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ESRB Supplements Rating System With Summaries

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the rated-p-for-pedants dept.

Games 53

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) announced today that in addition to their standard ratings for video games, they'll begin including summaries of the games, highlighting the parts which earned the rating. As Giant Bomb points out, some are quite entertaining to read. The new policy drew praise from Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT), both of whom have spoken out against "inappropriate" game content in the past. The summaries are viewable at the ESRB's website; thus far, they've only done them for games rated since July 1st.

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Interesting (3, Insightful)

dschmit1 (1353767) | more than 5 years ago | (#25741821)

This will be interesting. I can see what they are trying to do, but its just going to entice some children into actually wanting the games based on the specific graphic nature that is depicted in the summaries. Interesting.

Re:Interesting (2, Interesting)

WDot (1286728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742359)

While Giant Bomb lampoons the ESRB summaries like this, I applaud them. Previously the only people who would give parents information about the inappropriateness of video game content were a few small parent group or Christian ministry sites that either were woefully incomplete in their games lists or tainted their reviews with particular ideologies. It's nice to see such graphic detail written by objective professionals. For example, Penny Arcade is definitely a niche game, but I can see why parents might be attracted to it--if they don't know better, the game does look pretty cute and cartoony. What could possibly land it an M rating?

Re:Interesting (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25742785)

Who cares if their kids are exposed to profanity and violence? It's not like they don't hear those words a thousand times a day in 6th grade. Every person in the West is completely desensitized to all but the most viciously brutal torture scenes.. gunshot blood is nothing. Let them grow up and quit censoring their world. I love how they really nitpick on the Early Childhood rated games. LittleBigPlanet has "One ancillary character makes belching noises while talking to the player's character." FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WON'T SOMEBODY ANYBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN HERE?! BELCHING NOISES! IS THIS WHAT OUR TWISTED AND CORRUPT SOCIETY HAS COME TO?!

Re:Interesting (1)

rav0 (983195) | more than 5 years ago | (#25774275)

That's why the summaries exist. A parent can read the summary for Little Big Planet and then decide to let their child play the game regardless of the rudeness.

Re:Interesting (3, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742563)

i think it's a good thing that the ratings board is actually providing to the public more detailed explanations for the ratings they assign. however, like the MPAA's film rating system, there's still a lack of transparency in how the rating process is conducted--for instance, who is on the ratings board, how are these members selected, and what are their qualifications.

also, the AO rating for video games, like the NC-17 rating for films, is still in effect blacklisting creative works such that they are commercially inviable by making such works impossible to distribute. this means filmmakers & video game developers need to gain the approval of the ESRB/MPAA rating board before they can release their work, essentially giving each industry's self-appointed censors editorial power over all creative works that the mainstream public has access to.

one of the more ridiculous examples of this self-censorship process can be seen in the Manhunt 2 release for the PSP, which was crammed with so many blurry, staticky video filters and bloom effects overlaid one on top of the other, that it felt like you were watching a bad low-budget 80's grunge music video. within the game the main character was the one escaping from a psychiatric ward, but the developers were the ones who were actually stuck in an artistic straitjacket.

the ESRB and MPAA have no right to dictate what content the public should have access to, nor should they have any sort of editorial control over published works. this has given them an unreasonable level of influence over the media and our cultural landscape. but worse yet, they are not accountable to anyone except themselves. at least if the board were selected by the public via an open and transparent process that would give them some kind of democratic legitimacy. and while i don't know much about the ESRB, according to the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated [imdb.com] , the MPAA has had 2 clergy members on every ratings board since their film rating system was created. now, i'm fine with each religious establishment coming up with their own ratings for films/games/books/whatever, but why should the clergy be involved in the "official" rating system that everyone is subjected to.

there also seems to be no written or published rubric to ensure consistent ratings across all games/films. they don't solicit opinions from the public to determine how they should hand out ratings. who are they to decide what is acceptable for children/teenagers/mature adults and what's not? at the very least they should allow the public to give feedback on the ratings they assign. so if a film or game is given the rating of AO or NC-17 but public opinion does not agree with the rating, then the rating can be changed to reflect public opinion. perhaps the IMDb can add user ratings polls for films and games. it would be interesting to see how well public opinion matches up with actual assigned ratings.

Re:Interesting (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25743103)

I don't see censorship as the problem at all. Retailers can refuse to sell whatever they want, especially if it's very important to their soccer-mom customers.

But there's always alternative distribution methods- like indie music; if you don't like the terms of the labels, publish your music yourself. It's tough, but plenty of bands have made millions by relying on word-of-mouth and bootleg/internet distribution fueling concert sales.

The problem as I see it is that there are no alternative distribution methods for console-based gaming. The DMCA has brought the FBI down hard on mod chip manufacturers, leaving (cryptographically) signed products sold by retailers the ONLY way to get console games.

It's very tempting looking at the cheap price and easy operability of today's consoles compared to a computer to just limit yourself to mainstream games and bite the bullet censorship-wise. After all, you might fight for the rights of people to make Columbine Massacre RPG, but come on, on an average day you just want to pop in CoD4 and have some fun, without worrying about politics.

I've staunchly opposed console gaming since its inception. Console makers have consistently engineered their hardware to exclude independent game designers, colluding with major game publishers to corner the market with expensive commercial games. Meanwhile, people are sharing millions of neat games for free on a completely open and completely documented platform- the computer. It's a more expensive investment, but it can do anything without arbitrary restrictions designed to cost you as much money as possible. More importantly, any aspiring artist can share his or her ideas with the world, even in the medium of video games.

And we're not just talking a few technical points that make computers better philosophically. The "independent" model has produced some of the most universally-acclaimed games of all time: Counter-Strike, Cave Story, La-Mulana, N, The Battle For Wesnoth, Nethack... And of course (in the slashdot tradition) even if independent game publishing had led to absolutely no progress in the gaming field, we owe it to future generations to build a solid foundation for free expression. After half a century of work, lovers of freedom have gotten fully-programmable, open systems into the hands of people who can excel in an abstract and wonderful science that society had no place for in previous centuries. From the original young hackers at the MIT AI lab scratching out hundreds of thousands of lines of assembly code (not to mention the assemblers themselves written in machine code) so that those who share their passion don't have to obey the absurd and arbitrary rules of the IBM priests, submitting programs and getting the output a week later.. creating a toolchain from machine code all the way up to a time-sharing operating system.. to the hardware hackers of the 70s, trying to get hardware into the hands of the people. Thanks to the efforts off Lee Felsenstein and others, computing equipment became ubiquitous and familiar to society instead of foreign and terrifyingly complex. The renowned Homebrew Computer Club kept the spirit of the art alive through staunch promotion of utterly free principles (much to the frustration of Bill Gates), so steeped in idea that they didn't even understand the concept of proprietary software. Into the Internet era, RMS, the EFF, and countless others have fought tenaciously to defend digital freedoms. Thousands of volunteer developers have put the time equivalent of tens of billions of dollars into developing a comprehensive, relevant, usable platform based squarely on openness and equality and independence from business powers. This legacy is what we've inherited and this is what I think of when deciding whether to go with the more technically-challenging, expensive, but open model of computers and computer gaming, or the locked-down, corporate cashmongering model of console gaming.

It may seem somewhat bombastic to summon images of the well-loved free software movement to lambast console gaming.. but this argument applies to half the discussion on slashdot, and its ideas are easily extended to the topic of locked-down consoles. "Treacherous Computing", Embrace Extend and Extinguish, corruption and profiteering permeating the commercial software industry. We know where it leads and the picture has been painted a thousand times over in slashdot comments.. I'm sure the fathers of free software wouldn't want us to feel obligated to them, but I'm blown away by how much hard work and dedication they've put into giving us a truly free today, and it seems extravagantly wasteful not to defend the tremendous opportunity we've been given to defeat dystopian visions [gnu.org] of the future. So I refuse to support anything that subverts our effort towards a brighter future- that means no DRMed movies or games, no Treacherous Computing, and no locked-down, undocumented, un-consumer-programmable platforms like game consoles. Of course this doesn't mean no commercial movies or games, but it makes no sense to support the free software movement and at the same time financially support companies that actively seek to destroy your work! Don't be a pirate- BUY your music.. from Amazon, DRMless, not from itunes.

Like I've said, this isn't hard. Though we love these principles, they're not just romanticism- they work! mp3s will be playable LONG past the point where the world's itunes libraries are rendered unplayable by shifting music industry politics or Apple's demise. Dealing with DRMed blu ray disks and games is frustrating and unreliable. This is all obvious; free software is not idealistic, it's better.

Remember what we strive for and the legacy that great men and women before us have left. Make every vote and every purchasing decision count- and that includes whether you support amazon or apple, microsoft or GNU, computers or consoles.

Slashdot (5, Funny)

gringer (252588) | more than 5 years ago | (#25741825)

Slashdot: Game Experience May Change During Online Play

Slashdot is a game where individuals carry out unexpected attacks on boring everyday items. Individuals are occasionally rewarded with the 'moderator' skill, which allows them to negate or enhance other attacks. The attacks have real-world consequences, such as causing both computers and individual people to burst into flames, as well traffic congestion.

Re:Slashdot (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25741953)

/. Quote of the Day: And then there was the lawyer that stepped in cow manure and thought he was melting...

Re:Slashdot (4, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25743815)

Slashdot is a game where individuals carry out unexpected attacks on boring everyday items.

Such as windows?

Re:Slashdot (2, Funny)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25744813)

NOBODY expects the Slashdot Inquisition! Our chief weapon is FUD...FUD and DDOS attacks...DDOS attacks and FUD....
Our two weapons are DDOS attacks and FUD... and ruthless bickering....
Our three weapons are DDOS attacks, FUD, and ruthless bickering...and an almost fanatical devotion to our own opinion....
Our four... no, Amongst our weapons... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as DDOS attacks, FUD...
I'll come in again.

ESRB (2, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 5 years ago | (#25741829)

Rating summary: Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode 2 is a 'point-and-click' adventure game based on characters from the online comic Penny Arcade. Players battle enemies using a role-playing game style combat system, taking turns using fists and weapons to harm various robots and humans. Several cutscenes depict 'cartoony,' over-the-top instances of violence, including heads being blown off, characters sliced up by lasers, splattering blood and flying body parts. Humor is often based on bodily functions and 'by-products' (e.g., syringe injections full of urine) and sometimes sexuality (e.g., robots humping legs, testicles and taxidermy). The game also contains frequent use of strong profanity (e.g., "f*ck" and "sh*t").

Parents won't read these and if they do, it will only be after the kid has played it.

Re:ESRB (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#25741905)

In fact, these will probably be used by news stations. They can do even less reporting now.

"Think of the children, you think it's a game, but actually 'Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode 2 is a 'point-and-click' adventure game based on characters from the online comic Penny Arcade. Players battle enemies using a role-playing game style combat system, taking turns using fists and weapons to harm various robots and humans. Several cutscenes depict 'cartoony,' over-the-top instances of violence, including heads being blown off, characters sliced up by lasers, splattering blood and flying body parts. Humor is often based on bodily functions and 'by-products' (e.g., syringe injections full of urine) and sometimes sexuality (e.g., robots humping legs, testicles and taxidermy). The game also contains frequent use of strong profanity (e.g., "f*ck" and "sh*t").'"

Re:ESRB (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#25746617)

Humor is often based on [...] sexuality (e.g., robots humping legs, testicles and taxidermy).

Um... If the sexuality involves TAXIDERMY shouldn't that rate at least a mention of necrophilia and/or bestiality(depending on the preserved)?

FSM, I shouldn't have waited to buy the second episode. I know what I'm doing tonight.

Bad sign (0, Flamebait)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#25741871)

The new policy drew praise from Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT)

Rule of thumb: if people like those think something is good... it must be bad.

Why not just axe ratings all together? (4, Interesting)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25741899)

I don't think the current rating system which just lumps things into categories like 'T' and 'M' work all that well. Take for instance, the hypothetical game "Bert and Ernie's Fucking Amazing Adventure!" where characters perform no violent actions at all and there is no sexual content in the game. The only catch is that every other word is the foulest profanity known to man. The game will probably be rated 'M' simply due to the language content, but being completely devoid of sexual or violent content, it's still fine for a child to play assuming you don't care if they pick up any fowl language.

Why not rate games based on a few categories: Violence, Sex, Language, etc. Each category is given a score where a higher score indicates more objectionable content. I think that this gives consumers looking at the box a better understanding of what the game's content is like without actually lumping it into some other person's idea of "Mature." This would also go a long way towards stopping games that are labeled "Adults Only" from essentially being banned from store shelves.

If you actually define the ratings fairly well you really don't need an ERSB as companies can actually determine where the ratings should be at themselves. It will probably never happen, but it's just another solution that's considerably better than the ERSB and all the incompetence and idiocy that comes along with it.

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (5, Funny)

prestomation (583502) | more than 5 years ago | (#25741927)

....it's still fine for a child to play assuming you don't care if they pick up any fowl language.

I wouldn't want my kid talking like a bird, what the hell is wrong with you?

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 5 years ago | (#25746885)

Bert and Ernie's Fucking Awesome Adventure ...it's still fine for a child to play assuming you don't care if they pick up any fowl language.

I wouldn't want my kid talking like Big Bird, what the hell is wrong with you?

Fixed that for you.

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742007)

The current system already points of why it was given a M or a T. It has points like foul language, sexual content, partial (full) nudity, and even alcohol consumption.

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742311)

Partial frontal?

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

Overkill Nbuta (1035654) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742109)

I find the use of language in this comment offensive. Wheres the ESRB for slashdot? I want all comments to have summaries beforehand!

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (2, Insightful)

Hexedian (626557) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742141)

Parents (and people in general) already seem to have trouble keeping up with the current, simple system. Not to mention, there would be significantly less room on the box for the art.

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

inzy (1095415) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742233)

because, repeat after me "CONSUMERS ARE IDIOTS"

they don't want 'complicated systems', they just want a simple letter/number, whatever that tells them all they need to know in one hit

reading's very overrated

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742679)

Remember that old rating system for computer games where there was like mercury thermometers used to indicate how extreme something was in sex, violence, etc.? Those were sweet because I would always look for games with lots of sex and sneak looks at the back of the box.

Go Leisure Suit Larry.

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

PaganRitual (551879) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742935)

Take for instance, the hypothetical game "Bert and Ernie's Fucking Amazing Adventure!" where characters perform no violent actions at all and there is no sexual content in the game. The only catch is that every other word is the foulest profanity known to man. The game will probably be rated 'M' simply due to the language content, but being completely devoid of sexual or violent content, it's still fine for a child to play assuming you don't care if they pick up any fowl language.

So which is it, they swear all the time or Ernie won't shut up about his fucking rubber ducky.

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742937)

Because a one-size-fits-all morality is what parents want. It saves them from having to parent and ensures that the child will, at the age of 18, be as boring, ill-prepared, and stupid as most other 18 year olds. You assume incompetence where willful negligence exists.

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

GrayNimic (1051532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25743739)

I think that's the point of the text next to the rating. The rating is for the person willing to put zero effort into judging the game; the text, which tends to point out the basic categories you mention (language use, substance use, sex-related material) in an extremely concise format, letting you know if that M game is most likely M because of violence, sex, profanity, or what-have-you. It's not perfect, but it helps deal with the limitations of the simple rating without discarding it.

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25743837)

You must be younger than me (and I'm only 23). We already had this (look up RSAC), and it got taken over by the ESRB ratings. While I agree that such a system is better and more informative, it already failed once, so why wouldn't we expect it to fail again?

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25743847)

Does a banana in your ear count as sexual penetration? ;)

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25745853)

Wow... Startropics reference on Slashdot... I think there's a glitch in the Matrix...

+1 old fart

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749427)

I don't know Startropics, but I do remember episodes of sesame street where Ernie has a banana in his ear :D

Old? I'm only 29 *caresses crick in back*

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25756737)

Ah... In the early NES adventure game "Startropics" if you asked an NPC to repeat his speil, he would say "do you have bananas in your ears?" and a bunch of other running banana ads
This was popular ad imagery for the game in nintendo power etc...

Amazingly, I can't seem to find the actual in-game image (I beleive it is from the ending sequence) online anywhere, but here's a fanart rendition.

SFW, but silly [startropicshq.com]

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25744063)

bert and ernie and no sexual content? i hadn't realized the flame had burnt out of their relationship so completely.

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25745677)

"The game will probably be rated 'M' simply due to the language content, but being completely devoid of sexual or violent content, it's still fine for a child to play assuming you don't care if they pick up any fowl language."

To accentuate your point here, my kids both have a strong interest in learning new words. That's just where they're at in development right now. I'm more concerned over them playing a game (or being exposed to me playing a game) with strong profanity than I am with them playing a game with types of violence they're not likely to encounter in real life. If a game has strong language, it goes straight to the "do not play" category. I'd like to see each category ranked but I think the written summary would be sufficient.

"This would also go a long way towards stopping games that are labeled "Adults Only" from essentially being banned from store shelves."

Stores didn't carry the raunchier titles long before there was an ESRB. Games like Custer's Revenge weren't carried by places like Sears and the places that did have such a game kept it hidden behind the counter and only available by request. Even games like Leisure Suit Larry would occasionally not get carried by someone for fear of offending some shoppers. I imagine games that fit in the AO category would have the same problems getting onto store shelves with or without the ESRB.

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

TehZorroness (1104427) | more than 5 years ago | (#25745961)

The idea is that the review board should be independant of the company trying to make money from the game by selling copies to as many people as possible. Otherwise, I think your suggested rating system would be far better then what we use today - which is a steaming pile of shit.

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 5 years ago | (#25747193)

few categories: Violence, Sex, Language, etc

ESRB already puts that information on the boxes as well. Their full list of descriptors is at their site [esrb.org] .
The T, M, etc are more of a suggestion for the appropriate age group to play the game.

Re:Why not just axe ratings all together? (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750839)

The more complicated you make, the less people will bother to try to understand it.

ESRB, AKA useless (2, Interesting)

ZekoMal (1404259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742015)

Let's see...my Nintendo 64 Hexen has an M for mature rating, due to extreme gore and violence (also known as giant red squares falling away from 16-bit monsters as you blast them with magical attacks).

This same rating was slapped on GTA, and that same rating sat on Splinter Cell as well (a game where shooting someone in the head sometimes doesn't even kill the guy, and there is absolutely no blood, even when you cut a dudes throat on the third game).

They can slap those ratings on all day; kids are still gonna play them. Parents will give it a cursory glance, some cashiers don't even bother with an ID check when they sell a kid a game.

If you play a video game and get transformed into a violent, horrible person that then purchases an axe and steel toed boots so you can go slaughter people, chances are the video game was not the cause.

Of course, in a country of scape goats, video games are an easy way to pass the buck. Couldn't be the 24 hour news networks, that often times spend hours on the wanton slaughter of civilians in war, shootings, rape trials, and robberies. Couldn't possibly be that war is almost celebrated by our government as a 'tactic' to mend the economy (or ruin it if you can't finish it up fast). Couldn't possibly be because the parents of these kids don't seem to notice any subtle changes in their kid (such as no friends, suicidal tendencies, gun purchasing, shooting lessons, and books on resurrection). Couldn't possibly be the fault of parents or politicians. Nope, it has to be the video games that billions of people play; just like owning a car means that you drink and drive, and owning a gun means that you murder people regularly...oh wait.

Re:ESRB, AKA useless (1)

Yaur (1069446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742261)

It has seemed to me there is a hole in the ratings system for a while. That games like GTA, GOW, and fall out 3 end up with the same rating as The Longest Journey doesn't seem right to me.

On your other point. As a parent of young children and a gamer I do look at ESRB ratings before I buy anything for the kids.

Re:ESRB, AKA useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25742671)

It has seemed to me there is a hole in the ratings system for a while. That games like GTA, GOW, and fall out 3 end up with the same rating as The Longest Journey doesn't seem right to me.

That's exactly I've never used an ESRB rating deciding wether or not my child could play game. I evaluate each game on a case by case basis. Admittedly this is somewhat easier for me than some parents because I as a gamer, keep up with what the latest games are about. But for the games I've never heard of I do extensive research first. I find multiple reviews, find testimonials of other gamers I know, and often resort to demoing the game my self.

This also applies to every other form of media, movies, music, books, etc. I and nor should any other parent should let some censory board decide for them what their children can and not view. The quicker many parents realize this, the quicker many of these entities become irrelevant.

Re:ESRB, AKA useless (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742361)

Couldn't possibly be that war is almost celebrated by our government as a 'tactic' to mend the economy (or ruin it if you can't finish it up fast).

The problem was thus how to keep the wheels of industry turning without increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods must be produced, but they need not be distributed. And in practice the only way of achieving this was by continuous warfare.

War, it will be seen, not only accomplishes the necessary destruction, but accomplishes it in a psychologically acceptable way. In principle it would be quite simple to waste the surplus labor of the world by building temples and pyramids, by digging holes and filling them up again, or even by producing vast quantities of goods and then setting fire to them. But this would provide only the economic and not the emotional basis for a hierarchical society. What is concerned here is not the morale of the masses, whose attitude is unimportant as long as they are kept steadily at work, but the morale of the elite itself. Even the humblest bureaucrat is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he or she should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he or she should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war.

Re:ESRB, AKA useless (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742659)

Let's see...my Nintendo 64 Hexen has an M for mature rating...

.

Hexen for the N-64 was released in 1997.

It isn't useful even to begin this discussion without admitting that - in the last ten years - publishers like Rockstar have pushed the limits of the M rating much farther - and not without a price.

Re:ESRB, AKA useless (1)

Atriqus (826899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25743015)

Yeah, if it weren't for RockStar, Jack Thompson might still be an attorney. :D

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25742033)

The game also contains frequent use of strong profanity (e.g., "f*ck" and "sh*t").

So what does this little censorship acomplish? If you don't know what f*ck and sh*t really means, then giving you these clues tells you nothing about how offensive the language is. If you do know what they mean, well you've just read the word and are just as offended as if the whole word had been there.

Net Nanny (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742291)

So what does this little censorship acomplish?

Replacing "fuck" with "f*ck" in a game's ESRB long description makes it less likely to trigger alerts from censoring proxy software such as Net Nanny.

Re:Net Nanny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25743345)

So Net Nanny is that stupid? Or does Net Nanny think little Billy never heard the word shit?

Re:Net Nanny (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25745395)

Or does Net Nanny think little Billy never heard the word shit?

Home web censorware comes set to assume that this is the case.

Here's how it will go (4, Insightful)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25742327)

"Mommy, I want 'AssRaper 2'!"

She will then dutifully go to Gamestop and ask for "AssRaper 2", the box of which will feature a masked man with a butcher's smock and a bloody chainsaw and will feature the add text "More Carnage than AssRaper!" and "With Decapitation Physics!" The warning label will have a large 'M' and will say "Rated for Mature audiences only because of massive death counts, realistic exploding bodies and scenes of torture". She will buy it, give it to her ten year old for Christmas.

Around March, she will walk in on her kid when he has reached a scene where a female NPC shows up topless. She will then promptly have a complete cow and write her congressman demanding that children be protected from this vile content.

Re:Here's how it will go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25742879)

When is AssRaper 2 coming out? It sounds AWESOME.

Captcha: utensil - the better to rape you with, my dear!

Re:Here's how it will go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25744965)

And she would be right! For better or worse, topless women are considered outside the norm of decency standards for American culture. The game duly warned her about the other aspects of the game, which she either failed to notice or ignored, but the packaging did not give her the chance at all to be aware about the partial nudity.

I would call you prescient while missing the point, but since this has actually already happened with Hot Coffee, I think you've just missed the point.

Re:Here's how it will go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25828371)

Yes, they need to just sell video games the same way cigaretters and alcohol are sold. And they also need to sell movies this way.

If you gotta be 17 or older to buy a M rated game, then these people have no right to complain about the content of these games.

WotLK (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25743223)

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

Platform: Macintosh, Windows PC

Rating: Teen

Content descriptors: Blood and Gore, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence

Rating summary: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King is a massively multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing game set in the imaginary world of Azeroth. Players complete quests to 'level up' their customized characters, while gaining powers and better equipment along the way. Quest objectives sometimes involve using magic and hand-to-hand combat to defeat various creatures, enemy soldiers, and occasionally other characters such as innocent villagers. Some attacks can result in splashes of red blood, while collateral damage also includes bursts of flesh and bone falling to the ground. Certain quests require the player to drink alcohol, resulting in the character's impaired vision (blurry screen, pink elephants) and movement. Players can interact with scantily clad characters, listen to provocative dialogue (e.g., "Is that a mana wyrm in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"), or view sexually suggestive dance routines performed by elves and other player-characters.

Sign me up!

Inappropriate game content? (1)

strathmeyer (208375) | more than 5 years ago | (#25743477)

Inappropriate game content? Is that when they lie about game content for political reasons, or just when they show game footage completely out of context on television?

Resistance 2 (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25743585)

Having just beaten the main campaign in Resistance 2 (PS3), I had to look up ESRB's summary of the game:

Platform: PlayStation 3

Rating: Mature

Content descriptors: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language

Rating summary: Resistance 2 is a first-person shooter set in an alternate 1950's environment where the Earth has been overrun by aliens. Players must shoot their way through hordes of aliens, large-scale bosses and sometimes robots, using a variety of guns and grenades. Aliens and humans get blown up, torn apart, shot, impaled and killed in gushes of red blood and body parts. During cutscenes, team members are killed by aliens, and in one instance, executed by another character. Characters use strong profanity (e.g., "f*ck" and "sh*t") during gameplay and cutscenes.

Yeah, its fun. Loads of fun. Working my way through it for the second time and thoroughly enjoying the online 8 player co-op campaign too.

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