Tuesday, November 18, 2008

has everyone heard all the news about how the Entertainment Software ratings Board (ESRB) has decided that they will protect consumers? Eschewing the very widely accepted policy (from Movies and other ratings board) of posting the general details (violence, nudity, etc.) the ESRB is taking the psycho Mom approach:


Fallout 3

Platform: Windows PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Rating: Mature

Content descriptors: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Drugs

Rating summary: Fallout 3 is a action role-playing game set in the barren wasteland of a post-apocalyptic society. Players assume the role of a resident of an underground complex who emerges from a vault to explore a wastleland universe through a series of quests/missions. Mission objectives sometimes involve exploring various caves, sewers, and subway tunnels, while other quests involve combat with human and mutant survivors. Fighting can be frenetic and intense, highlighted by various camera effects (e.g., slow motion, blurring, screen shakes) and depictions of realistic dismemberment with trails of red blood. In one scene, players enter a black-and-white virtual reality simulation in which they use a kitchen knife to kill household members and pets. Characters are sometimes seen consuming fictional drugs (e.g., "Buffout," "Jet," and "Mentats"), while the player can also use – with no visual depiction of consuming/administering – a narcotic called "psycho," which with repeated uses leads to addiction. A screen-blurring effect indicates the state of characters' intoxication and the need to use the narcotic to fend off various side effects. Several of the characters are prostitutes and the details of their sexual activities are mildly insinuated (e.g., "You got the cash I got the time…I take care of men around here."). Strong profanity can also be heard throughout the game (e.g., "f*ck," "a*shole," and "sh*t").

Umm, what? The abbreviated swear words are ridiculous and actually make the description not safe for kids to read. The description is also inconsistent and in the case of drug use differentiates differences between using one over the other as far as addiction goes(and that is false).

Who wrote these? Not the developer certainly, did a parents group watch someone play for an hour and write this nonsense? Is it a scare tactic similar to cigarette packs? Will this garbage be on game boxes?

Summaries sometimes contain spoilers, the Fallout 3 one had details on a cool scenario, the Resistance 2 reveals clear plot points as well.

People, we NEED to approach game ratings like movie ratings...G is everyone, PG is E-10, PG 13 is 10+ and R is M. The ESRB should scrap their system, adopt the movie rating system and all confusion would end...what they are doing right now is not accomplishing what they say they are trying to:

"The primary goal of our new rating summaries is to give further aid to parents in making informed game choices for their children. The summaries highlight content that factored into to the rating assignment, and the intent is always to have them do so without needlessly revealing spoilers."

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