Those Stupid Age Gates

Published on June 16, 2009

A recent trend among websites for games that have a “M for Mature” (or similar) rating is the use of age gates. These gates require the user to enter their birth date before they can view information on the subject in question. Usually, the user is presented with three pull down menus: one for the month, one for the day, and one for the year. From a legal perspective, I can understand why companies want to use this feature. But who are these gates really keeping out? Every kid should know that by providing an old enough date, they can gain access to the site. After all, this isn’t rocket science.

Every time I visit a website with one of these gates, I enter the most ridiculous date possible by selecting the oldest year offered (usually 1900). Maybe if enough people enter ridiculous dates every time, this annoying website ‘feature’ will go away.

2 Comments

kip

I don’t think that will do anything. I don’t think the sites particularly care what you enter–I’d be willing to bet they don’t even keep statistics about it because they know they are useless. If they did they’d probably find 98% of their visitors were born on January 1 more than 18 years ago. I assume this must somehow hold up legally, though, otherwise they wouldn’t bother. I’ve seen some that just ask “are you at least 18 years old?” with “yes” and “no” buttons.

It reminds me of an old Simpsons episode where Bart wanted to get a tattoo, and the artist is about to start tattooing him, then he says “wait, how old are you?” and Bart says “I’m twenty-one, sir” and then he proceeds to give him the tattoo.

I don’t think there is anything in life that can’t be related to some quote from The Simpsons. 🙂

I don’t think there is anything in life that can’t be related to some quote from The Simpsons.

I wholeheartedly agree.

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