FTC Figures Out How To Make Video-Game Sex More Prominent

from the your-tax-dollars-at-work dept

The Federal Trade Commission announced today it settled with Take-Two Interactive regarding the "Hot Coffee" mod for its Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas game that showed characters having consensual sex. We were a little confused as to what business the FTC had with it, but apparently it saw Take-Two's failure to disclose the sexual content to the industry's rating board, then the failure to disclose it on the game's packaging or in advertising as some sort of false or misleading advertising. Keep in mind that the game was already rated "Mature" before the mod was discovered, meaning a person was supposed to be 17 before they purchased the game, instead of 18, as with the "Adult Only" rating that later got slapped on it. So just to review: mindless violence out the wazoo is okay for America's children, but some consensual sex isn't, and by golly, the government's going to make sure of that. Of course, the government couldn't get involved here without it being a total joke -- one of the stipulations of the settlement is that Take-Two must "prominently disclose any questionable content on the cover of the game, unless the company had already informed the ESRB of its content". So, now, the company is legally obligated to advertise all the sexual and otherwise objectionable content that so many politicians want to stamp out. That's a good way not to draw kids' attention to it.

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  • identicon
    Brad, 8 Jun 2006 @ 11:47am

    Blame Canada

    "Just remember what MAC stands for - Horrible, deplorable violance is okay, as long as there's no dirty language!"

    -Big fat bitch

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  • identicon
    Other Brian, 8 Jun 2006 @ 12:14pm

    Blame Canada

    America F@&$ Yeah!

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  • identicon
    mark, 8 Jun 2006 @ 12:22pm

    makes sense to me..

    I think its smart to differentiate between M and Adult only, cause most 17 year olds probably don't have 18 year old friends

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    • identicon
      chuck, 8 Jun 2006 @ 1:01pm

      Re: makes sense to me..

      lol you're an idiot!

      im 24 and i buy booze for 17 year olds. so rest assure 17 yr olds will get the goods and yet do i care? hell no im anti everything this country stands for! there should be no rattings on games it really destroys the cover with a gaudy lil symbol on the bottom telling me what am buying. now they wanna card when u buy a game fuck u! i will pirate untill the MPAA/RIAA come and stop me and even then i will laugh. you cant stop it the more u try too the more people will start. 17 yr old sdont have 18 yr old friends lol

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    • identicon
      Deadstroke, 8 Jun 2006 @ 1:19pm

      Re: makes sense to me..

      And lets not forget that there are absolutely no 17 year olds having sex! That simply can not happen until their 18th birthday!!!

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    • identicon
      alrighty then., 8 Jun 2006 @ 1:59pm

      Re: makes sense to me..

      Congratulations; that's easily the dumbest thing I've heard today, possibly this week.

      I was considering explaining why, but it's probably obnoxiously obvious to everyone else yet it still wouldn't get through to you. Did you not have any friends whilst 17, or was there some freaky situation where all your friends shared your birthday?

      On the other hand, when I was 15 in high school, most of my friends were 17 or 18, not 16, so maybe you are right.

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    • identicon
      wtf, 8 Jun 2006 @ 6:00pm

      Re: makes sense to me..

      wtfwtfwtf
      y would 17 year olds not have 18 year old freinds???

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  • identicon
    ET, 8 Jun 2006 @ 12:24pm

    What about parents

    The problem is not the rating.
    The problem is not the content.
    The problem is not whether or not the packaging discloses how vulgar/violent/etc. a game is...

    The problem is that parents these days will let their kids play whatever the hell they want for however long they want. The parents will even buy the game to give it to their kids to play. My wife and I dubbed video game systems "The Electronic Babysitter". Our kids each have a gamecube and a PS2. They each play about 90 minutes a day maximum. And the games they play? Unless we have checked them out (rented them, read up on them on line, etc.) they don't even come in the house.

    There are games out there (Like the GTA San Andreas game) for which the "Adults Only" rating is not strict enough. Games like that should have a minimum age of 25 or something. Most 18 year olds are not ready for most of the contents of these games.

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    • identicon
      Krogoth, 8 Jun 2006 @ 12:28pm

      Re: What about parents

      or ya know, we could just have Sony sue all the people who hacked San Andreas, since they're all legally adults, and to get this consentual sex you must go against the end user agreement....

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    • identicon
      Mad Max, 8 Jun 2006 @ 12:31pm

      Re: What about parents

      .... Games like that should have a minimum age of 25 or something. Most 18 year olds are not ready for most of the contents of these games.....

      Sure at 18 you should join the military and shoot, kill and blow up real people. Those virtual kills will really mess up your mind...

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      • identicon
        Chris G, 8 Jun 2006 @ 1:14pm

        Re: Re: What about parents

        >>>>>Sure at 18 you should join the military and shoot, kill and blow up real people. Those virtual kills will really mess up your mind...

        Actually, you can enlist and be active in the military at age 17. At age 18 you could have 1 year of active duty under your belt.

        The problem is when the government, organizations and individuals deem video game violence as a reason and influence on actual violence.

        The actual violence comes from disturbed individuals with an already existant problem. These individuals would be just as disturbed and likely to commit a crime in the 13th century as they would today. The only difference today, is that we have become numb due to violence as "entertainment".

        A video game does not make a teenager kill his classmates. A disturbed teen with access to weapons in a country of gun-lovers, who needs psychological counseling is what kills.

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      • identicon
        Louis, 8 Jun 2006 @ 2:45pm

        Re: Re: What about parents

        Yup, at 18 you're old to get drafted and kick some Al Queda ass with a P90. But you can't have a brewskie afterwards. That's a big no-no.

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    • identicon
      Ben McNelly, 8 Jun 2006 @ 12:40pm

      Re: What about parents

      "Most 18 year olds are not ready for most of the contents of these games."


      - I wish this were true....


      I agree with you otherwise though, they key is good parenting, however; that's lacking in america as a whole. Glad to see someone making intelligent and responsible decisions about this though. Kudos to you!


      As far as the industry goes, the obvious remedy is to not create games with such content. Problem is they will, because sex and violence sells. Also, KIDS PLAY VIDEO GAMES. Its what they do... You make they will get it.


      Same thing with movies. I teach a class for children ages 3 - 7 and have done allot of inner city work with children of all ages, and as a whole i can confirm that kids are exposed to all manner of horror movies, violence and sexual perversion from infant hood up.


      They develop many emotional problems and often are hardened and callused far beyond their years. On average, the age of loosing ones innocence has gone from 7 or 8 a few years ago, to 5 or 6... I have seen many cases where 3 and 4 year olds have severe hysteria, emotional issues and relational problems with their peers and authority figures, and in most cases it is due to abuse in the home or exposure to film and media that is not appropriate for any underage individual.


      It is truly sad, and these kids are growing up as depraved and screwed up people... Thanks mom and dad..


      Allot of this is due to high school age people having kids like rabbits and having to get married and all of the sudden children are living with, well basically being raised by children... That are old enough to watch and play whatever they want.


      We created a generation or two of liberalistic "do what feels good" teenagers, who are now raising our future generations. in other words, were screwed....


      I surely hope a revival of purity sweeps this nation and the world or we are in serious trouble. Children are the most precious things in life, and they are treated as a nuisance by too many. may God have mercy on us all.


      - Ben McNelly

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    • identicon
      18, 8 Jun 2006 @ 12:41pm

      Re: What about parents

      Many 18 year olds already are parents. Also, we are able to fight in the army and vote, why shold a little virtual violence or sex be forbiden. If we can do the real thing in Iraq why prevent the desensitation before hand.

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      • identicon
        ET, 8 Jun 2006 @ 12:48pm

        Re: Re: What about parents

        I don't necessarily agree with 18 being an acceptable age for someone to join the army. 21 would be more my idea on that one... but we can agree to disagree on that one.
        As far as voting goes, most adults of ANY age are not ready for that... just look at who was voted into presidency for 2 consecutive terms now! But I am straying too far from the topic here....

        Anyway... I am not saying that some violence and some adult content is not suited for 18 year olds, but there are some games out there, just as there are some movies out there and some real life situations, for which and 18 year old is not ready.

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        • identicon
          Doug, 8 Jun 2006 @ 7:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about parents

          "just as there are some movies out there and some real life situations, for which and 18 year old is not ready."



          Really, 18 year olds are not mature enough to see "real life"? My God. First off, look in Africa and 3rd world countries, this may be off topic, but I have a point. Some kids witness their family members' own deaths! Then they grow up a hell of a lot more mature. They have almost nothing and appreciate evrything that they get (positive that is). I'm not saying we go around America popping subliminal messages of death and blood and gore to little children or killing all the parents in front of their eyes so they mature, I am saying though, that these games, are FAKE! Honestly, if someone is getting off every night playing GTA watching cartoon sex, they're already somewhat messed up. And my other point, I'm 18, going to be a Sophomore in college 2,000 miles away from home. I'm "on my own" I deserve to experience "real life situations" because I am living real life. We're adults, times change, Gen X and below doesn't like us because we've modernized? Well guess what, there are some things that we don't exactly love about Gen X traditions. Yes I'm liberal. I don't like most aspects of pop culture, I don't like TV ads, I don't like Bush, and I don't like how he's listening to our calls, or how the government is enabling the RIAA and MPAA to ruin media services for all of us. Increase quality, decrease price, and stop telling us what we can and can't observe, maybe I'll buy something. Have a nice day.

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    • identicon
      Aaron, 8 Jun 2006 @ 12:45pm

      Re: What about parents

      You couldn't sound anymore conservative,
      but I believe that you are leaving out one component that cannot be overlooked when discussing the ethical and moral implications of publishing a prodcut in the year 2006, and how different the industry is that of compared to just 5 years prior.

      That is, the primary target of the video game industry is the 18 - 25 age bracket and as any educated individual knows, biologically speaking this is the most fertile age to reproduce- my point is that our bodies (at this age) cannot help but pay attention to factors such as sexual activity. It is in our brains.This is not condoning the content that Take-Two covertly included in their game, but it is placing the sex factor well within the confines of biological fact.

      Furthermore to make an arbitrary statement such as, "X generation is not ready to deal with the content of the video games" is crossing many moral boundries that I, as a parent, take offense to.

      To be more precise: you have no business in determining what my children can and cannot expose themselves to. This is my area of jurisdiction.
      Likewise it is your business to determine what your children may expose them selves to. Need I point out that current sociological trends show an increase of age upon first conception in females. This has been the case with the past 10-15 years.

      Thus, the early exposure of sex in entertainment has no correlation with 'promiscuous' activity in the current generation. Make note that by 'promiscuous' activity I am referring to sex at an early age.

      A Rabbi I met once said, "You work with the groups that think they are best by indulging their self-interest, and those that want to unite by indulging that self-interest." Contextually, middle-aged parents today are not within the current generation of video game developers in general, so to achieve a true understanding of the reasoing behind their devious tactics, you must have experience.

      My advice to you is to try to achieve an empiracal understanding of why sex is included in video games, and how successful and profitable the market

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      • identicon
        ET, 8 Jun 2006 @ 1:11pm

        Re: Re: What about parents

        Aaron:

        To be more precise: you have no business in determining what my children can and cannot expose themselves to. This is my area of jurisdiction.

        I do believe I can agree with that. And if that part of my post was offending to you as a parent, I apologize. Maybe I should rephrase it as:
        some 18 year olds are not ready for some of the content on some of these games, and in the end it is up to the parents to decide whether or not their 18 year old is ready for it.

        While you might be right that it is a good sales technique to use sex and violence in these games, a line has to be drawn somewhere. And I don't necessarily like that idea.

        Maybe I am just too oldfashioned... I'm not afraid to admit it ;-)

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        • identicon
          Chris G, 8 Jun 2006 @ 1:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about parents

          >>>>>>some 18 year olds are not ready for some of the content on some of these games, and in the end it is up to the parents to decide whether or not their 18 year old is ready for it.

          I do not agree. I would not place my trust in any parent to decide what is acceptable for their child to do, see or hear. No matter how angry it makes anyone, 95% of parents have poor decision making skills about what is right.

          The question I would ask is this: Who should decide? The law-makers that make these laws are human beings They are also parents, no different from anyone else. We have to remember at all times that their is no one entity making all the decisions.The President himself is not a supreme being with better ideas and decision making skills about what is right and wrong. Our leaders and lawmakers are no more capable of making the best possible decisions than you or I.

          So when can we begin to become better human beings?

          I believe firmly that those of us screening certain aspects of our childrens lives, leave other windows entirely open and are not at all oblivious to what else our kids do, which is a bit backwards and ignorant.

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      • identicon
        elamast, 8 Jun 2006 @ 3:11pm

        Re: Re: What about parents

        "Furthermore to make an arbitrary statement such as, "X generation is not ready to deal with the content of the video games" is crossing many moral boundries that I, as a parent, take offense to."

        What he should have said is that NO ONE should be dealing with the content of these "games". They're immoral. Whether or not you don't like someone telling you or your kids that is unfortunate. God is offended by immorality. I don't think much else matters.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2006 @ 3:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about parents

          What he should have said is that NO ONE should be dealing with the content of these "games".

          Gee, who died and made you God?

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          • identicon
            Ed, 8 Jun 2006 @ 3:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about parents

            Gee, who died and made you God?

            That job is filled, and I'm not qualified. But what He has already said about immorality is pretty easy to find, and doesn't require me to be God to repeat it.

            Matthew 5:28
            But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2006 @ 5:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about parents

          "God is offended by immorality. I don't think much else matters."

          Ah yes, one of the cornerstone supporting lies of religion "without gods there is no morality".

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    • identicon
      Ed, 8 Jun 2006 @ 3:02pm

      Re: What about parents

      These are clearly immoral and poison for the heart, mind, and soul. Whether or not someone "likes" to play these games is as irrelevant as to say that someone "likes" to visit prostitutes. It's simply wrong.

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    • identicon
      Beast 4, 8 Jun 2006 @ 4:33pm

      Re: What about parents

      Quite Right!

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    • identicon
      Sam Jonez, 8 Jun 2006 @ 4:42pm

      Re: What about parents

      Yeah, 18 year olds aren't ready for this content but they are ready to vote and get sent overseas to be blown up or kill real people in the armed services?!?!?!Get real! Many kids much younger than 18 in this world see farther worse things than this. Maybe what we need are more games depicting sex an violence so we can get it out of our systems.

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    • identicon
      US Soldier, 9 Jun 2006 @ 7:18am

      Re: What about parents

      I take serious offense to the comment that most 18 year olds are not ready for the content of the games. If I am old enough to enlist into our countries armed services and give my life at the whim of our elected officials, surely I should be old enough to buy whatever video game I want. The majority of the American public is not ready to see many of the things we see while either traveling to foreign countries, or fighting in Iraq. And these are things that I see every day. At least I'm over 21 now so I don't have to go to a foreign country on deployment to have a beer!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2006 @ 8:18am

      Re: What about parents

      Sure, because so many 17 year olds listen to what their parents say about video games.

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  • identicon
    A kid once, 8 Jun 2006 @ 1:05pm

    Kids are smarter than you think

    I would agree that 18 years old should not be exposed to content like that, they hadn't already been exposed to it since birth. Blaming TV and movies and video games for societies down falls is outright outragious. It is time we start taking responsiblity for what our kids are doing. It is not the governments responsiblity to raise my kids, it is mine. Every parent out there should take the same stance, maybe if they did kids would not go into school and shoot up the bullies who beat the heck out of them, because their parents never showed any aprreaition for them.

    That being said, since most kids have grown up with this stuff happening around them for most of there lives. They know how to handle a video game and know what is right and wrong real and imaginary. If they don't then parents it's time to take away the digiatl babysitter and accually talk to your kids. You would be surprised how they might just listen to you if you talk to them like they are people and children.

    Thanks
    Scott

    25 and grew up on video games

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2006 @ 3:08pm

      Re: Kids are smarter than you think

      Dumb ass, you are STILL a kid. You have kids as friends (you said you buy 17 year olds booze), you are an irresponsible ass for buying that liquor for them, and you can't see past your nose regarding the damage you are doing. How many of your drunk fucked up "kiddy friends" are going to graduate, or are they going to be like you, hang out with high school kids and get their GED?

      What a loss...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2006 @ 1:18pm

    Shouldn't the government stick to it's guns with content protection BS?

    I thought it was illegal to "reverse engineer" software - so that means whoever opened up Hot-Coffee was reverse-engineering and it's not Take 2's fault, right?

    Or is it ok to ignore that law in this instance since Jack Thompson stands to make a profit???

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  • identicon
    freakengine, 8 Jun 2006 @ 1:30pm

    I'm very happy that this has become the trend in films and soon-to-be in video games. I can now check out the latest movie trailers and just by reading the rating notice, I can evaluate whether or not I want ot see the movie. "Zombie Violence" sounds good to me. "Sci Fi Action Violence" could be good. "Brief Nudity" sounds okay, but would be better without the word "brief". Soon I hope to see other comments, like "Standard Three-Act Action Script", "2-D Characters", and "Fakey CGI" on movies like Underworld Evolution.

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  • identicon
    stephen, 8 Jun 2006 @ 1:41pm

    age 25?

    if we increased age limits to 25 than people would stop acting like adults when they turn 18 because they wouldn't feel like it

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    • identicon
      ET, 8 Jun 2006 @ 1:55pm

      Re: age 25?

      And you feel they are acting like adults when they are 18 now?????? Most of them (notice is said most, not all) are still acting like they are 13 at that age.

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      • identicon
        Person Man, 8 Jun 2006 @ 3:07pm

        Re: Re: age 25?

        Of course 18 year olds act like they're 13. They can't get decent jobs to support themselves until they are out of college, so they look forward to 4 (if they're lucky) years of cramming and craphole jobs. During that time, there isn't much else to do for fun except play video games and drink a lot. Most of them still live and will live with their parents until they are nearly 30. Not their fault. Society rewards specialized knowledge and experience. If you don't have it, go clean a toilet. Now who wouldn't want to take out some aggression on a few virtual friends?

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  • identicon
    Kyle Ward, 8 Jun 2006 @ 1:42pm

    Wow.. for once

    For once everyone, for the most part, agrees. No one believes that "tv is violent so that makes you violent if you watch tv" bullshit. Its how you raise your kids that causes it. I have played computer games since I can remember. My first "violent game" was CnC Red Alert. I didnt enjoy it because it was violent. In fact I didnt even consider it a violent game. But the goal (for those of you who do not want to use your brain) is clear- Kill as much of the other team as possible by pumping out as many killing machines as you can. --Or for those of you willing to listen to thought processes- develop a strategy for each scenario that would aloow you to be the most efficent "killing machine". I never thought of the game as "This guy is shooting this guy and he has a bunch of guys , so I guess ill make some more guys". I made it a puzzle in my mind and realized I could eliminate the problem by destroying the barracks. It was a puzzle, not a fun-time shoot em up. It was a process of allotting the appropriate amount of resources to the appropriate division to make everything efficient. Playing this game at an early age actually helped me develop a thinking process that follows me today. I was pushed to think outside the box. To figure out an alternative solution since too often the most obvious solution is not the most efficient one.

    What I am saying is we look at these "violent" video games as JUST violent video games. They are not, they are tools to mold the brain, teach it new ways to think. The violence is just there to keep our attention.

    How about instead of banning violent video games, we turn them into learning tools to shape the children into powerful thinking machines.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2006 @ 1:50pm

      Re: Wow.. for once

      >>> What I am saying is we look at these "violent" video games as JUST violent video games.

      Although when it comes to GTA, that is exactly what the game is. The point of the game is to violently kill other civilians, pedestrians, people in fast food establishments ordering their cheeseburgers, or to find the neatest possible destructive weapon and use it to blow up anything or anyone you want and try not to get arrested doing it. You are awarded points for these things.

      Whether GTA is 100% based on "be as violent as you can to have fun" is definately not a question. It's a fact.

      Though, another fact still remains, no video game or amount of violent enterainment causes a person to harm another. Those are psychological issues and these person(s) should have been institutionalized before deaths ever occured. Identifying these individuals with these problems before-hand is another issue.

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  • identicon
    Steelcaress, 8 Jun 2006 @ 1:50pm

    different points of view

    Well, 17-18 is the line for military duty. I grew up with military brats as friends, and a friend's father was a staff sergeant. When I asked why not wait until kids are older he said "You can make an old man fight, but you can't make him like it!" Probably very true.

    If you ban it at your house, your kids will find it elsewhere. "My friend has it, I play it all the time," a 15-year-old nephew has told me, regarding GTA.

    I see it in other people's houses, as well. Hitting your teen's friends when they're rude; letting 10-year-olds watch "Family Guy" and "South Park"; preschoolers standing on slides pointing at their crotches saying "You wanna suck this." All this is from actual experience, not just watching the news.

    Realistically, there should be a rigorously-enforced age limit, like alcohol. If dad has to produce ID every time he buys a game, and if he has his kid along he can't buy a title rated "M", then maybe this thing would work. Problem is, stores can have long lines, impatient customers, and uncaring store owners. I like playing those games, and I'm a parent. But I know the difference between right and wrong. So I dunno what the answer is.

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  • identicon
    joe stacey, 8 Jun 2006 @ 1:53pm

    violence has always been entertainment:
    -public hangings/executions
    -public torture
    -roman colliseum events
    -the rodeo
    -boxing
    -wrestling
    -crowds around fights at school...

    need i go on?

    the difference isn't the TYPE of entertainment, just the media to which it's getting to us

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2006 @ 2:26pm

    Well Actually...

    I'm 15 and didn't even know about this mod, but now I RTFA, and I thought, "Hot Coffee" mod? I shall go and swipe my brothers copy of the game (which I leant him $10 to buy) and try it!" I'm going now.

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  • identicon
    Nevermore, 8 Jun 2006 @ 2:34pm

    Love not War!

    I'd rather have my 13 year old son play Leisure Suit Larry and get a peek at a few nipples than engage in the realistic violence presented in a game like Grand Theft Auto.

    Halo? World of Warcraft? Sure, because it's easier to make a distinction between those fantasy worlds and reality. Glorifying or role-playing a gangster or inner-city pimp seems wrong.

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  • identicon
    Bruegel, 8 Jun 2006 @ 2:36pm

    The obvious solution

    Chastity belts and blind folds for all until you are 21. That should work.

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  • identicon
    ZA, 8 Jun 2006 @ 2:44pm

    Wow...

    Someone should send these kids outside to play. When we were younger, we used to have BB gun wars. Yes, that's right, we hunted each other down and shot each other with BBs. It was a lot of fun, it hurt and we lived to talk about it.

    With all of the pornography, violent videos and pictures readily available on the Internet, I can't believe there is a such a concern about video game content. Someone should bitch slap the FTC and tell them to stick to what they are supposed to be doing, making sure we aren't getting screwed on the price of these video games.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2006 @ 2:56pm

    Absurdity

    The majority of laws in the USA were created either to protect idiots from themselves, or to force a moral of the minority onto the entirety of the population. Though there exist 18/19/20 year olds who can safely and responsibly consume alcohol (and I KNOW the comparison is clichéd) -- for evidence, look to Europe. There exist people who responsibly smoke marijuana, and there's even such a thing as a responsible heroin user.
    As for bans on sex, this is very much a moral imposition upon the populace by those who think that sex is evil. Your child is going to find out about sex whether you want her to or not. IMHO making it such an evil thing, to be avoided and feared, will only lead to more curiosity and more rebellion as she realizes that the justification for the vilification doesn't hold water.
    It is very easy to say that games are too violent. The thought of 10-year-olds doing drive-by shootings with Uzis at transsexual hookers on the street corner out of the window of a stolen car really isn't a nice one. But what about the thought of them 8 years later in Iraq killing 6-month-old babies and 74-year-old women (as happened recently in Haditha)?
    The older generation is quick to condemn the younger generation, but refuses to find its own faults. The older generation created sensationalist media outlets. The older generation is trying to take away free speech on the internet by selling the right to present information to the highest bidder.
    I'm 19, and I will not take the blame for the mistakes of my parents' generation -- rather I'll fight their unjust drug laws, idiotic moral judgements upon things they have no right to pass judgement, and false cures to the symptoms of the disease they have created.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dark Prince, 8 Jun 2006 @ 3:39pm

    From one extreme to the other...

    First, let all of us prudes and rabel-rousers about the sex life of a modern american teen. About a year or so ago someone did a study. They found that the "average" age that teen lost their virginity was 15 years old. The "average" people.

    Because of blood and gore shown in one video game back in the mid 90's we now have the ESRB ratings that you are all know and love. Can you recall the name of the game?

    No matter what the world hits hard and it doesn't pull punches. It was the same way in the Dark Ages as it is now, we just made it look pretty to the eyes. Someone mentioned being sent outside to play with bb guns. Between cops shooting kids with toy guns and everyone looking to take a pound of flesh from you through a lawsuit, anyone wanna take a guess why kids play video games.

    Kids have a it rough while they are growing up. Life is hard, push or be pushed. So your kid lost a little of his naivete. Be resposible parents and inform them about it. Don't censor it from them, help them understand and become wise beyond their years. They'll be better human beings that way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Luke, 8 Jun 2006 @ 4:25pm

    Kids aren't stupid

    I'm 14 and play San Andreas all the time. I'm also a straight A honors student who has never had sex or a drink in my life. I enjoy the game because it is virtual, not real. It provides an escape. My parents find me mature enough to play it, therefore the government and other parents should mind their own business.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    A different Aaron, 8 Jun 2006 @ 4:30pm

    Censorship

    First; The fact that scripture was quoted in here scares me. I've never seen scripture quoted in techdirt before.
    Second; I am 21. I was raised in a rather sheltered environment, I think. It is still true that someone will mention, for example, the name of a drug, and I won't know what they are talking about. Often, that person is younger than me. I was also not allowed to play with super-soakers when i was little. not because guns are bad, but because they aren't toys.
    Conversely, I was allowed to watch rated R movies from the time i was 12... so long as they didn't get rated that way because of violence. I saw a naked breast for the first time when I was less than a year old. Yeah, I breast fed. I say a naked vagina when I was less than a minute old. Yeah, I was born naturally, not c-section. My parents always felt that sex, as long as it didn't have violence associated with it, was just fine.
    Now I see GTA:SA being labelled as the video game equivalent of X, and i wonder... When I was 16, I was downloading porn. When I was 17, I was downloading Leisure Suit Lary. What makes the ESRB / FTC / whomever else think that giving it a higher rating will make it less availiable to kids? It didn't for me. It didn't for ANY of my friends. and kids are getting smarter at ways to crack codes and get what they want.
    I guess my point is, who gives a F*** what kids are allowed to watch / play? I they are interested, they WILL access that content.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    moral standards, 8 Jun 2006 @ 4:33pm

    the most guilty parties ...

    The real blame should be aimed at the FatCat profiteers who own the companies. If their moral standards were higher than those of a mink in heat they wouldn't allow the trash to ever reach the market. Instead, greed steers their company, 'if it makes me more money, do it'. What ever happened to the concept of a 'fair profit'?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wizard Prang, 9 Jun 2006 @ 7:27am

      Re: the most guilty parties ...

      Rubbish. They will give the public what they want. What is most disturbing is how low some of us will go.

      The real problem is that not enough people are saying "No". I have seen kids playing games and watching movies that were obviously unsuitable, but the parents said nothing.

      Parents and other responsible adults who take a stand are in a minority. It seems that the rest of us are looking to the Government to do the job.

      BAD move.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    BlackCow, 8 Jun 2006 @ 4:40pm

    kids have it rough?

    You could consider me a kid (15) and I do not think I have it rough yet I play video games that the ESRB think are inappropriate. But they have it way wrong, like Halo is rated M (it should be rated T) and lots of games I play like Counter-Strike: Source, Battle Field 2, Call of Duty 2 are rated M yet most people that play them are underage. I don’t even think about the ratings, I just get a game that I think has good online play and that I could play with friends. The first time I actually tried to buy my own damn game they wouldn’t sell it to me (game spot sucks, ill never go there again), my friend was making a FEAR video for a machinima contest and I tried to get the game to help him out. I think they have no damn business telling me what games I can and cannot play, I would never go out and harm someone. (I don’t play GTA, I don’t even think adults are old enough to handle that :-P random thought) But thanks to these over protective moms who raise rebellious little shits we get our rights taken away. (Wow, how many people do you think will read all of this?)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    BlackCow, 8 Jun 2006 @ 4:42pm

    oh yea

    Oh yea and another thing, honestly name one game that is not violent that is a fun game to play! The reason for video games is to let you do things you wouldent be able to do in real life.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2006 @ 4:54pm

    God is offended by immorality. I don't think much else matters.


    It's wonderful that you know exactly what God wants for the earth. However, please realize that your religion is in the minority of world religions. Also, realize that your religion is based on faith -- you can no sooner prove that God exists than you can find sense in the statement "This statement is false." Therefore, to use your God as an argument in the real-world is a logical fallacy -- it holds no water and no ground. Pray for my soul in church, but don't bitch me out for playing a video game. Mind your own business, and if you're right, you can laugh your head off at me while I rot in hell -- but leave me be right now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Apennismightier, 8 Jun 2006 @ 5:20pm

    Maybe if the gov't knew what they were talking abo

    Fucking government officials who know shit about videogames like goddamn Mrs. Gore and Hilary Clinton are taking this shit way too far. It's not the gov'ts business and maybe if they knew what they were talking about, people who were involved with video games and the general public might take it seriously.

    The game was allowed to go on the shelf as is. The MOD is what they have a problem with. The MOD does NOT come with the game, nor is it condoned by Rockstar or any of the creators of the game. If they really wanted to stop it, they'd take action against the guy who created the mod, which would fail miserably because almost all games for the PC are now open source in one way or another for MODs and there is no law saying you can't create a MOD that displays anything meant for mature audiences.

    If a parent is really going to complain about the game as is, then they shouldn't have bought it for them. These parents complain about the violence of the game, but they're the schmucks who bought it for their kids in the first place.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    blah, 8 Jun 2006 @ 5:54pm

    parents parents parents

    Everyone blames the parents. Bad parenting is why this game has nudity. Bad parenting is why the government has decided to look into it. Bad parenting is the blame for the middle east troubles. Bad parenting is the blame for the oil prices. You know, as well as I do, if your 14-18 year old kid wants to do something, no matter how good you are at parenting, they will do it 85% of the time. I say the blame for all of it goes to bad coverning. Throw in some bad rating system. And a couple of bad modders.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Arochone, 8 Jun 2006 @ 7:22pm

    I HATE when people say this...

    "Allot of this is due to high school age people having kids like rabbits and having to get married and all of the sudden children are living with, well basically being raised by children... That are old enough to watch and play whatever they want."

    What, you think this is strange? It was only unusal for a short period of time. We're just returning to the ways of the past. Hell, it used to be common practice to be married at 13 or 14. Society changes. Get over it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    just a thought..., 8 Jun 2006 @ 7:32pm

    Do teenagers deserve a little more credit?

    While reading these comments I find the lack of credit that teenagers (18 year old's more specifically) to be a little disturbing. The society we live in places a number of major responsibilities on teenagers, school, jobs, the ability to get your license to name a few, but it seems that the difference between video games and reality it to much to handle? Of course there will be irresponsible teenagers, but there will always be irresponsible people of all ages. And while yes, I don’t think a 10 year old should be able to buy games like GTA to say that someone who can drive can't be trusted to leave the video game in that fantasy world that it's created seems a little harsh...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anonymous, 8 Jun 2006 @ 7:38pm

    People need to get real

    Most kids are having sex by age 16. Many kids (especially in urban areas) are exposed to violence, drugs, etc. in schools and other situations. It's part of life. No matter how much people try to shelter their kids from these things, there is no avoiding them in our society.

    If it's so important to parents to attempt to screen these things from their kids, that's their responsibility. I don't understand where the government decides to take over those responsibilities (and fails miserably). But that's just the opinion of someone who just got out of the age bracket we're so concerned about here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2006 @ 7:40pm

    "Whether or not you don't like someone telling you or your kids that is unfortunate. God is offended by immorality. I don't think much else matters."

    You know, I think it's immoral to push your beliefs onto someone else who doesn't share the same religious beliefs as yourself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      elamast, 9 Jun 2006 @ 1:40pm

      Re:

      "You know, I think it's immoral to push your beliefs onto someone else who doesn't share the same religious beliefs as yourself."

      It is immoral to make a statement about morality? With what what kind of twisted logic do you get this? You are certainly free to disagree with someone's beliefs, but I don't think you had anything "pushed" on you, and it certainly isn't immoral to make a statement about morality.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wizard Prang, 9 Jun 2006 @ 7:15am

    Nothing new under the sun.

    This is nothing new.

    If I may draw a biblical example... the Old Testament is full of stories about the Children of Israel kicking the snot out of The Hittites, Amalekites, and various other people-groups ending in "-ite" (I often wonder what the grownups were doing while the "Children of Israel" were running around doing this stuff, but I digress). There was murder, incest, nudity and betrayal... and that was just in the first five books!

    Every Jewish boy was supposed to have this stuff memorized before Bar Mitzvah... but you had to be 21 to read the Collection of Lurve poems that we know today as The Song of Solomon.

    Nothing to see here folks, move along...

    Getting back on point, I see a lot of parents looking for "electronic babysitters"... too ofteh I hear "anything to keep them quiet and out of my hair". Get involved in what your kids are doing... and under no circumstances put an internet-connected PC in a child's bedroom!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pedren, 9 Jun 2006 @ 7:26am

    Wow, most of you older folkes really don't get it do you? I'm 16, still a virgin, abstain from drinking and I play crapload of these "mindrotting" video games. Honestly, do you think that if i see someone having sex because I'm "underage" and therefore mentally incompitant, that I'll run out and start trying to have sex with everyother woman I meet?

    Which brings me to my next point don't smoke the crack.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dave, 9 Jun 2006 @ 7:30am

    Since when did the facist christian movement take over a techdirt forum? The country is in a worse state of affaris then I thought. There is no end of net neutrality support around here, but the libertarian ideals behind that are thrown out the window when it comes to "saving the children". Please stop attempting to save my children and don't pray for them. I don't want them tainted we this repressive hate speak.

    Who can I vote for now that the Democrats have and Republicans both want censorship?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      elamast, 9 Jun 2006 @ 1:44pm

      Re:

      "Since when did the facist christian movement take over a techdirt forum?"

      It did not. Stating an opinion about morality does not make one a fascist. You are free to agree or disagree as you wish.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Captain Obvious, 9 Jun 2006 @ 1:02pm

    Boys like S3X

    Newsflash: This just in. Teenage boys like sex and looking at naked women whether real or imaginary. In related news 100% of teenage boys M/$TURB/TE when not having $EX, which they will try to get whenever possible (and usually whenever not).

    We now turn to our senior dirty little boy correspondent, Captain Obvious.

    Captain Obvious: Thank you, Ted. This problem has existed ever since the invention of the P3||IS and there is nothing the government can do about it. The only know way to stop teenage boys from thinking about $3X is by forcing them to watch their grandparents doing it. Unfortunately, today's Americans are so fat and lazy that anyone over 60 trying this would die of a heart attack before the third time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    A Neutral, 2 Jul 2006 @ 9:34pm

    The Children

    I stand at a point in this war that only some people can comprehend to, I have the game, and I am most certainly not of age to play it.

    The game, and all games of this type, stand no effect over me, personally. People like me, are very plentiful in number. The other children, who are effected, usually have problems in the home or otherwise with people in thier daily life. A lot of people have families that don't believe in the fact that games effect children...

    It's bullcrap though, all of it, these games effect a lot of us, and thouroughly ruin some of us, I am not on any side of this war between the governement and game makers, BUT I DO whole heartedly believe that children and parents have the ability to discss it in the home. When children have problems and get urges to act upon what they see in games, it should most definetly not be ignored by the parents (And the parents should be able to see the effects in children, if they can't they need to grow up)

    Now I also know that since I am a child this comment will probably be load of bull to some of you, and I can understand that, but I would liek to stress the fact that kids can be smart too.

    I would also like to say, that because of violence in these games, SOME CHILDREN (I being one of them) can vent their anger out on a game controller, and a bunch of pixels on an electronic screen.

    This battle goes both ways, and I feel that as some circumstance, the actual children are being left out. Are we not what the fight is about? Are we NOT WHAT THIS WAR ON GAMES IS ABOUT! NOBODY TAKES OUR VIEWS OR LOOKS AT US FOR INFO. NOBODY ASKS US WHAT WE THINK!!! AND IF YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE OUR DECISIONS FOR US, WHY DO YOU CARE TO INCLUDE US AT ALL???

    (I am also sorry that because of some errors in my typing, some people will not heed my words)

    Thanks for reading

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    austin, 20 Dec 2007 @ 9:38am

    Could you tell me more about earnings of a video game designer.

    I would like to know more about how many years of school and training are needed to to become a video game designer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    austin, 20 Dec 2007 @ 9:38am

    Could you tell me more about earnings of a video game designer.

    I would like to know more about how many years of school and training are needed to to become a video game designer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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