More Stupidity.
July 13, 2000 12:29 PM   Subscribe

More Stupidity.
Now when little Billy goes to get that violent video game he can check out the latest issue of Juggs Magazine too!
posted by Nyarlathotep (14 comments total)
Soldier of Fortune kicks ace. Why do they have to go off and do something like that?

posted by Eric_Reid at 1:34 PM on July 13, 2000

Of course, this only means that Soldier of Fortune will be the most popular video game amongst teenagers in Canada within a week, played avidly by an order of magnitude more kids than would ever even have heard of it otherwise.

I know they won't do it, but I'd love to see the company that makes SoF put it in the public domain as a result of this, and let every Canadian have it for free just to tell the government to stuff it.
posted by aaron at 1:59 PM on July 13, 2000

Was it really neccessary to drag Juggs into this debate? If I were Juggs, my feelings would be hurt.
posted by NickBarat at 2:19 PM on July 13, 2000

I disapprove of censorship, but I have to admit they kind of have a point-- god damn, Soldier of Fortune really IS horrifically violent. On the other hand-- did these folks ever see Quake II? You had to painfully butcher at least 20 of your fellow Marines to win that game. The graphics just weren't as vivid back then.

I don't buy into the idea that games, movies, or any other kind of media can "make" people do things that they wouldn't otherwise do.

This is something that should be left up to parental discretion. Resourceful kids can get a cracked version online anyway. I wouldn't play SoF or let any kid under my purview play it, but in the end this comes down to a question of personal preference and taste. Censorship and restriction of media is goofy.
posted by wiremommy at 2:44 PM on July 13, 2000

I just wonder what if any investigation the government will take with consulting gaming companies/industry bodies and looking at the current voluntary rating systems. Even if there is some regulation on who can purchase a game like SoF, can't the ESRB ratings be the qualifying factor instead of a film board?

Cran Campbell, the person who filed the complaint, seems to have blanketed several local municipal governments about this. Google has him/her in the council minutes for Burnaby and Richmond (along with Delta as mentioned in the Sun article). The Richmond city council site is pretty cool with an online copy of the fax submission they received from Campbell (PDF).

Learn more about the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
posted by tomalak at 4:46 PM on July 13, 2000

Question: isn't there already a rating system in place for video games? I thought so. Isn't that enforcable in the first place? I mean, a 14 year old sure as hell won't (easily) get into a R rated movie; so why should a 14 year old be permitted to easily purchase an adult rated game?

Wasn't the whole point of these ratings to stop kids from buying such games? Or are they just little decorations on the boxes that mean nothing?
posted by mkn at 10:13 PM on July 13, 2000

All my fellow Marines - and there were at least 40 of them - were grateful for the sweet release of death in Quake II. It was harsh and painful to send them to Valhalla, but it was my duty as a warrior.

Plus, they usually gave up some ammo or a health pack.
posted by lileks at 10:22 PM on July 13, 2000


Yes, there's a rating system, but it's a voluntary one, put onto the game by the ESRB (follow tomalak's link).

I don't think it's legally binding in any way. A 'Mature' rating from the ESRB is a recomendation, whereas an R rating for movies (what's the group that assigns those?) is a legal restriction.
posted by cCranium at 5:57 AM on July 14, 2000

R rating for movies (what's the group that assigns those?)

I believe it's the MPAA - Motion Picture Association of America.

a 14 year old sure as hell won't (easily) get into a R rated movie

Maybe times have changed. My friends never had any problem when I was that age. Since I was a wussy when I was a kid (not to say things have changed), I was always too scared to try.
posted by daveadams at 8:39 AM on July 14, 2000

daveadams: MPAA. Thank you. That's been eating at me all morning.

times changing:

Remember the South Park movie, and the hullabaloo about underaged kids not being able to get in?
posted by cCranium at 9:15 AM on July 14, 2000

From the EFF site: "MPAA and other rating services are private advisory codes and have no legal

Ratings are advisories, they are NOT legal restrictions. However, the studios have an agreement with theaters who run their films: they ask that theater owners enforce their ratings. Since the theater owner is also a private entity who can refuse admission to anyone for any reason, and since owners believe it's in their best interest to enforce the MPAA ratings, they do it.

But it is NOT a legal restriction and there are NO legal penalties for defying MPAA ratings-- only private penalties, i.e., if you're underage and you sneak into an R-rated movie, the theater owner can throw you out.
posted by wiremommy at 11:39 AM on July 14, 2000

Here's something I found amusing while looking for info on MPAA ratings, from a Christian parent support site:

"An R-rated film may include hard language, or tough violence, or nudity within sensual scenes, or drug abuse or other elements, or a combination of some of the above..."

-- and a whole, whole lot more. What is it about R-rated material that makes it "adult?" Does it mean that I am an adult because I can watch this stuff? Or that because I can watch this stuff I am an adult? Horsefeathers! There is nothing "adult" about the material in R-rated movies. To be able to watch these movies does not make anyone an adult. I should think the classification should not be "adult" but rather should be "lewd" or "vulgar" or "indecent."

This cracks me up. (Not only because she repeats herself in her argument-- "I am an adult because I can watch this stuff? Or because I watch this stuff I am an adult?... " The same phrases, just reversed!) But I love the tightassedness evident. Nudity?! Naughty words?! LEWD! INDECENT! Yeah, whatever.
posted by wiremommy at 11:45 AM on July 14, 2000

FYI: They were talking about video game ratings/regulations today on MSNBC's News With Brian Williams. The mayor of Indianapolis and someone from some online gaming site were guests. I didn't catch the entire segment...

As described on the MSNBC site: "There has been increased pressure on the video game industry to clean up its act. So why is one of the biggest game makers around now moving towards more adult-themed games."
posted by tomalak at 9:08 PM on July 14, 2000

For the record, Indinapolis seems to have some ordinance in the works for certain video games not to be sold to minors.
posted by tomalak at 10:23 PM on July 14, 2000

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