26 September 2011

Odd Policy

At the local Best Buy, I came across a sign that explains their We Check ID policy.

I whipped out my handy-dandy, oh-so-fuzzy little camera phone and took this shot. Per usual, it's pretty out of focus and hard to read, but maybe you can figure out why I took this picture. If not, I'll explain.

Basically, the policy says they support the software rating system and require a photo ID for anyone who wants to purchase any software rated NC-17, Mature or R. Also, compressed air.

Huh?

Yup, the policy in checking ID's for software based on the ESRB's ratings includes a reference to "compressed air."

Now, I'm sure there's a dozen good reasons to not sell compressed air to minors. Who knows what sort of mischief a 16 year old could get into with such contraband. But mentioning compressed air in a software ratings policy was so jarringly incongruous that I had to read the policy several times. I've got to wonder why they chose this software rating policy, of all policies, to mention the compressed air thing.

And I've got to wonder whether, when selling compressed air, a clerk will remember to check the software ratings policy and thus learn they're supposed to check ID.

If we want policy to be useful, shouldn't it be internally consistent?

3 comments:

Mark said...

Nothing to do with software, but the reason behind checking ID for "compressed air" (used to clean electronics): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inhalant_abuse

Robert T. said...

Sadly, many municipalities have ordinances against selling this type of products to minors. Most include spray paint, not only for those who like to 'tag' but to stop them from 'huffing'. I have took away an air can from someone 'huffing' in my store.

The Dan Ward said...

Agreed - I didn't mean to make light of substance abuse... I was just pointing out the unexpected incongruity of the phrase "compressed air" in a paragraph that's all about the software rating system.

If the policy had said "We check ID for the following items..." that'd be one thing. But it says "We Check ID and then lists the ESRB ratings, spends a lot of time talking about how they support the ESRB, etc.

Oh, and compressed air.