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Credit Card Required To View 'M' Rated Information 103

Posted by Zonk
from the a-little-extreme dept.
John Callaham writes "Gamecloud has a special feature article titled 'Going Through The Age Gate'. Why are some downloads of game trailers and demos are now requiring that a person declare their age before accessing them?" Not only are some sites requiring you declare your age, Activision is requiring a credit card to view "M" rated game information. From the article: "Asking for a credit card number, even if that the message says it will not be charged, brings up some very serious questions. Why is Activision asking for credit card numbers to access product pages that promote 'M' rated games when the ESRB and every other publisher only use the required 'age gate'?"
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Credit Card Required To View 'M' Rated Information

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  • check cards (Score:3, Informative)

    by MBraynard (653724) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @04:29PM (#13768660) Journal
    People under 18 can get check card without a parent's permission, and the activision server cannot distinguish between a check card and a regular credit card.
  • by StandSure (778854) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @04:37PM (#13768738)
    I live in California and I had my first Credit Card at 17. So just having a credit card doesn't make you an adult.
    At the time it was guaranteed by my mother but I still had a number on it. So if they want to protect themselves it had better tie into a real database somewhere down the line which will tell them your age.
  • Morons. (Score:3, Informative)

    by RyoShin (610051) <tukaro@gPLANCKmail.com minus physicist> on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @04:40PM (#13768762) Homepage Journal
    Because everyone knows that you just cannot have a credit card if you're under 18!

    Unless you get a card on your parent's account.

    Or get a credit card while 16 (I started getting massive solicitations about that age.)

    Or find/loot/steal a credit card from someone.

    Or get someone who has a credit card allow you to use their number.

    There are some things I will give up credit card numbers for. Getting another credit card, for instance. Or buying something. But I'm not going to release my financial information to view a trailer for a video game. I'll just wait until some independent game site sticks it on their server, thanks.

    Next thing you know, we'll be getting stories on Slashdot like "Activisions's New Game (first born and credit card required) is said to put the 'mat' in 'mature'."
  • Just a second... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @04:51PM (#13768889)
    This thing isn't asking for name, billing address, CVC/CV2 number, experation date...

    It's asking for a number and a DOB.

    What this thing is doing is running the number against a check of Visa/Mastercard/AMEX's available card numbers to see if the algorithms check out. For example... 1111 1111 1111 1111 is not a valid card number. In fact, there are credit card number generators out on the net that do nothing but figure out bank information numbers and card holder numbers, throw it together, and give you a 16 digit account number.

    Any credit card generator program could easily be used to bypass this if people are being uptight about the authorization.

    The whole reason behind this is so that the parents realize that little Billy is digging in the wallet trying to figure out what a real credit card number looks like.

    Is it so bad that, instead of really looking at the information, we dig out the pitchforks over any little thing?
  • Game Sites (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bios_Hakr (68586) <xptical@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @04:59PM (#13768964) Homepage
    First off, I can't remember the last time I for game information from a publisher's site. Does anyone seriuosly go to Activision.com to look up the features of Big Mutha Truka 2005? No thanks. I read off-site previews and reviews. Something like mediareviews, 1up, or gamerankings always has enough information on the games I find interesting.

    Second, these guys are only hurting themselves. Let's say 10% of gamers actually go to a publisher's site to get something. How many will actually have a CC? How many will be willing to put that number in? I think not many. The traffic to what is, in effect, an advertisement will fall. And with the adverts not getting clicks, the game sales will fall sharply.

    Finally, let's say they have an exclusive demo or make you register to get updates. Well, the demo will be out on eMule and ISOHunt within a few days. If not, the full game will be out no later than 2 weeks after the release. And if people can't access a demo, sales will fall and piracy will rise. Updates and patches will end up mirrored by tons of fan sites; they are rarely hosted back at the publisher's site anyway.

    Look, I really understand that game publishers are scared. After all, they are in a position where screenshots and in-game videos will get you sued while Tubgirl and Rocco float around unmolested. It really is sick when selling a game to a kid will result in a bigger fine than selling him porn or alcohol. The pubs are scared. But taking this first step is really going to hurt them in the eyes of the precious few consumers that actually try and read their sites.
  • by BushCheney08 (917605) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @06:26PM (#13769656)
    Well, the sample credit card numbers on the VeriSign page [verisign.com] seem to work okay. I only tried a few, but they worked. And it only took a few seconds of googling to come up with those.
  • Re:fake card? (Score:2, Informative)

    by caitsith2 (773099) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:01PM (#13770502) Homepage
    MOD10 check only. You can even use fake numbers like 4242 4242 4242 4242, or 4000 0000 0000 0002. However, if it fails on either the birth date, or the credit card number, a cookie is set, to completely disallowing of a second chance, unless the user knows how to clear the cookie.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @08:48AM (#13772743)
    And nor should you... http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-1486 281,00.html [timesonline.co.uk]
  • If I'm not mistaken (Score:2, Informative)

    by Kingrames (858416) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @09:48AM (#13773320)
    there was an article on the local news not too long ago about a woman who filled out a credit card application for her preschool daughter. It was accepted, and she was sent a card.

    So I suppose it IS all about the money.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @10:30AM (#13773704)
    For anyone who has done any CC validation testing, the test number of 4 followed by fifteen 1s works on the site- so you don't even need to enter in a valid CC number to see the information.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @03:56PM (#13776620)
    I had my first credit card when I was 16.. It was also under my own name.. I didnt need my parents help getting it. I live in Ontario and dont quite know the laws.

    I would however never give any1 my credit card # for age verification. I would just not goto the website.
  • by LochNess (239443) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @05:09PM (#13777158) Homepage
    really? I just went to http://www.activision.com/en_US/game_list/game_lis t.jsp [activision.com] and right-clicked on the Quake 4 link, and it bypassed the credit card thing. Firefox 1.0.7.

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