The Instigator
shannahan7
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Khaos_Mage
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Has ESRB gone too far?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/10/2013 Category: Games
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,153 times Debate No: 38723
Debate Rounds (3)
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shannahan7

Pro

Just last week, I attempted to buy a T rated game at Gamestop, after selling 5 M rated games. I assumed selling the M rated games would permit me to buy another T rated game, but the man behind the counter said it is ESRB regulations to ask for an ID. Now im 16, legally allowed to purchase T rated games. But I didn't have my ID, thus I missed out on a great game. To me, games have become the new alcohol. But this harmless game with mild violence apparently is too much for me according to ESRB. ESRB has gone too far. They used to fairly ate games for parents to use as a guidline, now they bar customers from making purchases. Furthermore, the only data tht links violent games to mental disorders or reality violence is a few correlational studies. The studies provided a very weak correlation between violent teens and violent games. Also, correlational studies cannot prove causation. Because guess what? Did you know there is a strong correlation between people who breathe and death? That is because everyone breathes and everyone dies. The same goes for gaming on a lower scale. According to a census study found here, http://www.csmonitor.com... 97% of teens in the USA play video games. But 97% of teens do NOT become homicidal maniacs. In fact, 3% of teens sounds more reasonable, therefore we could deduce that the social connections of multiplayer gaming build better social relationships which reduce stress and may reduce risk of your child becoming a killer. The correlational studies method is innaccurate and biased by overbearing ESRB members who are close-minded about video games.
Khaos_Mage

Con

Okay, I'll accept, and I'll be brief.

Pro's core argument is that the ESRB rating are what required him (sorry if I'm wrong) to lose out on a game purchase for lack of an ID. However, the burden of proof is on Pro to establish that ESRB ratings require retailers to ask for IDs when purchasing games. I am fairly certain it is a separate issue.

It is like being angry at the MPAA for a specific theater's practice of asking for ID for "R" rated movies. It is not the actions of the ESRB, but the actions of the individual retailer, who is more than likely following public relations (avoid boycotts and protests by angry parents/advocates) or covering themselves for any liability (frivolous lawsuit).
Debate Round No. 1
shannahan7

Pro

I see your point that I have failed to provide evidence. Here you can see on esrb.org that the volunteer council organization. "In support of ratings education and enforcement, the Code commits ERC members to using their best efforts to:
Enforce store policies not to sell or rent M (Mature) rated computer and video games to customers under the age of 17 without permission from a parent or guardian;
Not sell or rent AO (Adults Only) games to customers under the age of 18;
Display signage in stores describing the ESRB rating system and retailer"s policy regarding sale and rental of M- and AO-rated games;
Train store associates about ESRB ratings and game sales procedures/policies;
Participate in at least two "mystery shopper" audits each year to measure and track the level of sales policy enforcement, with results posted in aggregate on the ESRB website;
Resolve complaints from customers regarding non-compliance with store policy regarding the sale and rental of M- and AO-rated games and provide full refund or exchange for an age-appropriate game;
Provide ESRB ratings where feasible in circulars, on websites and/or in other promotional vehicles;
Share best practices with other ERC members." While it is a given right by a 2011 Court ruling stating "Violent games are considered a garunteed form of expression" ESRB has pushed most game stores to bar minors from buying more mature games, giving incentives and coercing them. Most major game retailers abide this policy. While they aren't doing anything illegal, it is restricting minors from buying games, and having no real purpose or evidence for doing so.
Khaos_Mage

Con

Not one part of that argument states that ESRB is ultimately responsible or at fault for store polices.
Your issue is with the store for bending over to an advocate group, not the ESRB themselves.
If the ESRB didn't exist, and there was a blowback on Grand Theft Auto games, in which parents protested outside of stores for the stores not to sell to kids, would you blame the advocates, or the stores for caving to pressure?

Furthermore, nothing in your posted arguments state the core issue of the debate, which required an ID for a "T"-rated game. It doesn't even sound like the ESRB cares about those games being restricted. (nor should they be, since most teens don't have IDs)
Debate Round No. 2
shannahan7

Pro

Again let me refer you to my previous text. "Enforce store policies not to sell or rent M (Mature) rated computer and video games to customers under the age of 17 without permission from a parent or guardian" They advocate these policies and even send "mystery shoppers" to test if they hold true to it. There were no issues with game content before the creation of the ESRB, just issues with information not being provided on the games. ESRB was conceived as a recommendation to parents to control what their kids purchase, not for the stores to control it. For them to propose these enforcements is way out of line. My issue is not with the law that the stores put in place, that was just a relatable analogy to place a picture in what these stores are willing to do for the money. The true arguement is the ESRB pushing too much for these harmless games?
Khaos_Mage

Con

By the way, welcome to the site, and congratulations on your first debate.

Again let me refer you to my previous text. "Enforce store policies not to sell or rent M (Mature) rated computer and video games to customers under the age of 17 without permission from a parent or guardian" They advocate these policies and even send "mystery shoppers" to test if they hold true to it.

So, there is something wrong for a group to hold store's to their word? Is the BBB or Consumer Reports going too far when they test mechanics to see if they try to charge for unnecessary repairs?

Again, the group is ensuring store policies are being followed.

There were no issues with game content before the creation of the ESRB, just issues with information not being provided on the games.

Then why did the ESRB come about, if there was no issue with content and children?

ESRB was conceived as a recommendation to parents to control what their kids purchase, not for the stores to control it.

And how are parents to control what their children purchase, without the store's enforcement of their own policies? I can't give my child $50 for a game and then control what they buy.
Plus, this directly contradicts your previous sentence.

For them to propose these enforcements is way out of line.
My issue is not with the law that the stores put in place, that was just a relatable analogy to place a picture in what these stores are willing to do for the money.

How is it any different than any other group anywhere?
Your analogy was what was represented in the resolution (the topic we are debating) as what was too much.
Future tip for debating: choose your resolution wisely and specifically. Had the topic been "the ESRB should not be influencing store policies", that would be a different debate (and the one you seem to be wanting).

The true arguement is the ESRB pushing too much for these harmless games?

You have yet to establish really what is too much.
The rating of the games is fair, since you don't seem to object to it.
And the ESRB has no legal standing in forcing any retailer to comply with their suggestions; and that is all it is, a suggestion.
Debate Round No. 3
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