightshifts, so I can’t really play the damn thing first and JESUSFUCKINGCHRIST OK HERE IT IS YOU LITTLE SHIT. LEAVE ME ALONE.

    In summary; the labelling needs to be improved and retailers should be required to explain what they are selling if it’s obvious it’s going to be passed to the eager grasping hands of the child next to the adult the second they walk out of the shop. But, first and foremost, the labelling has to be really clear to make it super easy for dumbasses.

    In my own experience, I watched Aliens etc when I was wee young but I had relatives around to explain the context or – simply – I modelled my reactions based on their own. You CAN blame the parents for generally not spending enough time and providing that context with kids, but that’s a general criticism of modern life more than anything.
  • LeoliansBro 5 Dec 2012 14:30:44 44,511 posts
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    Nope. Mong is right, this is the responsibility of the parents. To turn it around, I wouldn't want a shopkeeper overruling me and not letting me buy a game because he looked at me and thought I might let children see it. Even if I did that's none of his fucking business.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • spamdangled 5 Dec 2012 14:40:59 27,413 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    Nope. Mong is right, .
    Blimey, not often I hear you say that!

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  • Shikasama 5 Dec 2012 14:44:25 6,990 posts
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    Is Far Cry 3 any good?
  • spamdangled 5 Dec 2012 14:47:23 27,413 posts
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    I think SClaw has a point though that more needs to be done to ensure that retailers do actually give some general guidance on content (and I only think its fair that retailers know what it is they're selling, so I don't really see any potential excuse in that area that holds water). The PEGI stuff is good in principle, but I think that is still likely to be ignored or not seen, especially if it is as part of an unfamiliar rating system.

    That's where it should end though - some brief general guidance, not some sort of pressure selling in reverse.

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  • nickthegun 5 Dec 2012 14:56:40 60,505 posts
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    I was in game on saturday and a 40 something dad was returning a bricked zombi u console on behalf of his (by the looks of him) 12 year old son who was stood next to him.

    Not a single shit was given by any party involved.

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  • MetalDog 5 Dec 2012 14:56:45 23,740 posts
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    I've seen retailers sell really inappropriate games to kids via parents that clearly didn't understand what they were getting - sometimes because of language barriers, sometimes just through not being gamers. The Pegi system is quite good, but icons can only take you so far if they're labouring under the belief that the violence is cartoon violence.

    Better info/education at the point of sale is probably the golden spot - so long as they really know what they're buying for little Timmy, the ball is in their court.

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  • FogHeart 5 Dec 2012 14:58:15 954 posts
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    I sometimes wonder if parents genuinely understand that what happens in an 18-rated film can be shown in an 18-rated game. I think a lot of them just don't put video games and films together as needing the same kind of examination for content inappropriate for a particular age.

    Edited by FogHeart at 14:58:47 05-12-2012
  • spamdangled 5 Dec 2012 14:59:54 27,413 posts
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    True that, care should be taken to make sure that when you say a GTA game is violent, they dont think you mean in the Tom and Jerry sense. Maybe compare it to a film with similar content - something like "if this was a film, it would be Scarface". Present it in a context a non-gamer might be able to appreciate more.

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  • nickthegun 5 Dec 2012 15:00:02 60,505 posts
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    I think they do but, equally, dont give a shit.

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  • LeoliansBro 5 Dec 2012 15:01:17 44,511 posts
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    darkmorgado wrote:
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    Nope. Mong is right, .
    Blimey, not often I hear you say that!
    Yeah, well you're often wrong :)

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • LeoliansBro 5 Dec 2012 15:02:31 44,511 posts
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    FWIW I've refused to buy a copy of Army of Two when a couple of scrotes asked me to get it for them.

    I suggested Gears 2 instead but they insisted. Their loss.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • kinky_mong 5 Dec 2012 15:10:43 10,462 posts
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    I was in Asda a few weeks ago and overheard some kid who couldn't be older than 10 pestering his dad to get him Sleeping Dogs.

    In this case the Dad point-blank refused saying "No chance, it's rated 18 and too violent, pick something you're old enough to play." So at least some parents actually give a shit.

    Thank you for reading my boring anecdote.

    All the eurogamers who actually play with each other on xbl rather than just post pseudointellectual pc handwringing bollocks on the forums, love the shit out of biggy.

  • FogHeart 5 Dec 2012 15:17:47 954 posts
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    Perhaps the best thing to do is to deliberately expose them to the content that the children might encounter. Obviously not at the counter, but if a trailer was shown before an 18-rated film with a voiceover along the lines of "The film you are about to see is rated 18, so may include scenes of violence, bad language, racism" etc, while at the same time showing instances of those things taking place in video games. And then the voiceover asks if you wouldn't want your child to see these scenes, why buy them video games that portray them?
  • Razz 5 Dec 2012 15:19:12 61,399 posts
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    I always accidentally read your user name as HogFart, then see it properly and am disappointed :(

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  • spamdangled 5 Dec 2012 15:20:57 27,413 posts
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    @kinky_mong

    I think we're the first generation of parents to have grown up with games, hopefully simply because of that fact we will see more informed standards of buying habits for kids from now on, once the last generation have all come out the other end of menopause.

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  • FogHeart 5 Dec 2012 15:21:40 954 posts
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    I...I...

    :cry:
  • spamdangled 5 Dec 2012 15:22:49 27,413 posts
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    FogHeart wrote:
    Perhaps the best thing to do is to deliberately expose them to the content that the children might encounter. Obviously not at the counter, but if a trailer was shown before an 18-rated film with a voiceover along the lines of "The film you are about to see is rated 18, so may include scenes of violence, bad language, racism" etc, while at the same time showing instances of those things taking place in video games. And then the voiceover asks if you wouldn't want your child to see these scenes, why buy them video games that portray them?
    We do sort of get that now; a lot of films in the cinema have similarly certified games trailered before them. Not quite what you're suggesting, but a step in the right direction.

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  • DaM 5 Dec 2012 15:45:48 13,338 posts
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    There is a huge range of notLego Halo toys (my parents got my boy some last Christmas). All of the Halo games are towards the adult age range, but all these toys are aimed at 8-10 yr olds.
  • spamdangled 5 Dec 2012 15:49:06 27,413 posts
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    Im not entirely certain about that, there's a sizeable geek contingent among adults that collect "traditionally" kids' stuff like lego, action figures, etc.

    Though that is really more to do with marketing at a publisher level than state regulation.

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  • SClaw 5 Dec 2012 16:29:55 826 posts
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    War toys have always been sold to kids. I can't blame Halo for trying to cash in on that market. It's not telling kids to play the game, but I agree there is a contributing factor.

    As a related anecdote… my brother was dead against guns and such when he had his son, so banned any such violent presents. My nephew grew up with mostly wooden toys and science stuff.. So, sixteen years later, he… joined the army (pure infantry; none of that knowing shit for him!) and went off shooting people. Something went wrong there.
  • spamdangled 5 Dec 2012 16:46:40 27,413 posts
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    @SClaw

    Seems like an extreme example of the "forbidden fruit" truism of making something more desirable by locking it away.

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