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Parents Television Council - Because Our Children Are Watching

Violent Video Game Campaign

Are you worried about the increasingly violent and graphic content in video games?


THE ISSUE

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.


LATEST HIGHLIGHTS

The freedom to say 'no': RTD may choose its advertisers
Rocky Mountain News

An advertiser cannot force anyone to publish its marketing pitches. And yet that's what video-game makers demand of the Regional Transportation

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 beef. more


Risky behavior in video games could lead to dangerous driving

ABC News

 

The more 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." more


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. more


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 to minors

"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. "

Click here to read the rest and see the video clip of the story.


PTC and CCFC to Denver RTD: Stop Advertising M-Rated Video Games

Publicly owned buses and trains promote violence to young riders

The Parents 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. more

 

Get Off the Bus! - IGN.com

Complaints lead RTD to review ad policy - Denver Post


PTC Calls on Indiana State Senate to Pass Violent Video Games Bill

The Parents Television Council is calling on the Indiana State Senate to pass the bill that would prevent video game retailers from selling Mature (M rated) or Adult Only (AO rated) video games to minors.  The Indiana Senate Technology Committee passed the legislation, and the next step is for the Senate to vote on the bill. more


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. more


► 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. more

November 2006 - Constitutional concerns notwithstanding, a legislative committee on Wednesday, November 15 approved a measure that would prevent Utah youth from accessing violent video games. more

April 2006 - A Michigan Law requiring parental consent for children to purchase violent video games has been struck down by a Federal Court. They will appeal.

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 minor.


BRIEF BREAKDOWN OF MAJOR LEGISLATION

Requiring Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, or another governmental body to study media violence or ratings issues.

4 bills proposed

1 implemented

 

Setting up task forces to study the effects of violent media on children, or education programs for parents.

Proposed in 5 jurisdictions

Passed in 2 jurisdictions

 

Requiring video games retailers to display the ratings (or notice of a ratings system) developed by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.

Proposed in 12 jurisdictions

Passed in 4 jurisdictions

 

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 completely).

Proposed in 35 jurisdictions

Passed in 11 jurisdictions (City of Indianapolis, County of St. Louis, City of North Miami, State of Washington, Illinois, Michigan, California, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Louisiana)

Implemented in 0 jurisdictions (currently in courts in California, Minnesota, Louisiana, Oklahoma)

 

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 games. 

Proposed in 4 jurisdictions

Implemented in 1 jurisdictions

 

Advisories to the industry or miscellaneous resolutions expressing concern.

Proposed in 6 jurisdictions

Implemented in 4 jurisdictions

 

TAKE ACTION Voice your support for violent video game legislation.


NEWS


LEGISLATION


RESEARCH, STATS & IMPACTS


ESRB RATINGS


VIDEO GAME REVIEWS


WHAT CAN I DO?


© 1998-2006 Parents Television Council. All rights Reserved.

Parents Television Council, www.parentstv.org, PTC, Clean Up TV Now, Because our children are watching, The nationís most influential advocacy organization, Protecting children against sex, violence and profanity in entertainment, Parents Television Council Seal of Approval, and Family Guide to Prime Time Television are trademarks of the Parents Television Council.