Michigan Staples Stores Agree to New, Age-Appropriate Sales Policy For Ultra-Violent Video Games, Reports Michigan Attorney General

Apr 02, 2001, 01:00 ET from Michigan Attorney General

    LANSING, Mich., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney General Jennifer M.
 Granholm, along with a broad coalition of law enforcement, health care, and
 education organizations, today announced that all Staples stores in Michigan
 have voluntarily agreed to implement a new, age-appropriate policy for the
 sale of ultra-violent video games.
     Granholm said:  "I applaud Staples for stepping up to the plate and doing
 their part to help keep ultra-violent videos out of the hands of our children.
 Violence shouldn't be child's play -- concerned retailers like Staples help
 ensure that it won't be.  I hope that Michigan consumers will exercise the
 'power of their pocketbooks' to support those retailers who've pledged to be
 part of the solution to youth violence."
     According to Staples Senior Vice President for the Midwest Division Gary
 Cribb, all Staples stores in Michigan will be required to ask customers who
 appear to be less than 25 years old for proper identification to purchase an
 "M" rated video game or "R" rated movie.  In addition, all Michigan Staples
 stores have new, in-store signage alerting customers to the new policy and to
 the ratings system.  Staples is an $11 billion retailer of office supplies and
 office equipment headquartered in Massachusetts.  The company operates 31
 stores in Michigan.
     Cribb said:  "We appreciate Attorney General Granholm bringing this
 important issue to our attention and applaud her efforts to raise the
 awareness with all retailers to create age-appropriate policies for the sale
 of ultra-violent video games for their stores."
     In November 2000, Granholm's office conducted a sting at 12 major Michigan
 retailers to determine how closely the stores were following the video game
 industry's self-imposed age guidelines regarding the sale of violent and
 adult-themed video games.  The industry has implemented a six-tiered rating
 system for all video games ranging from "EC" for games intended for early-
 childhood users to "AO" for games intended only for adults.
     Granholm's sting focused on those games rated "M," or Mature, and intended
 for players ages 17 years and older.  Volunteers ranging in age from 9-13
 years old shopped 35 stores; they were successfully able to purchase "M" rated
 video games on 31 occasions.
     Following the completion of the sting, Granholm's office teamed up with a
 coalition of law enforcement, education, health care, and child welfare
 organizations to raise awareness about violent video games and the video game
 rating system in Michigan.  The group encouraged retailers with no age-
 appropriate sales policies to adopt minimal guidelines for video sales by
 sending letters directly to retail management and by sending rating and sales
 information directly to parents via their local school districts.
     Terry Jungel, Executive Director of the Michigan Sheriffs' Association
 (MSA), said:  "The sheriffs of the state applaud the efforts of Staples stores
 in Michigan who are working with our coalition to keep violent videos out of
 the hands of our youth.  Anything Staples and other retailers can do to reduce
 youth violence in our society makes law enforcement's job a little easier --
 and it may even save a life.  Staples and Michigan's other responsible
 retailers have become models of preventive accountability.  MSA encourages all
 retailers to follow their lead -- they may never know the outcome, but they'll
 know they did their part."
     Mike Flanagan, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of School
 Administrators, said:  "Michigan's school administrators commend Staples for
 their leadership in developing, publicizing, and implementing a new, age-
 appropriate video game sales policy.  Their example of socially responsible
 corporate citizenship is very much appreciated by those of us who work with
 young people."
     Billy Ben Baumann, M.D., President of the Michigan State Medical Society,
 said:  "We appreciate the efforts of Staples to keep these awful video 'games'
 away from our children, and we encourage other retailers to do the same, or
 more.  I pray that someday we can eliminate violent movies and television
 programming altogether.  How sad that violence has become profitable
 entertainment."
     Joanne Welihan, Executive Director of the Michigan Elementary and
 Secondary Principals Association, said:  "Elementary and middle school
 principals are deeply concerned with the insidious portrayal of violence as
 entertainment by some in the video game industry.  It is the responsibility of
 parents, educators, and the community to protect our children and work
 together to prevent violence to children, and by children."
     Members of Granholm's violent video game coalition include:
 
     American Academy of Pediatrics,         Michigan Elementary and Secondary
      Michigan Chapter                        Principals Association
     Anti-Defamation League, Michigan        Michigan Nurses Association
      Region                                 Michigan Psychiatric Society
     The Dove Foundation                     Michigan PTA
     Michigan Academy of Family Physicians   Michigan Sheriffs' Association
     Michigan Association of Non-Public      Michigan State Medical Society
      Schools                                Michigan State Medical Society
     Michigan Association of School           Alliance
      Administrators                         Prosecuting Attorneys Association
     Michigan Association of School Nurses    of Michigan
     Michigan's Children                     Wayne County Council Against
     Michigan Education Association           Family Violence
 
 

SOURCE Michigan Attorney General
    LANSING, Mich., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney General Jennifer M.
 Granholm, along with a broad coalition of law enforcement, health care, and
 education organizations, today announced that all Staples stores in Michigan
 have voluntarily agreed to implement a new, age-appropriate policy for the
 sale of ultra-violent video games.
     Granholm said:  "I applaud Staples for stepping up to the plate and doing
 their part to help keep ultra-violent videos out of the hands of our children.
 Violence shouldn't be child's play -- concerned retailers like Staples help
 ensure that it won't be.  I hope that Michigan consumers will exercise the
 'power of their pocketbooks' to support those retailers who've pledged to be
 part of the solution to youth violence."
     According to Staples Senior Vice President for the Midwest Division Gary
 Cribb, all Staples stores in Michigan will be required to ask customers who
 appear to be less than 25 years old for proper identification to purchase an
 "M" rated video game or "R" rated movie.  In addition, all Michigan Staples
 stores have new, in-store signage alerting customers to the new policy and to
 the ratings system.  Staples is an $11 billion retailer of office supplies and
 office equipment headquartered in Massachusetts.  The company operates 31
 stores in Michigan.
     Cribb said:  "We appreciate Attorney General Granholm bringing this
 important issue to our attention and applaud her efforts to raise the
 awareness with all retailers to create age-appropriate policies for the sale
 of ultra-violent video games for their stores."
     In November 2000, Granholm's office conducted a sting at 12 major Michigan
 retailers to determine how closely the stores were following the video game
 industry's self-imposed age guidelines regarding the sale of violent and
 adult-themed video games.  The industry has implemented a six-tiered rating
 system for all video games ranging from "EC" for games intended for early-
 childhood users to "AO" for games intended only for adults.
     Granholm's sting focused on those games rated "M," or Mature, and intended
 for players ages 17 years and older.  Volunteers ranging in age from 9-13
 years old shopped 35 stores; they were successfully able to purchase "M" rated
 video games on 31 occasions.
     Following the completion of the sting, Granholm's office teamed up with a
 coalition of law enforcement, education, health care, and child welfare
 organizations to raise awareness about violent video games and the video game
 rating system in Michigan.  The group encouraged retailers with no age-
 appropriate sales policies to adopt minimal guidelines for video sales by
 sending letters directly to retail management and by sending rating and sales
 information directly to parents via their local school districts.
     Terry Jungel, Executive Director of the Michigan Sheriffs' Association
 (MSA), said:  "The sheriffs of the state applaud the efforts of Staples stores
 in Michigan who are working with our coalition to keep violent videos out of
 the hands of our youth.  Anything Staples and other retailers can do to reduce
 youth violence in our society makes law enforcement's job a little easier --
 and it may even save a life.  Staples and Michigan's other responsible
 retailers have become models of preventive accountability.  MSA encourages all
 retailers to follow their lead -- they may never know the outcome, but they'll
 know they did their part."
     Mike Flanagan, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of School
 Administrators, said:  "Michigan's school administrators commend Staples for
 their leadership in developing, publicizing, and implementing a new, age-
 appropriate video game sales policy.  Their example of socially responsible
 corporate citizenship is very much appreciated by those of us who work with
 young people."
     Billy Ben Baumann, M.D., President of the Michigan State Medical Society,
 said:  "We appreciate the efforts of Staples to keep these awful video 'games'
 away from our children, and we encourage other retailers to do the same, or
 more.  I pray that someday we can eliminate violent movies and television
 programming altogether.  How sad that violence has become profitable
 entertainment."
     Joanne Welihan, Executive Director of the Michigan Elementary and
 Secondary Principals Association, said:  "Elementary and middle school
 principals are deeply concerned with the insidious portrayal of violence as
 entertainment by some in the video game industry.  It is the responsibility of
 parents, educators, and the community to protect our children and work
 together to prevent violence to children, and by children."
     Members of Granholm's violent video game coalition include:
 
     American Academy of Pediatrics,         Michigan Elementary and Secondary
      Michigan Chapter                        Principals Association
     Anti-Defamation League, Michigan        Michigan Nurses Association
      Region                                 Michigan Psychiatric Society
     The Dove Foundation                     Michigan PTA
     Michigan Academy of Family Physicians   Michigan Sheriffs' Association
     Michigan Association of Non-Public      Michigan State Medical Society
      Schools                                Michigan State Medical Society
     Michigan Association of School           Alliance
      Administrators                         Prosecuting Attorneys Association
     Michigan Association of School Nurses    of Michigan
     Michigan's Children                     Wayne County Council Against
     Michigan Education Association           Family Violence
 
 SOURCE  Michigan Attorney General