Reporter: E-Rated Kids' Game Unsafe For Kids Because The Internet Is Scary
from the swing-and-a-miss dept
We’ve discussed before some of the problems with the ESRB rating convention. Even more aggravating is how those ratings are seen and used by the general public, often with a mighty disconnect between what parents say is important and how much effort they actually put into understanding what the ratings mean. But I’ll forgive parents their contradictions because, hey, people are stupid, right? It’s not like they’re actually paid to understand every meticulous detail of everything in their lives. But you know who are? News organizations. They are supposed to both fact-check their stories and actually think through what they’re putting on the air. A recent piece on Sacramento’s ABC News10 station failed in spectacular fashion on both accounts.
First, the title splashed across the screen reads “KIDS GAME CONTAINS ADULT CONTENT.” No, it doesn’t. Like…at all. Out of the box, Little Big Planet 2 earned every bit of that ESRB “E for everyone” rating by being as kid-friendly and innocuous as it gets. The “problem” discussed in the clip is content created by gamers online, not what’s contained within the game created by developers.
Second, the reporter’s follow up question asked Barry White, who is apparently News10’s “Game Guy,” if he thought this stuff was created by sexual predators trying to diddle kiddies. What!?!? It’s as though the reporters have never experienced the internet. If every person out there who created something graphic online in any way was a child predator, we’d all be in a hell of a lot of knee-deep-in-predators trouble.
Finally, what about that ESRB rating? The reporter asks White if the E rating gives parents a false sense of security. As White notes, that’s only the case if those parents are illiterate chimpanzees, given the fact that the rating quite prominently notes that online interactions in the game can’t be rated. In other words, you can’t blame a game or its creator for what the strange and unwashed masses do with it online. Or in other, other words, the exact freaking opposite of everything said by the news team.
The money shot in this sexy story of stupid is at the very end, after the reporter talks about how parents should monitor their children’s gaming and use the parental controls built within the consoles. The anchor’s response?
“Speaking as a parent, my kids would probably know better how to get to the parental controls and configure them than me.”
Yeah, well, exactly who looks like the idiot in that comment? Maybe if you’re going to be the parent of a gamer, you should at least take a modicum of interest in how to parent a gamer. Here’s a hint: that doesn’t include defaming a nice, kid-friendly game on the news just because you don’t want to understand stuff.