Posts Tagged ‘ESRB’

EA’s Bulletstorm bashed by Fox News

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Hey Fox, here's 3 tickets to the gun show!

Fox News disapproves of Bulletstorm’s linking of extreme violence and sexual innuendo

(Gamespot) – If the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity is true, Electronic Arts’ marketing department must be busting out the bubbly. That’s because one of its highest profile first-quarter releases, Bulletstorm, was just roundly slammed in a scathing article on

Titled “Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?” the piece criticizes the game for linking sex and violence via innuendo-laden awards in its skillshot system. Award names for feats of in-game carnage include Gag Reflex, Rear Entry, Drilldo, Mile High Club, Gang Bang, and Topless.

The article then goes on to quote two experts who decry the game as being potentially harmful. Dr. Jerry Weichman, a psychologist at the Hoag Neurosciences Institute in Southern California, told that “If a younger kid experiences Bulletstorm’s explicit language and violence, the damage could be significant.”

Carol Lieberman, a psychologist and book author, went one step further, linking sexual content in games to a spike in sexual assaults. “The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games,” she said. (In fact, statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show rapes declined by nearly 40 percent in 2009.) also contacted the Entertainment Consumer Association’s Hal Halpin, who equated the ultraviolence in Bulletstorm to that found in some films. “I respect the creative rights of game developers to make a game like Bulletstorm in the same way that I appreciate Quentin Tarantino’s right to make over-the-top movies like Kill Bill,” said Halpin.

[Full article at]

Who is your daddy, and what does he do?

Thursday, May 21st, 2009
Arny vs. the ESA (insert Terminator quote here)

Arny vs. the ESA (insert Terminator quote here)

GamePolitics noted yesterday that California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to pull the trigger on escalating the appeal process on his law to restrict the sale of violent video games to minors all the way to the US Supreme Court.

This law, that should have gone into effect in January 2006, was halted by a US District Court judge who filed an injunction. Since then, Gov. Schwarzenegger has moved the law through the appeals process. With no success so far, Schwarzenegger is only left with the final option of pitching his case to the US Supreme Court.

Schwarzenegger quotes:

“I signed this important measure to ensure parents are involved in determining which video games are appropriate for their children,” said Schwarzenegger about the news. “By prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 and requiring these games to be clearly labeled, this law would allow parents to make better informed decisions for their kids. I will continue to vigorously defend this law and protect the well-being of California’s kids.”

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), who constantly goes to bat for the video games industry were lilkely to respond. ESA president and CEO Michael Gallagher released the following statement yesterday:

“We are confident that this appeal will meet the same fate as the State’s previous failed efforts,” said Gallagher,” [in trying] to regulate what courts around the country have uniformly held to be expression that is fully protected by the First Amendment. California’s taxpayers would be better served by empowering parents and supporting the ESRB rating system.”


U.S. Court drops the hammer on video game law in Ca.

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

California says it's the parent's responsibility to monitior what their kids play.

The courts say it's the parent's responsibility to monitior what their kids play.

Court strikes down California video game law

(AP) SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A federal appeals court on Friday struck down a California law that sought to ban the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 2005 law violates minors’ rights under the Constitution’s First and 14th amendments. The three-judge panel’s unanimous ruling upholds an earlier ruling in U.S. District Court.

The law would have prohibited the sale or rental of violent games to anyone under 18. It also would have created strict labeling requirements for video game manufacturers.

In a written opinion, Judge Consuelo Callahan said there were less restrictive ways to protect children from “unquestionably violent” video games. For example, the justices said the industry has a voluntary rating system and that parents can block certain games on video consoles.

The law’s author, state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, said he wanted Attorney General Jerry Brown to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We need to help empower parents with the ultimate decision over whether or not their children play in a world of violence and murder,” Yee, a child psychologist, said in a statement.

A spokesman for Brown said the attorney general would review the decision to determine the appropriate steps.

California lawmakers had approved the law, in part, by relying on studies suggesting violent games can be linked to aggression, anti-social behavior and desensitization to violence. The justices dismissed that research.

“None of the research establishes or suggests a causal link between minors playing violent video games and actual psychological or neurological harm, and inferences to that effect would not be reasonable,” Callahan said in her ruling.