The players of today's video games find themselves assuming the role of the most despicable people to walk the earth by carrying out mind-altering tasks with realistic graphics. These games reward and encourage violent criminal conduct and, under current laws, retailers are not obligated to impose restrictions on the sale of video games to minors. A ten-year-old can purchase an Adult Only (AO rated) video game.
For more than fifty years, social scientists have insisted that exposure to violent media products leads to aggressive behavior in children. The US military agrees, and uses simulators that are similar to first-person shooter video games to desensitize soldiers to violence and mentally prepare them to kill.
Allowing video games to only be sold to adults will have no affect on the ability for this industry to pursue its profit and its "art" amongst adult consumers. When graphic sex, extreme violence, and the glamorization and codification of disrespect for the most basic of norms that make up human decency are involved in a product that children can use and learn from, parents need to be a part of the decision making process. In the face of scientific proof that there is potential for irrevocable damage when children play violent video games, as a society we would be grossly derelict to not enforce the standards that the video game industry itself has said are prudent and necessary.
The PTC is pushing for legislation to enforce the ESRB ratings guides for purchase of games backed by financial penalties for those who do not follow the law.
An advertiser cannot force anyone to publish its marketing
pitches. And yet that's what video-game makers demand of the
District: They claim that refusing to promote their products
violates their free-speech rights.
This is nonsense, of course. Even though RTD is a public agency,
the First Amendment has - or should have - nothing to do with this
competitive and adventurous your video game driving skills are, the more
likely you are to be in an accident on the real-life road.
This according to a
two-part study from Germany, which found that those who engage in risky
behavior when playing virtual racing games carry that behavior onto the
road, and are at greater risk for accidents and traffic violations.
The research followed men who played
either a typical racing game, or a neutral game. Those who played the
competitive racing games relied on breaking traffic rules to win -- such as
driving on the sidewalk, speeding or crashing into other cars.
These men subsequently reported
experiencing feelings of aggression that were triggered when on the road
behind a real car.
While this is the first study to examine
the effects of racing games, experts say the findings support what is
already known about gaming.
"Video games can affect behavior," says
Jeanne Funk, professor of psychology at the University of Toledo, Ohio.
"It's not a benign activity."
No more violent video game ads, RTD
- Rocky Mountain News
Every parent has done it. Diverted their child's
attention while passing that new toy or hoping they don't look up and see
the ad for something they might want but that you're unwilling to buy for
them. Advertising is powerful, especially when viewed by the most
impressionable members of our society, our youth.
Secret Shopper News in Evansville, Indiana
Evansville, Indiana Channel 25 did a secret
shopper visit to some local stores to see who would sell adult video games
"We asked Trevor Kellen (14) to go shopping to see what he could buy.
Kellen went into EB Games on Evansville's East side. When he walks up to the
counter to buy a mature audience game, the clerk won't let him purchase it
without an ID. This wasn't the case everywhere.
Kellen then went into McVann's Video Games in Evansville and within minutes,
he walks out with a game store's shouldn't have sold him. "
to read the rest and see the video clip of the story.
Publicly owned buses and trains promote violence to
Television Council and the Campaign for Commercial Free
Childhood, on behalf of a coalition of parents, child
advocacy groups, pediatricians and mental health
researchers, have called on the Regional Transportation
District (RTD) to stop advertising video games rated
"Mature" or "Adults Only." Last fall, ads for the
notoriously violent M-rated
Grand Theft Auto: Vice
City Stories (Rockstar Games, 2006) were
featured on RTD trains. The organizations asked the RTD
to amend their advertising policy at the RTD monthly
board meeting on February 20, 2007. ►
Get Off the
Bus! - IGN.com
Complaints lead RTD to review ad
policy - Denver Post
PTC Praises Sen. Sam Brownback for Reintroducing Video Game Rating Bill
The Parents Television Council praised Senator Sam Brownback for reintroducing the Truth in Video Game Rating Act (S. 568) that would help correct the current video game ratings system.
► December 2006
The MBTA will no
longer display advertisements
for video games that are meant
for adults after a citizens
group complained about posters
for a game that encourages
players to steal, murder and
have sex with prostitutes, a top
official said Tuesday. ►
notwithstanding, a legislative
committee on Wednesday, November 15 approved a
measure that would prevent Utah
youth from accessing violent video
April 2006 - A Michigan Law
requiring parental consent for children
to purchase violent video games has been
struck down by a Federal Court. They
February 2006 - Kansas becomes the
seventh state to introduce legislation
in 2006. The fact that this many states
are introducing legislation when every
court ruling to date has ruled against
similar legislation seems to indicate a
deep and abiding concern over violent
games among the voting public.
December 2005 - The senate (Clinton,
Lieberman, and Bayh) introduced a bill
making it illegal to rent or sell
a Mature or Adults-Only Rated game to a
BRIEF BREAKDOWN OF MAJOR LEGISLATION
Trade Commission, Federal Communications
Commission, or another governmental body
to study media violence or ratings
Setting up task forces
to study the effects of violent media on
children, or education programs for
Proposed in 5 jurisdictions
Passed in 2
Requiring video games
retailers to display the ratings (or
notice of a ratings system) developed by
the Entertainment Software Ratings
Passed in 4
Prohibiting the sale
or rental of video games with
excessively cruel and realistic violence
to minors (some allow sale with parental
permission; some prohibit it
Passed in 11
jurisdictions (City of Indianapolis,
County of St. Louis, City of North
Miami, State of Washington, Illinois,
Michigan, California, Minnesota,
0 jurisdictions (currently in
courts in California, Minnesota,
Requiring that stores
renting or selling violent video games
display them separately from other video
games, away from easy access. NOTE:
This is required in almost all bills
which prohibit the sale of violent video
Proposed in 4
Advisories to the
industry or miscellaneous resolutions
Proposed in 6
Voice your support for
violent video game legislation.
RESEARCH, STATS &
VIDEO GAME REVIEWS
WHAT CAN I DO?