Retailers to block kids from violent video games
By Alan Findlay, Queen's Park Bureau

Fri, October 15, 2004

TORONTO -- Dwayne Rosenberg saw his 13-year-old daughter and her cousins shooting police officers in a video game last weekend. Yesterday, the Toronto-area dad was hailing a national initiative by video game retailers to request photo ID before selling violent or other mature-themed games.

The Retail Council of Canada and major retailers comprising 90% of the market launched a Commitment to Parents program, vowing to control access to games for mature audiences.

The program also includes plans to make the industry's existing rating system more accessible and comprehensive in time for Christmas.

"It's a good tool for parents to make informed decisions," said Rosenberg.

Consumer and Business Services Minister Jim Watson also vowed to make it mandatory for retailers to abide by the rating system.

The ratings are:

- EC (Early Childhood): Suitable for children aged three and up, containing no objectionable material.

- E (Everyone): Suitable for ages six and up. These games could include minimal violence, mild language and comic mischief.

- T (Teen): Suitable for ages 13 and up. Games can contain violent content, strong language and suggestive themes.

- M (Mature): For gamers 17 and older. May include mature sexual themes, more intense violence and strong language.

- AO (Adults Only): Sorry, 18 and older only, please. Can include graphic sex and violence.