ESRB

ESRB “Mature 17+” rating symbol, displayed on the packaging of computer and video games appropriate for audiences over the age of 17. Part of the ESRB Video Game Rating System. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I thought this Moral Panic on  violent entertainment causing Sandy Hook was done. Apparently not… Lo and Behold, Senator Grassley, a Repooplican from Iowa starts ranting on how the Gaming Industry’s Voluntary Rating system isn’t good enough, how it “lets these violent games get to kids”. What violent  games are these, “ones that glorify killing of innocent people”. Sure… I quote:

“There are too many video games that celebrate the mass killing of innocent people — games that despite attempts at industry self-regulation find their way into the hands of children,” 

 

Talk about a moronic claim…. Number 1, the “attempts at industry self-regulation” (like they are a complete failure, despite the FTC study that says that the ESRB ratings are better than the MPAA ones, enforcement wise), have nothing to do with why these “violent games that glorify the mass killing of innocents” fall into the hands of children. Number 1, the Industry itself isn’t to blame if the Stores refuse to card the people buying the games, or the 2/3’s of parents who refuse to read the ESRB ratings in the first place, right? Apparently to this moron, the parents aren’t to blame and somehow the industry made the parents not read the ratings or the stores are being all run by the industry and purposely start selling GTA games to kids…. This whole claim is bunk, and he knows NOTHING about violent games, the industry or the “attempts at industry self-regulation”. He just blindly believes all the nonsense being spread that violent games are marketed to kids because “oh noes, the kids can buy games…” BLAH BLAH BLAH

To make things worse his claim of how their are too many games that “celebrate the mass killing of innocent people” is a bogus claim too. I regularly debunk crap like this. It’s just a blanket statement, used to demean the industry based on shitty games, ones that do allow the “mass killing of innocent people”, which are few and far between. Using a list of all released FPS games on wikipedia, I calculated that the sheer lack of “uber violent games” is astounding, despite what scaremongering is being said by people like Grassley.

This list spans all the way back to the 1970’s with Sega titles such as “Jet Rocket”, long before the dawn of PC gaming, so it does count everything…. No picking and choosing, no editing of the total data to show a point, pure unadulterated Facts…. Something anti-gamers almost never provide, it’s almost always rhetoric, false data, or misinterpretation.

When You look at the spreadsheet, look at the column “gms kill inno”. This is how many games out of 650 allow you to kill “innocent civilians”, where innocent civilians are defined as characters who can’t fight back. I have 2 rows, one with all 650 games in the FPS category, and another with all FPS games + Postal + all GTA games.  That one is the second row, the lower one with 658 total games. The top row with 650 games is just FPS games. “gms rwd inno” is how many games that reward killing of innocent people.  “gms nrwd ino” are games that punish killing innocent civilian characters. Look at the % with and without GTA and Postal applied, tiny %, less than 10 in each case…  There have only been 19 FPS games EVER released that allow the killing of innocent characters. Only 4 of these reward it. Tiny numbers when you factor in the 650 total FPS games ever made. 8 Punish the killing of innocents.  IF you count in GTA  games and Postal 1 you get 27 total games in this list that allow the player to kill innocent characters, and only 8 reward it. 15 Punish the killing of innocents!!! You see a pattern, equal amount of FPS games punish the killing of innocents, and in the case when you add in GTA, more punish than reward. Apparently Grassley can’t stand the fact that there are 8 games since 1970(!) (when the list started) that reward killing innocents. But he mentioned mass slaughter of innocents!!!

Grassley’s complaint about “too many games that celebrate the mass killing of the innocent” is a nonsense claim. Because this suggests that there are games where you are rewarded for mowing down big rooms of innocent civilians in such a game. Here’s the thing. No ESRB Game like this Exists! In any game with civilians, that reward it, it’s never been huge numbers killed at once. People might say “GTA!” but GTA, despite the nonsense claim about it, does NOT reward  the killing of innocent civilians. It punishes it. You get the police after you for doing stuff like this, get arrested, etc… That’s punishment, not rewarding. The last game to reward mass killing of innocents, the only one was before the ESRB, so the esrb has nothing to do with it, that was Carmageddon! In 1997! The only game I know where it :”rewards” the mass killing of innocents….. Under the ESRB, the “voluntary rating system” there have been 0 games that “glorify the mass killing of innocents!!!”. NONE! Zip! Zero!! Zilch!!! Grassley is a liar… Surprise!!

So Grassley is making up crap, just like a lot of morons who attack games do. It’s stupid. It has to stop. He is also hinting at regulation of the industry by the government and using biased claims and utter lies to support it??? I thought this country was beyond it. IF they do decide to regulate the games like this, what’s to stop them from setting up a system where they purposely rate any game that is only slightly violent or above, to their equivalent of Adult Only, so the stores won’t sell them.. Hmmm… Because thats what I think people like this want, just to get rid of all the violent games so no one can buy them, no adults can too, no gaming companies can sell them so the industry just goes out of business. These people shouldn’t be in office if they use nonsense like this to fuel censorship, and make no difference it is. The gaming industry does not need to be regulated!! Just the Congress!!! Seriously…

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