Why and how digital waivers would help M rated games

 Why we need waivers.

Being the avid gamer I am, I will run into a few great games that are rated M. This is great for me because I can appreciate this game’s high quality, but others either can’t appreciate the mature themes, or didn’t know they were in the game. This is bad considering that there is a big “M for Mature” label on the front of the box. The worst part about it, though, is the fact that unknowing people buy these games expecting kiddy level content, despite being warned that there is object able material in the games at the check out. This leads to class action lawsuits where ignorant people sue the game creators/companies on the terms of “I didn’t know there would be sex/violence/drug references in game X.”

I have been thinking of many different ways this could be fixed, but out of all of my different ideas, I think the best choice would be to make people sign a digital waver.

“What would the contents of this waver be” you ask? Simple: “I am _ (insert signature here) and I am aware that game X is rated M for mature, I will not molest the creators of this product due to content, and I am aware that game X includes the following content descriptors: X, X, and X. ”

“I don’t know what you are talking about! Since when has anybody sued a game company because of game content?” Well, one of the most recognizable stories like this is the Rockstar case of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ “Hot Coffee mod”   A user-made hack which allowed players to crudely simulate the act of having sex, this could have been an issue if it wasn’t for the fact that the back of the game box states the following:

MATURE 17+

Rated M   Blood and gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, and Use of Drugs.

Florence Cohen, an 85 year old grandmother who supposedly bought the game for her 14 year old grandson, filed a class action lawsuit against Rockstar (Wikipedia). Cohen, obviously unaware of the game’s M rating right on the box, sued Rockstar Games and Take Two Interactive for alleged deception, false advertising, fraud, and abuse (Wikipedia).

Things like this wouldn’t have happened if she was forced to sign a waiver before purchasing the then M rated (now changed to Adult Only, or AO, due to this lawsuit) Grand Theft Auto game. Because since the waiver would state that X is aware of the game’s mature content, people like Florence Cohen would have no right to sue companies because they are unaware of a game’s content.

Most importantly, the signatures would be digital, so as not to take up space. The signatures would be saved into the store computer’s hard-drive as evidence if such a case like class action lawsuit should come up. That way, not only do we not have to waste tons of paper to sign each waiver, but the store will have proof of signature should a lawsuit be filed for the same type of thing.

You can help by starting a by signing this online petition , created by yours truly. If we can get this to happen, less companies will be sued for unethical reasons.

11 Comments
11 Comments
Posted by Emandudeguyperson

 Why we need waivers.

Being the avid gamer I am, I will run into a few great games that are rated M. This is great for me because I can appreciate this game’s high quality, but others either can’t appreciate the mature themes, or didn’t know they were in the game. This is bad considering that there is a big “M for Mature” label on the front of the box. The worst part about it, though, is the fact that unknowing people buy these games expecting kiddy level content, despite being warned that there is object able material in the games at the check out. This leads to class action lawsuits where ignorant people sue the game creators/companies on the terms of “I didn’t know there would be sex/violence/drug references in game X.”

I have been thinking of many different ways this could be fixed, but out of all of my different ideas, I think the best choice would be to make people sign a digital waver.

“What would the contents of this waver be” you ask? Simple: “I am _ (insert signature here) and I am aware that game X is rated M for mature, I will not molest the creators of this product due to content, and I am aware that game X includes the following content descriptors: X, X, and X. ”

“I don’t know what you are talking about! Since when has anybody sued a game company because of game content?” Well, one of the most recognizable stories like this is the Rockstar case of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ “Hot Coffee mod”   A user-made hack which allowed players to crudely simulate the act of having sex, this could have been an issue if it wasn’t for the fact that the back of the game box states the following:

MATURE 17+

Rated M   Blood and gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, and Use of Drugs.

Florence Cohen, an 85 year old grandmother who supposedly bought the game for her 14 year old grandson, filed a class action lawsuit against Rockstar (Wikipedia). Cohen, obviously unaware of the game’s M rating right on the box, sued Rockstar Games and Take Two Interactive for alleged deception, false advertising, fraud, and abuse (Wikipedia).

Things like this wouldn’t have happened if she was forced to sign a waiver before purchasing the then M rated (now changed to Adult Only, or AO, due to this lawsuit) Grand Theft Auto game. Because since the waiver would state that X is aware of the game’s mature content, people like Florence Cohen would have no right to sue companies because they are unaware of a game’s content.

Most importantly, the signatures would be digital, so as not to take up space. The signatures would be saved into the store computer’s hard-drive as evidence if such a case like class action lawsuit should come up. That way, not only do we not have to waste tons of paper to sign each waiver, but the store will have proof of signature should a lawsuit be filed for the same type of thing.

You can help by starting a by signing this online petition , created by yours truly. If we can get this to happen, less companies will be sued for unethical reasons.

Posted by baconbits33

wow dude you went all out on this thing...

Posted by KaosAngel

...I believe in freedom.  This is America, not socialist Europe.  I ain't signing shit.

Posted by JazGalaxy

I think you care too much. The overall concept is a non-issue. 
 
Nobody is WINNING any lawsuits about M rated games. You can sue anyone for anything. Winning a case is a different story. 
 
What you're apparently mad about is the negative attention this brings to gaming, but to be honest, most of it is deserved. When game companies stop trying to aim for the bottom of the barrel and quit making games based on smut and sensationalism... they'll get more respect. It's that simple.
Edited by Suicidal_SNiper

The example of the Hot Coffee mod isn't a good one. Strong Sexual content does not mean the same as full on banging a chick (although with clothes). It wasn't meant to be in the game but it was left there by Rockstar. Other than there's not many guys that got sued. I know quite a few that got heavy media coverage though.
 
Although at the same time the kid shouldn't of had the game anyway, whether the game was meant to be Adult Only or Mature either way he was under age for the game...

Edited by CL60

Who cares if somebody sued? It's not like they could ever win. It clearly states on the box 17+ and on EU boxes it says 18+ in huge numbers.

Posted by iAmJohn
@Emandudeguyperson said:
"  Florence Cohen, an 85 year old grandmother who supposedly bought the game for her 14 year old grandson, filed a class action lawsuit against Rockstar (Wikipedia). Cohen, obviously unaware of the game’s M rating right on the box, sued Rockstar Games and Take Two Interactive for alleged deception, false advertising, fraud, and abuse (Wikipedia).

Things like this wouldn’t have happened if she was forced to sign a waiver before purchasing the then M rated (now changed to Adult Only, or AO, due to this lawsuit) Grand Theft Auto game. Because since the waiver would state that X is aware of the game’s mature content, people like Florence Cohen would have no right to sue companies because they are unaware of a game’s content.  "

Yes she would have still had the ability to sue, as the suit was related to the Hot Coffee mod and rating change to AO.  Her and the class action lawsuit's claim was that had they known that the hidden content was in the game (regardless of how one was able to access it or that it was obviously unfinished) they would not have bought it.  A waiver wouldn't mean dick in this scenario. 
 
I don't have to sign a waiver when I buy a ticket to a super violent movie or consume any other media that is considered "adult."  Why should I have to sign one for a video game?  All or none, I say.
Online
Posted by Organicalistic_
@CL60 said:
" Who cares if somebody sued? It's not like they could ever win. It clearly states on the box 17+ and on EU boxes it says 18+ in huge numbers. "
yup
Posted by EliasT

Oh shit, I just nostalgia'd.

Posted by Shinri
@KaosAngel said:
" ...I believe in freedom.  This is America, not socialist Europe.  I ain't signing shit. "
lolwhat
 
well done you are now ignorant american #1872496239422
Posted by SeriouslyNow
@JazGalaxy said:
" I think you care too much. The overall concept is a non-issue.  Nobody is WINNING any lawsuits about M rated games. You can sue anyone for anything. Winning a case is a different story.  What you're apparently mad about is the negative attention this brings to gaming, but to be honest, most of it is deserved. When game companies stop trying to aim for the bottom of the barrel and quit making games based on smut and sensationalism... they'll get more respect. It's that simple. "
Yeah because negative attention hurt Paris Hilton, the Simpson sisters and Vanessa Hudgens so much right?
 
Go Captain Morality!  YOUKANWIN!