There's been a slight change to the way that the site verifies age, in order to more closely comply with standard 'age gate' requirements that the ESRB and various other companies--mostly because of the ESRB--require.
Now when a new user signs up, he will be asked to specify his date of birth. Registration will not be able to proceed until this has happened. When the date of birth is specified, it is stored in the account for that person.
From there, if the person wants to view sexual content (screenshots for hentai profiles) or videos that have been marked as for mature audience (trailers and other such things for M-rated games), they'll have to adjust that setting in their blog before the content will display. They will not have the option to allow such content if the birth date they supplies indicates that they are not yet 18.
I don't know how many of you--if any--will find that even remotely interesting, but I thought I'd share it with you just in case. Stuff like that is only one of the many things I have to consider as I develop the site, and hopefully it's a transparent process despite its necessity.
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|wolfqueen001 - April 20, 2009 (11:25 PM)
While these things are required, I find them highly amusing if only because the person can just easily lie about their birthday. Or change it in their profile once they created the account.
It's not just here, though - everywhere where birthdays are either optional or required is like this. It's the internet, after all; it's not like you can expect people to provide an official copy of their birth certificate or something. Haha.
|honestgamer - April 21, 2009 (05:14 AM)
Actually, the birthdate can't be changed in the account once the account is set up. That's specifically because for the ESRB to recognize an age gate, one of the requirements is that a user can't just backtrack and supply a different age after finding that there was a restriction applied because of age.
Of course, any underage surfer with the cognitive ability to add 2 and 2 now knows to supply an age of 18 or older on these forms, so it's all lip service anyway. Whatever... I don't mind jumping through a hoop like that, and if it deprives a stupid 15-year-old of some nudity or extreme gore that he shouldn't be seeing, well, that's fine by me. Only smart 15-year-olds deserve to see the good stuff!
|pickhut - April 21, 2009 (07:24 AM)
Like Let's Meow Meow!
|sashanan - April 21, 2009 (07:45 AM)
Legally, it's a simple shift of responsibility. Since you have no requirement to check the validity of a user's stated birthdate, only to ask for it and act accordingly, any hypothetical consequences resulting from a <13 accessing your forums or a <18 accessing NSFW images no longer lies with the webmaster.
Obviously it's all lip service. But I'd rather live in a country that dutifully does the lip service than one that tries to secondguess it. I'm thinking of Australia here, and its refusal to introduce a mature or adult rating for games (effectively banning every game that does not qualify for their 15+ standard) because "minors would get access to it anyway".
|Suskie - April 21, 2009 (04:24 PM)
I don't mind jumping through a hoop like that, and if it deprives a stupid 15-year-old of some nudity or extreme gore that he shouldn't be seeing, well, that's fine by me. Only smart 15-year-olds deserve to see the good stuff!
I like this attitude.