GC '07: Factor 5 finds ESRB ratings 'bizarre'

Lair-maker president says that the industry needs a more realistic ratings system, is "very concerned" by Manhunt 2 ban, and thinks games need more sex.

LEIPZIG, Germany--A prominent developer has blasted the American Entertainment Software Rating Board, saying he thinks its ratings system "absolutely bizarre."

Julian Eggebrecht, the president of Factor 5, came to that opinion while trying to get a T for Teen rating for his company's forthcoming dragon fighter, Lair for the PlayStation 3. In order to do this, the San Rafael, California-based studio went through a process with the ESRB over "weeks and months," where it tweaked every bit of the game that the ratings body wanted it to.

Eggebrecht said, "You can set up to 5,000 people on fire, and they run around and scream, and that's fine because there's no blood." The executive was not impressed with the games rating system in the US and called it "problematic." He added, "It's a flat-out bizarre system, and I think it has no relation to what is happening in other media." He gave examples of violent movies such as Bonnie and Clyde, Natural Born Killers, and A Clockwork Orange.

Eggebrecht outlined how he and his colleagues across the Atlantic were "very concerned" that Manhunt 2 was banned in the UK by the British Board of Film Classification. "An outright banning cannot happen [in the US], " he told the delegates at the conference, "That Manhunt 2 got banned in the UK... It's a very scary development."

He said that he understood that the problem with the game, although he hadn't played it himself, was that because the gamer played as the protagonist, who during the game commits a series of gruesome murders, the player would be identifying with him in an "even more satisfying way" than Stanley Kubrick or Anthony Burgess would have envisaged with A Clockwork Orange. However, "People want to push the envelope and push the artistic impressions and the artistic content of games. If they're allowed to do it in movies, why aren't they allowed to do it in games?"

Eggebrecht also says that he wants to see more sex in games. He told the audience, "Games do not have sex and there is something wrong with that because it says essentially that games are what children play."

Written By

Want the latest news about Manhunt 2?

Manhunt 2

Manhunt 2

Follow

Discussion

725 comments
Dandaman37377
Dandaman37377

And yes sadisticon that Custard game was just unnesesary. Spelling error.

Dandaman37377
Dandaman37377

Six words that prove the workers at ESRB are nutjobs: Ratchet and Clank got rated Teen. Am I the only on that finds that wierd, with PEGI rating the same game 7+?

Wula_
Wula_

I have always wondered why there is a AO rating since no games are aloud to be sold with it. So why doesn't the ESRB switch AO to BANNED because that is what it really is :/

rouge-ninja14
rouge-ninja14

They should just get rid of the AO rating, it basicly does ban games here in the US, and seriously what's the difference between 17 and 18?:?

KrustyKids
KrustyKids

how true i was in germany this sunmmer and i watched american Pie its rated G (for everyone) in the usa its rated R.

something1257
something1257

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

something1257
something1257

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

PS2to-the-end
PS2to-the-end

Manhunt 2 is a great example for xxx in games. it got an m rating and DOES have strong sexual content. If you are trying for a gme made for hardcore violence, does it really need sexuality? NO!

Raykuza
Raykuza

@sadisticon It's not that we're afraid of sex, it's that sex shouldn't just be tossed in without any reason other than, "Sex make me manly! Manly goooood." Anything can go into a video game, including sex, as long as it's tasteful and well thought out.

Fezilla
Fezilla

Meh, my stance on sex in video games is about the same one I have on movies. If it's done tastefully, it's all right. For example: the sex scene in Cruel Intentions was done really, really well. The sex scene in 300? Totally unnecessary. The problem with video games? It's REALLY hard to add in a sex scene and make it make sense. I mean, sex just doesn't belong in Gears of War, I'm sorry.

MKOwnzU
MKOwnzU

anyone remember colonel custards revenge? if we have sex in games it will turn out like that game.

ScotMTrager0183
ScotMTrager0183

While I don't agree fully with his statement, there should be an easy way to purchase AO only games, and console makers legally shouldn't be allowed to prohibit them. With built in Parental Controls on systems today, it wouldn't be difficult to set them up to block AO by default, and than require the owner to do something (Call a number, go to a website etc.) to prove they are over 18, to unlock it. There are many solutions to the problem, but its like they WANT the controversy....

sadisticon
sadisticon

I think some of you are afraid of sex but none of you has explained why. I think vass86 had the clearest vision so far; simple and succinct. It's as easy to choose NOT to buy a videogame as it is to buy it.

kendaa
kendaa

OK here is the main point i think so anyway it is saying that they should allow sex in video games just like sex is everywhere else in the world because like it or not it will be there soon just like when VHS came out sex sell and everyone knows it and as free market world for the most part the success is based on what the customer wants so let them bring it out and slap a A sign on it if it sell the it does if your going to protest it good for you thats how the world works

fcrsplyrwgrnpht
fcrsplyrwgrnpht

Why do we need sex in games? I've never come across a game and say, man, all this game needs now is some **** poon tang. I've been playing games w/o sex for years. I think it would just become awkward. Also, I think the only way it would kinda work out is when the whole game is based around it (LSL...). But then I'd imagine it would just get old after a while. Unless you really get into it...But then I don't think you need to be playing video games...That's my two cents.

never-named
never-named

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

cubeman
cubeman

His comment on saying not having sex in games is essentially saying games are what children play is a joke. If you want a non childish game why not try and go for a deep complex story that hasn't been done before? One that adds twists and turns that are really hard to see, one that makes you actually think about your next move and where you have to go and what you have to do, one where beating the game is an accomplishment within itself. Adding in sex will take away the childish perception but tell me that it doesn't add in the perception of perversion, unless done within good taste and not thrown in just for the heck of it.

Pariah_001
Pariah_001

"sex isn't just about romance, it's about lust too." You're aboslutely right. In which case, graphic sex scenes depicted for the sake of "lust" and nothing else belong in the bedroom and not in my videogames. Describing one's sexual tendencies CAN add to the plot and foreshadowing, but that can be done without Leisure Suit Larry-esque sex-scenes.

kitakitachuta
kitakitachuta

I'm pretty sure that games do not need sex...I'm not sure where this dude is trying to go with that. He made pretty valid points about how the rating system is just downright dumb, but then he completely ruined everything by saying that he wants to see more sex in games. If you want to see more sex buy pornography or perhaps improve your social skills with the ladies.

PooPoopyman
PooPoopyman

sex in games is not needed, the only people who want it are greasy sex-deprived **** watch a porn if you want it that bad

Mrtay101
Mrtay101

.........Well , Whats right for the gander is wrong for the Goose. If you arent holding movie companies to a standard how can you do that for games. They all artist at the end of the day ? Change the ratings...........Adults play adult game and kids play kid games.

Dryker
Dryker

YES, YES, YES.... Sex has a point beyond GRATUITY! But, damn, would those women be pissed if they didn't receive a tip ;)

Dryker
Dryker

Blueflamedino has it completely wrong if anyone reading this empathizes with his point of view. Yes, the United States allows things that most citizens do not normally do, but not in the name of freedom strictly to "flay that flag" and say that we are free. We allow certain "freedoms" in order to prevent the further ramifications of not allowing it. Once something is banned it establishes a precedent that lawyers can use to further ban other things. That is why such heavy consideration is taken when outright banning something in this country. What is it opening the way for....

vass86
vass86

it makes me laugh how people here are commenting saying that sex is okay in games as long as it's romantic and not "overdone". sex isn't just about romance, it's about lust too and i see no reason why it can't be used in video games like it's used in film. sex isn't a big deal. we got shown tapes in sex education in middle school which are worse than most pornos i've seen. i'm getting sick to death of censors telling me what is suitable for me to play. we get it a lot in england. we call it the "nanny state" lol

blueflamedino
blueflamedino

its American thinking, we want the right to do so even though we probably won't because thats how freedom works, we can choose to abuse alcohol but we are moral because we choose not to, not because we can't, also like we can own a gun but we don't have too, we choose not to because we believe it is so, not because someone else says so

Pariah_001
Pariah_001

"connell66 , you're missing the point. It's not about having virtual sex, it's about being able to." Yes, that's true. Developer's SHOULD have the artistic freedom to put sex in videogames....And they do. The problem everyone has though is that the sex has a point beyond gratuity and that it's policed more than violence (as it should be).

Reaper1117
Reaper1117

Sex in games are not needed. But it could be used into a cutscene for story purpose, like in most movies, but even then, most movies nevered showed the full extent of the sex, just some movements and facial expessions. nothing much more than that. That's pretty much how games should do it, but the thing I don't get is the fact that there is no sex in Manhunt 2, that I know of, and we are talking about sex in video games as if there is this big hardcore porn scene in it.

Tracido
Tracido

What a bunch of prudes. Excuse me for having an open mind around this dried up prune called anti-america, however, I thought Indigo Prophecy intertwined sex quite well, so did Dreamfall: The Longest Journey.

GtheMVP
GtheMVP

connell66 , you're missing the point. It's not about having virtual sex, it's about being able to. It's isn't fair that movies can be quite sexual, when games really cannot. We need a level playting field here, for OBVIOUS reasons. Never forget the big picture thanks..... :)

connell66
connell66

This is just stupid. Here you all are, arguing about sex like thirteen year olds, and we forget the fact that it REALLY DOESN'T MATTER. If you need to see sex, rent a porno. A game based on sex will just suck, because it does nothing to stand out as an actual game, and more as a flashy M-rated game. One of the things that made GTA III so unique was the way it actually deserved to be rated M and wore that rating in the way Pulp Fiction wore the R-rating. It doesn't mean shock value, it means "Mature." This isn't for kids, and it isn't for the faint-hearted. Its story revolved around crime and violence, and its sandbox-style gameplay was very fun, but very violent. It really did show itself as a truly M-rated game, and not a piece of crap looking to sell itself on just that. It's "The Godfather of video games." Manhunt 2 sounds like it will be a very good game, but what it will do will break a lot of ground for all of gaming, in some way or another, the way the GTA series has. The original Manhunt will probably never measure up to what Manhunt 2 will be, and I simply don't think it'll only be great because it's the most violent game on the market. Yeah, it's gonna be big. And I frankly don't care whether or not sex will be in the game. As far as I'm concerned, all I look for in a game is a game, not a shock value entertainment show.

Pariah_001
Pariah_001

Sex is never "tasteful" if it's included simply for the sake of being there. Honestly, it really doesn't matter whether or not the sex is portrayed as tasteful or practical or delicious or whatever--All that matters is that it would have a point. The problem here is that games have very little ability to assign warrant to a sex-scene for the sake of story.

vandrius
vandrius

Armalite, I think (hope) he would be referring to it as a story-driver. Similar to most movies/TV shows, relationships between characters are something that gets people invested in the show. If you were able to add sex into a game, I would guess it to be in the form of a cutscene - just like you get in any movie where two main characters sleep together. Not full on, hardcore action, but romantic and emotional. It isn't required for a story, and it can be overdone, BUT in controlled and tasteful ways sex can (especially given its central role in our existence) be used to drive a storyline.

Armalite1016
Armalite1016

Im not even concerned if a game has sex in it for any ratings issues or anything like that, what I want to know is, WHY would they put sex in games? I see no point. There are absolutely NO gameplay opportunities to be had by having sex in a video game. And don't evne say some kind of mini game that would be stupid. Honestly, this Eggebrecht guy is just dumb, why would you put sex in a game just for the sake of having it so that games don't seem like things for little kids. That's stupid. Putting sex in a game would do nothing for the game except make MORE kids play it, if you think about it. Not that there is anything sexy about some digital model undressing anyway... Anyone who "does business" to video game nudity really needs to lay off the anime, and get a life. Honestly. You know how we could make it so games don't look like they are for children? How about making the game itself more deep and better in terms of gameplay. Look at Bioshock. That is no children's game, that is for sure. The story is complex and the moral issues are as well. Having sex in movies is different, but video games are not movies, and should not have sex.

IP_Yamiko
IP_Yamiko

I think this could be a big move for games; as a member of the film community think it can shape the way teachers, scholars and parents feel about video games. But I can honestly say that I worry about this slightly. On the one hand, sex is a writer's tool for some key plot-elements, such as two characters bonding together and building a deeper connection than before. It can also bring drastic consequences and can end up a disaster depending on the circumstances. surrounding it; both situations obviously creating a more intimate or engaging story. But on the other hand, if it is done poorly, all I can see is yet another way for the "porn" industry to make some extra money, and tarnish the idea of a game in general. A great example would be those horrible, "horrible" RPG games that give you options such as "pull away" "kiss" or "get your action now" To sum it up, games that have absolutely no merit except to see two members go at it, which succeeds in helping perverted hopeless romantics further pull themselves away from the real world, decreasing their chances to actually get a true love interest. I honestly hope that if this goes through, it can help enhance game storyline and give the gaming community the respect it deserves from the literal community. But I SWEAR to God, if I discover that I have purchased or obtained a game that gives off the same impression as a snickering second grade girl's "fan-fic" I'm going to dump it off a freeway overpass the second I have doubts about it.

Pariah_001
Pariah_001

"Sex is a normal part of human life. Turning sex into an unspeakable, immoral taboo akin to stabbing people in the face is Puritanical lunacy straight out of the 1700s. Implying that sexuality is similar to violence is very dangerous thinking and shows a pretty warped head. "The wierd, asexual, hyper-violent game worlds we have now sure dont match the world I live in."" I'm going to repeat what I said before: It's much more likely that someone will become the next generation's Stifler or Van Wilder after watching movies like American Pie or playing games like Leisure Suit Larry than it is that someone will become a mass murderer from playing a videogame even as graphic as Manhunt. The fact of the matter is that society shuns violence and glorifies the commercialism of sex. Thsi is why sex in media is more policed in the US--As it should be. vis-a-vis, sexual content should not be used as a kind of counter-argument or contradicting element to sexual exhibition. It makes no sense. I don't care if you find my preferred media elements to be "asexual," but it's the elements I choose to emphasize. The fact of the matter is that sex in media is very seldom a utilitarian aspect of the games/movies. I can only think of about 2 or 3 movies where graphic sex held warrant to the plot (History of Violence stands out amongst them) and zero games where the exhibition of sex wasn't just so much gratuitous advertizing. If that's the kind of world you live in, then fine, but a realm full of useless sexual gratuity is not something I'm going to tolerate. If you're able to include a sex scene in a game or movie in such a way that would actually be useful to the overall story rather than your desire to see other people (or polygons) go at it, then that's fine. But please, keep your tokenism out of my media.

UniQ
UniQ

My question is, waht is so wrong in sex? It is something normal and a part of the human lifestyle and is a must for our race to continune. IMHO sex can never be compared to murders and such. Maybe games containing sex should get some own rating but not the same as a game as Manhunt or Postal and such

starnerd67
starnerd67

The ONLY way that putting Sex in a game would work is strengthening control on the rating system. Meaning that young kids cannot just go out and buy what ever game they want. Like for instance, at this time, any 10 year old can go out and guy GTA. If you put Sex in a game, regulations are going to have to be stronger. If you all disagree with this, think of the alternative. NO regualtions are placed and some Parenting agency decides to take actions and sue the gaming company, they lose and stop producing game. Great. As of now better regulations need to be in place on what people can buy and what they can't based on the system. Plus i doubt a dating sim game that costs 50 dollars will get a high rating, one more thing (JUST GO OUT AND GET A DATE, WHY U PAYING 50 DOLLARS FOR A DATING SEX SIM !?!?!?!)

raghraghragh
raghraghragh

I remember GamesTM making a valid point about this sex and violence in games... Teenage boys love violent videogames,but not ones that involve sex...maybe they already know how to simulate the latter?

discostouzo
discostouzo

I can see a massive market for a sex game where players can perform their own custom moves, edit them into movies and upload them to compete against other players - like what the new skateboarding games are going to be like - it would be huge!

KamaKase
KamaKase

Here here! (to article...)

nazraq
nazraq

i wonder what an AO rated shooter would look like. i'd like to see soldier of fortune 3 on my dx10 setup.

mechranma
mechranma

I think sex in video games or even nudity in video games are a complete waste of time. Its not real anyway so why even worry about it. That type(sex and nudity) of stuff is meant for REAL people to do in real life not when you are sitting down playing a video game. All the killing and explosions and fighting,gore and stuff is meat for video games for in reality its illegal to go and decapitate someone or blow up a car However if a game does have nudity it might add to an artistic scheme in the game such as God of War. Showing thoses girls naked made sense to the storyplot. Does anyone agree? yeah i definitely do understand you

mechranma
mechranma

I kinda agree with the ratings system when they allow movies to show certain things and not get banned or slapped with an NC17 rating but, to have games banned or AO rated when the same acts are being performed because theres a certain interaction that you get from games that effects you more than movies. Like (you) having full control over a stabbing as opposed to Hannibal eating body parts and cutting off limbs. But I certainly don't support everything they do

xXrebel666Xx
xXrebel666Xx

TESTIFY!!! to more sex in video games! lmfao i wonder if we'l get some dragon sex in lair :P that would be epic

Dumbell_44
Dumbell_44

I think sex in video games or even nudity in video games are a complete waste of time. Its not real anyway so why even worry about it. That type(sex and nudity) of stuff is meant for REAL people to do in real life not when you are sitting down playing a video game. All the killing and explosions and fighting,gore and stuff is meat for video games for in reality its illegal to go and decapitate someone or blow up a car However if a game does have nudity it might add to an artistic scheme in the game such as God of War. Showing thoses girls naked made sense to the storyplot. Does anyone agree?

gangsterjc
gangsterjc

lol wat about the hot coffee thing in gta sanadreas?

edhc44
edhc44

Shomb22 He wants his game to be a M because you can set 5,000 people on fire. But in America it was rated a T because there is no blood. He wants more sex in games because games are what children play. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You DO have dyslexia

lostn
lostn

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]