Saturday, December 17, 2005

Video Game Double Post!

Because Abigail does not like it I rarely post about video games here (which is why this other blog exist). However, I feel like sharing my latest two post from that other blog with all of you, so here it is.

1. Mr. Johnson Goes to Washington
Image hosted by

Well not really, but I did notice that Hillary Clinton's Family Entertainment Protection Act is gaining support, and it now has as one of the sponsors, the senator from my state, Evan Bayh. Now I know as soon as gamers hear about any law that limits video games in anyway they scream cenesorship (especially if they are under 17). I tried to look up the actual bill, but since it has not yet been submitted, the text is not available online. So here are my thoughts on the summaries posted on Senator Clinton's website.

1. Prohibition on Selling Mature and Adults Only video games to minors
I don't have an issue with this. Most major retails stores by policy don't do this anymore anyway. The question I have is, it a law not to sell rated R movies to minors? Because if that is already an enforable law then it is only fair that video games be under the same scrutiny. However, if not selling rated R movies to minors is based on the honor system like video games currently are, then that is not fair and the bill should be tossed or ammended to include all forms of entertainment not just video games.

2. Annual Analysis of the Ratings System
This part says there will be an annual assessment of the ESRB as to if it is working properly or not. The ESRB has done a fine job. This is overkill and an waste of taxpayer money

3. Authority for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to Investigate Misleading Ratings This is not a bad thing, in my opinon. All objetive boards like the ESRB need oversight, and if the FTC is granted this oversight that is good enough, further making an annual analysis even more unecessary.

4. Authority to Register Complaints
This is the major sticking point that I do not like. This section of the bill allows consumers to file official complaints if they find the ratings to be deceptive. The problem is a lot of parents have proven to be less than competent in buying video games, and don't even look at ratings, and then complain when they see the game being played (like the grandmother in Flordia who sued over GTA: San Andreas). If the FTC handled these complaints fairly, then it would be ok. However, based on the fallout over the Hot Coffee thing, I have a feeling the ESRB and the video game industry will get the short end of the stick.

5. Annual Retailer Audit
This will use mystery shoppers to determine if retailers are for sure not selling to minors. This is a good idea, and will ensure the first part of the bill gets adequetly enforced.

For those who are under 17 who regulary read this blog, I will, at the risk of angering you, say that I am mostly in favor of this bill. Like I said the only problems I have with the bill is the fact it allows video game ignorant parents to blindly buy a game and then officially complain about the content, and if similar laws are not already in place for the movie industry then it does not treat video games fairly. I don't like some of it but basically all this bill does is legalize what should already be the case. Minors should not be allowed to buy rated M games. Yes I am well aware that some 14 or 16 year olds are emotionally and socially mature enough to play rated M games, but that is a decision the parents should make. If the parents are ok with it, then they can buy the game for the minor, no big deal. Of course that is just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Top 5 PS2 Games I am Looking Forward to Getting in 2006

Image hosted by 5. Snoopy vs. the Red Baron The premise of this game sounds so cool. If it has any kind of decent gameplay, it could be the next Lego Star Wars (ultra cute + fun gameplay=success!) Sadly the screenshots have yet to show flying doghouses.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com4. History Channel: Battle of Bull Run
This PC game is being ported over to consoles, and it has so much going for it. First it is a battle strategy game (something consoles despertly lack). Second, it is historically acurate. Finally, for the PC it was a budget price game so hopefully it will be the same for the consoles.

Image hosted by 3. Greg Hasting's Paintball Tournament Max'd.
I am a fan of all things FPS. I also think paintball is really fun. A paintball FPS sounds fun to me, as it would present a new style of gameplay. To top it off the game has got decent reviews and has a map maker!

Image hosted by 2. Battlestations: Midway
My favorite games are Battlefield 2 and the Battlefronts. I like the big war game feel, and this takes that nautical. Instead of commanding an individual grunt, the player is in control of vehicles from bombers to entire battleships. There is also a strategic general part where the player gets to posistion their units and set attack patterns. Sounds like a game made for me!

Image hosted by 1. Black
This is by far my my most anticipated game. The screenshots all look incredible. I love the idea of every bullet counting. I know in multiple interviews that they want Black to do for Shooting games what Burnout 3 did for racing games. If they even get close, I am so there.

So what games are you looking forward to in 2006?


Post a Comment

<< Home