This is yet again another story of how video game products are getting different treatment than the book and film industry since it’s the newest medium of home entertainment. The other day I got carded for purchasing MGS3: Subsistence and not for the rated R movie that I was also purchasing. The cashier (from Bestbuy) specifically stated that I was carded because of MGS3’s mature rating and that they’re very serious towards not selling mature-rated games to minors. Now, I’m balding (sadly implying my age) and handing them a Bestbuy credit card (17+ years is necessary in order to have it), so why I was carded is completely beyond my comprehension.
Regardless, I refrained from arguing to the cashier about Bestbuy’s policies in order to show respect (in addition to understanding that arguing with most retail employees is like talking to a pencil.) However, the experience did piss me off. Now, I do understand a younger audience (16 and younger) requiring parental consent or a guardian being present in order to purchase or view an extremely violent or intensely pornographic title. Many youngsters lack the real-world experience and mature perspective to properly understand content that they particpate in or simply view. (On a side note: You see, in order for a minor to watch a rated R film in America, they need a guardian to be present. I partially feel that that requirment is a blessing for theaters to impose. I’d hate to have 13 year olds ruining a movie that I watch.) However, when it comes down to it, I strongly feel that the goverment does not need to impose laws restricting selling specific forms of media. It should be a policy of the retailer. If somebody wants something, they’re going to find a way to get it. (e.g. Pay an adult to buy the product for them, create and show false ID, or steal and run.)
I said it before and I’ll say it again…I guess I have to wait another 5-10 years before video games are treated the same way as movies. Man oh man, the age-old puritan direction of America weilds it’s ugly head yet again.
Ah, well… at least I still look young for a 28 year old
March 20th, 2006