Frat Party Beer Pong is Underrated
Frat Party Wii Game "Beer Pong" Brews Controversy Over Alcohol Content on Nintendo Video Games
A new online game which is available as a download for the popular Nintendo Wii console, is causing controversy in the state of Connecticut.
The Wii game called “Frat Party Games: Beer Pong” has been rated suitable for people aged 13+, and Connecticut attorney general is not impressed.
“Beer Pong” is based on popular college drinking game where competitors toss a ping pong ball into the opposing players cup. If one player gets the ball in the cup, the other must guzzle down their beer. The game was designed by Las Vegas-based JV Games Inc. and was released as a download for the Nintendo Wii in June.
Richard Blumenthal, said last Monday that the Entertainment Software Rating Board made a mistake clearing the game for young teenagers and voiced his worries that the other yet-to-be-released Frat Party Games – which are in the pipeline – will also be approved for the same age group of gamers.
JV Games Vice President Jag Jaeger, informed Blumenthal last month that the company would rename the game “Pong Toss” dropping all references to alcohol, and although it took JV Games a month to get round it, Beer Pong has now been re-title on Wii website.
Blumenthal who believes the game glorifies “alcohol abuse and binge drinking” was pleased with decision but not entirely happy with the trend that may follow the Frat Party theme.
“We stopped this game, but that is only a minor victory if it is followed by others,”
Jaege said the video game was never about alcohol, simply a virtual version of the growing sport known as beer pong which actually eliminates the need for any real drinking. The “real” sport has become so popular over the recent years there is even a World Series of Beer Pong held on Las Vegas where contestants go head to head for $50,000 of prize money.
In a telephone interview last week Jaeger said,
“The game never showed any drinking, it never depicted anyone getting drunk……
“The thing is, it’s becoming a really well-known sport.”
If you have yet to play the virtual version of Beer Pong, check out the video below to see how it translates to the Wii.
Jaeger and his company are not the only ones on seeing the lighthearted side of the matter. In a letter to Blumenthal last month, Patricia E. Vance, the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s president, upheld the boards rating of the Frat Party Game by saying that alcohol played a minimal role in the game and no one was shown drinking beer.
“Despite being premised on a drinking game, the game’s content involves essentially nothing more than tossing ping-pong balls into plastic cups…
“We are thus unsure of the basis for the statement in your letter suggesting that this content ‘glorifies alcohol abuse and binge drinking.”
In response, Blumenthal sent a second letter to the board confirming his views on the matter. In his letter Blumenthal called for any other video games that contain alcohol content to be given an adult rating for users over the age of 18.
He directly criticized the board for saying the appearance of alcohol in the game was “minimal”. He explained that the name “Beer Pong” directly refers to a drinking game and that beer was clearly depicted in the graphics used for the games title. He added that the game displayed images of beer kegs and mugs of beer and that there is also a full bar in the background.
“The whole basis for the games is heavy alcohol consumption — simply not appropriate for teenagers and deserving more consideration by the Board,” Blumenthal wrote.
Jaeger said it would be “ridiculous” to restrict Beer Pong for adult audiences only, he pointed out that “Grand Theft Auto,” a game well known for its violence, was given a lesser rating of “M” or mature rating. He also added that Nintendo will not publish adult rated games.
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