Helpful Parental Game Buying Tips From Leland Yee

leelandyee.jpgViolent video games have topped the charts on and off since gaming began, and California State Senator Leland Yee couldn't help but notice that many parents suck at keeping them from children. Instead of using traditional methods of dealing with inattentive parents, Yee has decided to bring your mothers into this and simply release a list of helpful tips for purchasing games this Holiday season. For example:

Pick games that require the player to come up with strategies and make decisions in a game environment that is more complex than punch, steal, and kill.

I would go as far as adding that smaller children are excellent at fooling parents, and they should not be discounted. Sure, the bigger kids are more impressive and tougher, but those little guys know your firing rate and can swim circles around you. Yeah, I couldn't keep up with the theme towards the end there, but you get the point. Yee decided that he would get himself a little more notice as a crusader against violent gaming by issuing a helpful press release warning all of the parents out there that their adorable little children want to play Manhunt 2 and will stop at nothing to try and get you to buy it for them.

One such violent video, Manhunt 2, is on many children's wish list. It was recently revealed that the game - which many have called the most violent video game ever produced - has accessible content designed for an Adults-Only (AO) rating. Despite the graphically violent scenes which were supposedly removed in order to receive the downgraded Mature (M) rating, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has refused to re-rate the game.

Yes, the ESRB has put our adorable little 17 year-olds in danger, and Leland Yee wants to make sure everybody knows it.

My personal favourite tip? "Avoid the "first person shooter" and "third person shooter" killing-machine games." Killing-machine games? Is this a genre I've never heard of before? Does it involve a thresher?

I think the point I am trying to make here is that we need a game where we kill people with a thresher. Happy Holidays.

Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Video Games when Holiday Shopping for Kids Monday, November 26, 2007

Ultra-Violent Video Games Top Many Holiday Shopping Lists

SACRAMENTO - Citing potential harmful effects on minors, child psychologist and Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) today urged parents and grandparents to avoid violent video game purchases for their children this holiday season.

"Eighty-seven percent of children between 8 and 17 years of age play video or computer games and about 60 percent list their favourite games as rated M for Mature, which are games designed for adults," said Yee. "It is vitally important that parents and grandparents consider the content in video games before making holiday purchases. Regrettably, the rating system alone cannot be trusted, so parents should also carefully watch the content included in all their children's games."

One such violent video, Manhunt 2, is on many children's wish list. It was recently revealed that the game - which many have called the most violent video game ever produced - has accessible content designed for an Adults-Only (AO) rating. Despite the graphically violent scenes which were supposedly removed in order to receive the downgraded Mature (M) rating, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has refused to re-rate the game.

Manhunt 2 has been banned in England, and Target stores in the United States have refused to sell the game. The game is still readily available at Wal-Mart and other major retailers however.

Yee's 2005 law to prohibit the sale of extremely violent video games to minors in California is currently being litigated. A bill authored by Yee in 2004 which has gone into effect, requires video game retailers to post signs to inform consumers regarding the use of the video game rating system.

"Unfortunately, some parents don't realise that in many top selling games, the player actively participates in and is rewarded for violence, including killing police officers, maiming elderly persons, running over pedestrians, and torturing women and racial minorities," said Yee.

"These violent video games are learning tools for our children and can result in more aggressive behavior," said Randall Hagar of the California Psychiatric Association.

Parents and grandparents should consider the following before purchasing video games:

• Be aware of advertising and marketing to children. Advertising pressure contributes to impulse buying.

• Check the age ratings video game descriptors found on the box. Read other reviews, such as www.mediafamily.org, www commonsensemedia.org, and www.familymediaguide.com.

• Become familiar with the game.

• If there are violence and sexual themes in the title and cover picture, you can assume these themes are also in the game.

• Look for games involving multiple players to encourage group play.

• Pick games that require the player to come up with strategies and make decisions in a game environment that is more complex than punch, steal, and kill.

• Avoid the "first person shooter" and "third person shooter" killing-machine games.

• Discourage games that reward the player with more points or new scenes for anti-social and violent behavior.

For information on toy and product recalls, visit the United States Product Safety Commission website at www.cpsc.gov.

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Discovered via The Escapist


Comments

    Is that the Helix symbol I see from heroes the TV show?

    Yeah, a sideways Tekezo Kensei Helix Symbol.

    Should I be worried about the state of California then? Or is it a fake composited image for the sake of geekery?

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