The game’s T (13+) rating has been called into question by Lisa Lombardozzi, chairman of the Greater Herndon Community Coalition. Lombardozzi, who has circulated a petition demanding a re-rating by the ESRB, told the Times:
The game encourages younger kids to emulate the patterns of college-age kids.
Gen. Arthur T. Dean, who heads the Washington, D.C.-based Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, was also critical of Beer Pong. Of the game, Dean said:
Beer pong is an activity that normalizes and encourages heavy binge drinking, shows blatant disregard for the dangers of alcohol poisoning, and can cost lives and result in injury.
Furthermore, promoting the video game Beer Pong in the Frat Party Games series under a Teen rating ignores the fact that many youth involved in fraternities on college campuses are not of legal drinking age and that youth as young as 13 can purchase the game under this rating.
The Northern Virginia Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving are also said to be looking into the sitiuation. Readers may recall that MADD came out strongly against the simulated drunk driving in Grand Theft Auto IV.
(GP: although, in my mind the performance hit Nico Bellic takes when drunk is a strong motivator NOT to drink & drive).
JV Games spokesman Vince Valenti responded to the criticism:
I think it’s kind of funny. The game promotes the sport of beer pong. We are not advocating drinking any more than watching cartoons or watching the TV show ‘Cheers,’ or even going bowling or to a baseball game… if anything, you’re going to be drinking less. Because you are too busy playing the game, trying to beat your opponent, to be constantly picking up a beer and drinking it.