Monday, June 12, 2006

The Mole: Buyer Beware

Things that make you go hmmm - Say hello to Minnesota state representative Jeff Johnson. This man is responsible for Bill HF1298, which fines underage gamers who purchase M or AO rated games but not the retailers who sell them. How much will minors get set back? $25.

I disagree with this for a number of reasons. First of all, if you're going to fine someone for something like this (I have no idea how this could possibly be enforced. Are cops going to be posted outsite Best Buy checking kids bags?) make it hurt. When I get a speeding ticket I know I'm probably going to hand over $100 or more, that sucks. I say little Billy should get a $1000 fine. That would teach him to pick up Grand Theft Auto.

Second, this bill is stupid. The onus on what kids buy is on the parents and the retailer but mostly the parents. Sure kids have some responsibility but kids will push limits, kids will do stuff that makes them look cool (like buying a game everyone is talking about), kids will want stuff they are not supposed to have. Retailers are responsible to only sell games to the age appropriate customer, that's their role. But parents are the ones who give their kids money to buy games, so if little Billy gets away with buying Playboy: The Mansion because he looks 18 but is only 13 whose fault is it?

This is just another example of parents not taking responsibility for their own kids. If my 12-year old owns a game he isn't supposed to, its my fault. As his parent, it is my responsibility to know not only what games he is playing but what music he's listening to, what movies he's watching and what he's reading. I'm not going to go all George Orwell on him but if I'm dropping the money, I want to make sure its going to something age appropriate.

There's just too much of this crap nowadays where parents are afraid to know what their kids are into because they don't want to crowd their kid. I know what this feels like, I don't want to be an overbearing parent either, my son's in middle school for crying out loud. Its an awkward age. That being said parents shouldn't be afraid to know about their kids interests and hobbies, its our job. Get over it.

So here's what you do. When you take your child to the store look at what they are buying. Read the ESRB rating on the box, they're simple to figure out. Don't take the kids word for it that its "not that bad" or "Timmy's Dad bought it for him" because unless you played it yourself you have no idea if its age appropriate or not. Still confused? Ask the store employee. They'll give you a straight answer. Get involved in your child's gaming purchases and better yet play games with them. You may think you're getting in the way of your kids fun but you'll probably find yourself having some fun together.

Duh! - Silly me. I was looking for GTA: Liberty City cheats for the PS2 and totally spaced out that they were probably the same as they are for the PSP. Here are a few below.

UP, X, X, DOWN, LEFT, X, X, RIGHT - Weapon set 3
L1, R1, TRIANGLE, L1, R1, CIRCLE, L1, R1 - Money Cheat ($250,000)
L1, R1, CIRCLE, L1, R1, X, L1, R1 - Full Armor (Blue Bar)
L1, R1, X, L1, R1, SQUARE, L1, R1 - Full Health (Red Bar)
L1, L1, TRIANGLE, R1, R1, X, SQUARE, CIRCLE - Never Wanted
CIRCLE, X, DOWN, CIRCLE, X, UP, L1, L1 - Cars Drive On Water
L1, L1, LEFT, L1, L1, RIGHT, TRIANGLE, CIRCLE - Spawn Rhino
L1, UP, LEFT, R1, TRIANGLE, CIRCLE, DOWN, X - Perfect Traction
DOWN, DOWN, DOWN, CIRCLE, CIRCLE, X, L1, R1 - Bobble Head World
DOWN, DOWN, DOWN, X, X, SQUARE, R1, L1 - Upside Down Gameplay
UP, UP, UP, TRIANGLE, TRIANGLE, CIRCLE, L1, R1 - Unlock multiplayer skins
X, Square, Down, X, Square, Up, R1, R1 - Calls closest Ped to come hop on/in your vehicle.

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