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I'm surprised the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) still exists

KopogeroKopogero Shevat, ONPosts: 897Member Uncommon

This again captured my attention with Arche Age being rated "M" for mature.

Everyone is negatevly impacted by this. Companies are forced between making games that are less "original" or gaining more revenue. The younger audience also has less freedom and more restriction as well as our games becoming worse quality. And just think about how much extra time you've spent bothering to "sign up" or clicking to put some age to view material on the internet.

I am surprised this ESRB thing still exist in todays society. It is a direct example of how primitive mankind is still in comprehending the law. If all is certain the longer this remains it will do far more damage to the image and state of the justice system and on top far more people will get hurt and suffer because of this law than without it.

And for those who will try to argue with me why this ESRB system should remain, I'll just silence you right now.

I was between 6-8 year old when I got my hands on some pornographic magazines. It was a huge benefit and privilege to be raised in a country where I could experience all possible games since my early childhood and have parents that didn't mind that. By having access to "adult" type material if all I was far more aware than anything else.

I was in no way anyway "harmed" so that itself proves that there cannot be a law about it. You just wait and watch what happens to all those who try to limit our freedoms and add more unnecessary restrictions as time goes by.

 

 

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Comments

  • zero462usazero462usa Myrtle Beach, SCPosts: 26Member

    I for one agree with you, however people who are not harmed or impacted in an adverse way like you and I are few and far between. Those that are not in that small percentage must then be accounted for. This stands as a way to allow people to be informed of the contents and make a decision based on the rating, much like the G, PG, PG 13, R, and AC ratings for movies. This does have use in todays society.

  • DisdenaDisdena Troy, NYPosts: 1,093Member

    First of all, just wanna throw this out there: using yourself as an example is an awful way to try to prove a point. I mean, using any one person as a single example is bad (because it's only circumstantial evidence) but using yourself is particularly bad. Of all the people in the world to judge whether you turned out okay, you are probably the person least qualified to do so. That's just how it is.

    Aside from that, what "law" are you talking about? The ESRB isn't a government agency. There is no law preventing a game company from creating a game and selling it without submitting it to the ESRB for a rating. There is no law preventing a retailer from selling unrated or M-rated games to minors. Game creators choose to allow their games to be rated because it allows the consumers to make a more informed choice.

    How exactly does that work out to more people getting hurt and suffering? If you're trying to make the argument that it is healthier to expose children to sexuality and violence rather than hiding it from them, then fine. Raise your own kids that way. But by taking ratings away, you would be removing a tool that parents can use to raise their kids the way that they think is best. Just because you believe that early exposure is the best policy doesn't mean everyone else does, and pushing your ideals onto others is a limitation on freedom in its own way.

    image
  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member

    I honestly think it's helpful to push interest in a title, because everyone knows a rated-R movie is THAT much better than anything PG-13. Same applies to games.

    Look at an M rating as a badge of honor that will enthuse anyone between the ages of 10-17 into wanting it more... and kids don't have any money to buy games anyway, parents do, and only the smallest fraction of parents are the kind of 'Helen Lovejoy' that really prohibits what their kids can play (past a certain age). If a 16-year old kid is forbidden a GTA game in this day and age, I'd be *more* worried about him shooting up a school. That shit ain't natural.

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • DaezAsterDaezAster new york, NYPosts: 803Member
    Originally posted by GTwander

    I honestly think it's helpful to push interest in a title, because everyone knows a rated-R movie is THAT much better than anything PG-13. Same applies to games.

    Look at an M rating as a badge of honor that will enthuse anyone between the ages of 10-17 into wanting it more... and kids don't have any money to buy games anyway, parents do, and only the smallest fraction of parents are the kind of 'Helen Lovejoy' that really prohibits what their kids can play (past a certain age). If a 16-year old kid is forbidden a GTA game in this day and age, I'd be *more* worried about him shooting up a school. That shit ain't natural.

    Gave me a good laugh with that there and I agree.

  • bishbosh2bishbosh2 SydneyPosts: 66Member

    i dont really understand why companies bother getting their games rated....

    im pretty sure there is no legal requirement for games to be rated in USA (please correct me if im wrong)

    if there is a legal requirement for games to rated i dont think there should be. 

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member
    Originally posted by bishbosh2

    i dont really understand why companies bother getting their games rated....

    im pretty sure there is no legal requirement for games to be rated in USA (please correct me if im wrong)

    if there is a legal requirement for games to rated i dont think there should be. 

    Although the rating system is nominally voluntary, nearly all video games are submitted for rating. Many retail stores prohibit the sale of unrated video games, and major console manufacturers will not license games for their systems unless they carry ESRB ratings.

    ~So, no... not based on law, just a vicious cycle of overly concerned parents and companies that maintain a "family friendly" image. To stop the ESRB, we need to stop the modern American family. Submit your kids to chemical castration, so that we can end this nightmare.

    (As far as I know, though, it is illegal to sell kids anything rated-M or worse. Subject to fines)

     

    Unreleated, but funny side-note;

    I was already 17 or so when they started making it so you can't buy games without a parent present, so it never bothered me... plus, I was too busy being angry at a school system that removed open-campus lunches by the time I finally got to high school. Never made sense that after a slew of school shootings, they felt it much safer to LOCK us all in behind a fence. Go American logic, whoo!

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • GrinnzGrinnz Utica, NYPosts: 310Member Uncommon

    Not everyone is balanced enough to handle things before it's appropriate for them to understand what they are experiencing...

    image

  • zekeofevzekeofev Mesa, AZPosts: 233Member
    Originally posted by bishbosh2

    i dont really understand why companies bother getting their games rated....

    im pretty sure there is no legal requirement for games to be rated in USA (please correct me if im wrong)

    if there is a legal requirement for games to rated i dont think there should be. 

    Retailers (Game Stop, Wall Mart, etc) and Download services (Like Steam) will not sell your product if it is unrated or rated Higher then R ratings.

     

    This is why we do not have games with full nudity or excesive graphical torture that would put it in the category that retails would not sell it at.

     

    Since most game producers do not have a distribution system/retail system this acts as a artificial limiter on the content they can produce.

     

     

  • SaintGrayeSaintGraye Los Angeles, CAPosts: 109Member
    Originally posted by Disdena

    First of all, just wanna throw this out there: using yourself as an example is an awful way to try to prove a point. I mean, using any one person as a single example is bad (because it's only circumstantial evidence) but using yourself is particularly bad. Of all the people in the world to judge whether you turned out okay, you are probably the person least qualified to do so. That's just how it is.

    Aside from that, what "law" are you talking about? The ESRB isn't a government agency. There is no law preventing a game company from creating a game and selling it without submitting it to the ESRB for a rating. There is no law preventing a retailer from selling unrated or M-rated games to minors. Game creators choose to allow their games to be rated because it allows the consumers to make a more informed choice.

    How exactly does that work out to more people getting hurt and suffering? If you're trying to make the argument that it is healthier to expose children to sexuality and violence rather than hiding it from them, then fine. Raise your own kids that way. But by taking ratings away, you would be removing a tool that parents can use to raise their kids the way that they think is best. Just because you believe that early exposure is the best policy doesn't mean everyone else does, and pushing your ideals onto others is a limitation on freedom in its own way.

    Seconded, as this is the most logical, concise and articulate reply yet. Bravo, Disdena.

    Not truly necessary I make this post, but given how ludicrous the OP's was, I felt like effectively "bumping" it.

     

    ...also, lest anyone forget, former-Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, attempted (with wide-ranging support) to propose a federally mandated office be established to rate and ban the sale of "violent" videogames to minors across the United States (some amusing courtroom commentary on the issue - http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/11/03/judges-say-the-funniest-things/). Given the choice between a voluntary ratings board that has proven itself to at least moderately respond to public input versus a mandatory, federally-run office, I'll take the ESRB any day and count myself fortunate it exists.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common

    The rating is not a law - it is a recommendation. It is a good tool for parents. If the ratings are accurate that is. I don't even care if the ratings are a bit on the conservative side as long as they are consistent.

    Nothing wrong with it. I give thumbs up to ESRB. image

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • Zook81Zook81 Salisbury, NCPosts: 96Member

    ESRB is a good thing. Hell recently they just asked "Why the hell isn't anyone making any AO games? We need more of those". There has also been a few cases where they have acted as lobbyists in the interest of gamers.

  • Ashen_XAshen_X PLEASANT HILL, CAPosts: 363Member
    Originally posted by Kopogero

    This again captured my attention with Arche Age being rated "M" for mature.

    Everyone is negatevly impacted by this. Companies are forced between making games that are less "original" or gaining more revenue. The younger audience also has less freedom and more restriction as well as our games becoming worse quality. And just think about how much extra time you've spent bothering to "sign up" or clicking to put some age to view material on the internet.

    I am surprised this ESRB thing still exist in todays society. It is a direct example of how primitive mankind is still in comprehending the law. If all is certain the longer this remains it will do far more damage to the image and state of the justice system and on top far more people will get hurt and suffer because of this law than without it.

    And for those who will try to argue with me why this ESRB system should remain, I'll just silence you right now.

    I was between 6-8 year old when I got my hands on some pornographic magazines. It was a huge benefit and privilege to be raised in a country where I could experience all possible games since my early childhood and have parents that didn't mind that. By having access to "adult" type material if all I was far more aware than anything else.

    I was in no way anyway "harmed" so that itself proves that there cannot be a law about it.

    Yes there can be laws about something, even if that something doesnt affect you. These rating systems do not exist to prevent you from accessing "mature" material. They exist to make it easier for a parent to make an informed decision for their own child. You are arguing against allowing parents to make informed decisions regarding their children...are you sure that you weren't harmed ?

    The only way a game rating could even potentially directly impact you negatively is if you are a minor. If such is the case, and your parents are as permissivle as you describe, you still wouldnt be affected. So you are arguing against something that does not affect you, and which others want for themselves...and you talk about others trying to limit freedoms ?

    You just wait and watch what happens to all those who try to limit our freedoms and add more unnecessary restrictions as time goes by.

    Response in green.

    When all has been said and done, more will have been said than done.

  • KopogeroKopogero Shevat, ONPosts: 897Member Uncommon

    I would have no problem for informative only system to exist so we would know what kind of content the products have, but I'm surely against anything that goes further than that and adding false labels like if there is nudity or violence it's intended for the "MATURE" audience or "ADULTS ONLY".

    The "ESRB" needs to change their abbreviations and labeling.

    Like I said I'm all up for a system that helps us know what kind of product we are receiving, but false labels and misleading the public for what kind of audience it's suitable and intended, thats total BS.

    It should be like this:

    "V" for violence "N" for nudity, "VN" for both rather than "M" for MATURE or "AO" for "adults only". That is just a sad and pathetic attempt to mislead the public.

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member
    Originally posted by Zook81

    ESRB is a good thing. Hell recently they just asked "Why the hell isn't anyone making any AO games? We need more of those".

    They know damned well why nobody is making them, it's called "retail suicide".

    If they even said that, I wish I could have seen the smug look on their face as it escaped their lips. Bastads.

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • MortisRexMortisRex Columbia, TNPosts: 348Member Common

    The ESRB is an industry (as in, the software industry) created and controlled ratings board formed in response to Tipper Gore's attack on the game industry in the early 90's as a means of keeping content ratings controlled by the software makers and not government. There is no federal or state "law" that governs or directs it. Without it, we would have government regulation of video games just like Germany (and ask a German how well that has worked out for them). So, in response to your well thought out post, I'm afraid it's all based on a fundamental ignorance of what the ESRB actually is and does. Perhaps you'd like to review http://www.esrb.org to get  a clearer ideal of what you're complaining about?

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    Don't shoot the messenger.

    If ArcheAge contains content that justifies an M rating, then that's useful information to people considering playing the game.  Has it not occurred to you that there are some types of offensive contents that some adults don't want to see in games they play?

    And if it doesn't contain content that justifies the M rating, then why not argue that they blundered in one particular rating?

  • DisdenaDisdena Troy, NYPosts: 1,093Member

    AO > M > T > E10+ > E. What's misleading?

    In order for someone to be misled by this system, they would have to mistakenly believe that an entertainment rating board knows with absolute precision the exact age at which a game becomes safe for their kids to play. If someone out there is such a poor parent that they believe in strictly following the ESRB age suggestions—instead of considering them nothing more than suggestions—I would MUCH rather give them the ratings that exist rather than going "Everything from Smash Bros to Mortal Kombat is rated V. Good luck sorting it out, you lazy ass!"

    image
  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kopogero

    I would have no problem for informative only system to exist so we would know what kind of content the products have, but I'm surely against anything that goes further than that and adding false labels like if there is nudity or violence it's intended for the "MATURE" audience or "ADULTS ONLY".

    The "ESRB" needs to change their abbreviations and labeling.

    Like I said I'm all up for a system that helps us know what kind of product we are receiving, but false labels and misleading the public for what kind of audience it's suitable and intended, thats total BS.

    It should be like this:

    "V" for violence "N" for nudity, "VN" for both rather than "M" for MATURE or "AO" for "adults only". That is just a sad and pathetic attempt to mislead the public.

    Just go buy your kids porn already.

    image
  • Zook81Zook81 Salisbury, NCPosts: 96Member
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Zook81

    ESRB is a good thing. Hell recently they just asked "Why the hell isn't anyone making any AO games? We need more of those".

    They know damned well why nobody is making them, it's called "retail suicide".

    If they even said that, I wish I could have seen the smug look on their face as it escaped their lips. Bastads.

    Don't blame it on the ESRB. Blame it on the retailers. Their quote was about stopping that nonsense.

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member
    Originally posted by Zook81
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Zook81

    ESRB is a good thing. Hell recently they just asked "Why the hell isn't anyone making any AO games? We need more of those".

    They know damned well why nobody is making them, it's called "retail suicide".

    If they even said that, I wish I could have seen the smug look on their face as it escaped their lips. Bastads.

    Don't blame it on the ESRB. Blame it on the retailers. Their quote was about stopping that nonsense.

    The ESRB is a business, one that accepts payments (read: bribes) to classify games that can make or break it's chance at a shelf life. When I worked in QA there was negotitations with them in trying to make sure that it didn't get an M rating because of the amount of violence in the game, and the company would rather see it as being rated T to help improve sales (though, I personally don't see the difference). The amount of gore in a game can easily take it past rated M, and straight into AO territory as well.

    Now, do you think that a bureau that holds sway over whether a title can be sold, or not, in prudent retailers isn't accomidating to lobbying? What country is this again?

    Greased palms get the job done, like with any health inspector, etc.

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • Zook81Zook81 Salisbury, NCPosts: 96Member
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Zook81
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Zook81

    ESRB is a good thing. Hell recently they just asked "Why the hell isn't anyone making any AO games? We need more of those".

    They know damned well why nobody is making them, it's called "retail suicide".

    If they even said that, I wish I could have seen the smug look on their face as it escaped their lips. Bastads.

    Don't blame it on the ESRB. Blame it on the retailers. Their quote was about stopping that nonsense.

    The ESRB is a business, one that accepts payments (read: bribes) to classify games that can make or break it's chance at a shelf life. When I worked in QA there was negotitations with them in trying to make sure that it didn't get an M rating because of the amount of violence in the game, and the company would rather see it as being rated T to help improve sales (though, I personally don't see the difference). The amount of gore in a game can easily take it past rated M, and straight into AO territory as well.

    Now, do you think that a bureau that holds sway over whether a title can be sold, or not, in prudent retailers isn't accomidating to lobbying? What country is this again?

    Greased palms get the job done, like with any health inspector, etc.

    What a bunch of nonsense. Give me proof of these bribes you speak of. All the ESRB does is puts voluntary ratings onto games. The only reason AO games don't sell is because publishers refuse to publish them, and retailers refuse to stock them. They don't stop a game from selling, if anything they just cause many people to go back and  take the AO material out of the game because their publisher doesn't like the rating.

    The ESRB has come out and said "This is dumb. AO games have a place in gaming as well". Here is my link for proof.

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/168266

    /We_could_use_more_Adults_Only_games_says_ESRBs_Vance.php
  • navroannavroan League City, TXPosts: 4Member

    There are only 21 games that have received (and kept) an ESRB  AO rating.  They are all because of "Strong Sexual Content".  You can decaptiate people, you can splatter blood all over the screen.  You can screw hookers in a car (obscured) and the shoot them for cash.  You will not receive an AO rating.  You show a boob -- OMG AO.  (edit - that's not even accurate... conan has boobs  [ had boobs, I dunno what it's like now, and I refused to keep paying for a beta] and it's not AO... so in hindsight the only thing that gets AO is human sex, in clear detailed view...because that's what important to censor is the reason why you were born)

    The problem with the ESRB is not that requirement that things get rated or else you do not sell at all.  The problem is, it's pretty much everything goes (blood violence horrible language you name it, you'll get an M rating) till you show some genitalia or 'oh noes' a boob.

    Then you magically get an AO rating.  God fobid you can't be sold at wal-mart, the world's coming to an end now.

     

    Pretty much same thing applies to movies with R ratings,  though they seem much more lax about what can exist in an R rating and what goes NC-17, which has to be pretty much porn.  (violence alone, no matter how gruesome,  will pretty much never get you above an R rating in movies, or an M rating in games... only sex gets you higher)

     

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member
    Originally posted by Zook81
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Zook81
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Zook81

    ESRB is a good thing. Hell recently they just asked "Why the hell isn't anyone making any AO games? We need more of those".

    They know damned well why nobody is making them, it's called "retail suicide".

    If they even said that, I wish I could have seen the smug look on their face as it escaped their lips. Bastads.

    Don't blame it on the ESRB. Blame it on the retailers. Their quote was about stopping that nonsense.

    The ESRB is a business, one that accepts payments (read: bribes) to classify games that can make or break it's chance at a shelf life. When I worked in QA there was negotitations with them in trying to make sure that it didn't get an M rating because of the amount of violence in the game, and the company would rather see it as being rated T to help improve sales (though, I personally don't see the difference). The amount of gore in a game can easily take it past rated M, and straight into AO territory as well.

    Now, do you think that a bureau that holds sway over whether a title can be sold, or not, in prudent retailers isn't accomidating to lobbying? What country is this again?

    Greased palms get the job done, like with any health inspector, etc.

    What a bunch of nonsense. Give me proof of these bribes you speak of. All the ESRB does is puts voluntary ratings onto games. The only reason AO games don't sell is because publishers refuse to publish them, and retailers refuse to stock them. They don't stop a game from selling, if anything they just cause many people to go back and  take the AO material out of the game because their publisher doesn't like the rating.

    The ESRB has come out and said "This is dumb. AO games have a place in gaming as well". Here is my link for proof.

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/168266

    /We_could_use_more_Adults_Only_games_says_ESRBs_Vance.php

    I bet you take anything EA says at face value as well. It's not my job to convince you otherwise.

    ~but FYI, you *do* have to pay them to rate anything. It's not a free service, and people on the board can (and will) be bought, and it wouldn't be completely false if I said they have judged a product overly harshly compared to others for the sake of backroom deals with said products competitors. This is serious business, not a charity organization.

    As for the comment on gore vs nudity, again, it depends on what way they wanna take it. Bulletstorm almost faced an AO rating for gore featuring one's 'unmentionables', while TES: Oblivion somehow slid by with depictions of Lachance's naked and castrated corpse hung upside down. It's all about who wants to raise a ruckus about what (and why).

     

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • Zook81Zook81 Salisbury, NCPosts: 96Member
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Zook81
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Zook81
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Zook81

    ESRB is a good thing. Hell recently they just asked "Why the hell isn't anyone making any AO games? We need more of those".

    They know damned well why nobody is making them, it's called "retail suicide".

    If they even said that, I wish I could have seen the smug look on their face as it escaped their lips. Bastads.

    Don't blame it on the ESRB. Blame it on the retailers. Their quote was about stopping that nonsense.

    The ESRB is a business, one that accepts payments (read: bribes) to classify games that can make or break it's chance at a shelf life. When I worked in QA there was negotitations with them in trying to make sure that it didn't get an M rating because of the amount of violence in the game, and the company would rather see it as being rated T to help improve sales (though, I personally don't see the difference). The amount of gore in a game can easily take it past rated M, and straight into AO territory as well.

    Now, do you think that a bureau that holds sway over whether a title can be sold, or not, in prudent retailers isn't accomidating to lobbying? What country is this again?

    Greased palms get the job done, like with any health inspector, etc.

    What a bunch of nonsense. Give me proof of these bribes you speak of. All the ESRB does is puts voluntary ratings onto games. The only reason AO games don't sell is because publishers refuse to publish them, and retailers refuse to stock them. They don't stop a game from selling, if anything they just cause many people to go back and  take the AO material out of the game because their publisher doesn't like the rating.

    The ESRB has come out and said "This is dumb. AO games have a place in gaming as well". Here is my link for proof.

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/168266

    /We_could_use_more_Adults_Only_games_says_ESRBs_Vance.php

    I bet you take anything EA says at face value as well.    

    I'm sure not going to take some random guy on the internet without proof at face value.

     

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member

    Says the guy that want's "proof" of bribes. Why don't I dig up the Deep Throat tapes while I'm at it.

     

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

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