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News Valve blocks kids from Steam via new Subscriber Agreement

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 16 Sep 2016.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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  2. BradShort

    BradShort Familyman - Fraggin when allowed :P

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    "'Steam is not intended for children under 13" That is complete rubbish from Valve. There are loads of games aimed squarely at youngsters. I just don't think they can be bothered to implement a tiered monitoring solution to ensure the right privacy policies are adhered to.
     
  3. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. So if kids under 13 aren't allowed to have a Steam account, I assume those accounts can be transferred into a parent's name? I know you're not allowed to sell accounts, but presumably there's a mechanism for transferring ownership in these circumstances?

    I don't particularly disagree with the idea that minors shouldn't be entering into contracts (such as the Steam subscriber agreement). It's fine for parents to "own" the account and for kids to have access to it, as long as the parents are ultimately responsible for the use of that account.
     
  4. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    This is just legal protection for valve. As long as they have made a reasonable attempt verify the age of the account holder they will be protected. Reasonable will probably just be asking them to verify the age on opening the account because that's what other online services do. People under the age of 13 will lie and valve won't actually close any accounts or transfer them. It's pure bureaucracy that's all.
     
  5. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    If i lie about my age can i have some privacy. ;)
     
  6. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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  7. Paradigm Shifter

    Paradigm Shifter de nihilo nihil fit

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    Hm. Well, Valve are doing what they are legally obliged to do, so no one can really complain. I thought they already did it, although let's face it... a tick box 'I am 13 or over' isn't exactly a difficult hurdle to overcome.

    That said, I know there are games aimed at younger kids on Steam... but should they be having their own Steam account anyway? I know I'd want to be involved in what my kids were playing, rather than using PC/console as a childminder... and irrespective of how "mature" or "capable" you think an under-13 might be... kids make stupid mistakes at times - it's part of growing up - and on the internet, stuff can come back to bite you in the arse with surprising ease. Just look at all the trouble going on with sexting and cyberbullying.

    I guess it all comes down to parental responsibility. I can think of various ways of solving this, but all of them would probably leave someone, somewhere, whining incessantly.

    Imagine the furore if Steam/PSN/XBL instituted a system where you couldn't play an 18-rated game if you were under 18! Nevertheless it is entirely feasible to do; [inserts disc/clicks play] -> account age check/card link check -> "Sorry, this game is rated 18. You're only 9." I wonder if returns would increase; "This game is faulty, my kid can't play it." "How old is your child, sir/ma'am?" "Oh, 10." "This is an 18 rated game, sir/ma'am." "...er..."

    Because pretty much anyone who has ever been in any physical game store has seem Mummy buying GTA(x)/CoD(whatever) for their obviously underage offspring. I believe since 2012 the store can get into legal trouble for selling age-rated content where the sales staff believes it will be sold for use by someone underage in the UK (don't hold me to it, just a vague recollection of a Bit-Tech article so Gareth can probably prove it one way or the other! ;)) but it's more difficult with digital sales and online shopping of physical products so would have to be done 'account end', which, again, relies on parents setting up their children's accounts and so forth.

    So it all boils down to parental responsibility.
     
  8. GravitySmacked

    GravitySmacked Mostly Harmless

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    Best not tell my 7 year old :worried:
     
  9. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    I feel a disturbance in the CoD online lobbies, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
     
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  10. Redbeaver

    Redbeaver The Other Red Meat

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    can't people just lie during registration with Steam?

    What is the big deal here?

    Seriously, most web-based stuff out there NEVER verify your age and most people lie their **** anyway...
     
  11. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    Yes
    Nothing
    Exactly.
     
  12. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    I think you people are forgetting that EXISTING accounts are the issue here...
     
  13. Jimbob

    Jimbob Member

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    Wasn't that always the case? I'm sure there used to be a tick box that said you were over 13 when you signed up? I always thought it was an odd age to ask about.
     
  14. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, wouldn't want to imagine how screwed up my life would be if there would have been youtube, facebook and so on around back when I was a kid to document absolutely everything and preserve it for eternity.
     
  15. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    Nothing will happen to existing accounts. At worst we will be asked to verify our age when we log in, we'll all lie and say we were born on January first in whatever year our mouse lands on and forget about it. Valve will be covered off legally and everyone gets to keep their accounts. I imagine that asking someone under 13 for proof of identity would be against the law as well as you would be gathering data on a minor, so there's not a lot that can be done verification wise.
     
  16. Paradigm Shifter

    Paradigm Shifter de nihilo nihil fit

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    That doesn't even cover the parents doing it to the kids - a young lady is suing her parents for embarrassing Facebook photos when she was younger. Wonder if that'll become the new PPI/no-win-no-fee accident-at-work TV advert? "Did your parents ruin your life by posting embarrassing pictures of you as a child on Facebook? Get revenge! Sue them for everything they have!"

    I'd laugh, but frighteningly, I think it might happen...

    Then there's the fact that potential employers often now look up applicants social media presence...
     
  17. leexgx

    leexgx CPC hang out zone (i Fix pcs i do )

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    if you don't pick the age it then does not let you view the content so they pick a date that makes them over 18
     
  18. ModSquid

    ModSquid Member

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    I think my DOB has changed a number of times over the last few years, possibly even this last month or two. Sadly, it hasn't resulted in any extra pressies.
     
  19. Wwhat

    Wwhat Member

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    I expect they want people who they can charge for virtual hats without having a lawyer involved with each sale after it was contested.
     

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