Blumenthal Declares War on Non-Alcoholic Drinking Games
[Connecticut] Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today announced that a video game production company, in response to concerns he raised, says it will remove all alcoholic references in its "Beer Pong" game—including the name—that was unconscionably rated suitable for children as young as 13.
Blumenthal said he will closely scrutinize the revised product to assure that sufficient changes are made.
Blumenthal said that while he is pleased by JV Games' apparent plan to alter "Beer Pong" (now called "Pong Toss"), he remains concerned that the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) rated the alcohol-laced game as suitable for young teens, and refused to change that rating to Adult, as Blumenthal requested.
"The rating T 13+—suitable for teens 13 and older—is absolutely inappropriate," Blumenthal said. "The video game rating board is under the influence—rating frat party video drinking games suitable for minors. Even as JV Games agrees to alter its Beer Pong video game, both it and the rating board stubbornly deny the damaging influence of alcohol depiction in video games.
"This issue is urgent because the 'Frat Party Games' promoted by JV Games may soon offer others in this planned series."
I'm not sure Wii Beer Pong was ever going to fly off shelves—actual beer seems crucial here—but pause and consider Blumenthal's mindset. He demanded that JV Games change the rating to "Adult," or 18 and over, a more restrictive rating than that given to Grand Theft Auto IV (17 and over). Kids accustomed to mowing down virtual hookers would be advised to wait a year before approaching a cup of pixelated beer and a virtual ping pong ball.
Hat Tip: Ray Lehman.