Beer Pong Stirs Up A Scandal In Connecticut
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is the latest official to take a swing at the ESRB. The issue at hand is now the presence of alcohol use in games and the targeted game is the WiiWare title Beer Pong.
July 8, 2008
“The rating T 13+ -- suitable for teens 13 and older -- is absolutely inappropriate. 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.”
Incidentally, Blumenthal is rumored to plan to run for governor in the near future. With game-bashing being one of favorites tactics of the candidates who lack real chances of election (see Hilary Clinton's failure in the presidential campaign), who should not wonder why the Connecticut Attorney General is so concerned about this area.
However, it seems that Blumenthal' attack has everything but a thorough reality check. Beer Pong has already been heavily criticized in the past, so JV Games decided to rename it Pong Toss and remove and drop of virtual alcohol.
This matter has been brought to Blumenthal's attention by ESRB spokesman Eliot Mizrachi. Hopefully, it will be enough to appease him (yeah right!):
“Although we respect Attorney General Blumenthal’s right to disagree, the fact is that ESRB’s role is not that of censor. Our job is to impartially and consistently label content about which there may be a diversity of views so consumers can make informed choices for themselves and their families. Pong Toss involves nothing more than players tossing virtual ping-pong balls into plastic cups, which hardly qualifies it for our most restrictive rating of AO (Adults Only 18+)... “