Yee chastises ESRB over Oblivion rerating

Author of blocked California game law slams ratings board, accuses Take-Two of deception.

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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.

Discussion

166 comments
SolInvictus-HGG
SolInvictus-HGG

Leland doesn't give a damn about his constituency. He just wants to win votes by making a fuss over absolutely nothing.

PyroWolf93
PyroWolf93

why do they make it M when they cover female characters breasts with bras?it should of orriginally been M first then T when they re-rate it,if you know what i mean

xid32
xid32

Politicians can go to hell.

FreddyVorhees
FreddyVorhees

So... uh... what's wrong with the xbox 360 version? Oh my goodness, I forgot! When someone dies blood appears for... for... for 5 seconds!!! OH NO!!! THIS IS HORRIBLE!!! MAKE IT M!!! AH!!! Politicians have to much time on their little greasy hands...

GS_darkplayer
GS_darkplayer

If it just blood in XBOX 360 version. It should keep the T rated lable

speedy2295
speedy2295

The damn polticians can't understand that if that federal law bill passes that a massive riot will happen in almost every capital in the united states we habe a right to do what we want why should the gov. tell us how to raise our kids it's our choice not the gov. and besides the parents still have to buy the game anyway so their getting it for their kid not the kid buying it it wouldn't do to much. Besides the average gamer age is above 18 it's something like mid 20's not a bunch of 12 year old kids. They need to focus on the real issues of Iran and North Korea and also the high gas price rises by the week not "kids playing violent games" most kids understand that in game is not real it's not reality it is make believe on a larger scale. And those of you who make nude patches stop so that the damn politicians don't have anything to annoy us with.

rennik_l
rennik_l

I find this agrivating like everyone else, but I find something interesting... Why isn't Morrowind rated M? There are complete nude patches out for it, and there are some mods that go further than that. Why does it retain it's T rating when it has mods that are much worse than what all this is about. And about the violence in the game, for crying out loud, there is more violence in PRime time TV, heck aside from no blood, the Loony Toons cartoons were just as or worse in violence, same with Tom and Jerry. Yee is a leech, only looking to keep in power.

Hadrael
Hadrael

You can't rerate a game because people make "nude" patches and stuff. Kids don't have to download it they choose to. Parents need to take responsibility for there children not the ESRB or anyone else.

adamfunk
adamfunk

Just let us play games! Who cares about ratings or whatnot? It's not like in Oblivion that there was anything extremley bad about it that you wouldn't expect!

icemannn
icemannn

He's a bigger blowhard than Thompson. His "knowledge" of video games doesn't extend any further than the common media. I love how politicians speak of something they know nothing about.

Raphal
Raphal

I'm moving to england, I hate our government here in America, always critisizing aomething, and getting nowhere. this is complete bull ****,

Seraphim_24
Seraphim_24

At 26 and married I have yet to see any genuine reason that the Xbox 360 version (at least) dersevs a re-rating. There is nothing excessively violent about this. and the hacker made nude patch doesn't work for the 360. Children are not the only people who play games Mr. yee. And this might sound starnge coming from a right-leaning Moderate Christian, but god damnit! Stop using our kids for your political agendas! It makes me sick! "think of the Children!" Blah! Do you think of our Children when you do nothing about our ridiculously high housing and gas prices? Particulalarly in CA? Hmmm? Didn't think so.

Seraphim_24
Seraphim_24

At 26 and married I have yet to see any genuine reason that the Xbox 360 version (at least) dersevs a re-rating. There is nothing excessively violent about this. and the hacker made nude patch doesn't work for the 360. Children are not the only people who play games Mr. yee. And this might sound starnge coming from a right-leaning Moderate Christian, but god damnit! Stop using our kids for your political agendas! It makes me sick! "think of the Children!" Blah! Do you think of our Children when you do nothing about our ridiculously high housing and gas prices? Particulalarly in CA? Hmmm? Didn't think so.

CyphenX
CyphenX

Well I though that the speed at wich the ESRB and retailers reacted was pretty darn impressive. Mistakes happen everwhere, and it takes a pretty darn good system to admit them and then fix them so fast.

Trakan
Trakan

Well, someone has to agree with him. Gues it'll be me. I agree with him. But please don't send me angry messages with mouth froth spewing out the corners. That's just my opinion. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and who's to say which one is right and which is wrong? I am. You're all wrong. No, just kidding. Annoying the carp ;) out of people: just another service I provide.

SHAZ101
SHAZ101

ESRB is made up of a bunch of morons. If they choose a Teen rating, stick with the friggin' Teen rating! Maybe they should have a better rating system, this would solve this problem. Oblivion in no way deserved a Mature rating. I agree fully with the old Teen rating. Is Whinnie the Pooh going to be rerated Mature because hackers found a way to remove his little red shirt? Morons...

salman123_basic
salman123_basic

What deception you idiot. I've seen the game, it's hardly a T rated game!!

Sir_Berus
Sir_Berus

This guy is an idiot, plain and simple. Remember, everyone, Voting is how you get idiots like this into and out of office!

korn18m
korn18m

It seems we have a new game related slang term now. That typo up there that was ment to say "scape goat" said "escape goat". Now everyone is saying there is no escaping the goat. So we got: Sheep = Nintendo console fanboy Cow= Sony console fanboy Lemming = Microsoft console fanboy Goat = Anti-game rights fanboy Thompson, Yee, Clinton, Leeberman, they are all Goats.

gargar
gargar

can anyone imagive a 8yo kid play elder scrolls?

theshoveller
theshoveller

I think just to push the point home that any PC game can be edited to show mature themes, a group of people should edit kids' games like Reader Rabbit, Sesame Street, the copy of Solitare that comes with windows, things like that and do the same stuff that the modders did with the Oblivion nude patches. I want to see a lawmaker slap a big "M" on some kids' Dora the Explorer because Dora's exploring things that are considered illegal in this country.

jojoxl
jojoxl

Yee sucks a$$. Yo Yee, why don't you deal with some of the important issues, like immigration, health care, etc? The stuff people REALLY care about. Damn politicians!

Mezzomorto
Mezzomorto

As a European citizen, I could fall into the easy trap of feeling smug and adopting that all too easy attitude of "those crazy Yanks are at it again". However, since most games currently come out of the US and US creativity, this recent trend amongst US politicians potentially affects all of us. I just wish the Mr. Yees of this world would stop mining what they see as a "soft target" for potential votes and tackle the real problems in their own backyards...

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

this just proves that the ESRB doesn't play the games when they rate them.

NinjaFoot
NinjaFoot

What a fragging moron.... It must be election time!!

death919
death919

Doesn't this guy have anything better to do with his life...?

meimnobody
meimnobody

people people the mod unlocked existing content that was supposed to be declared. It doesn't matter if the content cannot be gotten without hacking the game if it is there it is supposed to be declared. The 360 version was rated M at release because guess what the 360 tape sent to the ESRB had the stuff Bethesda left out of the PC tape they sent for rating review. The PC version would have been rated M even without the archived art files. Notice the 360 version got the M rating due to violence and not the art files which cannot be accessed on the 360 version. Bethesda imitiated the GTA devs by trying to squirrel out of it. I suspect in several weeks Bethesda will change their tone like the GTA devs did. At first the GTA devs said Hot Coffee wasn't in the game code and that it was a fake. Then they said a hacker inserted it, then they finally admitted the game code was in there all along and that someone just found it. Anything in the game code that can affect rating is supposed to be announced. All the topless mod did is move the archived art files into the game. Why would bethesda put something like that when it is needed for the game models anyway? They obviously were thinking of such an unlockable or cheat in the first place but decided against it due to rating issues. They arrogantly thought no one would find it so they didn't remove it.

minerl99
minerl99

Bethesda had nothing to do with the Mod. Where does it end? Car manufacturers rated X, because someone had sex in one of their cars... Kodak cameras rated X, because someone took dirty pictures... Wesson Oil rated X, because... oh, nevermind you probably get the idea...

rootATdarkstar
rootATdarkstar

Video games get more crap from small-minded people like that than any other entertainment medium. I believe you video game naysayers can all burn in hell, and take your American Idols and false values with you!!!

j_cain341
j_cain341

First, I must congratulate Bethesda Software for taking the flak by ESRB and sadly, Yee. I understand things get misinterrupted but to have a government offical make such a bogus claim against Bethesda Software and 2K for their game and blame Bethesda for something they had no control over is bogus. Bethesda Software has had a crystal clean record until now and I back Bethesda with their decisions. Yee, I think your comments are uncalled for but then again, this is freedom of speech in action. I am an adult, I could vote and even I think Bethesda Software is taking more heat than necessary. Ok, so their publisher: 2K has had trouble in the past, I think Oblivion is more than fairly rated since that mod is exactly that. A mod by an owner of the game. You want to take your heat out on someone? Find the person who made the mod.

decebal
decebal

His noodles were bad this morning...

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

Wow maybe I should have looked at the box for it because I thought that it was rated M in the first place. Also, even if the art wasn't in the game in the first place somone would have made a nude patch anyways, it might have just taken a while longer. Also, would this guy have been just as offended if someone created a really fat male skin, gave him man-boobs and then proceeded to have him run around topless ? I doubt it and I honestly think that would scar children more then seeing a topless woman running around.

sonic86
sonic86

I agree NeoJedi. Maybe if they should think of better was to get us out of this "war" than trying to block a form of media.

SnuffDaddyNZ
SnuffDaddyNZ

When I was a "kid" I was able to walk into any arcade and play any game I wanted, so really I don't think games should be restricted in any way for the kids of today. I'm referring to violence in games, but you do have games now with adult themes and profanity so I suppose in those cases games should be rated like movies. But I think any ratings system is useless in cases where the "kids" have computers in their bedrooms because theoretically these computers could be on during the night downloading over torrents thereby bypassing the retailer, the ratings system and parents discretion. I actually think there should be an age restriction on accessing the internet, and 16 years and over sounds about right. If you have adult supervision then you can access if under 16. I don't think it should be part of the law though, it should instead be a policy of all parents in my opinion.

Suffere
Suffere

Seriously what a ****in **** Mind you own ****in business because parents are resposible of their own pestery kid not yours Mr.Yee.

NeoJedi
NeoJedi

Man politicians will jump all over this headline! What a bunch of idiots. How's about doing your job instead of surveilling games?

Suffere
Suffere

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

Suffere
Suffere

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

Suffere
Suffere

Seriously what a ****in dumbass Mind you own ****in business because parents are resposible of their own pestery kid not yours Mr.Yee.

Attunnel
Attunnel

These games are the cause of masturbation and violence all over America! We must stop them NOW!

joeamis
joeamis

The ESRB goes out of its way to make sure a MOD does not get out of hand, and the only thing politicians care about is how they can twist it around and profit off it. Politicians are the worst people in this country. All they care about is furthering their own goals, catering to the rich, and screwing the rest.

Suffere
Suffere

ya know what Yee can you STFU and go to hell while you are at it!

The_SandRock
The_SandRock

I'll be laughing when gamers get elected to Senate, I bet Yee, Clinton, and Thompson will all go cry in a corner.