The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion grabbed headlines yesterday when the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) changed the game's rating from T for Teen to M for Mature, citing objectionable content in the game that hadn't been considered in the original rating.
The change marks the second time in a year that Take-Two Interactive has seen a game it published rerated after release, with the last time being the infamous Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Hot Coffee scandal. Whether the Oblivion rerating goes down in industry history as "Scalding Skooma" or just a tempest in a tea pot, the incident has already entered the political arena. California Assemblyman Leland Yee today issued a press release calling on Take-Two and the ESRB "to stop deceiving parents."
"The ESRB again has failed our parents and clearly has shown they cannot police themselves," said Yee. "Plain and simply, the current rating system is drastically flawed and here is yet another reason why we need legislation to assist parents and protect children."
Last year, Yee was among the first politicians to pick up on the Hot Coffee scandal and call for an Adults Only rating on San Andreas. When the scandal surfaced, he was already trying to pass a bill that would impose fines on retailers for selling violent or sexually explicit games to minors. (That bill eventually passed but was blocked by a California judge before it could go into effect.) Within months of Yee's call for a rerating, the game was slapped with an AO for Adults Only, and a group of US senators led by Hillary Clinton proposed federal legislation to restrict sales of violent and sexually explicit games to minors.