Posted on August 28, 2007,

Editorial: Senator's Demand to the ESRB about Manhunt 2 Is a Waste of Time

manhunt-2.jpgWay to go Take-Two, you got the M rating you were shooting for. Now if you can just do something about Senator Leland Yee.

In a press release today, California Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) stated that he demands an explanation how the “most violent video game ever released” achieved an M rating. This statement alone makes me wonder whether he actually knows what an M rating means.

“Parents can’t trust a rating system that doesn’t even disclose how they come to a particular rating,” Yee said in the press release. “The ESRB and Rockstar should end this game of secrecy by immediately unveiling what content has been changed to grant the new rating and what correspondence occurred between the ESRB and Rockstar to come to this conclusion. Unfortunately, history shows that we must be quite skeptical of these two entities.”

People need to realize that the point isn’t politics of the ESRB, though admittedly it may come up in the future in a reasonable fashion. The point should be that this violent video game is not going to be played by anyone under the age of 17 if parents do their job correctly. People act like they just hand video games out to ten year olds once they’re on the shelves.

Does Mr. Yee understand that video games are kept behind a locked, glass case? Does he also understand that young adults who are 17 are by law allowed to kill people for the U.S. government less than a year later?

If he did, he might worry about other more pressing issues in America like our broken health care system or lack of funding for schools. Parents are getting the picture about the ratings, and since they understand that children under 17 shouldn’t play Manhunt 2, then there is no problem.

Tell you what, Senator Yee: If you create universal health care for your home state or help to endorse an efficient energy solution to help the crises facing our globe, we’ll give a damn about what you have to say about video games. Until then, stop trying to win the soccer mom vote by acting like spouting off about violent video games is going to do anything to further the progress of our nation.

via ESRB

via San Jose Mercury

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4 Comments on Editorial: Senator's Demand to the ESRB about Manhunt 2 Is a Waste of Time

Ron Whitaker

On August 28, 2007 at 8:59 am

The unfortunate truth is that politicians are shooting for sound bites. Since they know that violent games are prime fodder for public furor these days, they become a target of opportunity.

I think that every gamer will agree with me that ‘M’ rated games shouldn’t be sold to kids. I also don’t think that kids buying ‘M’ rated games is the rampant problem that the talking heads would have us believe it is.

The problem lies in the fact that parents who are either uneducated or flat don’t care will buy anything the kid tells them to. In talking with one of our other writers here, I’ve found that he, like me, will mention to parents in the local gaming store the game’s rating if we see them looking at a violent game that is obviously for the young kid tagging along with them. Sometimes the parent will thank you for the information. Sometimes the parent will tell you to mind your own business. Every time, the kid will give you a look that could kill.

The point is that we as gamers need to take an active role in helping make parents and other gamers aware of the rating system, and the benefits it presents to the industry. Whether you’re talking about it on your blog, or mentioning it to a friend, or bringing it up with a complete stranger, every time you do it, you’re furthering the cause. Parents who would not take their kids to ‘R’ rated films might buy their kids a ‘M’ rated game simply through ignorance. The more effort made to prevent that, the better.

ChaosBahamut

On August 28, 2007 at 9:35 am

Amen to that. I wasn’t even allowed to play M rated games until I was a little over 15 (in which case it would be rental only), but even when I snuck in a couple games of Shadow Warrior I knew it was just a game and that nothing should be repeated. Granted I still feel what my parents did was the right thing and I thank them for it. (actually though my dad was the one who brought that game in and he knew I was playing it, my mother didn’t though, but I digress)

used cisco

On August 28, 2007 at 10:36 am

@Ron,

“The point is that we as gamers need to take an active role in helping make parents and other gamers aware of the rating system, and the benefits it presents to the industry.”

Thanks for saying this. As a gamer committed to “furthering the cause”, I have always felt this way but was wary to act. Hearing others say the same thing, gives me the motivation to speak up when I’m in a game store and something like this is happening. By no means would I ever condone being bossy or judgemental, but passing a little info on to a fellow adult sounds like a great idea. Putting myself in the position of a busy parent that doesn’t keep track of video games, I have to think a quick heads up from a knowledgeable gamer might actually be welcomed.

rone

On September 2, 2007 at 7:32 am

one problem is that games are over rated and some games are under rated over the years and that now makes parents not 100% sure whats in the game. i think parents should look into the game first before buy it. so they no what is in the game