Connecticut Attorney General: ESRB Under the Influence Regarding Alcohol Use in Games

 Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) charged today that the ESRB is "under the influence" when it comes to depictions of alcohol use in video games.

His comments were prompted by Beer Pong, from JV Games. As reported by GamePolitics, the title has previously come under fire from education and substance abuse organizations. In response to those concerns, the game has recently been renamed as Pong Toss (although JV’s website still lists it under the original title).

Blumenthal, mentioned as a potential gubernatorial candidate, issued a press release calling on the ESRB to change the rating of Beer Pong from T (13+) to what the AG refers to as "adult" (presumably the ESRB’s Adults Only rating). The A.G. is quoted in the press release: 

The rating T 13+ — suitable for teens 13 and older — is absolutely inappropriate. The video game rating board is under the influence — rating frat party video drinking games suitable for minors. Even as JV Games agrees to alter its Beer Pong video game, both it and the rating board stubbornly deny the damaging influence of alcohol depiction in video games.


The ESRB astonishingly downplays and dismisses alcohol depiction in rating the suitability of video games for minors. Parents have the first and last say over their children’s games — but they deserve to know all of the facts. The ESRB, claiming to consider age suitability in its ratings, has a moral and ethical responsibility to consider all potentially damaging material in the products it rates.


This issue is urgent because the ‘Frat Party Ganes’ promoted by JV Games may soon offer others in this planned series.

ESRB spokesman Eliot Mizrachi responded to Blumenthal’s criticism of the video game industry rating board in a statement:

Although we respect Attorney General Blumenthal’s right to disagree, the fact is that ESRB’s role is not that of censor.  Our job is to impartially and consistently label content about which there may be a diversity of views so consumers can make informed choices for themselves and their families. 


‘Pong Toss’ involves nothing more than players tossing virtual ping-pong balls into plastic cups, which hardly qualifies it for our most restrictive rating of AO (Adults Only 18+)… 

In addition, GamePolitics has obtained a copy of a June 12th letter from ESRB President Patricia Vance to Attorney General Blumenthal on the Beer Pong issue. It reads in part:

While the assignment of ratings does require that judgments be made about the age-appropriateness of different types of content, it would be improper to assign ratings solely based on the depiction of behavior which may be understandably discouraged by society at large. To illustrate, many car racing games require players to barrel down city streets at high speeds – illegal behavior that certainly should not be encouraged… Still, none of this changes the fact that racing games… tend to be rated E… That actions in a game might, in the real world, be associated with minimum age requirements or be generally discouraged does not, in and of itself, relegate that game to the most restrictive ESRB rating category, Adults Only. Such contextual elements are weighed in the ratings process, however…


This title is being made available solely as WiiWare, which means it will not be available at retail, but may be downloaded, for a fee, directly through the Wii console. WiiWare games, available by the hundreds, rarely have marketing or advertising associated with them, and typically draw scant attention. Given this, our concern is that a greater number of consumers (including the age group about which you are most concerned) will be made aware of this game and resolve to play it as a result of publicized statements of advocacy groups and others. Ironically, this is likely to result in more rather than less consumers being drawn to this game, particularly those very minors all of us seek to protect.


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  1. 0
    Meggie ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Pink Elephants confused me as a kid, I didn’t know the thing that fell in the bucket Dumbo drank from was beer. If beer isn’t in the title anymore, who’s to say kids will come to that conclusion?

    Anyone know if WiiWare exclusive games are ESRB rated? My Wii isn’t hooked up to the internet.

  2. 0
    Matt169 says:

    This guy is going on a crusade because one can toss a ball in a cup….has he Seen grand theft auto??????  which by the way (even with the rating) most kids 10 and up own or have played it!!!!! 

    and FYI can be purchasesd regardless of the rating in any used pawn shop and used gamer store no matter what your age..oh then there is the web with mom and dad’s credit card.  here’s a clue…let parents be parents and stop policing this country…

  3. 0
    Sammy says:

    I was brought up back east, I’ve heard alot about this guy over the years.  It is a scary thought he keeps holding office after being blasted as 1 of the worst abusers of political power on top 10 worst AG lists. I think that #1 spot is now secure after reading this whole thing because it’s absurd.  People like him usually have a closet so full of skeletons that it had to be bolted shut to keep them from spilling out.  Kinda makes you wonder if he holds weekly bonfire burnings in his cozy little Conneticut backyard.  I’ll bet he and his fascist buddies have "rid the world of all evil with a good ole boys bonfire double top secret decoder rings" too!!!!  Come on, they’ve got to right?!  I mean it goes well with the really cool "rid the world of evil" cloaks!

  4. 0
    Father Time says:

    Does he have nothing better to do than complain? Seriously in 5 months I doubt anyone will still be discussing this game (well actually in 5 months it will be december so I’m pretty sure they’ll have a violent game to complain about).

  5. 0
    kELL says:

    I think the parents should protect the children and I agree with Noelle.  He and his wife most likely have a nanny to watch thier kids while he is off burning books and she is off filling her sun tanned spa filled days up with private country club tennis lessons.  It makes sense they would need laws to be passed so someone is watching thier children.  The rest of the world watches they own and helps make right decisions for them without passing ridiculous babysitting bandaid laws or starting protests.  Go figure!


  6. 0
    JanZ120 says:

    So I guess this guy would ban or burn all kids videos and DVD’s too because:

    Disney’s Dumbo-Dumbo and mouse get drunk and sees pink elephants

    Disney’s Pirates of the Carribean-Capt Jack is always drunk-"Why is the rum always gone!"

    Disney’s Three caballeros – smoke cigars

    Disney’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol – they drink

    Muppet’s treasure Island-the mice are partying with margaritas

    Disney’s Alice in wonderland- is major drug inuendos all the way around

    Sony Picture’s Monster House – the boyfriend drinks beer

    All dogs go to heaven-has doggy bar

    Disney’s 101 Dalmations- Cruella De Vil smokes

    Disney’s Hercules- drink wine

    Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame-drink wine and has a little pole dance action

    Disney’s Sleeping beauty-drinking song

    Amblin Entertainments Hook-drinks

    Dreamworks Shrek- Everyone drinks in Pub

    Disney’s Haunted Mansion-Eddie murphy’s character has scotch and cigar

    Disney’s Beauty and the beast-Gaston drinks  beer

    Disney’s Pinocchio -gets drunk and smokes cigars while playing pool

    Come on now…seriously!





  7. 0
    TheEdge ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Uh-oh,it has drinking in it!Call the government!

    I honestly think they don’t give a shit about "the children",it seems more like an act to get votes.

    It’s probably my disdain for Democrats,but the fact this idiot is one(a Democrat)just makes sense,somehow.It’s the use of the line"for the children"that gave me the feeling.Liberals love that line.

    I take even the merest sight of booze in games is enough to set some 14 year old off?I love that Libertarians never complain about this shit,it’s either the "we’re doing it for the children!"Democrats or the"we won’t let these foul,evil elctro-gizmo things corrupt our precious family values!"Republicans.

  8. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Well, considering how ‘demonized’ marijuana is, I’m surprised none has lamblasted Resident Evil for the liberal use of ‘marijuana’ in that game.  *chortle*

  9. 0
    Andy says:

    What’s next Mr. AG ..Video game burning???!!!???

    and since you actually don’t look into anything completely before commenting, I am refering to actual video game burnings like the book burnings I’m sure you have taken part in, not copying…just to clarify!

  10. 0
    grls-r-gamers-2 says:

    You’d be surprised how stupid some parents can be.  My uncle’s fiancee got a GTA game for her son, who was, at the time, eight years old (her ex-husband finally showed her the content descriptors).  "I thought the M stood for motor vehicles" she said, her attempt at hiding her idiocy backfiring and making her look like even more of a brainless twit.  As others have said before, the title of the game is a FELONY, for crying out loud!  It’s not child-friendly!  But now I’m ranting and getting off topic.

  11. 0
    JustChris says:

    Calling the game "Beer Pong" in the first place was a stupid move that they now are having trouble recovering from. It was a self inflicted wound, seeing that unlike some other games mentioned, the game proper doesn’t contain references to alcohol, but that the rules and name would possible encourage drinking real alcohol, much like the real game.

    If some idiots created a came called "Beer Tetris" it would mislead others to believe that you need actual beer to enjoy busting blocks. With that said, clever and bored minds can make a drinking game out of anything in a video game/TV/movie, so the responsibility falls on the people that drink.

  12. 0
    Noelle says:

    If the Conn AG is looking to protect the kids and keep any ref to alcohol "Away from the children" then what about Simpson’s, Family Guy, classic Looney Toon and Merrie Melody cartoons, some Disney movies, any given movie with a PG-13 rating, Monday Night Football or any sporting event usually sponsored by booze companies, alchohol commercials, billboards, magazine ads….am I getting my point across yet?  It is up to a parents to be parents and actually take part in thier childs life and help make appropriate decisions and teach good life choices for thier children.  Not some pompus ass of a politition from the cooshy side of town in Conneticut with judge’s in his pocket who the sound of his own voice and his name and face all over the news.  I’ll make the decision what my child plays or does not play. 

    I wonder if he even knows what his kids watch or play!!! Oh, sorry!  I forgot.  That would be the his nanny’s job!!!  

    This is ridiculas.

  13. 0
    Neenko says:

    You would be surprised how many people play beerpong on a computer.  Crow, people dump quarters into Megatouch machines to play Beer Pong all the time.. and that is without a nice motition thingie like the Wii has.

  14. 0
    Anonymous says:

    While I do agree the ‘outrage’ here is rather heavily misplaced,  I kinda think paul has a point. Seriously who thought this game was a good idea? I mean I can understand frats playing it for real and what not, but what at all is the point of a digital version? Beer pong never sounded fun as a real game to me, so I can’t imagine making it digital and essentialy removing the booze from the equation has made it any more pleasant.

  15. 0
    BmK ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I am really damn sick of all this "protect the children" bullshit. Children neither want nor need protection from any video games or other forms of Free speech media as their is no evidence beyong some psuedoscientific bullshit studies that so called "offensive or innappropriate" media is actually harmful to kids.

    No child is going to be either physically or psychologically harmed by playing this video game anymore then they would be by watching a beer commerical during a football game on T.V. Which of course is none.

    When it comes to Free Speech media politicans need to stay the hell out of our lives and our children’s lives. Leave it solely up to the individual parents to decide what Free Speech media is or is not appropriate for their own children. Whether that be in their eyes Grand Theft Auto, Scarface, The Holy Bible or Harry Potter novels.

  16. 0
    T5 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The guy is too popular here in CT and mentions that he may run for Gov. every cycle but never does.  The republicans simply cannot beat this guy, he’ll be around for a long long time.

  17. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Most politicians are of the opinion that most people are dumb fucks who have to have their opinions spoon fed to them.

    The depressing part, the really depressing part, is how many people are happy to be exactly that.

  18. 0
    DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "Parents have the first and last say over their children’s games — but they deserve to know all of the facts. "

    They also deserve to be talked about like you’re not the only one in the country that knows how to read the english language. If YOU can read the tag marking alcohol content, so can they.

  19. 0
    Attack_Gypsy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is also the AG who took on big tobbaco alone.


    And won.


    Don’t worry, his position here as CT’s AG is assured for at least another decade.

  20. 0
    NovaBlack. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    whats being said is that basically because something simply ‘contains’ a reference something, apparently it encourages it… hence the reccomendation that his game move from T13+ to adults only..


    so then


    E.T. is a family movie by steven spielberg. In one scene Eliott , under a bond formed with E.T., becomes drunk as E.T. goes to the fridge and drinks beer, and gets very very drunk.

    So whats being said is that E.T. should be reclassified as what… 18 rated?


  21. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Oh god help me Mr. attorney General.  My 8 year old just saw this picture of a beer and now he wants a one.  I don’t know what to do.  Please Help for gods sake, he keeps asking for a beer and I don’t know what to tell him.  Seeing this advertising is crushing my spirit to think for myself. Please, im begging you, please make this decision for me.  Should I give him a beer or no?  He says he wants is a Beer, I just don’t know what to do, he is so influenced by this picture.

    Oh God now he wants a lime, what am I going to do.

  22. 0
    bpm195 says:

    They changed the name. If your child doesn’t know what beer pong, is then as far as they’re concerned, they’re playing pong toss, and if your child already understands beer pong, it’s not the game’s fault.

    Works for me.

  23. 0
    Roozle ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You know, actually, that name change would probably mislead parents who wouldn’t have let their kids get it.

    Oh the irony.


  24. 0
    Enough Already says:

    I am so tired of this guys "protect the children" crusade.  People Keep in mind…this guy is bad news.  Seems to do press releases on big name companies from Microsoft to Coca-Cola.  He is looking for what ever will get his face plastered on news and web to keep his so called polical career going.   He has been put on countless top 10 worst AG lists.



  25. 0
    Anonymous says:

    I love how the ESRB stuck it to the AG. If he had shut his trap and not drawn attention to this game, the vast majority of people would never know about this game.

  26. 0
    Belgarion89 says:

    Will any parent not know what goes on in a game specifically labeled "Beer Pong?"


    So speak I, some random guy.

  27. 0
    Robb ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Historically, the AG is correct.  I know this sounds dumb since it doesn’t actually involve alcohol, but the old arcade game "Tapper" was a bartender serving beer, originally.  They changed it to "Root Beer Tapper" for a more rated-G type of environment of a typical arcade.  This was before ESRB ratings.

    I just don’t think this is a good thing for a politician to worry about, since it is an inconsequential issue compared to the real problems.

  28. 0
    Orange Soda says:

    No one ever complains about the "Use of Alcohol" descriptors on Harvest Moon games.

    But then again, when has equal opportunity complaining happened… ever?

  29. 0
    Paulrus-Keaton? ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What makes me sad is, I once told this total bitchy girl who suggested that there should be a Beer Pong game for the Wii that she was a total idiot, among other things.

    And now there’s an actual game. I’ll bury the cock-a-roaches who made this game.

  30. 0
    timada says:

    I don’t see the connection between the alcohol use in games and the teenagers ending up in alcohol rehabs. It’s not like if you kill people in a game, you have to do it in real life. Everyone knows the side effects of alcohol. A game can’t change someone’s mind.

  31. 0
    Andrew William says:

    As the plethora of above users have noted, there are man games which employ alcohol to one degree or another. This I have no problem with, but it’s only with games that focus on it that I can understand there could be  a problem.


    Andrew William

    [url=]Used Cars[/url]


  32. 0
    Tolazytoapplyforalogon says:


    I agree with you completely about ESRB, my personal opinion is that they are doing a fine job.  I think they are consistant with movie industry and as long as they continue to do so, i’ve got not problem.  I have yet to buy a game where I didn’t think their rating was accurate.

    You are correct about about companies (cereal, toys, what have you) marketing to children, the point I was trying to make is that in the end your the one that buys it.


  33. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:

    It is a slippery slope, for sure. But at least it’s a slope being navigated by the ESRB, which is set up to make subjective suggestions, and not required to make immutable black-and-white rulings.


    Considering the ESRB content descriptors you mention, I am not sure whether this Beer Pong game would have any "alcohol reference" descriptors or not, since the only reference seems to be in the title itself, and not in the game.


    As the parent of an under-aged child, I disagree with your statement about marketing to parents instead of children. Think of all those cereal manufacturers and toy companies — their ads and cartoons and product tie-ins are aimed at my son, not at me (even though I watch them too!). I think it works the same way for some games — though not necessarily this one.


    In any case, I have never, ever suggested that it’s the ESRB’s job to censor anything. It is absolutely the ESRB’s job to be consistent with itself, however — that’s the best you can hope to do, when you are in the business of making subjective judgments with few (or no) objective facts to go by.


    So its not really a question of whether or not an average 13-year-old understands the basic concepts of drinking games or orgies, it’s a question of how the ESRB will consistently handle games that use these concepts in the titles and marketing of games — even when these concepts are not depicted the games themselves.


  34. 0
    Azzedar says:

      Headline news is running a segment on Beer Pong saying it glorifies substance abuse and promotes teenage drinking.  The host is suggesting that this game "plants the seed of teenage drinking".  If anyone can get this footage and link it I would appreciate it as I missed the beginning of it.

      From what I’ve seen so far, they’re trying to link teenage alcohol use to video games, but considering this game has yet to be released I don’t understand how that could be.  I’d thought adults that buy alcohol for kids or leave it where they could get it made more of an impact, but hey who the hell am I?


  35. 0
    Tolazytoapplyforalogon says:

    @stinking kevin

    This is that slippery slope, at what part do we start censoring words and who is the moral authority on this.

    Nobody can ever be, but when ESRB rates a game they take into consideration everything including song lyrics and then they give it a rating of E, T, etc.  More so, the ratings include descriptors like, Mild Language, Excessive violence, Alcohol reference, bla bla bla.  This is to give meaning to the assigned letter so parents make an informed decision.

    Nobody markets to underage children; they market to the parents of underage children because they’re the ones with money.

    In your example of Strip Poker Orgy there is probably a good chance that "Orgy" is one of those words that would send the rating to a "T" just like "Beer" did.  Since "T" is 13 (I think) and older, it’s probably safe to assume that a 13 year old has crossed that term or has the mental faculties to deal with the meaning.

    If a parent doesn’t want a "T" rated game then they simply say "no" or turn on parental control.

    It’s not ESRB’s job to censor anything, it’s the parents.



  36. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:

    The only people who assign "X" ratings any more are the publishers of X rated films. That is, filmmakers don’t get an "X" rating unless they assign it to their own films.


    The "X" rating has nothing to do with the MPAA anymore, just as the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland has nothing to do with WiiWare "Beer Pong," as far as I can tell.


    Unless they re-titled the film something like "The Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar," I don’t think it makes for a particularly useful analogy to this case. Absurd? Absolutely, well done. But not really too relevant, I don’t think.

  37. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:

    Since the game has now been re-titled, this is moot, but I think that the heart of the original controversy was not about whether there was any alcholol consumption depicted in the game. I think it was about whether or not a game’s title and marketing should be considered in its ESRB rating.


    Let’s say there’s a WiiWare game coming out called Strip Poker Orgy. There is actually no orgy depicted in the game, nor is there any sort of sexual intercourse at all. Characters do take off articles of clothing when they lose a hand, perhaps, but their naughty parts are all pixilated and barred out, so there’s absolutely no nudity in the game, either. So, it’s really nothing but a regular old poker game, set in a vaguely frat-house-like setting, but the developers chose the title "Strip Poker Orgy" because they thought it might be more immediately recognizable to their target demographic.


    So, is it cool with us all for Strip Poker Orgy to receive a "T" rating? After all, there is a strip poker activity in some of the Sims games, too, and they are all rated "T."


    Still, I have to admit, under the premise of ESRB system, to me it still doesn’t seem quite right to be marketing Strip Poker Orgy to people who are (in general) far too young to properly understand the concepts implied by that title, even though those concepts are never actually realized in any way within the game itself.




  38. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:

    Other media don’t "have to do this," but neither does games.


    When I used the word "need" there, my point was that we need for the system to remain independent and voluntary, as opposed to it becoming an agent of the state that enforces its subjective judgments with the power of law. Too many fools, on these boards and elsewhere, are too often too quick with agruments that ‘since ESRB ratings are enforced by most retailers anyway, we might as well just let them become laws.’ This sort of blind trust in (or ignorance of) the government frightens me more than anything else in the entire realm of civil rights issues.


    Anyway, other media doesn’t have to do this, but some other media trade organizations also choose to do it with their own independant, voluntary ratings systems, just as the ESA chooses to do it with the ESRB.




  39. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "This is why we need a rating board — not to objectively determine whether or not alcohol is consumed by a character in a game, but to subjectively determine what sort of overall message that alcohol consumption, as it exists in the context of the larger story, might send. It is exactly because these are subjective judgments that it is so important that ESRB must continue to be independant and voluntary — a system of suggestions, not of laws."


    And other media doesn’t have to do this why?

  40. 0
    Anonymous says:

    This brings to mind Alice in Wonderland.  There’s a catapillar smoking hookah, but it’s still marketed as a children’s movie, by Disney, no less.  Perhaps it too should be given a rating often reserved for pornography?  Rated X for drug references.  The absurdity is astounding.

  41. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:


    Any fool can think of a television show, movie, or another game that features alcohol use but is rated for an audience that is not yet old enough to drink. Citing these examples proves nothing, except that you don’t understand the point of the ESRB in the first place.


    It serves no purpose to categorize games based solely on their narrative elements alone. It is how the narrative elements are used in context that determines the age-appropriateness of a game. This is why we need a rating board — not to objectively determine whether or not alcohol is consumed by a character in a game, but to subjectively determine what sort of overall message that alcohol consumption, as it exists in the context of the larger story, might send. It is exactly because these are subjective judgments that it is so important that ESRB must continue to be independant and voluntary — a system of suggestions, not of laws.


    There is an interesting question to be answered with this "Beer Pong" game, but it has nothing to do with alcohol references in PG movies. Contrary to some others here, I found Vance’s statement uncharacteristically defensive and bitter. The first quoted paragraph seems to make the same point about context that I tried to make above, however in the second paragraph, instead of simply explaining why it’s the ESRB’s opinion that this game called "Beer Pong," based on the drinking game "Beer Pong," should receive "T" rating, she accuses Blumenthal of making the situation worse for himself simply by questioning the rating at all.


    "Ironically, this is likely to result in more rather than less [sic] consumers being drawn to this game, particularly those very minors all of us seek to protect."


    If it is not completely 100% OK for "those very minors" to be playing this game called "Beer Pong," then the game really should have been rated higher than "T" in the first place, right? Shame on Vance for suggesting that interested parties — no matter how ignorant or adversarial — cannot dare even question a rating without complicitly contributing to the demand for the rated content in question.


    Her message sounds like, "you may not like it, but don’t question us or you’ll only make it worse." To me, that sounds like exactly the same sort of fear-based institutionalized censorship the ESRB is supposed to prevent.


  42. 0
    JonnyDingle says:

    After reading many posts opn this subject from multiple sources the question I have is…..

    Did this guy even play the game?????? WTFBBQ


  43. 0
    sarathi says:

    FYI can be purchasesd regardless of the rating in any used pawn shop and used gamer store no matter what your age..oh then there is the web with mom and dad’s credit card. here’s a clue…let parents be parents and stop policing this country


    Sarathi J

  44. 0
    Mike says:

    Ok..I’m really trying to To understand this..

    So he’s saying if a kid plays pong toss and tosses a ping pong ball in the cup they will be encouraged to binge drink beer?!?

    Ok, if that’s the theory he is following, I grew up watching Tom and Jerry, Bugs, Roadrunner, Felix the cat etc.

    So by his theory I should of been encourage to go out and hit people off the head with Acme rockets, anvils and frying pans???!!!  I must of not paid attention watching these cartoons every day, TWICE A DAY for years!

  45. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    I may not be clear on the game itself, but it doesn’t sound like it actually involved DRINKING alcohol?

    If there is a game that I know of that involves the virtual drinking of alcohol as a "contest", it’s the minigame in Magna Cum Laude.

    Not that I believe it ENCOURAGES drinking alcohol.  But it’s the game I know most directly involved in young drinkers (college students).

    I also know of Last Call which puts you in the position of a bar tender who learns to mix drinks.

    And there was a really old game that had you sliding mugs of (root?) beer to bar patrons.  You had to move up and down among 3 or 4 bars, sliding the mugs to patrons who would appear faster and faster.


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

  46. 0
    Keith K says:

    Reminder to douche bag American politicians: The ESRB rates games for countries other than yours who do not have poles inserted in the majority of our colons.

  47. 0
    Ravenhawk ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I like the point made at the end of the letter; The controversy made by that guy complaining is going to give the game a lot more publicity than it otherwise would have gotten given that it’s a WiiWare and a rather crappy one at that.

  48. 0
    Ryno (still awaiting my login info) ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Now maybe I’m out of line, but I can see where this is coming from. An M rating is completely appropriate for something with a title of Beer Pong, since beer is only available to 21+ year olds here. I wouldn’t have any trouble with that rating for a game with such a focus as beer.  There really doesn’t seem to be much else to it, after all.

    But as a broad criterium for games it doesn’t work. As the plethora of above users have noted, there are man games which employ alcohol to one degree or another. This I have no problem with, but it’s only with games that focus on it that I can understand there could be  a problem.

    Something like an RPG that has alcoholic objects shouldn’t raise an eyebrow, because it’s generally just filler or an optional part. But a game called Beer Pong could raise eyebrows, if just for the name.

    Game companies should move away from these eye-catching names and themes and focus on what is truly entertaining. If this game didn’t have the name it does I’d bet it wouldn’t be noticed by anyone. The devs just want to be noticed, thus the name. They don’t care about gaming in general. They just want to make a buck. And that is why they are more harmful than good, and deserve a tougher rating.

  49. 0
    Give me a break says:

    Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…………what about family guy and The Simpsons…they drink on these shows all the time….Conn. AG needs to let parents do the parenting and concentrate on bigger issues…



  50. 0
    Anonymous says:

    I agree with you completely.

    Why should video-games be the only medium targeted when every other medium out there is essentially telling us that "Drinking is ok, its what cool people do and what you’d do when your with a group of friends in any social situation".

    Look at all the beer commercials, or any other commercial out there that features an alcoholic beverage.  Aside from the hilarious super-bowl commercials, they all feature a few key things:  friends, a good time and most importantly, the alcohol. 

    Yet video-games are the only one targeted?  Why not impose such restrictions on movies, television and even literature. 

    If they are unwilling to target those other mediums, then their argument for regulating games over alcohol is pure bullshit.

    Also, on the topic of alcohol comsumption:  If they were all so worried about our children being taught to drink and so forth, why are they not placing more restrictions on bars and liquor stores?  What about harsher penalties for those who are caught supplying alcohol to underage children?  Drunk drivers?  Public intoxication? Pregnant women caught drinking? 

  51. 0
    Buckeye531 says:

    If use of alcohol in any way is sufficient for an "adults-only" rating from the ESRB, then every movie that depicts use of any alcohol period should get be considered porn and treated as such. The same goes for television shows and beer commercials.

    The AG has a moral and ethical responsibility to be honest and impartial. Judging from his quote, I do not think he is living up to that responsibility.

  52. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    FF6 on the GBA/DS is rated E10 it had PG13 convos with lite cussing but the graphics where so low they went with a E10 rating, we kinda need a T15 level there are always 2 mid steps in the main age slots kids,teens and adults, not counting the learnign elvel slots in teh kid ranges.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)


  53. 0
    Unruly ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yea, FF games tend to reference or show alcohol in some way shape or form. I remember earlier FF games having more references than their modern counterparts, but one earlier FF, I think it was 5 or 6, had Cid portrayed as always drunk, or "sloshed," and in FF7 the home base for Avalanche was a bar. Both of those games got rated T when they were released, or in some cases re-released.

  54. 0

    Eh, I find myself kind of indifferent on this one. I think this is blown a bit out of proportion, but it seems like everybody’s hearts are more or less in the right place. I think a T rating would be plenty appropriate, considering there doesn’t appear to be any actual alchohol consumption depicted. Also, various Final Fantasy games have depicted some level of alchohol consumption, but they get T’s. Or am I mistaking FF for other Japanese RPG’s? Anyway, they still get T’s. Whatever though.


    -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, by Harvard Medical School researchers Larry Kutner and Cheryl Olson

  55. 0
    Neenko says:

    I had to blink at that phraze a few times…..,

    Any parent who can’t figure out that a game called "Beer Pong" has beer in it shouldn’t have kids.

    Yet no one has protested Bioshock for the massive amount of drinking in that game ^_^

  56. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    "Parents have the first and last say over their children’s games — but they deserve to know all of the facts. "

    Well, I’m pretty certain it’s accurate to say that Parents WON’T be getting all the facts from YOU, AG.

    I wonder if he and NiFong attended the same ethics courses.


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

  57. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Richard Blumenthal scares the crap out of me… How is he still in office.

    I can guarantee you that his last concern is children, it’s only publicity.

  58. 0
    lumi says:

    "Given this, our concern is that a greater number of consumers (including the age group about which you are most concerned) will be made aware of this game and resolve to play it as a result of publicized statements of advocacy groups and others. Ironically, this is likely to result in more rather than less consumers being drawn to this game, particularly those very minors all of us seek to protect."

    So do you think they honestly haven’t figured this out, or do they lump it in the same cost-effective pile as doomed-to-fail-but-look-good-on-tv anti-gaming legislation?  Tough call.

    I wish someone would just provide him with a list of prime time network television that exceeds the level of vulgarity, drug and alcohol depiction, and violence in any of these games.  Pretty sure the Law & Order series by itself would suffice.

  59. 0
    mogbert says:

    I think I could follow on this if there were a few other steps taken frst.

    1. All movies that contain b**r need to be re-rated R, including that sick E.T. movie which includes underaged public drunkeness.

    2. All movies Rated R (or higher) need to be removed from retail floors. They can still be sold, but they need to be either kept behind the counter or in the back. An ID needs to be checked before you can see the catalog of movies they sold.

    3. All b**r, w**e and w**e coolers need to be removed from Grocery floors. These should be sold in Package Stores.

    4. It will be illegal to drink in front of children.

    5. All comercials selling beer cannot be aired on regular TV channels.

    6. Finally, the words B**R, W**N, anf AL***OL should be censored out of all forms of media as per your local obsenity laws.

    If you can take care of all this, then you can complain about a ping pong ball game that has the word b**r in it. Normally I would go into a long rant about the hypocrasies of the situation, but I hope I’ve made myself clear. Also, for some of the slower readers who can’t always understand my posts (see some previous replies I’ve gotten), the above laws would be stupid, but more importantly, they would cost a lot of companies money. And those companies give campiegn contrabutions.

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