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What Kind Of Video Games Is Your Child Playing?

What Kind Of Video Games Is Your Child Playing?

What Kind Of Video Games Is Your Child Playing?

Parenting is not an easy task, but at least school is there to take the kids away for a few hours each day. That helps. However, summer is now here and the kids are free from school for the season. It can be tough for parents to figure out how to keep their kids busy and entertained over the summer.

Nowadays, many kids are easily entertained with a video game of some sort. Luckily, there are plenty of games to choose from to keep the kiddies entertained. However, a parent needs to make sure that the game their kid is playing is appropriate for them. Some parents don’t realize that there is a way to determine what is in a game without having to play it.

How To Rate A Game

Video games come in all sorts of “shapes and sizes.” There truly is something for everyone, so long as they are willing to look for the right game. One of the ways that people can tell what is in a game, aside from reading the back of the box, is to look at the rating system. Every single game in the United States has a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).

The ESRB is tasked with providing consumers with the information to determine what kind of audience the game is made for. The ESRB examines a game and determines if its content is meant more for kids, or adults. Once a decision has been decided on for a game, the game receives a letter rating.

While some people may be confused by the letter system used for rating video games, it is actually pretty straightforward. The following letters can be used for ratings:

  • EC – stands for early childhood and are usually meant as educational games for very young kids. This rating isn’t used much in most games.
  • E – stands for everyone, meaning that the game is suitable for all ages. An E game can contain minimal cartoon, fantasy, mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language. Games like Pokémon fall into this category.
  • E10+ – stands for everyone age ten and up. These games can contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes. Minecraft falls into this category.
  • T – stands for teen, meaning the game is meant for anyone 13 and older. These games can contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language. The popular battle royal style game Fortnite falls into this category.
  • M – stands for mature, meaning a player should be 17 or older to buy or play the game. These games contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language. Any first-person shooter (FPS) game, like Call of Duty, typically fits into this category.
  • AO – stands for adults only, meaning a person should be 18 or older to play the game. Admittedly, this rating is very rarely used. These games can contain prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.
  • RP – stands for rating pending, meaning the game hasn’t gotten an official rating yet. This is usually seen on adds for games long before their official release and therefore will never be on a game once it is available to purchase.

More information can be found on the ESRB, as well as a helpful lookup tool, here.

Be Wary Of Loot Boxes

Another thing a parent should be wary of in their child’s games, are loot boxes. Loot boxes are highly controversial at the moment with many people debating whether or not they constitute gambling.

Loot boxes typically work as follows: A player acquires a box in game, sometimes by earning, though usually through purchasing the box with real world money. The player then opens the box is given a random in-game reward. If a player didn’t get the reward they wanted, they can always purchase another loot box to try again. This can very quickly add up to a lot of money.

Some popular games that include loot boxes include:

  • Apex Legends
  • Counter-Strike
  • FIFA
  • Fortnite
  • Overwatch
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
  • Star Wars Battlefront 2

Due to these questionable practices, many governments around the world are weighing in on whether or not loot boxes count as gambling. Until governments can come to any sort of decision on this front, parents should pay attention to games with these, as kids have been known to use their parent’s credit cards to buy a lot of these loot boxes.

Pay Close Attention

Video games can be a great way to keep a child entertained this summer, so long as a parent is aware of what games their letting their child play. When a parent buys a game for their child, they need to make sure that the game is appropriate. If they don’t want their child seeing anything super violent, then M rated games are out of the picture. No cartoon violence, then T games are out as well. E and E10+ games are usually a safe bet for young children.

Unfortunately, if a parent wants to avoid games with loot boxes, they are going to have to a look a little more closely at the rating box on the game’s case. Loot boxes themselves don’t currently affect a game’s rating with the ESRB, however they should be listed next to the games rating under the category of in-game purchases.

Do you have a favorite child appropriate game?

If so, share it in the comments below and help other parents find a good game for their child this summer.

 

Maine: The First State To Ban Styrofoam Containers

Maine: The First State To Ban Styrofoam Containers

Maine: The First State To Ban Styrofoam Containers

More and more people are looking for ways to help out the environment in any way that they can. This includes the usual steps of recycling and reducing waste as much as possible. Lawmakers are also getting into the idea of going green, and are passing new laws with the goal of helping the environment.

This all comes from the realization of how much human trash ends up in the environment, namely the ocean. Communities all over the globe are working on ways to reduce the amount of waste they produce each year with the end goal of reducing the amount of plastic waste in the ocean.

California is one of a handful of states in the U.S., passing numerous laws in this area. Recently, the state passed laws banning single-use plastic bags at grocery stores and limited single-use plastic straws at restaurants. However, it is not the only state in the country to pass laws like this. For instance, the state of Maine recently made headlines for passing a new green law that is the first of its kind.

Maine Bans Styrofoam Containers

In the state of Maine, Governor Janet Mills recently signed a bill that prohibits the use and distribution of single-use Styrofoam food containers. The law goes into effect in 2021 and prohibits “covered establishments” like restaurants and grocery stores from using these containers. Ultimately, the law expands on a previous law enacted in 19993 that banned the containers from all state facilities and functions.

These types of containers are often used only once before being thrown away. From there, the container either ends up in a dump, or somehow finds its way into the environment somewhere. Either way, the container doesn’t decompose since plastics like that are designed to last, despites they are often only used one time.

Maine is the first state to enact a policy like this; however, it is not the first community to do so. Cities all over the country have placed bans on these types of containers, and a few others states, Oregon, Vermont, and Connecticut, are considering enacting similar bans.

Even some national businesses, such as McDonald’s and Dunkin, are working on eliminating Styrofoam containers completely from their business models.

The Law Attacks Whole Industries

As with all new laws, especially environmentally focused ones, there was heavy opposition. Opponents of the bill largely came from the plastic industry, food service container manufacturers, and business and tourism groups in Maine. Even something as simple sounding as a ban can drastically affect entire industries.

Opponents of the new law argued that this would negatively affect businesses, especially small businesses. Styrofoam containers are a cheap and effective way to transport and store food. They also argued that regardless of what material the containers were made of, people will continue to litter. Plus, all materials leave some sort of environmental footprint.

Trying To Clean Up The Environment

At the end of the day, opponents of the bill were probably right. People will litter no matter what the containers are made of. The best anyone can do is try to reduce as much plastic waste as possible. While there are still many larger instances of plastic waste out there, the banning of Styrofoam food containers is a step in the right direction.

Similarly, the banning of single-use plastic bags and the limiting of plastic straws are also steps in the right direction. While they might seem small, they are hopefully just the beginning to make the world a whole lot cleaner for everyone, human and animal alike.

What do you think of Maine’s new law?

Is this a good thing or is it too much too soon? Do you think California should follow Maine’s example, or wait a while and see how things play out? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

 

Californians Are Battling Over Senate Bill 276

Californians Are Battling Over Senate Bill 276

Californians Are Battling Over Senate Bill 276

With all of the extra means of communication around the world, there are more debates than ever. Some of them are very minor, such as whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza, and others are far more heated. The more heated the debate, the angrier both sides of the argument tend to become.

A perfect example of this is the ongoing debate over whether or not children should be vaccinated. Some parents believe that it is their right to choose whether or not to vaccinate their children. Other parents argue that since unvaccinated kids help spread the disease to other students, the parents of the unvaccinated child lose that right to choose.

This debate is coming to a head here in California as the state legislature looks at a new bill that could change how children are vaccinated in the state. Naturally, this has caused quite a stir amongst parents from both sides of the argument.

Does SB 276 Remove A Parent’s Right To Choose

California lawmakers are currently reviewing Senate Bill (SB) 276. This bill would change how parents could get permission to not have their child vaccinated before going to school. Currently, parents simply need to get a doctor’s note of approval in order to not have their child vaccinated. SB 276 seeks to change that by removing that power from doctors and giving it to state public health officials instead.

This simple change would make it much more difficult for parents who are against vaccinations to have their child exempt from needing the vaccines. Due to that fact, many anti-vaccination parents are up in arms over this proposed bill. They argue that this bill would remove the parent’s right to make decisions for their child.

On the other side of the fence, people are arguing that anti-vaccination parents are making choices that not only affect their child, but the children of everyone else at the school. Therefore, the parent shouldn’t be able to make that decision on their own, since the results are so far reaching. This claim is backed up by the recent reemergence of measles, along with other once life threatening diseases that were thought to be eliminated in the United States thanks to vaccines.

Why Are Some Parents Against Vaccines?

The idea of anti-vaccinations has steadily gained traction over the recent decades, but where did it come from? After all, vaccinations helped immunize a child against potentially life-threatening diseases. Well, some people believe that vaccines cause autism in children. This belief started with a medical study.

Back in 1998, a British doctor named Andrew Wakefield released a report on a study he conducted that claimed to find a link between vaccines and autism. However, shortly after the “study” was published, it was discovered that Wakefield’s research only examined 12 people, far too small of a sample size to come to any concrete decisions. In addition, Wakefield altered and manipulated data to better support his belief.

Once all of that was realized, the paper was retracted and Wakefield’s medical license was revoked. However, none of this happened before the news of the supposed link between vaccines and autism spread like wildfire.

Even though the study was retracted and dozens upon dozens of new studies have since disproved Wakefield’s claim, people still choose to belief it. Unfortunately, this puts thousands of children at risk of contracting dangerous diseases such as measles, polio, whooping cough, and diphtheria.

Will Californians Have To Get Vaccinated?

The debate currently going up in Sacramento surrounding SB 276 will continue to be very heated. Both opposing sides whole heartedly agree that they are right, and the other side is wrong. No matter how California lawmakers decide to side in this debate, there will undoubtedly be some uproar.

What do you think of SB 276?

Should parents be allowed to choose whether or not their child gets vaccinated or is this decision too important for parents to just opt out of? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

 

What Counts As Forgery In California?

What Counts As Forgery In California?

What Counts As Forgery In California?

There are a lot of different crimes out here in the state of California. Most people are aware of many of these crimes and know not to commit them. However, there are a few crimes out there that people aren’t always so sure about. For many of these crimes, the only times people hear about them are on their TV screens.

A perfect example of this is the crime of forgery. People see it played out all of the time on television, but they don’t really worry about committing the crime themselves. For starters, most of them aren’t planning on recreating a famous piece of art in the hopes of selling it for boatloads of money. However, that is just one type of forgery. There is a much more common type out there that a person may accidentally commit without even knowing.

It is far more common for people to forge a person’s signature or a document. This kind of crime happens quite frequently, and is often referred to as a white collar crime, which is a crime that is non-violent and financially motivated.

What Is Forgery

The state of California has its own law against the act of forgery. California Penal Code (PC) 470 outlines what acts count as forgery, and what the consequences for those acts are. For starters, a person that commits forgery whenever they intend to commit fraud by doing one of the following:

  • Sign someone else’s name on a document.
  • Fake a seal on document.
  • Fake another person’s handwriting.
  • Falsify a legal document.
  • Present someone with a false document.

While this legal definition covers a lot of different potential crimes, there is one important thing to take note of. This is the fact that forgery only happens when a person intends to commit the crime. There is a large difference between someone getting another person to sign a fake document when neither knows its fake, versus when a person gets someone to a document that they know is fake.

When it comes to signing someone else’s name on an important document, it is possible to do so without committing forgery. If a person has consent or permission form the person in question, they can sign their name for them without worry of committing forgery. This means that loved one’s can sign checks for one another in order to deposit them without fear. It is only when a person tries to steal someone else’s money that they can get into trouble for forgery.

Consequences Of Committing Forgery In California

Here in the state of California, forgery is known as a wobbler offense. This means that it can either be charged a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the crime and the person who committed the crime. If the attempted forgery is valued at more than $950, than the accused will likely face felony charges, and if it is under that amount then it will likely face misdemeanor charges. In addition, if the person has been accused of certain violent felonies or crimes that require them to register as a sex offender, then they will likely face felony charges regardless of the amount of the forgery.

When charged as a misdemeanor, forgery carries the following consequences:

  • Up to one year in jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Informal probation.
  • Restitutions to the victims.

When charged as a felony, forgery’s consequences increase to:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in prison.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Probation.
  • Restitutions to the victims.

Most People Have Nothing To Worry About

The crime of forgery in California is a lot broader than most people realize. However, it is also a lot harder to commit than what people think. A person needs to know that they are committing forgery in order for them to actually commit forgery. If a person isn’t trying to steal money from someone else or falsify documents, then they aren’t guilty of the crime of forgery.

This fact can help some people rest easy knowing that they can’t get into legal trouble just because they signed their spouses name on a check in order to deposit it.

 

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