In what I can only refer to as shocking, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today announced that they are going to be conducting a national public education campaign aimed at teaching parents about the video game rating system and the parental controls they have available to them.
When I say it’s shocking, I don’t say it for the reason you think I do.
Look, here’s the deal. Parents these days? They’re like the honey badger. They don’t give a shit. Ever since a bunch of bleeding hearts made it illegal for us to beat our kids, like they used to back in the day when just about everyone grew up to be a responsible adult, parents have been doing the only other thing they can in a effort to not go crazy and end up in prison on a quintuple homicide beef: they’ve been ignoring their kids. Let me tell you, ignoring your kids isn’t easy. No, they’ll carry on and have fit after fit about how “you’re not going to buy me the new Call of Doodoo? What do you mean I can’t go shoot all of my friends in the face?!!” until all of the parents in the world finally break down and buy them exactly what they’re screaming about. Why? Because in about two weeks, it may actually become illegal to tell your child “no”.
“No one knows better than parents when it comes to making decisions about which games their children should and should not play,” said U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD), ranking member of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. “The video game industry makes games for people of all ages, but that doesn’t mean all games are appropriate for everyone. I commend the industry for raising awareness of the tools available to parents that can help them make informed decisions about the games their children play.”
I’m sorry, Senator Thune, but you’re clearly way out of touch with the way parents are raising their kids these days. Have you ever even been to a video game store? Only one of every ten people who walks into one of those places is old enough to legally drive and only one in ten of those people has kids. No, 90% of the traffic that goes in to a video game shop isn’t there with their parents and couldn’t give half of a flying fuck at a rolling chocolate donut what their parents would have to say about their purchasing decisions, anyway.
So, now you’ve got these GameJoints filled with kids and the staff are all judged on the amount of sales they make, which means that the “unofficial company policy” is to sell anything under the roof to any person who looks like they’re old enough to buy strawberry milk without attracting attention. M-rated games are sold to children constantly because the retailers want the money and the parents are so detached from what their kids are doing that they can’t be bothered to regulate them. Take me for example: my parents didn’t regulate my purchasing decisions and I can barely manage to fire off two sentences without dropping the F-bomb or making an obscene reference to Mother Theresa’s holiest of holies (if you know what I mean, w00pw00p!!!).
So this is where we’re at today: parents don’t care about ratings or parental controls! They’re all working six days a week at shit jobs for shit pay, just to make ends meet because the economy is still in the crapper. The last thing they want to be concerned with when they finally get a day to rest is what little Johnny and his buddies are doing to whose face with what explosive ordnance in yet another iteration of an online first person shooter. If you want to make a difference, tighten legislation and start penalizing the people at GameJoint for selling M-rated games to kids. Set up stings!
Seriously, get the twelve-year olds out of Call of Duty. They’re annoying.