Game Store Clerks and Bad Advice

imagesesMATT ASKS: are these people payed to lie? I wanted to get dragon age origins and my mom was with me. when I was about to pay, the clerk said that they are full-frontal nude girls and your character runs arond covered in blood. I said “no it’s not i’ve seen videos on it” but he ignored me and my mom didn’t get the game. To prove him wrong I rented the game and showed my mom she agreed they exagerated… A LOT. the closest to any nudity at all is the desire demon and you run around for 2 minutes with little dots of red on you. We were really angry with the clerk for wasting our time but we didn’t say anything.

GamerDad Answers:  If you’re going to say something, say it to the manager. Let’s look at the ESRB description first though:

Content descriptors: Blood and Gore, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes, Violence

Rating summary:

This is a role-playing game (RPG) in which players control a group of warriors through missions and battles in ravaged, mythical lands. The combat system in the game is similar to other third-person RPGs in which users select a target (e.g., soldier, stone golem, snake beast) and an action (e.g., “attack,” “kill,” magic spells), then watch as the game executes the move. Players use swords, axes, knives, and magic to attack enemies that react to damage with splashes of blood; large pools of blood are occasionally depicted near dead bodies as well. Cutscenes may depict an imprisoned innocent kicked into a lava pit, a fire golem tearing a man in half, or an insect-like creature feasting on the entrails of the dead. Some characters engage in suggestive dialogue—mostly a dwarf character that makes several comments about sex, mistresses, and breasts. In one sequence, a demon character appears topless.


Sounds like he was off, but not by an astronomical amount. Since your mother ended up disagreeing with him, it sounds like he was being way too conservative here… but it’s probably better for the store to err on that side than the other. A mom led to believe the game isn’t so bad who then finds it bad is far more likely to complain.

Oh, for the record, clerks are likely warned to wave off most parents but not to try not to sell the game. This guy was going too far, but still doing what he was told. No, he wasn’t paid to exaggerate though, of course not. Next time, before you buy or try to buy the game show your mom the info, any You Tube content or go to or  (ALL three were inspired by me and my old KID FACTOR features.) They specialize in giving this info in a nonbiased, nonsensational manner. Game clerks can be very helpful and they usually don’t do what I don’t do. I try very hard to NOT talk about games I haven’t played.  Since Dragon Age is one of those, I can’t give you MY opinion.  Hope that helps! Enjoy the game!

No Responses to “Game Store Clerks and Bad Advice”

  1. Dragon Age is not as bad as it looks on the gore front. There is blood that sticks to you, but you can turn that off in the Options menu. There is no “full frontal nudity” whoever said that is just plain wrong. The closest thing to nude is a desire demon with pasties over her nipples. Oh, and if you’re in the market for future “questionable” titles, I would suggest WhatTheyPlay, and even the ESRB over CommonSenseMedia. CSM is great for movies, but they are extremely biased against the video gaming industry. Don’t believe me? Check out the reviews for Assassin’s Creed and Mass Effect, then check out their reviews for Zombieland and District 9. If you have played these games or seen these movies, then you will agree with me that these reviews are not consistent.

  2. It’s not so much that they’re biased, they just make it a point to not hire anyone who knows anything about games. Or it seemed that way when I reviewed for them. They do have an awful reputation. Why do I often recommend them? I want to be fair – you’re right to call me out on that.

    The WORST thing about CSM is how they pander to the most crazy parents and how they unquestioningly believe negative beliefs about games. I’ve heard from Disney Family and iVillage that they HATE CSM. The owner is a donation whore – which explains a lot, there’s more money in anti-games than pro-games and their games editor-in-chief, who I like, is an out of touch lady who reviews kid’s games (toddler stuff) for USA Today, Her reviews are often USA Today reviews modified to fit CSM. True story.

    WhatTheyPlay is rad because they gave me a pile of money and I had a BIG impact on how they conduct themselves. 😉

  3. Speaking of CSM, I know a kid(13 years old) that has the perfect example of the “crazy parents” CSM panders to. His favorite games used to be the Sam & Max/Strong Bad series, but one visit to CSM and the mom won’t even let him get the very kid-friendly Wallace & Gromit games, and only lets him play Nintendo or Sega games.

  4. What is it with those CSM people and their love affairs with Nintendo and Sega? I mean, seriously, are those two companies bribing CSM or something? Yeah, the two of them have made some family friendly games, but that doesn’t mean that the ONLY family friendly games are made by Nintendo and Sega! Here’s another good example of CSM dumb, their star rating for the Alice in Wonderland video game (and I don’t mean the cool, dark American McGee’s Alice, I mean the movie game) was the same as their rating for Dragon Age: Origins and Modern Warfare 2, because Alice in Wonderland: The Movie: The Game is definitely as good as a game that has grossed over a billion dollars.

  5. I agree with cross_breed, I can’t take CSM seriously anymore. Saying Halo 3 is, in terms of age appropriateness, on par with District 9 is ridiculous. WhatTheyPlay is a much more useful site.

  6. I worked at FYE few years back. I was hired for my Video game and anime knowledge. I was hired for x-mas. I helped a lot of parents with games that their kids wanted. I would ask parents how old their kid was and what game they where into. If they told me that their 10 year old wanted “Grand Theft Auto” I would tell them about the game. That there was lots of killing, drugs, and sex. Then I would ask what else their kid liked then proceed to give another game that there might like and said to get a gift receipt and not to open the game if it was something they didnt like. I was told by my manager to NOT discourage parents from getting games cus it hurt sales. But my parting words to all the parents I helped where to go to GameStop or ToysRus to get a card with all the ESRB ratings. And if they where not sure about the game to look into it on line. So all in all some stores tell sales people not to discourage a person from buying a game, But to push it some what to make the sale.

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