Washington State Attorney General Reminds Parents to Check Video Game Ratings

Apparently in response to recent complaints about violent and sexual video game content, Rob McKenna (R), Attorney General of Washington, has issued a press release reminding parents to check video game ratings for their children.

McKenna said:

A Washington state law requires retailers to inform consumers about video game ratings. Parents need to be aware that some of the most popular games contain content that is potentially harmful for youth and may be deemed offensive. A rating of ‘M’ for mature can include intense violence and sexual scenes.

Grand Theft Auto IV came in for a brief mention in the press release, which also noted objections to the game lodged by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. Loudspeaker says:

    Yep… Up for re-election this year.  Can you tell?


    Mr. McKenna may I remind you that your state in which I reside includes the likes of Microsoft, Nintendo, and Valve along with many, many other video game companies in this state.  Do us all a favor by shutting up and getting to real issues.  This statement is nothing more than your way to get some free press, put your name in front of the public, and try to appeal to the "save the children" type voter.

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  2. Adamas Draconis says:

    Ahh there is the crux of the problem, Politicians these days don’t want SENSIBLE, they want something that they can say "Look! I’m protecting you (whether or not you need or even want me to) from all those "Bad Things" out there that we don’t want to understand so you don’t have to consider or even THINK about what we are saying."


    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  3. Are'el says:

    Ah, but law is all about semantics.  Both of us are technically right.  You’re right in that it is "recognized" by most people in the US.  I’m right in that it isn’t "recognized" (not officially) by the federal government.  So, if anyone decided to challenge this law (I don’t see why, it’s a perfectly sensible regulation), then they would probably win.

  4. Adamas Draconis says:

    Actually the ESRP rating can be considered "Nationally recognized" because most retailers have signs posted about the ratings and as far as I can tell every piece of game software has a rating on the package, most often on both the front and back lower right corner of the box, and again on the disk/cart. itself.

    Either way, i’d rather hear someone saying "There is a rating system, please LOOK at what your buying your kids before you buy it." then idiots like Thompson spouting nothing but inane nonsense and vitrolic stupidity.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  5. Are'el says:

    While I commend anyone that reminds parents to pay attention to the ESRB, and not force it upon them by law, I have a comment on the "Washington State Law" that the guy brought up.  It says:

    Every video game retailer shall post signs providing information to consumers about the existence of a nationally recognized video game rating system, or notifying consumers that a rating system is available, to aid in the selection of a game if such a rating system is in existence."

    The ESRB is privately run and funded.  It is not "nationally recognized" or supported in any way by federal law or oversight.  So, while I would like for every store to have the ratings posted, the State governement cannot enforce this in any way.

  6. Though a nice message about paying attention to raitings, The message got lost and destroyed when he went on about the potential harmful affects. Parents will probably pay attention tothat part instead of the first part.

  7. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Oh, you are just the most naive little boy in the world, aren’t you? Everyone knows that female nipples emit a radio signal which makes men stupid and vulnerable to mind control from those Goddamn stinking communists. Seriously though, blood and guts are considered perfectly fine, but if a kid sees a booby, someone’s gotta get lynched. F$#king awesome.

    -GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.

  8. DarknessDeku says:

    But sex isn’t bad.  It’s not evil.  It’s natural.  So why are you all afraid over it.

  9. unrated ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Umm the sex scene part is right. They wont be as bad as what you find in a R movie, or an AO game, but there CAN be sex scenes in games.

  10. Haggard ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think the sort of people who buy games for their kids without even stopping to think about ratings and suitably are not going to listen to or even hear about the advice of a politician.

  11. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    He’s still using the "harmful to minors" schtickt.


    -GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.

  12. TBoneTony ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Need I remind you governer that some of the most popular games besides from GTA IV are also Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit, Brain Age and the new Banjo Kazooie game that is making some news in the gaming world is also a popular one.

    Also the fact that you, Washington Stage Attorney General, is just cashing in on the publicity and have not ever PLAYED a videogame before to even understand what are the most popular games.

    I hate how politicians get attention like this no matter how genuine their own comments are.

    you lost me when you said that line that most of the popular games out there contain content that is harmful to children

  13. -Jes- ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Eh, he doesn’t even say that..

    Besides the "sex scenes" bullsh#¤, all he really did say was "oh there’s a law, sure, but parents; DO SOME PARENTING!"

  14. DarknessDeku says:

    We should all listen to this guy, because we all know kids will become killers after playing violent video games.  *eyeroll*

  15. Freyar says:

    Didn’t I read this about three weeks ago? (Not the same politician of course.) It makes me curious why this kind of press release is brought up every time it’s made.


    —- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians.

  16. Ghost coins ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Completely understandable, and fair.  He’s focusing on the parents, and the law only stipulates that the ESRB rating information be present somewhere in the store.  All in all, this is fairly tame by the standards we are use to seeing.  Frankly, I’d rather see more of this than…well, practically all the other knee-jerk nonsesne we have seen thus far.

Comments are closed.