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Christian Groups Suggest Game Guidelines

20 Dec, 2005 By: John Latchem

Christian Brothers Investment Services and other members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility are outlining new recommendations to keep inappropriate video games from minors.

The guidelines come amid concerns that retailers haven't done enough to limit sales of ‘M'-rated games — which sometimes contain graphic violence, strong sexual content and racist themes — to those 17 and older.

The groups, representing more than $110 billion in assets, cobbled together the most successful policies from major retailers such as Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart and Circuit City to form a cohesive set of restrictions. ICCR shareholders now are calling for their strict implementation and are challenging retailers without such plans to create stronger and more effective policies.

“Retailers must proactively create and implement clearly formulated, well-monitored and effective policies to ensure the sale of age-appropriate video games to consumers,” said Julie Tanner, CBIS corporate advocacy director. “These policies can help retailers be better neighbors in the communities they serve.”

The new guidelines call on retailers to:

  • Post video game sales policies prominently in stores and online;

  • Display signs and brochures to raise awareness among parents and others;

  • Restrict advertising of ‘M'-rated games in youth-oriented media;

  • Establish an online method of checking the age of buyers;

  • Train employees on the video game sales policy;

  • Program cash registers to remind cashiers about the age rule;

  • Conduct “mystery shopper” programs and other internal audits; and

  • Separate ‘M'-rated games from youth-oriented games.

  • The full text of the ICCR guidelines is available at www.cbisonline.com or www.iccr.org.

    ICCR members include The Presbyterian Church (USA), Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Sinsinawa Dominicans; Boston Common Asset Management LLC; Trinity Health; Adrian Dominican Sisters; Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Angel, Ore.; and Benedictine Sisters of Cottonwood, Idaho.

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