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T O P I C
Achtung Activision!
August 13th 2000, 10:40 CEST by morn

Soldier of Fortune has been classified as an "adult motion picture" in British Columbia. Now Activision wants to appeal the decision (thanks to the shack for the link, by way of Blue). Oh, this is so exciting; the USA's evil neighbour is taking a toy away from their innocent kids, and good old Activision strikes back. Wait a minute... what's wrong with this picture?



It's half past ten, I've only slept for three hours and I'm feeling pretty messed up, so please excuse my not-so-well thought out ramblings. I'm not going to write much about this anyway, except one little semi-rant: the same thing that has happened to Soldier of Fortune in British Columbia has been happening in Germany for years (or rather decades), not only to quite a few Activision games (Quake 2, Quake 3 Arena, Soldier of Fortune and Kingpin, just to name a few). Obviously, over here in Germany it's happening under different legal circumstances, but I'm still starting to wonder why Activision now decides to take on a fight in British Columbia, but never really showed any interest in taking up the same fight in Krautland (and, instead, like many other publishers, even puts money and resources into producing special Kraut versions of their games)?

I think I already know the answer... but I'm a jaded old fart whose day can now be saved only by a very strong cup of coffee, so I'll shut up this very instant.

C O M M E N T S
Home » Topic: Achtung Activision!

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#1 by "G`Kar"
2000-08-13 10:41:55
ashvin@babylonia.flatirons.org
First!
Woo hoo!

Sorry. I'll behave now.

~~
Ignie Ferroque,
Ash.
#2 by "Morn"
2000-08-13 10:43:48
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Before anybody cries out "KINGPING WAS PUBLISHED BY INTERPLAY AND NOT ACTIVISION!!@%": It at least reads "Distributed by Actisivion" on my box. Oh well...

- Morn
#3 by "Morn"
2000-08-13 10:45:22
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#2</b> "Morn" wrote...
<QUOTE>It at least reads "Distributed by Actisivion" on my box.</QUOTE>

Well, it doesn't <b>really<b> say that, but "Distributed by Activision". Must... get... more... coffee... ;)

- Morn<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#4 by "Morn"
2000-08-13 10:48:32
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
When will those PlanetCrap people finally implement an "edit post" feature? ;-

- Morn
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#5 by "Morn"
2000-08-13 10:50:24
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
From the link in the story:

<quote>
"The action of the Film Classification board undermines consumers' rights of freedom and choice of expression and sets a precedent for government censorship," the California-based Activision said in a statement released yesterday.
</quote>

*sigh*

- Morn
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#6 by "G`Kar"
2000-08-13 10:56:33
ashvin@babylonia.flatirons.org
<B>#4</B> "Morn" wrote...
<QUOTE>
When will those PlanetCrap people finally implement an "edit post" feature? ;-
</QUOTE>

I know! It's not like they're busy porting CrapSpy to Linux or anything...

*cough* ;-)

~~
Ignie Ferroque,
Ash. - "Non Facete Nobis Calcitrare Vestrvm Perinævm"
#7 by "Paul"
2000-08-13 11:16:07
paul@paulbullman.com http://www.paulbullman.com
This is a great marketing idea by activision. Get the product in the free news.. sell so many more copies.

- Paul
#8 by "Morn"
2000-08-13 11:20:25
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#7</b> "Paul A. Bullman" wrote...
<QUOTE>This is a great marketing idea by activision. Get the product in the free news.. sell so many more copies.</QUOTE>

Even if that is the sole motivation behind it (and who says it isn't?), why don't they ever do anything like it over here in Germany? Last time I checked Germany was the second biggest market for computer (!) games world-wide, right after the US of A...

- Morn
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#9 by "Paul"
2000-08-13 11:20:47
paul@paulbullman.com http://www.paulbullman.com
btw, I like Raven, so I wasn't being negative towards activision in my last post at all.

Power to the people.. As long as people can buy it, I see no problem. Banning the game entirely is an absolute joke. If that ever becomes the case in the good 'ole USA, I will for certain move to an offshore oil rig and declare it as a free country(someone actually did this to an abandoned british wwII place a few miles off shore)

I know there was controversy over the game Postal, anyone enlighten me on this?

- Paul
#10 by "Paul"
2000-08-13 11:23:17
paul@paulbullman.com http://www.paulbullman.com
Morn:

Probably because in Germany's it's more accepted in the culture to blacklist(or whatever you call it) things of this nature.

AFAIK, in BC it hasn't been done as much.

Plus, it probably costs less to send US attorneys to Canada, than Germany;-) Who knows, maybe they will need to fly/house Raven employees too. I'm not sure if something like this requires long hearings.

- Paul
#11 by "Andy"
2000-08-13 11:29:22
andy@planetcrap.com
Quotes from Raven...

<a href="http://finger.planetquake.com/qfplan.asp?userid=ebiessman&id=10941">Eric Biessman</a>, designer:
"over-the-top violence"

<a href="http://finger.planetquake.com/qfplan.asp?userid=srice&id=11440">Scott Rice</a>, lead artist:
"The artists and programmers on Soldier of Fortune have taken great care to deliver the most realistically violent game that, to my knowledge, has ever been done."
"I must say there is a sick satisfaction in all the delicate planning that has gone into this.  Looking at the preliminary  results, we really think you're gonna like it!"

<a href="http://finger.planetquake.com/qfplan.asp?userid=mgummelt&id=11968">Mike Gummelt</a>, programmer:
"We'd have to really be either extremely stubborn, in deep denial, or lying to say that the violence in our games don't affect people."

<a href="http://finger.planetquake.com/qfplan.asp?userid=jscott&id=12765">John Scott</a>, programmer:
"We have made the game for adults and there will be a warning on the box."

<a href="http://finger.planetquake.com/qfplan.asp?userid=nalbury&id=13569">Nathan Albury</a>, programmer:
"Our game is about action and violence"


--

Activision <a href="http://www.esrb.org/company.html">submits its products</a> for rating by the ESRB. The ESRB ruled that Soldier of Fortune had content "<a href="http://www.esrb.org/rating.html">suitable for persons ages 17 and older</a>". The adult rating in British Columbia means that nobody under 18 can buy the game.

Is Activision only concerned about the loss of sales to 17 year olds?
#12 by "G`Kar"
2000-08-13 11:30:20
ashvin@babylonia.flatirons.org
Now that I've gotten over the euphoria of getting "first post" <I>without</I> CrapSpy -a phenomenon I can only attribute to the fact that Morn keeps the same vampire (that's Code-5 for you Brits) like hours that I do- I'll actually try to address the issues Morn raised.

This, I believe, is a new, improved version of the "in our backyard" syndrome that tends to plague the Media and, apparantly, publishers. This is the reason why the Columbine shooting that killed thirteen people some fifteen miles away from where I live is <I>still</I> in the news fairly regularly, while there is nary a mention of the hundreds of deaths from earthquakes in Turkey or, more recently, floods in India.

Activision sees U.S. gamers as its primary market. They care enough about German gaming dollars to <I>make</I> a special German version of their games, but not enough to wage potentially expensive legal battles against the German indexing system. Why, then, would they care about what happens in British Columbia? Simply put, British Columbia is close enough to the U.S. for its politics to have an effect here in the States. Activision <I>knows</I> this and, especially with an election coming up in the States, they believe they can't afford to have <S>censorship</S> child protection groups pointing at British Columbia and saying, "See! <I>They</I> see that these games are filth! And we all know how smart the Canadians are; who else would have the brilliance to dub lonely forest rangers who spend months alone in the mountains with only their horse for companionship, 'mounties'?" Though it took place over a year ago, the Columbine shooting is still fresh in the media's eyes, and violence in the media will certainly be an issue in the upcoming election. American politicians can't afford <I>not</I> to support strong restrictions on violence in the media. The restrictions placed on <I>Soldier of Fortune</I> in BC will only heighten the issue in the States as the election rolls around.

So what's Activision doing? Pre-emptive damage control. They <I>hope</I> that by getting the BC government to reverse their decision, they can avoid drawing large ammounts of attention come November.

Whatever happened to, "No such thing as bad publicity"? In this case, Activision might be worried that <I>too</I> much publicity will actually lead to political action that would cause their sales to drop in their primary market, the U.S.

That's my take on it, in any case. Of course, I reserve the right to entirely invert my opinion come morning.

~~
Ignie Ferroque,
Ash. - "Non Facete Nobis Calcitrare Vestrvm Perinævm"
#13 by "Gestalt"
2000-08-13 11:39:05
john@eurogamer.net http://www.eurogamer.net
This is just plain silly - publishers should be supporting legally enforceable age ratings, not trying to fight against them. It's a great way of making sure that violent games don't get into the hands of children, while ensuring that adults can play whatever they want and we don't end up with a culture of censorship.

The gaming industry itself (in the form of the ESRB or whatever it's called) rated the game 17. For Activision to then turn around and whinge about it being rated 18 in part of Canada is stupid - they might as well just come out and say "Hey, our ratings are BS, we really want all the little 12 year old kids to buy our ultra-violent games".

What can I say? I'm very disappointed in Activision. Can somebody please give them a clue? It's probably tax deductable. ;)
#14 by "Morn"
2000-08-13 11:40:57
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#10</b> "Paul A. Bullman" wrote...
<QUOTE>Probably because in Germany's it's more accepted in the culture to blacklist(or whatever you call it) things of this nature.</QUOTE>

That's where I figured the "problem" would be. But still -- while the legal circumstances are different, the "technical" effects are the same: games that end up on our "Index" are simply not to be sold nor advertised to minors (with the big problem being that reviews or any other even remotely "supportive" mention in gaming mags are considered "advertising" as well).

Plus, the games industry is getting bigger than the movies industry... these days, if a game gets "indexed", it does mean a considerable danger to sales, as opposed to the good old days of Barbarian (indexed, obviously), where 99% of the gamers would simply pirate everything, anyway. Speaking of movie ratings... I think they're good, and yes, I think game ratings are good, too. I wouldn't want my kids to play stuff like Soldier of Fortune, but when it starts affecting me, as an adult, it starts to tick me off.

Just some of the annoyances we have to endure:

- if you live in Germany, it's pretty dangerous to make a web site about indexed games like the Quake series because you can very easily run into legal problems.

- no "Quake stuff" in the magazines.

- buying an indexed game has become similar to getting a hardcore porn video. In fact, when I asked her about a US copy of SiN, the woman at my favourite games shop immediately assured me "yes, it does have all the blood and gore, you're going to have lots of fun with it I'm sure". Right. :/  And just in case you didn't know, most German versions have <i>terrible</i> localization, so there <i>are</i> more reasons for getting the original US version besiders "seeing all the nice blood and gore". *sigh*

Gah, I could blabber on about this all day...

- Morn
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#15 by "Andy"
2000-08-13 11:42:08
andy@planetcrap.com
Relevant to German indexing, here's another <a href="http://finger.planetquake.com/qfplan.asp?userid=jscott&id=10916">quote</a> from Raven's John Scott. This was about Heretic II, not Soldier of Fortune:
<quote>
A word to the unfortunate Germans out there. Your censors forced us to lock the blood_level to zero or we would have been banned :( What Heretic 2 does is check the Windows 95 language for "German(standard)" and if it is, forces the  blood level to very boring mode. So if you go to Regional Settings in the control panel, and change your language to anything else (including the other German languages), and restart your computer, when you next run Heretic 2 you will have gained a violence level slider in the options menu.

Now everyone can enjoy Heretic2 in its full glory !!!!
</quote>
This is my view on this: If Raven wants to make violent games, they must accept that they can't release them in Germany. If they want to release them in Germany, they must accept that they have to tone down the violence. I object to them changing a game so they can release it, and then telling people how to get around the changes. It shows total contempt for that country's government, and ultimately it undermines the democratic process.
#16 by "Andy"
2000-08-13 11:46:26
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#13</b>, Gestalt:

<b>THANK YOU!!</b>

It is a HUGE relief for me to hear that view from other people in the "hardcore". Go and have a look at the thread on Blue's, and there a quite a few people saying much the same thing there too. I guess the times they are a changing.
#17 by "Paul"
2000-08-13 11:54:32
paul@paulbullman.com http://www.paulbullman.com
Andy, Gestalt:

In a free society it is up to the parents to decide what their children can or can not do.

Banning a game is not the full answer. Kids will always be able to get it.

That's why you must monitor your children constantly. All of the recent school violence is tracked down to mentally ill children who's parents didn't keep much of a watch over their daily routine.

I don't mean to speak like I'm a parent(i'm not) but I know from how my parents raised me that you gotta get involved. Not invade, but be a constant presence. That's the solution.

- Paul
#18 by "Morn"
2000-08-13 12:08:01
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#13</b> "Gestalt" wrote...
<QUOTE>What can I say? I'm very disappointed in Activision.</QUOTE>

Just for the record: I, too, think it's very silly of Activision. What ticks me off, though, is the fact that as soon as this "problem" nears the glorious America, companies will make it an issue, but as long as it's only happening "on the other side of the planet", nobody really gives a shit.

And I'm not saying that minors should be able to buy games like Soldier of Fortune; I just don't want to be affected as an adult in the way it is happening here in Germany. With this in mind, the situation here in Germany is far, far worse than what's happened to SoF in Canada, yet nobody cares.

And the Activision quote I mentioned in #5 is just borderline ridiculous.

- Morn
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#19 by "Andy"
2000-08-13 12:17:50
andy@planetcrap.com
You'll also note that the story broke at weekend, a tactic often used when the company/government/individual doesn't want press attention. There's also no mention of it on the press section of Activision's web site, and I've not been able to find anything on the business wire. (Or whatever you want to call it... "business wire" sounds so pretentious!)
#20 by "Morn"
2000-08-13 12:18:29
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#15</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>This is my view on this: If Raven wants to make violent games, they must accept that they can't release them in Germany. If they want to release them in Germany, they must accept that they have to tone down the violence. I object to them changing a game so they can release it, and then telling people how to get around the changes. It shows total contempt for that country's government, and ultimately it undermines the democratic process. </QUOTE>

I agree.

But you see, the issue is this: you say "If Raven wants to make violent games, they must accept that they can't release them in Germany". Technically, this is wrong. If Raven wants to make violent games, they must accept that they will only be sold to adults in Germany, unless they make special non-violent versions of it. The big problem is that this doesn't always work the way it should, and that it has a lot of bad side effects. Heck, you can even get into legal trouble by running a Q3A server.

The end result <i>does</i> indeed work like this: if you make a violent game, simply forget about Germany. You'll get lots of fans, but no sales, UNLESS you have the power (money) to make a special non-violent version and count on the mainstream market to save the title for you.

- Morn


<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#21 by "Morn"
2000-08-13 12:23:48
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#17</b> "Paul A. Bullman" wrote...
<QUOTE>In a free society it is up to the parents to decide what their children can or can not do.</QUOTE>

That is my stance, too, but I do realize that it wouldn't really work as well as it should. In a perfect world, it would; but... well. The problem is that not all parents are good parents, and the few good parents out there often simply don't know what their kids are doing with their computers, and never care to check.

There's also the "hey, I've been playing Quake all my life and I'm not a maniac" argument. Personally, I don't believe games by themselves can make a person flip, but I also accept the possibility that I may be wrong. You can't really "prove" it right or wrong right now.

- Morn
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#22 by "DevPac2"
2000-08-13 12:40:54
devpac2@hotmail.com
Does the Canadian classification of games/films/etc affect where a game can be sold from ? I was just wondering if it was similar to the 'Adult' rating in the UK where items classified as such can only be sold from licenced shops. If it does place this limit then i can understand why Activision may be trying to do something about it, but if it doesn't then i think Activison are making a poor decision on this.  

Dev
#23 by "G-Man"
2000-08-13 14:27:57
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
<b>#Main Post</b> "morn" wrote...
<QUOTE>Obviously, over here in Germany it's happening under different legal circumstances, but I'm still starting to wonder why Activision now decides to take on a fight in British Columbia, but never really showed any interest in taking up the same fight in Krautland (and, instead, like many other publishers, even puts money and resources into producing special Kraut versions of their games)? </QUOTE>Easy... they don't want to make the Germans angry. You wouldn't like them when they're angry :)

But seriously...
<b>#11</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>Is Activision only concerned about the loss of sales to 17 year olds? </QUOTE>
No. They are worried about having a distribution (sell-in) of nil, due to the prohibitive restrictions placed on retailers and the stigma associated with their product.

<b>#15</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>I object to them changing a game so they can release it, and then telling people how to get around the changes. It shows total contempt for that country's government, and ultimately it undermines the democratic process.</QUOTE>
Thankfully disclosing information about how a mechanism functions is still legal. Though the DMCA may disagree with me on that.

Re: the violence in SOF.
Frankly I'm more shocked at the extreme amount of realistic violence found in arcade shooters. Visit an arcade and spend an hour watching these kids play them, and you may start to see some merit in Lt. Grossman's theories. Remember while I'm mousing around disemboweling terrorists there are 8 year olds holding life-size plastic replicas of M-16's shooting hundreds of "bad guys". And they have great aim.

But I'd hate to see ANY of these games banned.

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#24 by "Derek Smart"
2000-08-13 14:40:16
dsmart@3000ad.com http://www.3000ad.com
<b>#7</b> "Paul A. Bullman" wrote...
<QUOTE>

This is a great marketing idea by activision. Get the product in the free news.. sell so many more copies.

- Paul </QUOTE>

Its highly unlikely that they'd be able to sell any more copies of that celebrated flop with any sort of marketing gimmick.
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#25 by "Derek Smart"
2000-08-13 14:42:47
dsmart@3000ad.com http://www.3000ad.com
<b>#15</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>This is my view on this: If Raven wants to make violent games, they must accept that they can't release them in Germany. If they want to release them in
Germany, they must accept that they have to tone down the violence. I object to
them changing a game so they can release it, and then telling people how to get
around the changes. It shows total contempt for that country's government, and
ultimately it undermines the democratic process.
</QUOTE>

I agree 100%
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#26 by "Derek Smart"
2000-08-13 14:48:03
dsmart@3000ad.com http://www.3000ad.com
<b>#17</b> "Paul A. Bullman" wrote...
<QUOTE>

Andy, Gestalt:

In a free society it is up to the parents to decide what their children can or can not do.

Banning a game is not the full answer. Kids will always be able to get it.

That's why you must monitor your children constantly. All of the recent school violence is tracked down to mentally ill children who's parents didn't keep much of a watch over their daily routine.

I don't mean to speak like I'm a parent(i'm not) but I know from how my parents raised me that you gotta get involved. Not invade, but be a constant presence. That's the solution.

- Paul
</QUOTE>

Thats bollocks. Its like saying lets not put a speed limit on the roads, because someone will break it anyway. Lets not put a ban on guns because it would be pointless cuz criminals will gain access anyway. Laws are imposed not because they can't be broken but as a first line deterrent. When you break said law, then you'll most likely get punished and you won't get to say that there was no law against said action.

Are you <i>actually</i> following this discussion and understanding the points being raised? Raven and Activision set out to do a <b>violent</b> game. They knew the consequences. That fairy Lieberman, who will most likely be VP, has been guning for our collective industry butts forever. So, the ratings exist for a specific reason (<i>just like every other rating system</i>). Doing a violent game these days is like doing a niche game, say, a flight sim. Don't expect a large market.

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#27 by "Rambar"
2000-08-13 15:13:38
rambar@coldsprings.reno.nv.us
<b>#15</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>
It shows total contempt for that country's government, and ultimately it undermines the democratic process.
</QUOTE>

Whoa, I should go get any Raven game for that reason alone.  The fact that its a European goverment is the icing.


<b>#21</b> "Morn" wrote...
<QUOTE>
That is my stance, too, but I do realize that it wouldn't really work as well as it should. In a perfect world, it would; but... well. The problem is that not all parents are good parents, and the few good parents out there often simply don't know what their kids are doing with their computers, and never care to check.
</QUOTE>

So, because not every parent is a good parent the goverment should become the parent?  What kind of silly point are you trying to make Morn?

<b>#26</b> "Derek Smart" wrote...
<QUOTE>
Laws are imposed not because they can't be broken but as a first line deterrent. When you break said law, then you'll most likely get punished and you won't get to say that there was no law against said action.
</QUOTE>

A lot of people would tell you that the line in this case has gone too far.

Blah!  There was small potential in the original post for some interesting discussion, but now we have another rehash of some old and quite tiresome debates. Oh well.
--
Rambar<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#28 by "Morn"
2000-08-13 15:26:35
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#27</b> "Rambar" wrote...
<QUOTE>So, because not every parent is a good parent the goverment should become the parent? What kind of silly point are you trying to make Morn?</quote>

Oh bullshit, I did not say that.

How does the government "become the parent"? For parents, the ratings issued by the government are really just a guideline; a father or mother may still legally buy Soldier of Fortune for their 13 year old child. Let me quote Paul again:

<quote>
In a free society it is up to the parents to decide what their children can or can not do.
</quote>

This is already the case.

- Morn
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#29 by "Morn"
2000-08-13 15:28:42
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#27</b> "Rambar" wrote...
<QUOTE>A lot of people would tell you that the line in this case has gone too far.</QUOTE>

Because now you need to be 18 years old to buy a game that has a disgustingly excessive amount of violence (and isn't even much fun)? Let's take it to the streets. :)

- Morn
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#30 by "Rambar"
2000-08-13 15:30:57
rambar@coldsprings.reno.nv.us
<b>#28</b> "Morn" wrote...
Nothing that needs to be quoted.

Okay.  Thats all I needed since I didn't get your point.
--
Rambar<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#31 by "Rambar"
2000-08-13 15:33:36
rambar@coldsprings.reno.nv.us
<b>#29</b> "Morn" wrote...
<QUOTE>

<B>#27</B> "Rambar" wrote...

<quote>A lot of people would tell you that the line in this case has gone too far.</quote>

Because now you need to be 18 years old to buy a game that has a disgustingly excessive amount of violence (and isn't even much fun)? Let's take it to the streets. :)
</QUOTE>

Actually..yes.  I'm almost a Libertarian. :)
--
Rambar<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#32 by "G-Man"
2000-08-13 15:41:39
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
Say that reminds me... Darkseid-D! where's that dev copy of <u>Thrill Kill</u> you mentioned? Still interested in selling me a copy?

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#33 by "VeeSPIKE"
2000-08-13 16:47:57
appliedavoidanc@triton.net
<b>#Main Post</b> "morn" wrote this stuff"
<QUOTE>Obviously, over here in Germany it's happening under different legal
circumstances, but I'm still starting to wonder why Activision now decides to
take on a fight in British Columbia, but never really showed any interest in
taking up the same fight in Krautland (and, instead, like many other publishers,
even puts money and resources into producing special Kraut versions of their
games)? </QUOTE>

I think you put the answer right there. In Germany, it is happening under <b>LEGAL</b> circumstances. Correct me if I am wrong, but the BC thing is somewhat like an MPAA rating here in the States. It does not carry any real legal weight. It is much easier to divert a consortium of busybodies than it is to sunbvert the legal process.

<b>#11</b> "Andy" wrote this stuff"
<QUOTE>Is Activision only concerned about the loss of sales to 17 year olds? </QUOTE>

I would think not. They are probably conting on the fact that pre-17 year-olds will get the game somehow, and play it anyway. What they are probably now concerned with is the fact that now these teenager's parents are now going to think twice before they buy the game for their children.

<b>#27</b> "Rambar" wrote this stuff"
<QUOTE>There was small potential in the original post for some interesting discussion,
but now we have another rehash of some old and quite tiresome debates. Oh well.

</QUOTE>

Well then put your points in play, and stop rehashing 'tiresome' debates. Otherwise, quit bitching.

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#34 by "BloodKnight"
2000-08-13 17:14:21
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
I am not suprised that PC have posted this topic.  Only thing I am shocked about is they didn't post this sooner

Now for my rant, wtf is with Activision?  It looks like they want to sell to teenagers on SoF.  If the rating was 17+ and a provience only 'bans' it for people lower then 18, so only 18+ could buy it, doesn't that make the rating more efficent?  To tell the customer 'hey this is a bloody game you moron'?  Its obvious that Activision wants customers younger then 17+ to buy this game.  Just like the tobacco industry wants teenagers to smoke so they get addicted and have 'long term customers' ( <a href="http://www.thetruth.com/">thetruth.com</a> )<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#35 by "ajb"
2000-08-13 17:49:50
aaronjb@ime.net http://nuthin'!
<quote>
Its highly unlikely that they'd be able to sell any more copies of that celebrated flop with any sort of marketing gimmick.
</quote>
Now why was that necessary?

Just an FYI, Derek.  An quick poll of my friends shows that more of them enjoy playing SOF than have even heard of anything Battlecruiser.  Not sure why you had to come out and shit on a product put out by another developer.  I might not really enjoy it, but it's a quality game.  Are you some sort of a troll?

If someone had referred to Battlecruiser (in any incarnation) as a "celebrated flop", you'd surely fire off an email threatening litigation unless they proved their claim.

So prove your claim.  Show us the numbers.  Then put those figures up against your entire Battlecruiser franchise.  For once, don't make a baseless allegation.  And if you claim that you've no need to back up your statement, then I bring up the point that you made said allegation without reason or lead-in in the first place.

I doubt we would have heard such a comment from any other developer.  Be an adult and show some respect.

-aaron
#36 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-08-13 18:14:41
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<b>#19</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>
You'll also note that the story broke at weekend, a tactic often used when the company/government/individual doesn't want press attention. There's also no mention of it on the press section of Activision's web site, and I've not been able to find anything on the business wire. (Or whatever you want to call it... "business wire" sounds so pretentious!)
</QUOTE>
Well, not everyone works 24-7 so that likely explains the lack of info on their website and/or wire services.

But you're right and you're wrong. The news will still cover them in the following week, but companies release info like this late on Fridays so it doesn't affect their stock price that day.

---
"My life is a patio of fun."<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#37 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-08-13 18:17:43
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<b>#34</b> "BloodKnight" wrote...
<QUOTE>
Just like the tobacco industry wants teenagers to smoke so they get addicted and have 'long term customers' ( <A href="http://www.thetruth.com/">thetruth.com</A> )</QUOTE>
You do realize "thetruth.com" is run by the tobacco industry, right?

---
"My life is a patio of fun."<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#38 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-08-13 18:21:31
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<b>#33</b> "VeeSPIKE" wrote...
<QUOTE>
I would think not. They are probably conting on the fact that pre-17 year-olds will get the game somehow, and play it anyway. What they are probably now concerned with is the fact that now these teenager's parents are now going to think twice before they buy the game for their children.
</QUOTE>
If the market for that type of game is primarily pre-17 year olds, it makes you wonder why they would have promoted so heavily (or even created, for that matter) a game with that level of violence. It would be like Britney Spears making an R-rated movie today (hey, quit drooling over that prospect).

And by the way, doesn't this Canadian law mandate that the game cannot be placed on store shelves, that it has to be kept behind the counter? If that's the case, I'm guessing that's the issue, not the age rating. Behind the counter would be death to a game.

---
"My life is a patio of fun."<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#39 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-08-13 18:25:27
Sgt_Hulka@Hulka.com http://www.hulka.com
<b>#37</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
<QUOTE>You do realize "thetruth.com" is run by the tobacco industry, right? </QUOTE>

Indirectly, yes, you are correct.  I have actually contacting the people at thetruth.com.  I was getting pretty annoyed by their dipshit commercials, kids standing with running numbers telling me how many people died and/or got cancer or some shit from smoking, so I contacted them to find out who funds them.  Who's behind their commercials.

It turns out that when the tobacco industry lost that giant settlement to the states, a portion of the money goes to thetruth.com to fund their commercials and websites.  So yes, the tobacco company is paying for it, but I doubt they would have done it on their own, and as far as effectivness, I don't think it matters at all.  

Cigarattes already have warnings on the pack, people know the dangers, they don't need a commercial every day to remind them.  It's a waste of money.  I'd rather see the money going to help the homeless train for a new life, or housing projects, or something that can actually help society instead of lecturing to it.  We get enough of that thought police crap in America already.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#40 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-08-13 18:27:37
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<b>#13</b> "Gestalt" wrote...
<QUOTE>
This is just plain silly - publishers should be supporting legally enforceable age ratings, not trying to fight against them. It's a great way of making sure that violent games don't get into the hands of children, while ensuring that adults can play whatever they want and we don't end up with a culture of censorship.
</QUOTE>
Exactly. They're cutting their own throats. They need to work with retailers to implement a system for checking the age of purchasers. If they do not, they will get a government-mandated system (like Germany?) rather than a voluntary one (like the MPAA).

Of course I realize the MPAA system is horribly flawed. For example, how the hell did Scary Movie get an R-rating, with a dick through the head and the orgasm to end all orgasms, while "excessive thrusting" in the terminally boring "Eyes Wide Shut" got it an NC-17? One is targeted at kids, the other adults... shouldn't that be taken into account? But still, it's better that the industry works with the government rather than sticking its head in the sand and just saying, "Bah, games don't cause any problems." While that may be true, it ain't gonna convince anyone otherwise.

---
"My life is a patio of fun."<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#41 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-08-13 18:32:26
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<b>#39</b> "Sgt Hulka" wrote...
<QUOTE>
I'd rather see the money going to help the homeless train for a new life, or housing projects, or something that can actually help society instead of lecturing to it. We get enough of that thought police crap in America already.</QUOTE>
Hey now, that's sounding mightly liberal of you...

---
"My life is a patio of fun."<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#42 by "BloodKnight"
2000-08-13 18:50:01
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>Steve Bauman</b> (#37):
<QUOTE>
<quote>Just like the tobacco industry wants teenagers to smoke so they
get addicted and have 'long term customers' ( thetruth.com</A> )</quote>
You do realize
"thetruth.com" is run by the tobacco industry, right? </QUOTE>

Probably being payed and run, forced by the law.  I just stated that site because for those who don't believe that quote about 'tobacco targets teens'

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#43 by "VeeSPIKE"
2000-08-13 19:23:37
appliedavoidanc@triton.net
<b>#38</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote this stuff"
<QUOTE>If the market for that type of game is primarily pre-17 year olds, it makes you
wonder why they would have promoted so heavily (or even created, for that
matter) a game with that level of violence. It would be like Britney Spears
making an R-rated movie today (hey, quit drooling over that prospect).
</QUOTE>

Hey, she's over 18!! She can make an R-rated movie if I .. err she wants :)

*Warning* Assumption made that the target market for SoF was pre-17 year old teens.

They market it that way because that's what gets the targets attention and hopefully gets them to buy in.


<b>#38</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote this stuff"
<QUOTE>And by the way, doesn't this Canadian law mandate that the game cannot be placed
on store shelves, that it has to be kept behind the counter? If that's the case,
I'm guessing that's the issue, not the age rating. Behind the counter would be
death to a game.
</QUOTE>

The article says that they have to be sold separately, but does not say what that means. I would assume you are correct. <I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#44 by "BarneyQue"
2000-08-13 19:29:47
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#17</b> "Paul A. Bullman" wrote...
<QUOTE>

Andy, Gestalt:

In a free society it is up to the parents to decide what their children can or can not do.

I don't mean to speak like I'm a parent(i'm not) but I know from how my parents raised me that you gotta get involved. Not invade, but be a constant presence. That's the solution.

- Paul
</QUOTE>

This post makes the assumption, that if we could just get the parents to control their childrens lives, all would be well.

This is very, very wrong.  This assumes, that adults when facing a decision will automatically make the correct one.  Someone mentioned speed limits. The reason we have speed limits is because adults(parents), often choose not to do the right thing.  Sometimes, they even make the wrong choice while the kids are even in the car.  Speed limits are adult rules, we dont allow children to opreate motor vehicles. Adults need rules and guidance just as much as children do.

As further evidence, Pretty much every country in the world have prision's just loaded with adults who could not make a decent decision to save themselves, let alone the children.

Just a thought.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#45 by "Andy"
2000-08-13 19:49:21
andy@planetcrap.com
Quote from thetruth.com: "Then bring your ripped out ads to the biggest Rip It Out event of the year and trade them in for cool truth gear."

As much as I admire their efforts to stop people from smoking, handing out free gear probably isn't the best solution...

(<i>This may have been a UK-specific post. I dunno.</i>)
#46 by "BloodKnight"
2000-08-13 20:05:42
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
From thetruth.com

We were targeting kids, and I said at the time that it was unethical and maybe illegal, but I was told it was company policy


This is the same thing for SoF, SoF is rated 17+, but its really targetting kids.  Proof?  This appeal
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#47 by "BloodKnight"
2000-08-13 20:06:19
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
God damn it.  we need editing :)
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#48 by "Andy"
2000-08-13 20:13:50
andy@planetcrap.com
You know, I have to say that this is the first time I've been pleasantly surprised by PlanetCrap posters. It's no secret that I think you're a weird bunch most of the time, but I like what I've been seeing in this thread.
#49 by "BarneyQue"
2000-08-13 20:14:10
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#47</b> "BloodKnight" wrote...
<QUOTE>

God damn it. we need editing :)
</QUOTE>


No, editing would be bad.  That would turn this place into a farce with situations similar to what has happened at evilavatar.

I'm the lazyiest speller here, and never seem to be able to pick the right instance the their and there, but I'll take my lumps knowing that if I take someone else to task on a comment, I wont have to worry about them making slight changes to it after the fact.

just say no to editing.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#50 by "Andy"
2000-08-13 20:17:42
andy@planetcrap.com
Absolutely. If we had post editing here, I'd be the second to leave... straight after Morn. (Assuming his views on this haven't changed.)

Cue the George and Scott performance of "<i>Let's Have Post Editing, Hurrah, Hurrah, Let's Kick Andy Out, Hurrah, Hurrah</i>".
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