Does legal age really matter in contests?

Ideas and discussion about publishing and distributing your games

Post » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:45 am

Hello World,

You know how when you find a contest and look closer and you see in tiny little letters "Must be 18 or older" or stuff like that? How much does that really matter?
Say I want to hold a contest in one of my games and the person who wins is 13 lets say and I just send him/her the prize, can I get in trouble for that?

If the answer is yes say I add "Must be 18 or older or have parental permission" and then the kid, obviously, fakes the parental permission. Do I still get in trouble then or am I off the hook? How in the world would I be able to check if his parents actually gave him permission?

Thank you.
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Post » Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:12 pm

Well the reason contest say 18 or older is due to the fact that when signing up you are signing an agreement which a minor isn't legally capable of doing unless they are emancipated (IN the US). Also does your contest collect information that would also go against the COPAA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) which state information on minors can not be collected. Their parent would have to do the registering for them signing the agreement on their behalf. But for a contest like that I don't think it is a serious as cash prizes where you then have to supply identification before cashing in the prize. Like the lottery you have to provide proof of identity when you collect your winnings.

But on serious note there isn't a way you can really tell but if discovered majority of time that person would be disqualified.
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Post » Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:42 pm

Don't tell them you are a minor.

Something my grandfather taught me is "Just do it until someone says STOP".

What are they going to do, ask to see your birth certificate?
If they catch you for some reason, they may ask you to voluntarily return the prize. They will also probably strip the title from you.

I had to quit school at 15 years old so I could help pay bills. I have lied on every single job application I have filled out. They NEVER check the records.

I lied about my age to purchase liquor too. If I got busted, it would not be my problem. The responsibility would fall on the store for not ID-ing me properly. The police could only bust me for possession of alcohol as a minor. That is a pretty major offense. I doubt lying on a video game contest application would get you any legal repercussions.

Even if there where legal repercussions, you are a minor, so most of them will result in a warning, or really minimal punishment.

I am not saying it is cool to be dishonest. But in certain cases it dosent hurt anything to tell a white lie. Especially if it is going to help your career, moral, and outlook on life.

The reason they say 18 or over is probably because there is Gore and nudity in some of the contestants games. (which is stupid, my students always have better porn links than I do, They also play the goriest games.)

Also, dont take legal advice from the internet... this post is not legal advice.
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Post » Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:51 pm

@JoJoe
They isn't worried about their age. They are having a contest and wants to know what to do to protect themselves from a legal backlash if minors do lie and enter the contest.
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Post » Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:10 pm

You really need to investigate the rules for your country, and if the contest is international, you also have to look at the rules for every country and possibly state therein. Just for example, here is an article on US contests. The age issue is mentioned. http://adage.com/article/guest-columnis ... al/149206/
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Post » Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:39 pm

PhoenixNightly wrote:@JoJoe
They isn't worried about their age. They are having a contest and wants to know what to do to protect themselves from a legal backlash if minors do lie and enter the contest.


Ah, ok!
Thank you :)

In this case, why not just do what Steam does and have them authenticate themselves?

If you have to go to court, you can prove you have taken measures to insure kids dont join. The reason they joined is beyond your control. You have no control over the kids honesty.

You might want to go and check out the disclaimers for porn sites. They are about as serious as they get as far as verifying minors. Be sure to check out their EULA's too.

If you have them scan their photo ID, and they tamper with it, is a felony. So maybe have them scan their ID's?
Then you have something to present in court. That would be much better than the Steam age verification.

If you allow porn and nudity, you may need to get a special license from your state. I know in Hawaii you need a special permit to film porn, or to make adult games.
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Post » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:08 am

PhoenixNightly wrote:Well the reason contest say 18 or older is due to the fact that when signing up you are signing an agreement which a minor isn't legally capable of doing unless they are emancipated (IN the US). Also does your contest collect information that would also go against the COPAA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) which state information on minors can not be collected. Their parent would have to do the registering for them signing the agreement on their behalf. But for a contest like that I don't think it is a serious as cash prizes where you then have to supply identification before cashing in the prize. Like the lottery you have to provide proof of identity when you collect your winnings.

But on serious note there isn't a way you can really tell but if discovered majority of time that person would be disqualified.


Loool, you make it sound so official @PhoenixNightly . Look I'm just a regular guy, not a corporation or firm or anything like that. So there isn't gonna be any agreement to sign or anything like that. You just play my game, send out some messages on social media about it, maybe donate, email me screenshot proofs of those, then I put all the emails in a hat and draw one.
The winner will get a ps4 or xbox1(his choice) so in the end that person would have to provide me with name and address, postal code, etc. so I can ship it to them.

So, how much trouble could I realistically get in for that? Cause I definitely don't feel like searching for and reading the laws of every country on this earth.....
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Post » Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:07 pm

Lol nah not official. But usually agreements stipulate if the person cheats or provides misleading information they face chances of being disqualified. But it also depend on the country and if you use the contest as a tax write off ;) because technically the winner is obligated to pay taxes on winnings regardless in the US States. But you don't file a tax break how will they know :) that is what agreements usually stipulate any taxes is the responsibility of the winner. If you have rules to play then it's still technically an agreement that the entrant have to agree to go by. The example contest below limit only US residents are permitted to entering to minimize headache of worrying about other country laws.

Extracted from contest rules:
The potential winner will be required to complete, sign and return to Sponsor an Affidavit of Eligibility/Release of Liability (including, if legally permissible, a publicity release), an IRS form W-9 and any other documentation provided by Sponsor in connection with verification of the potential winner’s eligibility and confirmation of the releases and grant of rights set forth in these Official Rules, within ten days of attempted delivery of same. If a potential winner is a minor under the laws of his or her state of residency, Sponsor will have the right in its discretion to require the winner’s parent or legal guardian to sign the Affidavit of Eligibility/Release of Liability or to award the prize in the name of the winner’s parent or legal guardian (who will in such event be required to complete, sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility/Release of Liability). The potential winner may also in Sponsor’s discretion be required to complete and return to Sponsor an IRS Form W-9 within 10 days of attempted delivery of same.

http://winit.intouchweekly.com/sweepsta ... 1736/rules

If it's a one time thing it probably could be snuck by but if it's a continuous thing you have to question is it worth the fines if you get caught.
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Post » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:20 pm

K, thanks for that @PhoenixNightly , I might copy parts of it.
Loool, I don't care about fines, I got no money, no job(can't withold wages), no assets, so let the arseholes fine me, I'm sure they'll be seeing the money any day now, hahaha.
But I guess this would be a good time to check and see if my country does extraditions. ;)
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Post » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:47 pm

LOL cool :D
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