ESRB Success in Chart Form

September 16, 2010 -

If you know anyone that thinks that it is easier to get videogames than any other form of media and you don't want to take the time to rattle off a bunch of numbers, then I recommend you look at this simple chart at Ars Technica. This chart shows the percentage of youngsters that have been successful in buying Mature-rated games at retail from 2000 - 2009. That stat line in the chart is contrasted by other stat lines for R-rated movies, music, and DVDs.

What is the shocking conclusion? That video games are harder for children to get than DVDs and music with parental advisory labels. They also have an easier time getting into an R-rated movie, than buying and M-rated game. So where did this data come from? The Federal Trade Commission.

The government - like the State of California - think they can do a better job than what the game industry already does using the ESRB as a guideline, but how can they possibly do better than what the chart shows - according to the FTC?

The truth is that they can't. Show this chart to your mom, your neighbor. Or better yet, email it to your elected officials.

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Comments

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

I think any parents concerned about their kids getting their hands on violent video games need to do a google image search for "free porn".  Personally, I'm more concerned about how easy it is to access that material for free with no age check than a $60-$70 game where the kid is likely to get turned down at retail even if they have the money.

In general I'm less concerned about anything MS, Sony or Nintendo allow on their console than I am about what's right out in the open on the internet.

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Chris Kimberley

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Chris Kimberley

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

This should be a case for the X-Files.  The Truth is out there. 

But sadly will simply be downplayed or flat out ignored as being inconvient. 

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

So its easier to get into a R-rated movie then it is to get an M-rated gamer huh? Interesting info from the FCC.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

Unfortunately the chart's not that simple. How do we account for the shift from 15% to 80% in the past ten years, when the ratings system itself (which came into effect in 1994, so had already had six years of people getting used to it by the beginning of the graph) hasn't changed? One could just as easily argue that the reason retailers are paying more attention to the ratings system now is because of the hysteria from enraged parents and political lobbyists that's surrounded the issue, putting them under pressure.

I don't think we can really conclude from this that the ratings system is working. I really would love to conclude that, but I just can't.

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

You are right. There was a time when the Games Industry needed the pressure to clean up its act, but that pressure does not need to be rule of law. It needs to come from parents and gamers.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

 Actually i would like to add that the rule of law doesn't always increase pressure and may actually ease it. If i recall, the similar studies in the UK where their are laws on regulation showed that game retailers here in the US are doing a better job. Once you make laws, people think it's over and done with and that gov't is taking care of it and thus stop paying as much attention themselves. 

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

If they REALLY wanted to solve the problem, the media could reach 90% of parents with a fairly short media blitz. The biggest problem is a number of parents still don't understand that games=/=for kids. There are kids games, then there are teen games, then there are adult games. Think of them like Candyland, Spin the Bottle, and Hide the Balogna respectively. Or the Hokey Pokey, the Electric Slide, and the Lambada.
Now, I'd like to bring up a ancedote that shows that the problem is not limited to games. I had a grandmother recently complain to me about a movie she rented to show her kids. It starred Jim Carry, and apparently he was dressed on the cover in a tutu. It was rated PG-13 and the kids were between 6 and 8. She didn't look at the rating of the movie, she looked at the cover, and figured it would be OK for kids. When it turned out it wasn't, do you think she accepted the responsibility for failing to check the rating? No, she blamed the movie company for putting a misleading picture on the front. Lack of accountability is a major problem for Americans (it's cool, I'm an American so I can say that). So when they buy an adult game and give it to their eight year old to buy, it must be the game industries fault! And so there "otter be a law!" Here is the irony... this law STILL would not stop hen from stupidly buying the game for their kid.

The only way to fight this is to educate the parents. And for that to work, the parents have to want to learn. Let's face it, a lot won't.

Re: ESRB Success in Chart Form

No the work of parents would increase these numbers. I'm not sure but i think the FTC's numbers are based on studies they conducted to test the enforcement of ratings in retail; the work of parents is completely irrelevant. This is not about how many kids actually DO get their games this way, just how likely they are if they wanted to. As the study in the other article trys to tell us, less than 10% of kids buy M-rated games on their own, and less than 15% do not have permission to do so.

 
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TechnogeekConjured up by who, though? If by the players, then it's not really "on a whim" since they're kind of putting work into it. If you mean the developers/government, then hello and welcome to monetary sovereignty.07/11/2014 - 12:34am
MechaTama31I'm just saying, when everything of value can be conjured up at a whim, that's not an economy. That's a fantasy.07/11/2014 - 12:15am
TechnogeekHonestly, though, what I find most thought-provoking about the article isn't the guaranteed minimum income aspect at all, but a more fundamental point: that we treat poverty as a moral failing on the individual, rather than a design flaw in the system.07/10/2014 - 11:53pm
TechnogeekOr, if your concern is that people won't even bother to work at all if their basic needs are met...well, let me put it this way: do you really want people like that in the workforce anyway?07/10/2014 - 11:51pm
TechnogeekAlso, you raise a valid question, but I'd argue that as things stand we're artificially limiting the amount of "gold/silver" that could be produced. The whole "work a job you hate to pay the bills" thing meshes poorly with the entreprenurial spirit.07/10/2014 - 11:49pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, it looks at how in-game economies work and what lessons can be applied to reality, focusing primarily on multiple currency systems. Such systems do exist in real life (food stamps, for example), although generally aren't seen as such.07/10/2014 - 11:43pm
MechaTama31Or to produce the gold and silver, for that matter?07/10/2014 - 11:42pm
MechaTama31But in seriousness though, the F2P games can conjure up all the "valuables" out of the ether. Are there going to be enough people going for the "gold" and "silver" to actually produce the necessities the "free energy" is supposed to cover?07/10/2014 - 11:39pm
TechnogeekHey, it works for Wall Street.07/10/2014 - 11:36pm
MechaTama31We should base our real economy on something that is reviled as a soul-sucking scourge? ;)07/10/2014 - 11:25pm
TechnogeekRelevant to this website's stated focus: an argument for a guaranteed minimum income using F2P games to illustrate how and why it could help. https://medium.com/@gthoreau/game-socialisme-6312268d469507/10/2014 - 8:28pm
ZenOk, so yeah...it's kind of a lie...but I HAD to go with "Nope. I'm zen." lol. Only broke one controller myself (PS3) on a playthrough of Uncharted that got frustrating.07/09/2014 - 10:38pm
MechaTama31I am not proud of this, but I had to select the "multiple times" option. Not for the same game, but I went through several controllers (particularly dreamcast ones. fragile, maybe?)07/09/2014 - 6:52pm
Andrew EisenI'd say breaking a handheld out of anger counts (even if it's just the hinge). Likewise, I'd say busting a keyboard or mouse counts so long as you were playing a game at the time.07/09/2014 - 12:28pm
ConsterAnd since there happened to be (without me realizing) a towel which broke the fall resulting in 'only' a damaged hinge, would that be option 2 or 4?07/09/2014 - 12:23pm
ConsterAbout the most recent poll: since the "controller" for the DS is basically part of the DS, does throwing my DS against the floor because Mario Basketball cheats count?07/09/2014 - 12:22pm
Sleakersaw this on Forbes, thought it was pretty good: http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2014/06/03/if-comcast-and-time-warner-dont-compete-then-why-shouldnt-they-merge/07/08/2014 - 9:09pm
Adam802the Sun is claiming games are as addictive as herion: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-07-08-the-real-story-behind-the-suns-gaming-as-addictive-as-heroin-headline07/08/2014 - 6:43pm
ZippyDSMleeIt takes 2-6 days to transferfunds to your bank, it can take up to 30 days for ebay to give you moeny from a sale. But lord to spend it its instant!07/08/2014 - 10:50am
Cheater87http://www.twinfinite.net/2014/07/08/evil-within-receive-gore-mode-dlc-japan/07/08/2014 - 10:00am
 

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