Violent games on the OLPC Activities page

Brad Paulsen brad.paulsen at
Fri Jan 18 21:40:02 EST 2008

****Beg Disclaimer

Jeffrey, I'm replying to your message because it was the latest one in the 
thread when I retrieved my 120 OLPC mailing list message today (actually, 
that comes from several OLPC mailing lists, but devel seems to have the most 
traffic on any given day).  So, what I say here is not a reply to you 

****End Disclaimer

I think the direction this thread is taking is completely the wrong way to 
go about things.  OLPC should be in the business of delivering a platform 
and productivity tools (e.g., word processor, paint program, etc.).  It 
should NOT be in the business of distributing content.  ANY content.  Tools 
to build content, definitely (EToys, pyGames, et al.).  But NOT the content 

If you folks think this little dust-up over violent games is a big deal, 
just wait until the creationists, the scientologists and the new-Nazis 
discover the XO.  If you take a look at some of the stuff on YouTube 
criticizing the very purpose and legitimacy of the OLPC project itself, you 
will know that we are going to have enough trouble just defending the 
platform and the tools.  $200 USD can by a lot of rice for starving children 
and there is no shortage of people out there right now trying to brand the 
OLPC project as another elitist wet dream.

My advice to OLPC is to get out of the content business in any way, shape or 
form as quickly as your little green computer can carry you.  You don't have 
to worry about the XO not having enough educational content.  Many people 
not affiliated with OLPC will be developing content for this platform. 
Then, let the recipients of the machines make the content decisions using 
their own, local standards.



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jeffrey Kesselman" <jeffpk at>
To: "Chris Hager" <chris at>
Cc: "OLPC Development" <devel at>
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 2:58 PM
Subject: Re: Violent games on the OLPC Activities page

> On Jan 18, 2008 6:17 AM, Chris Hager <chris at> wrote:
>> Chris Hager wrote:
>> > Noah Kantrowitz wrote:
>> >
>> >> I don't see why breaking this up by tags (some of which can be things 
>> >> like "PG13") isn't a good enough solution. We all know kids will seek 
>> >> this stuff out no matter what, lets at least do it in a controlled 
>> >> way.
>> >>
>> >>
>> > The MPAA uses those ratings: 
>> > (
>> >
>> > - G     (General Audience - all ages admitted)
>> > - PG    (Parental guidance suggested - might not be suitable for 
>> > children))
>> > - PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned - might be inappropriate for < 13 
>> > years)
>> > - R     (Restricted - < 17 years requires parent or adult guardian)
>> > - NC-17 (No children under 17)
>> >
>> > Basically, we could introduce this ratings as tags on [[Activities]].
>> > Xo-get could list only 'G'-rated Activities by default, and users can
>> > then 'enable' all other somewhere in the application (preferences, 
>> > ...).
>> >
>> Or perhaps a bit lighther version:
>> - G  (General Audience) (without tag)
>> - M  (Mature material, not recommendet for people under ... years of age)
> Coming up with ratings is relatively easy.  The ESRB already has a
> system you can use if
> you want.
> Deciding who gets to decide how they are assigned... thats harder.
> JK
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