Tuesday, September 06, 2011

New Survey: The Average Age of Gamers is 106!

Thank you to a recent tweet from Syp for reminding me of one of the most ridiculous things on the internet that seems to hit gamers more often than others. I am talking about the ludicrous age verification checks that ask you to tick the year you were born in order to "prove" you are old enough to view content.

The whole concept is ludicrous because it is trivially easy for a minor to lie about their age in  order to see the prohibited content. In fact given that these almost universally employ roll down lists it is far easier just to scroll wildly towards 1900 than it is to pick out your exact date of birth. I suspect that most people do just that which is why I imagine a survey of the average age of gamers picked up from such tools would indicate that we are all well into our dotage.

Of course randomly scrolling down the dates has its own hazards too. On a couple of occasions I have inadvertently hit  the wrong date and was told: "Sorry you are too young to view this content". This is a complete nuisance because the incorrect age seems to get stored in a cookie leaving you locked out of the content until you can figure out how to reset it.

I guess there is some spurious legal justification for these ridiculous checks but yet I cannot imagine any court in any country accepting the "evidence" produced by one of these.


Thallian said...

Clear your cache to reset cookies :)
Ctrl_shit_delete in Chrome

mbp said...

That works Thallian, thanks.

Anton said...

I accidentally entered that I was a mere few months old once on Steam and was denied access to whatever game trailer I was trying to view.

I would think a child under 1 year of age would be unlikely to be using a computer and they should at least tell you to please set the year instead of locking you out.

Seems to be more of a "idiot test" than an actual verification.

mbp said...

Lol Anton

This type of test so obviously doesn't work that I am amazed it is still widely used.

I remember a game from a long time ago (I think it may have been Leisure Suit Larry)that actually asked you to answer quiz questions before it let you in. The questions were based on historical stuff that a kid would probably not know. In those days before Google it was a pretty good test. Unfortunately some of the questions were designed for an American audience and we Europeans had to make a few wild guesses at baseball players and the like.