ESRB defends Manhunt rerating

Ratings board rebuffs California lawmaker's calls for transparency, concedes content was edited; Yee says organization can't be trusted.

Yesterday, California Senator Leland Yee publicly called for the Entertainment Software Rating Board to take the veil off the rerating of Manhunt 2 and explain exactly what happened and why the game now deserves a rating of M for Mature, instead of its original AO for Adults Only. Similar calls have come from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which publicly demanded the game receive an AO rating just hours before news of the real rating broke.

Today ESRB president Patricia Vance responded, but perhaps not as thoroughly as Yee had hoped. "Publishers submit game content to the ESRB on a confidential basis," Vance said. "It is simply not our place to reveal specific details about the content we have reviewed, particularly when it involves a product yet to be released. What can be said is that the changes that were made to the game, including the depictions themselves and the context in which those depictions were presented, were sufficient to warrant the assignment of an M (Mature 17+) rating by our raters."

Vance also shot back with a suggestion that the effort behind such complaints are better directed elsewhere. "Rather than publicly second-guessing what is unmistakably a strong warning to parents about the suitability of a particular game for children, which presumably neither Senator Yee nor CCFC have personally reviewed, we feel a more productive tack would be to join us in encouraging parents to take the ratings seriously when buying games for their children," Vance said.

She later added, "It is a parent's rightful place to make choices for their own children. The ESRB and console manufacturers provide families with the tools and information to help them do so."

Vance pointed to a recent Federal Trade Commission study on the marketing of violent entertainment to children, saying that major game retailers "currently stop the sale of M-rated games to buyers under 17 the vast majority of the time, having surpassed the level of enforcement achieved by theatre owners in connection with children's access into R-rated movies."

In the FTC report, the "vast majority" is actually 62 percent of national retailers that stopped mystery-shopping minors from purchasing M-rated games in 2006. And while that figure is better than the 61 percent of movie theaters tested that denied minors entrance to R-rated films, the slim margin disappears when local gaming retailers are factored into the number. Overall, minors were stopped from purchasing M-rated games at 58 percent of the gaming retailers tested by the FTC.

When contacted by GameSpot for comment, the senator's response to Vance's statement was quick and pointed. "What are they trying to hide?" Yee asked. "Unsurprisingly, the culture of secrecy continues at the ESRB. Even individuals within the video game industry are now calling into question their rating system. Parents simply can not trust an entity that is unwilling to disclose or give any meaningful rationale at how they come to their decisions... When weighing in on laws to prohibit the sale of ultra-violent video games to children, the industry has said over and over, 'Trust us; our rating system will protect children.' This latest episode demonstrates once again that the ESRB in fact can not be trusted."

Written By

Discussion

513 comments
derubermensch1
derubermensch1

If Senator Yee and the CCFC are so concerned about the secrecy behind how an ESRB rating is calculated, shouldn't they be outraged by the inability to see the source code that the Diebold voting machines use to calculate the outcome of a presidential election. Maybe they should redirect their efforts towards that as there are far gretaer ramifications and far-reaching affects pertaining to that issue when compared to whether or not someone who is actually 17 can purchase a violent videogame. Also, while the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is for a good cause, they should be more outraged at No Child Left Behind as well as the irresponsible parents who buy violent M rated games for their 8 year old children. Sure, Little Jimmy may cause a stink and complain that his friend down the street has the game so why can't he, but that's too bad for Little Jimmy. I never was allowed to have a TV or a phone in my room, even all through high school. Parents need to stop being lazy; case closed. Tthese organizations want all-inlcusive bans on specific subject matter based on isolated incidents. So should we ban the sale of Harry Potter books? If you remember, their was a young girl who killed herself because she read a fake advance copy of The Deatly Hallows where Harry himself was killed; and she couldn't deal with it apparently. If J.K Rowling's books have such an influence, shouldn't we censor her and place an embargo on all Harry Potter related merchandise? Well, that's my piece, I'm now off to invade Iran...

Death_Razor
Death_Razor

Senator Leland Yee only want to get attention. The ESRB ca ndo whatever they want and it's the parent job to make sure that the esrb is respected.

ForgottenDemon
ForgottenDemon

Em...And who cares?!! Seriously do people even care about ratings? Honestly I don't give a damn about them... :twisted:

johnbonham1980
johnbonham1980

HVPinc, I'll be getting you a list of people I think need to have the ol' street treatment done to... ;)

OtterX
OtterX

Working at Gamestop, I've noticed that most parents just don't give a crap what their kids play, no matter how young the kids are. Even with AO ratings, the parents still wouldn't care. There are some parents that will stop their kids when I inform them of the content, but most say whatever. I think it's indicative of today's society; a decline of moral direction. I love gory and explicit games, but they shouldn't be sold to young kids.

Issachar
Issachar

It says +17... How is that marketing to children? Its called manhunt... youre a serial killer... i dont understand how any reasonable parent would be confused and think this game is now more suitable for children. The fact is AO games arent sold in most stores and would be commercial suicide to stick with such a rating. oh and something else.... has anyone else noticed the erosion of rating standards in movies? Im a bit of a movie buff and back in the 70's any depictions of shooting at all was automatic R rating. Now the rules are rediculous to the point where one F bomb is ok for PG-13 but more than that gets an R. And Passion of the Christ was the most violent movie ive ever seen in my life and it makes it hard to imagine what level of violence would be required to get an NC-17 rating.

Overlord_Fiend
Overlord_Fiend

I agree completly with 2048; just another politician looking for attention.

gamepro345
gamepro345

Heres an idea.. Instead of retarded politicians demanding attention by demanding to find out how take two edited manhunt, why dont they premote the notion of not letting children buy M or AO games. It does not matter what the rating . If parents actually gave a **** about their kids, they wouldnt let them play the game. ERSB has done all they can by rating the game M.

2048
2048

Personally, I think that ESRB ratings have always been fair. And everybody knows that. This is just another politician looking for publicity. Ass.

Berfomek_666
Berfomek_666

you know, that really pisses me off. Why are people comlaining about this sort of thing? There's the internet, magazins and all sorts of ways to find out if game is appropriate for the younger gamers. Hell, even with the cover art, parents should able to determine this simple fact.

sousuke223
sousuke223

dude seriusly everyone should stop flipping out theyve been fdoing the job for eyars if you thing a game deserves an ao then dont let your children play dont complain about just enforce it yourselves and to be honest most kids by the age of 10 can play mature games me sinve ive been palying videogames it doesnt really matter for the vast majority of people whocares if kids are playing games deemed 17 plus they want to there choice and their parents

osxgp
osxgp

Parents should not trust someone else to decide what is appropiate for their children to watch or play. Parents should be the ones responsible for that. That is why they are called parents.

BorosHero
BorosHero

Yee says, "Parents simply can not trust an entity that is unwilling to disclose or give any meaningful rationale at how they come to their decisions..." Does this mean that parents cannot trust the government as well? Hell, Cheney created his own Super Top Secret stamp to put on his documents. Yee doesn't want us to trust anyone.

Shaun373
Shaun373

The furor around game ratings still amazes me. Parents need to be the final authority on what their kids play. I can't say it enough. You don't see parents suing the MPAA or the studio for the movie content. Well, don't sue the damn game studios or the ESRb either then. Take your head out of what ever orrifice you have shoved it up and take a look at what you are buying your kid. It is just that simple. Games now carry lovely DVD style jackets that explain all about the game. When a kid goes running up to a parent and says "I want to go see the Departed" the parent stop and thinks, then researches the movie a little, and then thinks that maybe that just isn't the best thing for their child. Well, do the same thing with the games you bunch of lazy asses. How hard is it to log onto gamespot.com or to ask the kid behind the counter at the Gamestop, "Hey, is this game suitable for my 9,10,14 year old kid?" Just do your job as a parent and be the final word on what you let your kids do, stop blaming the ESRB.

jaredcrazy3232
jaredcrazy3232

you know i think the esrb is probably the toughest rating system in north America, albums just have a parental warning thats it, it dosent even say why it has the warning nor does it classify how much content is on the album, yet no one complains (maybe back in the day). the movies have ratings but again it doent classify why it was rated as such, not to mention Canadian ratings seem way more lax compared to American ones (a movie will be rated r, in Canada only the most offensive gets an r, usually the movie gets a 14A or an 18A thats it). now the ESRB, they are under so much scrutiny that they are obligated to breakdown why it was rated as such on the back cover. its just the parents whom wont pay attention, im not kidding i will explain the rating before i sell a game if i think the parent is making a mistake buying the product. i mean ok maybe the ESRB could make a north america wide campaign with commercials and such but honestly why do we keep blaming the industry when people dont want to listen.

masieden
masieden

Yee and the rest of the world need to learn that the government and ratings boards are not there to protect your children. Yee said it himself, "Parents simply can not trust an entity..." The sentence should have ended there. We also need to realize that politicians will say whatever is popular or fashionable when it suits them. And Yee's statement, "Even individuals within the video game industry are now calling into question their rating system" needs some coroberation. With that being said, this is a divisive issue that's wasting the short attention span of our population.

HVPinc
HVPinc

What bull crap I think people are just retarded. My mom never let me play T or M games until I turned 14 (for T) and 15 (for most M games). Why??? Because she's not retarded and gets the "M for scenes of extreme gore or violence and sexual acts" means just that. I think some people just need to be dragged into the street and shot.

benjo89
benjo89

I think it's safe to say SqueekyPants, Manhunt 2 PROBABLY won't be suitable for children...

SqueekyPants
SqueekyPants

it was only three years ago when I was prevented from buying Final Fantasy X from Best Buy because I wasn't 17 (I was 16 at the time). When I tried to explain to the cashier that it was a T game (and that the T is for teen and that I am a teen) , but they wouldn't take it. I think the problem is that although it might sound strange to us, the general public is still totally oblivious to the rating system in video games. Even the people selling the games are clueless as to what they're marketing, (just like when they put Will Smith's picture on the "I Robot" book when the movie came out, even though anyone who's read the book knows that his character isn't even in the book). There's nothing wrong with the way games are rated. Everyone needs to get a clue. It's just like movies, where there are tame R movies (e.g. the Matrix) and then there's hard R movies (e.g. Hostel), by which there is no comparison. That's just how the M rating is. Having an M rating doesn't mean that the game isn't suitable for children, but it should at least be a flag to parents to at least take a closer look.

Jason200489
Jason200489

Honestly... i hate the game, like i hate GTA... its pointless bloodshed to me, but thats my opinion... dont get me wrong... i love my shooters and action, bioshock, COD2, half life etc etc. What i feel is wrong about these games is, especially in GTA's and Manhunt's case, the glorifying of things that are blantantly wrong or evil, again thats my opinion i dont enjoy controlling what amounts to a murderer and thug. For example gun crime in england is on the up, and yes its people who kill people, im not gunna be naive and blame it all on someone else or games. However i think games like that (among other things) dont help, (such as the role modelling of guns and how its 'cool' to have been shot etc by rap artists, which im sorry but is a real factor in British gun culture) and although most of us are able to control ourselves and detach ourselves from the experiance of gaming, there are alot who see it as more, i mean i hear kids sometimes saying 'id love a gun' or summat similar. Im sorry but its makes me shiver hearing that and im only bloody 18. So yea i think like everything we need protection from the people who are too impressional, yea fair enough it could be legal adults who flip and we can't ban it from people like me and you, but at least we can keep from kids.... and really we should. 2 more points before i go and do summat else.... 1. People say it isnt like drugs, alcohol or smoking, are you kidding me.... you honestly as a gamer have never been addicted to playing summat or heard of people cutting their social life out for games? It can be a driving force in some people. A minority yea, but you shouldnt just ignore it because its a minority and censorship is a tool we need to use as unfair as it can be sometimes. 2. Anyone who comes back with, in Bioshock or COD2 your doing mindless killing.... im sorry GTA and manhunt are closer to reality than bioshock ever will be... and COD2... you take the role of people who we owe our very freedom to debate this issue to! Also fair enough killing is only acceptable in extreme circumstances.... but manhunt takes pride in murder and GTA is the role of criminal, im sorry in my eyes that is far closer to reality and borderline sick than killing of crazed genetic mutants or aliens, or even in a War epic. I know someones gunna disagree but meh thats the point. I look forward to seeing some good counter arguements.

serious_sam1122
serious_sam1122

Yup, another great example of what our government is doing for the good of all minors! I'll make sure to go buy this for my little bother, or any kid who wants it, just to show my protest for this bastard. Hey, its not against the law for them to play it, right? :)

ElHypno
ElHypno

GabrielN : You know the saying...... Money talks. Its that simple and that dispicable.

ElHypno
ElHypno

Funny. Yeah this is the trojan horse of " family values" People think that kids should take priority over adults which is crap. Who pays the taxes around here? A few days ago I was in the YWCA shower rooms taking a shower.... with five empty stalls around me . This big fat moron and his kid throw my curtin shower open. The Curtin closed, Towell hanging, suds a going, wet clothes. EVERYTHING TO INDICATE THAT THERE IS A PERSON IN THE SHOWER!!!!! Then I get out and this idiot father proceeds to block the entrance to the shower and kept running back and forth checking on his kid and eye ball screwing me to make sure I was still in the same place. I guess if this guy is afraid of the naked human body he shouldent be in a mens locker room. Fact is he was so concerned with his childs privacy that he completly just throws mine out the window. Any normal person would have just yelled.... IS THERE ANYONE IN HERE. Not this jackass. He has to disurb me and bother me on the remote chance that I was some sort of sicko. ESRB is the same crap. A bunch of idiots too stupid to figure out that some of us dont have kids, dont want kids, dont like kids, and think its crap that my entertainment and way of life should be stiffled by " a few parents who are too lazy and cowardly to teach the kids right from wrong."

GabrielN
GabrielN

pos3: "oh this makes sense, butcher our rights and constitution just so a few parents don't have to think for themselves... **** If your child is exposed to violent video games and you don't like that, then figure out the rating system before you buy it for them. Seriously, you buy your kid a game called "Manhunt" and THEN you complain !?!" You haven't actually read the article, have you? I assume you saw "politician" and "ESRB" and spewed a stock rant about what you guessed it was about. This story is not about censorship or restricting access to games. It's about suspicions that the ESRB CAN BE PAID TO ADJUST RATINGS, and the ESRB responding in the MOST SUSPICIOUS WAY POSSIBLE. It doesn't matter much in this particular case, but who knows how often it happens? Who hasn't played a game that had no business being rated T, or was unfairly stuck with an M? That can affect sales, and the possibility that it depend on how much money changes hands brings the validity of the ratings into question and makes the whole industry look bad. How can you disagree that this phenomenon should be eliminated if it does indeed exist? If the movie industry is no better, it should be scrutinized as well, not held up as a pretext to ignore problems in the video game industry as many are doing here. Oh, bugger. I`ve forgotten to use short words and big letters. I don't suppose much of that will get through to anyone.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

I think not selling to minors has more to do with the parent not having a clue that their child has M or AO rated games. Because a child can easily just order a game online or some other method. For instance, I've bought games using Gamestop.com and the only thing was when I clicked to proceed with the purchase it had me click a button to say I was 17 or older and that was at the start, and I bet that most parents will just come over and enter in the credit card information or just give the card to their child. P.S. To buy a M rated game you only have to be 17 in places vs. an AO rated game you only have to be 17 or 18 depending where it's at so why is their even a difference?

pos3
pos3

oh this makes sense, butcher our rights and constitution just so a few parents don't have to think for themselves... **** If your child is exposed to violent video games and you don't like that, then figure out the rating system before you buy it for them. Seriously, you buy your kid a game called "Manhunt" and THEN you complain !?!

Hicks_1
Hicks_1

Somebody should tell the senator that the Declaration of Independence calls Native Americans bloodthirsty savages and parents should regulate what they're kids are buying. I would love to see the same energy geared toward toward regulating liquer or cigs, you know things that actually kill people, or even guns for that matter. The bottom line is that i would strongly suggest that video game publishers sholud contribute money into various political campaigns and that will get the politicans off their back. Because blaming the parents, who are completely the ones who are at fault here but vote isn't gonna do it.

articunocc
articunocc

i am COMPLETELY AGREE with the senator, you may say... yes parents should worry for their kidz, and ill tell you something, they have actually KILLED for a GTA, why not for a game that is 10 times more violent?, and im talking of guys older than what you could say is a kid, whitout the wii controls, now... have you noticed that ALL the content gets to EVERYONE, even if they gave it an AO rating, i think that there would be little kids playing manhunt2, so for me this has no absolute discussion.

Fanible
Fanible

What's for parents not to trust? STOP BUYING YOUR KIDS M-RATED GAMES IF IT'S REALLY THAT BIG A DEAL. Who cares if they don't reveal how they came to the conclusion. If a parent is dumb enough to buy their kids an M-Rated title about murdering people, it's their own damn fault. Stop finding every bloody person in existence BUT the parents to blame for the content children have access to.

mercenar3
mercenar3

i think esrb should keep reviewing games as a warning. But their reviews should only stay as warnings and not limitations. I can understand wanting a parent present for an AO game. But what do i care? i can buy any game I want!

shotgunlizard
shotgunlizard

I don't think that having retailers enforce these ratings is acceptable. Isn't this supposed to be the land of capitalism? If a kid wants to by an M game, who is Best buy to stop him? The parents should make that final call. The ESRB does its job fine, if Senator Yee wants to stop the sale of video games to minors, let him enforce it. Games and Movies are not cigarettes, and should not be controlled as such. At 16, you can drive a vechile that can potentially kill people. But you can't by an M game until 17? This said, you can acutally play "GTA" in reality at 16, but you can't play it on your computer.

Gamewako
Gamewako

Said One ESRB rep, "Publishers present substantial bribes to the ESRB on a confidential basis," Vance said. "It is simply not our place to reveal specific details about the pocket-transactions we have recieved, particularly when it involves a product yet to be made. What can be said is that the Lamborgini's that were full of precious jems, including the diamond encrusted yahts they arrived on and the rolls of $1000 dollar bill toilet paper we recieved were sufficient to warrant the assignment of an M (Mature 17+) rating by our sellout wastes of human flesh."

r2d2_cun
r2d2_cun

ESRB is a private organism, and as stated in the article, it only is a tool for parents, to have an idea of what their kids are playing. After all, kids can probably watch much more gore in TV than in Ninja Gaiden. As a parent if you feel uncomfortable with the ESRB ratings then do a little more research on the game. There's never going to be a rating that satisfies all the world, someone will disagree. My personal feelings... I would like the AO version out, I don't care if they have to wrap it in a black plastic bag with only white letters on it, and sell it next to the pr0n. I would certainly like a little bit more of AO gaming material. There are only 23 games out there.... and 17 are "strong" sexual related.

Maxx_the_Slash
Maxx_the_Slash

I support Leland Yee's idea, but for a completely different reason. I want to know what was taken out of Manhunt 2 because I want to know what we're being told we can't have. If the game has realistic depictions of heads blowing off, I want to know why we can't have it, when Mortal Kombat pulls off worse than that. The ESRB needs to tell us what they find in games before they rate them, because I have the right to see excessive violence in video games, and if it's being removed to protect children, fine, I'm ok with that, but I have the right to know what was removed. Of course, children could also be protected if botarded parents would RESTRICT WHAT KIDS PLAY. Then we wouldn't have to have game's banned due to content.

PhoenixAvngr
PhoenixAvngr

M vs AO rating doesnt matter for "children" anyways. With BOTH ratings no one under 17 should be able to buy the game anyways. The Senator needs to get his panties out of a bundle about this and start focusing on more important issues. Like not soliciting sex in an airport's men's bathroom.

gsmith86
gsmith86

I sent an email to Lee's campaign website. You should do the same!!! info@lelandyee.com or Yee for State Senate 1370 24th Avenue San Francisco, CA 94122 Please emails and letter peaceful, we don't want negative press!!! "Hello Sir, As a California resident I would like to express my concern for your priorities. I know that some realms of the entertainment industry require more safeguarding action for children. I do not believe that is applicable to video games. In the same way that television shows are rated as a suggestion for parents so are video games. It is up to parents to have a vested interest in their own children's lives, including what they watch, play, eat and so on. With that interest parents should take time to review entertainment and lifestyle choices for their children to make sure that those choices are right for their children. The ESRB is a private entity that provides suggestions for parents on what games may or may not be suitable for their children. It also provides a guideline for stores to help keep children from purchasing games their parents wouldn't approve of. It is not up to the government to tell parents what games their children should play. It is to help keep unapproved games out of children's hands while in public, not while at home. I think you would find your time better spent supporting the ESRB in making retailers observe the suggested age requirements and encouraging parents to have a vested interest in the entertainment in their children's lives. Please reconsider your position on this matter or I may be forced to place my vote elsewhere and encourage all my family and friends to do the same.I appreciate what your are trying to do, but it is for parents, not lawmakers."

ProphetOfValor
ProphetOfValor

jonfigs: "When was the last time someone was killed by a video game? Um never, video games don't kill people Senator, people kill people." There was that dude in Korea... Seriously though, this is way out of hand. I'm sure lots more kids have been scarred by things other than video games.

Built
Built

aparently someone hasnt played manhunt... think its time for someone to get a good beating... *puts on goalie mask* lol

RorshachV
RorshachV

Rockstar should release the original for PC. This level of censorship is outrageous .

mattwd319
mattwd319

First let me say that I'm a 36-year-old gamer (yes, I'm old :) ), I vote, I'm married, I'm employed, etc. And... I play Manhunt. When the news first broke that a sequel was coming out I was overjoyed! When the news of the AO rating came out I didn't think to much of it until the fact that the console companies said that they refuse to license AO titles on their machines... that's when I got angry. As pointed out by many other posters it's possible to play DVDs with any rating and any content on these systems so for the console companies to disallow AO titles on their machines is absolutely ridiculous. Unfortunately they have the right to do this no matter how it may seem to us. It's probably their way of covering themselves so that if a child gets his/her hands on an AO title that the console companies can't be sued by an irresponsible parent. As for the ESRB, well, after reading their published statement I can say that I have more respect for them now for telling Yee to pretty much take a hike. But they still have questionable standards with their ratings. I'd propose that the members of the ESRB that actually rate the games only be temporary positions of say maybe six months at a time. After six months you bring in a new batch of people to rate the games. That would alleviate some of the bias that comes with rating games all the time. My main issue is that I don't think that anyone... the government, a special interest group, or anyone else should tell me what's right for me to do or not to do. There are too many rights taken away from the vast majority of us in the US because of the potential hazards to a hypothetical ten-year-old kid. These groups are saying that I as a person am not responsible enough to make my own decisions so they'll do it for me. How much more insulting and condescending can any of these groups be? If a publisher develops a game with a substantial amount of violence and gore and I enjoy playing it, so what? What's wrong with that? "The children might see it and it's harmful to them!" Those are the words of people who would rather say "it's for the good of the children to ban games like this" rather than saying "I hate this trash and want it banned!" Hey, YOU might find it trash, I don't. I'll play the game, no one says you have to. My values are not your values. Don't tell me what to do and I won't tell you what to do either... it's called 'respect' To Senator Yee: I can assure you that if you ever run for any kind of office where my vote can effect the outcome I will vote against you and I will encourage others to do so as well. With your concern as to how a private entity conducts their business (in this case the ESRB) you are showing that you have no respect for privacy and your priorities are flawed. Maybe short-sighted people who can't think for themselves applaud your pointless efforts of bashing the ESRB but I can tell when someone is out of line and you are in this case. There are more important issues to worry about. Ask victims of Hurricane Katrina how important video games and their ratings are to them right now.

Neo1O1
Neo1O1

Senator Leland Yee needs to take his mind off gaming & instead focus his energies & resources on real crime. I swear, this whole gaming scrutiny is getting out of control & at the end of the day, it's rather silly & painfully dumb.

Chainsawman_20
Chainsawman_20

who cares why they switched the rating? Sorry, but I think a 17 year old can handle the same stuff that would be in an AO game (21+). Man this is just so lame. I don't see the big deal here. This is really just indicating that some politicians and people have nothing to do, and to show the public that they are fighting for something, they attack anything that comes into sight. And in this case...ESRB changes a game from AO to M. This is just garbage

AceCometh
AceCometh

I'm thoroughly disgusted by this circus side show.

jonfigs
jonfigs

Here we go again. The Senator's response, "What are they trying to hide?" Yee asked. "Unsurprisingly, the culture of secrecy continues at the ESRB. Even individuals within the video game industry are now calling into question their rating system. Parents simply can not trust an entity that is unwilling to disclose or give any meaningful rationale at how they come to their decisions... When weighing in on laws to prohibit the sale of ultra-violent video games to children, the industry has said over and over, 'Trust us; our rating system will protect children.' This latest episode demonstrates once again that the ESRB in fact can not be trusted." This tells me that he has no legitimate response but instead continues to harp on the confidentiality of the ESRB rating process. Once again Senator, tell me, do movies like Hostel and Saw publicly explain frame by frame what scenes were cut to receive an "R" rating instead of NC-17? I feel that the ESRB's response that encourages education of parents is much more productive than wagging fingers and claiming a conspiracy. When was the last time someone was killed by a video game? Um never, video games don't kill people Senator, people kill people.

Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

Government should stop trying to be involved in every aspect of our lives. We'll raise our own children thank you very much.

cfsa
cfsa

This age-old debate about what is good for children and what isn't... sigh. As if it really truly matters at all. It's quite ok to have ratings that work as a guide for parents to understand what their children are playing. But beyond that, nothing else is necessary. There will always be the conservative haters of everything new and different (music, clothingstyles, culture, films, videogames, everything) just as there will always be the people who do/watch it anyways. Trying to control something like this is just completely silly. If a parent doesn't want their child to do a certain thing, then it's up to them to steer their children away from it until they're of legal age. But if not then no one has the right to censure. I watched Braindead at 12 and laughed so hard all the way through. As i do now many years later. These people, politicians and oversensitive parents, should just can it and stop trying to hinder cultural development.

The_Weekend
The_Weekend

is it me or does Yee not know how to count ? is it me or does Yee not understand the ratings?

DarthViper3k
DarthViper3k

For those of you that think not giving out details is bull... lets look at why ESRB doesn't give out detail information. Propritary information for one, Privacy laws, good buisness practice. The same privacy laws that protect your medical records also protect buisnesses like movie companies and game developers. Such privacy laws allow them to submit a preview build to the ESRB a year before release to get an idea of changes that need to be done WITHOUT this type of media attention. Thanks to our lovely media game developers are apparently not allowed to even make sure they're on track with how they're planning their product. To add to that, game content is considered propritary information and intellectual property of the developers. Meaning whoever they allow to see the content probably has to sign a non-discloser agreenment. Lee_Stricklin, just wanting to comment, there was a peice of news that the ESRB was overhauling their rating system since CoD and Halo..specificaly b/c of complaints about how those games (and others) were rated. I'm pretty sure its been overhauled by now. But if you think there is a better way then I'm sure the ESRB is willing to take suggestions. However their system after the overhaul I think is pretty good. Back on topic.... I have to agree with Tiger. Why is it that the ESRB is getting attention and politicians wanting to shut down violent games in general? Violent TV has been around far longer than Violent games. Just like some soccer mom's out there, "Can't play Laser Tag because its just the government and the military trying to train you..." ugh... whatever. This is a free country where everybody can make their own decisions. However the government is stepping in where they don't belong. A system of education to protect children is already in place. How much more "protection" can be provided? In a society where a person can sue McDonalds for spilling coffee on themselves and sue an RV company b/c they didn't understand the Cruise Control wasn't an autopilot, even the government will try to attack the very systems they sanction to exist. Sadely, nobody understands what responsibility is and always blaim somebody else. So when some twelve year old girl gets pregent, the mother blaims the school, society, and everybody except herself because she didn't do anything. And now we have the same situation with games. Some few and rare individuals use games as a planning/simulation tool for school shootings and then blaim everybody except their own moronic selves for buying their 10yo an M or AO game. I used to work as a cashier at Wal-Mart. I was ALWAYS telling parents what the ESRB ratings were. The response I always get? "Oh they want it so I'll buy it anyways" ugh. worthless parents