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Do violence, nudity feature in games your kids play?

Byline: Molouk Y. Ba-Isa

ALKHOBAR: In a blow to efforts to protect children from violent video games See video game console. , a US appeals court on Friday struck down a California law California Law consists of 29 codes, covering various subject areas, the State Constitution and Statutes. See also
  • Statute
  • Bill (proposed law)
  • California State Legislature
External links
 that required games described as violent to be labeled as such and banning their sale to children. The law was contested by video game publishers, distributors and sellers. The court claimed that California lawmakers failed to produce evidence that violent video games cause psychological or neurological neurological, neurologic

pertaining to or emanating from the nervous system or from neurology.

neurological assessment
evaluation of the health status of a patient with a nervous system disorder or dysfunction.
 harm to children.

In its ruling the court suggested that other "less restrictive means" be used to protect children from inappropriate video games. Those means include the voluntary ratings system established by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB ESRB Entertainment Software Rating Board
ESRB Estrogen Receptor Beta
ESRB Explosive Safety Review Board
), educational campaigns and parental controls This article is about computer options. For the television show, see Parental Control (TV series).

Parental controls are options, typically included in digital television services, computer and video games, or computer software used to access the Internet, that
. The law's author, state Senator Noun 1. state senator - a member of a state senate
senator - a member of a senate
 Leland Yee Leland Yee (Chinese: 余胤良; Pinyin: Yú Yìnliáng, born 1948 in China) is a California State Senator in District 8 which includes the western half of San Francisco and parts of San Mateo , D-San Francisco, said he hopes California will appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court.

"We need to help empower parents with the ultimate decision over whether or not their children play in a world of violence and murder," Yee, a child psychologist child psychologist Psychology A mental health professional with a PhD in psychology who administer tests, evaluates and treats children's emotional disorders, but can't prescribe medications , said in a statement.

The Entertainment Merchants Association was delighted with the ruling claiming that it vindicated the group's position that "ratings education, retailer ratings enforcement, and control of game play by parents are the appropriate responses to concerns about video game content," rather than legislation.

Parents everywhere had better work on their control methodologies, because Rockstar Games “R*” redirects here. For *R, see Hyperreal number.

Rockstar Games is a development division of video game publisher Take-Two Interactive, based in New York City, United States. The brand is most known for the Grand Theft Auto series.
 has just upped the stakes concerning the negative imagery that children can be exposed to through gaming. Rockstar Games is the publisher of Grand Theft Auto IV This article or section contains information about an unreleased video game.
The content may change substantially as more information becomes available.
: The Lost and Damned, the first episode of Grand Theft Auto IV downloadable content for Microsoft's Xbox 360, which is available exclusively on Xbox LIVE See Xbox.  worldwide.

Common Sense Media warned that parents need to know that the GTA GTA Grand Theft Auto (legal)
GTA Grand Theft Auto (video game)
GTA Greater Toronto Area (Canada)
GTA Graduate Teaching Assistant
 IV downloadable expansion has full frontal male nudity. "The game lets you lead a life of crime as part of a motorcycle gang with plenty of gang violence, relentless foul language, drugs and alcohol, and sexual references," noted a review at the organization's website.

In all Grand Theft Auto titles, no matter what the platform, gamers play as a member of the criminal underworld Underworld
See also Hell.

Unfaithfulness (See FAITHLESSNESS.)

Ungratefulness (See INGRATITUDE.)



epithet of Hades. [Gk. Myth.
 and can go virtually anywhere and do anything in a fully realized 3-D city. Played from a third-person perspective, this includes carjacking The criminal taking of a motor vehicle from its driver by force, violence, or intimidation.

The u.s. justice department categorizes the crime of carjacking as a "completed or attempted Robbery of a motor vehicle by a stranger
 any vehicle, accepting run-and-gun missions, interacting with seedy characters and making money to fuel future endeavors.

Parents should be advised that to download the Lost and Damned downloadable expansion, it's first necessary to own last year's Grand Theft Auto IV game for the Xbox 360, which is unfortunately widely available for purchase from gaming shops in Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia (sä`dē ərā`bēə, sou`–, sô–), officially Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, kingdom (2005 est. pop. . The Entertainment Software Ratings Board gave Grand Theft Auto IV an "M" rating, citing the game as having "partial nudity, strong language, strong sexual content, use of drugs and alcohol, blood, and intense violence." The ESRB rating for the GTA IV Lost and Damned expansion is also M.

It's interesting that the GTA IV expansion is only available through Xbox LIVE, because Microsoft has just launched a campaign encouraging families to "Get Game Smart." The safety education campaign aims to help families manage media use and video gaming video gaming
1. Gambling by means of interactive games of chance played on a video screen.

2. The playing of video games.
 in the home. Get Game Smart is designed to help parents and kids maintain a dialogue about balanced and age-appropriate media use and, more specifically, video gaming on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and Windows-based PCs in their homes.

The new campaign website,, brings the most current information about parental controls tools, expert tips and resources together online. At, parents can find all the information they need to say "yes" to what their kids enjoy, ensuring they use appropriate media safely. An expert blog on the website tackles current issues such as reducing family friction when it comes to video games, and will inform parents of trends so they are ahead of the curve when it comes to video gaming and online safety.

"We know how much fun kids can have in the digital age," said Robbie Bach, president of Entertainment & Devices, Microsoft. "At the same time we also know parents have legitimate concerns when it comes to their children's video gaming and online activity. To complement the Family Settings tools we've built into our products, we launched an initiative two years ago that proactively educates parents on the tools and technology that can help them manage the family's gaming activity at home. Now, we're taking this initiative even further with the launch of Get Game Smart."

Bach explained that his own family has guidelines to balance digital media intake.

"In our house, we strongly believe that a balance between media use and other activities is necessary and we've established rules for our family to make sure our kids are spending quality time on their school work and being active," he advised. "Though our kids love their games and we want them to have fun, we also want them to find entertainment in a variety of ways - whether it's sports, music or playing outside with friends. Diversity and balance are key."

Parents can feel overwhelmed when it comes to dealing with kids in a digital world. When a teenager states "All my friends are playing that game," or "My friends are online all weekend," parents may not have enough knowledge to make a personal decision that's right for their family. In addition to all the other available resources, at there's an online forum where parents can ask questions about the challenges they face on topics such as age-appropriate video games, screen time and understanding new trends such as social networks. Real families are also featured talking about how they manage digital media at home. Plus, there's a section with links to additional resources at the websites of Get Game Smart partners. If you're a parent, check out and become empowered to make the best decisions to keep your family safe in our digital world.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Feb 27, 2009
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