Virtual Reality Games May Require New Ratings Labels, Sony Boss Says

"In one of our demos, you get yourself stabbed, and it's powerful."

44 Comments

Virtual reality games have the potential to immerse players in worlds deeper and more vividly than ever. As such, violent games, or those including traumatic content, would theoretically be even more intense in virtual reality. Now, one of the biggest players in the virtual reality market, Sony, has spoken out to say new ratings labels might be needed for virtual reality games.

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PlayStation boss Shuhei Yoshida told Digital Spy that Sony has considered the possible impact of violence in virtual reality. Violence in virtual reality games can be more "powerful" than in traditional games, he said, while also noting that he does not want to put limits on what developers create.

"It's pretty much giving you an experience with other people that you'd otherwise not have," he said. "If you are lucky, you won't have experienced getting a gun pointed at your head--it's scary, right? But that can be created easily in VR. It is intense. In one of our demos, you get yourself stabbed, and it's powerful.

"The power of the medium is so much so that, in the future, the industry will probably come up with slightly different ratings so that we can communicate to consumers what kind of contents are inside," he added. "It's early days but it's important, because we don't want to handcuff the creativity of developers. But it's a challenge for the future, as the media is so powerful, something could potentially cause trauma to people when they try that, because they've played something really awful."

On the flip-side, Yoshida said some developers are already creating virtual reality experiences that help people empathize with others.

"There are people around the world not as fortunate as us, but using virtual reality we can let people experience what it's like to be abused, or live in poverty. We hope this will contribute to decision-makers making some good decisions," he said.

Asked directly if he thought virtual reality would need its own unique ratings system, Yoshida said, "something like that I hope we can work on."

PlayStation VR launches in the first half of 2016. PlayStation president Andrew House has said the headset will be priced "as a new gaming platform," though he did not provide any specific figures. Sony has also released a new overview video for the headset, which reveals its specs.

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SkyHighGam3r

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Edited By SkyHighGam3r

I don't care how they rate things, as long as they don't censor things.

It's WRONG

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maitkarro

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Hmm I can see an interesting future for it in the self defense department.

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crxuchilbara

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Can someone give me an honest plea to tell my bf that will make him excited about VR? he's choosing to be teflon in the matter and not impressed at all. He only wants to play FF xiv. But he always only wants to play that!

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Runningman5ksmak

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nice and if games later on went all out virtual reality only I will probably give up gaming

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amaneuvering

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Yeah, I mean a game like P.T. in VR could probably give some people heart attacks. The immersion in VR is just on another level, and for horror I actually think it would be too much for me to want to play any scary games like that.

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Zloth2

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@amaneuvering: The Gamespot editors were able to deal with Alien: Isolation. You aren't going to let them WIN are you?? ;)

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crxuchilbara

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@Zloth2: I won't. My gravestone will. And it will say: Died trusting GameSpot.

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XenomorphAlien

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Rated S for seizures.

Rated T for trauma.

Rated B for blindness.

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Avatar image for crxuchilbara
crxuchilbara

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@xenomorphalien: you forgot Q for queesy and T+ for throwup.

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homestar99

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You flatter yourself, assholes.

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Tr4newreck

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or you could perfect the tech, before you induce vomiting in your consumers... just a thought

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elheber

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V = Vomit Inducing Motion Sickness

2S = 2 Spoopy 4 U, scares may lead to Heart Attack

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______

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@elheber: Spoopy? Shouldn't it then be "scares may lead to pooping your pants"?

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Avatar image for crxuchilbara
crxuchilbara

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@______: !

Yes

Yes

Forever yes!

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Kiaininja

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Does this mean that they're desperate enough to bring back Adult rated games into the home console in order to push sales of VR?!

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BobaFettHatesU

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Sickness Ratings would be more in order.

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yukushi

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I have fought tons of demons, trolls, weird monsters, psycho killers I have had every kind of weapon thrown at me and I have smashed thousands of heads because i like my killing up close and personal fallout style so there is nothing VR could throw at me that would make me nervous.

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rasterror

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@yukushi: You sound like you need help.

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BobaFettHatesU

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@yukushi: Are you talking about games or these comments sections?

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crxuchilbara

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@bobafetthatesu: I think he was implying your Ben Carson like approach to gore was a little... Odd(?) I know what you mean tho. Game on :)

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Troll_Elite

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Too soon to say it will need a new rating system. While VR may be more immersive than a conventional TV screen or PC monitor, you need more than a head mounted display and a gamepad to be really immersed. Driving and flying simulators can skate by in VR by using traditional racing wheels and control sticks because you're naturally immobile in those scenarios. But the first-person open world experience would require an omnidirectional platform to make the experience believable.

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derceto

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"If you are lucky, you won't have experienced getting a gun pointed at your head--it's scary, right? But that can be created easily in VR. It is intense. In one of our demos, you get yourself stabbed, and it's powerful."

Ya, if you're 5 years old playing an M rated game, I could see how this could be problematic, sure.

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crxuchilbara

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@derceto: I just wanted to play a game as Ben Carson so no bullets will hit me. May e I can tell the enemies who to shoot.

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DaVillain-

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Edited By DaVillain-  Moderator

As long as I get Hentai in VR, i don't care about what rating it gets. Boobs jiggle master race :D

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______

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@davillain-: Finally, someone who has his priorities straight!

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cojuelodevil

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High hopes for vr

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crxuchilbara

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@cojuelodevil: its only failed once. And that would be Nintendo's fail with the VB. God that thing was just horrible all around.

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garey017

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I don't see why it needs a whole new rating system. VR will just make things more realistic, just like FPS games made things more realistic, and better graphics make things more realistic. You just factor that in to the rating decision. No need to throw everything out and start from scratch.

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jakesnakeel

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@garey017: "the industry will probably come up with slightly different ratings so that we can communicate to consumers what kind of contents are inside,"

I find the current M rating to be useless anyway. It's way too broad to make informed decisions.

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Avatar image for crxuchilbara
crxuchilbara

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@jakesnakeel: really?

More like "the industry will probably come up with slightly different ratings so that we can communicate to consumers what kind of contents can harm you." I'm still gonna try it tho so yeah. Me dumb.

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Zloth2

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@jakesnakeel: If it gets more complex, it becomes "too confusing". Remember, these aren't for us to read, they are for people that don't know the difference between "platform game" and "shooter" and don't want to spend more than 3 seconds on the question.

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eternaldragoonx

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the only thing i want in vr is porn

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crxuchilbara

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@eternaldragoonx: I think the Facebook one is going that route.

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streamline

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@eternaldragoonx: But now, it might be rated XXXX. That is too many X'es!

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JustBeFahad

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@eternaldragoonx: This.

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eternaldragoonx

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@justbefahad: VirtualRealP orn.com baby

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deactivated-58ce94803a170

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I wouldnt worry about it, VR is DoA. Would cost too much make a new rating system and just woudnt be worth it. The only rating they need is,

Warning, will cause Tunnel Vision.

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tariqkakar

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@mesome713: nah, vr is the future. Games have always been trying to become more and more immersive. VR is the next step.

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Zloth2

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@mesome713: A VR version of Dead or Alive would be awe.... oh wait, that's not what you're saying?

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deactivated-58ce94803a170

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@Zloth2: DoA Volleyball, holy moley, i think your on to something.

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JDlok

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@mesome713: I think you are sadly mistaken.

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deactivated-58ce94803a170

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@jdlok: Thats your problem mate, you think too much.

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LoganGTA5

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@mesome713: But he is right

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deactivated-58ce94803a170

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@logangta5: We shall see.

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