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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » I'm surprised the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) still exists

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  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

7/15/12 2:11:25 AM#21
Originally posted by Zook81
Originally posted by GTwander
Originally posted by Zook81

ESRB is a good thing. Hell recently they just asked "Why the hell isn't anyone making any AO games? We need more of those".

They know damned well why nobody is making them, it's called "retail suicide".

If they even said that, I wish I could have seen the smug look on their face as it escaped their lips. Bastads.

Don't blame it on the ESRB. Blame it on the retailers. Their quote was about stopping that nonsense.

The ESRB is a business, one that accepts payments (read: bribes) to classify games that can make or break it's chance at a shelf life. When I worked in QA there was negotitations with them in trying to make sure that it didn't get an M rating because of the amount of violence in the game, and the company would rather see it as being rated T to help improve sales (though, I personally don't see the difference). The amount of gore in a game can easily take it past rated M, and straight into AO territory as well.

Now, do you think that a bureau that holds sway over whether a title can be sold, or not, in prudent retailers isn't accomidating to lobbying? What country is this again?

Greased palms get the job done, like with any health inspector, etc.

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

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  Zook81

Novice Member

Joined: 12/17/09
Posts: 96

7/15/12 2:19:19 AM#22
Originally posted by GTwander
Originally posted by Zook81
Originally posted by GTwander
Originally posted by Zook81

ESRB is a good thing. Hell recently they just asked "Why the hell isn't anyone making any AO games? We need more of those".

They know damned well why nobody is making them, it's called "retail suicide".

If they even said that, I wish I could have seen the smug look on their face as it escaped their lips. Bastads.

Don't blame it on the ESRB. Blame it on the retailers. Their quote was about stopping that nonsense.

The ESRB is a business, one that accepts payments (read: bribes) to classify games that can make or break it's chance at a shelf life. When I worked in QA there was negotitations with them in trying to make sure that it didn't get an M rating because of the amount of violence in the game, and the company would rather see it as being rated T to help improve sales (though, I personally don't see the difference). The amount of gore in a game can easily take it past rated M, and straight into AO territory as well.

Now, do you think that a bureau that holds sway over whether a title can be sold, or not, in prudent retailers isn't accomidating to lobbying? What country is this again?

Greased palms get the job done, like with any health inspector, etc.

What a bunch of nonsense. Give me proof of these bribes you speak of. All the ESRB does is puts voluntary ratings onto games. The only reason AO games don't sell is because publishers refuse to publish them, and retailers refuse to stock them. They don't stop a game from selling, if anything they just cause many people to go back and  take the AO material out of the game because their publisher doesn't like the rating.

The ESRB has come out and said "This is dumb. AO games have a place in gaming as well". Here is my link for proof.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/168266

/We_could_use_more_Adults_Only_games_says_ESRBs_Vance.php
  navroan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 3

7/15/12 2:21:00 AM#23

There are only 21 games that have received (and kept) an ESRB  AO rating.  They are all because of "Strong Sexual Content".  You can decaptiate people, you can splatter blood all over the screen.  You can screw hookers in a car (obscured) and the shoot them for cash.  You will not receive an AO rating.  You show a boob -- OMG AO.  (edit - that's not even accurate... conan has boobs  [ had boobs, I dunno what it's like now, and I refused to keep paying for a beta] and it's not AO... so in hindsight the only thing that gets AO is human sex, in clear detailed view...because that's what important to censor is the reason why you were born)

The problem with the ESRB is not that requirement that things get rated or else you do not sell at all.  The problem is, it's pretty much everything goes (blood violence horrible language you name it, you'll get an M rating) till you show some genitalia or 'oh noes' a boob.

Then you magically get an AO rating.  God fobid you can't be sold at wal-mart, the world's coming to an end now.

 

Pretty much same thing applies to movies with R ratings,  though they seem much more lax about what can exist in an R rating and what goes NC-17, which has to be pretty much porn.  (violence alone, no matter how gruesome,  will pretty much never get you above an R rating in movies, or an M rating in games... only sex gets you higher)

 

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

7/15/12 2:30:53 AM#24
Originally posted by Zook81
Originally posted by GTwander
Originally posted by Zook81
Originally posted by GTwander
Originally posted by Zook81

ESRB is a good thing. Hell recently they just asked "Why the hell isn't anyone making any AO games? We need more of those".

They know damned well why nobody is making them, it's called "retail suicide".

If they even said that, I wish I could have seen the smug look on their face as it escaped their lips. Bastads.

Don't blame it on the ESRB. Blame it on the retailers. Their quote was about stopping that nonsense.

The ESRB is a business, one that accepts payments (read: bribes) to classify games that can make or break it's chance at a shelf life. When I worked in QA there was negotitations with them in trying to make sure that it didn't get an M rating because of the amount of violence in the game, and the company would rather see it as being rated T to help improve sales (though, I personally don't see the difference). The amount of gore in a game can easily take it past rated M, and straight into AO territory as well.

Now, do you think that a bureau that holds sway over whether a title can be sold, or not, in prudent retailers isn't accomidating to lobbying? What country is this again?

Greased palms get the job done, like with any health inspector, etc.

What a bunch of nonsense. Give me proof of these bribes you speak of. All the ESRB does is puts voluntary ratings onto games. The only reason AO games don't sell is because publishers refuse to publish them, and retailers refuse to stock them. They don't stop a game from selling, if anything they just cause many people to go back and  take the AO material out of the game because their publisher doesn't like the rating.

The ESRB has come out and said "This is dumb. AO games have a place in gaming as well". Here is my link for proof.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/168266

/We_could_use_more_Adults_Only_games_says_ESRBs_Vance.php

I bet you take anything EA says at face value as well. It's not my job to convince you otherwise.

~but FYI, you *do* have to pay them to rate anything. It's not a free service, and people on the board can (and will) be bought, and it wouldn't be completely false if I said they have judged a product overly harshly compared to others for the sake of backroom deals with said products competitors. This is serious business, not a charity organization.

As for the comment on gore vs nudity, again, it depends on what way they wanna take it. Bulletstorm almost faced an AO rating for gore featuring one's 'unmentionables', while TES: Oblivion somehow slid by with depictions of Lachance's naked and castrated corpse hung upside down. It's all about who wants to raise a ruckus about what (and why).

 

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Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
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  Zook81

Novice Member

Joined: 12/17/09
Posts: 96

7/15/12 2:32:08 AM#25
Originally posted by GTwander
Originally posted by Zook81
Originally posted by GTwander
Originally posted by Zook81
Originally posted by GTwander
Originally posted by Zook81

ESRB is a good thing. Hell recently they just asked "Why the hell isn't anyone making any AO games? We need more of those".

They know damned well why nobody is making them, it's called "retail suicide".

If they even said that, I wish I could have seen the smug look on their face as it escaped their lips. Bastads.

Don't blame it on the ESRB. Blame it on the retailers. Their quote was about stopping that nonsense.

The ESRB is a business, one that accepts payments (read: bribes) to classify games that can make or break it's chance at a shelf life. When I worked in QA there was negotitations with them in trying to make sure that it didn't get an M rating because of the amount of violence in the game, and the company would rather see it as being rated T to help improve sales (though, I personally don't see the difference). The amount of gore in a game can easily take it past rated M, and straight into AO territory as well.

Now, do you think that a bureau that holds sway over whether a title can be sold, or not, in prudent retailers isn't accomidating to lobbying? What country is this again?

Greased palms get the job done, like with any health inspector, etc.

What a bunch of nonsense. Give me proof of these bribes you speak of. All the ESRB does is puts voluntary ratings onto games. The only reason AO games don't sell is because publishers refuse to publish them, and retailers refuse to stock them. They don't stop a game from selling, if anything they just cause many people to go back and  take the AO material out of the game because their publisher doesn't like the rating.

The ESRB has come out and said "This is dumb. AO games have a place in gaming as well". Here is my link for proof.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/168266

/We_could_use_more_Adults_Only_games_says_ESRBs_Vance.php

I bet you take anything EA says at face value as well.

 

 

I'm sure not going to take some random guy on the internet without proof at face value.

 

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

7/15/12 2:37:19 AM#26

Says the guy that want's "proof" of bribes. Why don't I dig up the Deep Throat tapes while I'm at it.

 

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  Zook81

Novice Member

Joined: 12/17/09
Posts: 96

7/15/12 2:40:10 AM#27
Originally posted by GTwander

Says the guy that want's "proof" of bribes. Why don't I dig up the Deep Throat tapes while I'm at it.

 

Go for it.

Don't say anything you can't back up.

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

7/15/12 2:45:49 AM#28
Originally posted by Zook81
Originally posted by GTwander

Says the guy that want's "proof" of bribes. Why don't I dig up the Deep Throat tapes while I'm at it.

 

Go for it.

Don't say anything you can't back up.

I love how concerned folk go out of their way to defend organizations that hold up a ruse of keeping your interests at heart.

Where were you when the Red Cross had to answer for all the money it laundered?

The ESRB is a business like any other, just a well seeded one that gets away with more than you could possibly imagine - or care to.

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  Zook81

Novice Member

Joined: 12/17/09
Posts: 96

7/15/12 2:50:21 AM#29
Originally posted by GTwander
Originally posted by Zook81
Originally posted by GTwander

Says the guy that want's "proof" of bribes. Why don't I dig up the Deep Throat tapes while I'm at it.

 

Go for it.

Don't say anything you can't back up.

I love how concerned folk go out of their way to defend organizations that hold up a ruse of keeping your interests at heart.

Where were you when the Red Cross had to answer for all the money it laundered?

The ESRB is a business like any other, just a well seeded one that gets away with more than you could possibly imagine - or care to.

I'm not "defending an organization". I just want to know the truth. You claimed to know it but you didn't show me anything to make me beleive that you're anything more than someone who likes to argue on the internet. To ask me to beleive you because "I was in QA once I swear" is perposterous.

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

7/15/12 2:54:55 AM#30

~and being overly defensive to the point where you'd deny the very possibility that any commitee member has never accepted a bribe of some kind is no different.

At this point you're arguing for the sake of arguing as well. My stance has been that it's open for abuse, likely has been abused, and will be abused in the future. As will all things of this nature. Otherwise these things would never be open for "negotiation" and would be a lot more "cut and dry" than it is. Minds can apparantly be changed easier than the game itself can - care to ask why?

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
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  Zook81

Novice Member

Joined: 12/17/09
Posts: 96

7/15/12 2:57:30 AM#31
Originally posted by GTwander

~and being overly defensive to the point where you'd deny the very possibility that any commitee member has never accepted a bribe of some kind is no different.

At this point you're arguing for the sake of arguing as well. My stance has been that it's open for abuse, likely has been abused, and will be abused in the future. As will all things of this nature. Otherwise these things would never be open for "negotiation" and would be a lot more "cut and dry" than it is.

Now you're just putting shit in my mouth. I've never said the ESRB is never capable of wrong doing. But I also have a hard time beleiveing that it is this huge corrupted scam that does nothing more but interfere with video game releases.

Anyways, whatever. Just one of those arguments that wont get anywhere. This is seriously the first time I've ever heard of any of this. I'd figure this kind of stuff would have been documented by now if it was true.

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

7/15/12 3:00:40 AM#32

I didn't have to put shit in your mouth, you demanded proof as if that would make a difference.

~and it's the same level of scam as slipping a driving instructor a hundo to pass the test, etc. Or paying him that hundo to make sure the asshole behind you in line *doesn't*. It's not liek the whole bureau is in on it, that's fucking ridiculous.

It's called LOBBYING. All you need is the right people on your side.

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
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  Zook81

Novice Member

Joined: 12/17/09
Posts: 96

7/15/12 3:05:39 AM#33
Originally posted by GTwander

 It's not liek the whole bureau is in on it, that's fucking ridiculous.

Ok then. I misunderstood you. What can I say? I'll admit I'm wrong.

Sorry.

I still don't really think this makes the ESRB a bad entity, and don't think anything is wrong with them in relation to the OP's post. Sure theres a few bad apples but I don't think it makes the entire ESRB corruped or bad. I'd much rather have them rate games than the government.

  NightCloak

Novice Member

Joined: 11/06/07
Posts: 456

7/15/12 3:14:07 PM#34

The notion that any organization, public or private, is more likely free of corruption than taking part in it in at least some way, is absurd beyond the point of bothering to argue about it.

 

Who the fuck cares why the ESRB exists if it can be done by profit-motivated private organization than power-motivated government?

Allowing the private company to do its thing is fine. There is nothing wrong with a rating system on games that measures the potential offensiveness of games. It keeps the mouths of countless parents shut and out of your way.

 

I'd even contend that the ESRB provides more benefit than it does in hurting anything.

  dave6660

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/26/08
Posts: 2320

"Next time I see you, remind me not to talk to you."

7/15/12 3:54:14 PM#35

The ESRB was founded in 1994.  Somehow the gaming industry did fine for many years before them and they would do fine after them.  I'm glad I didn't have put up that rating non sense when I was a kid.

On the other hand it does give a bunch of people a job, albeit a useless one.

Does anyone actually believe this stop kids from playing mature rated games (besides naive parents)?

"Why so serious?"
-- The Joker

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13121

7/15/12 4:36:27 PM#36
Originally posted by dave6660

The ESRB was founded in 1994.  Somehow the gaming industry did fine for many years before them and they would do fine after them.  I'm glad I didn't have put up that rating non sense when I was a kid.

Then perhaps you should recall what preceded the ESRB.  Sega had its own rating system for games on its consoles.  Nintendo did not, but insisted that all games on its consoles were appropriate for all audiences--and aggressively censored games to prove its point.  Nintendo didn't merely stop games from doing things that would merit an M rating; they'd likely censor anything in line for a T rating in the ESRB system, too.  And that was most of the market for video games right there.

Computers were still too expensive for the PC gaming market to matter much.  Consoles made by Panasonic, SNK, NEC, Phillips, etc. around that time had so few games and players as to be irrelevant.  Older consoles such as those made by Atari were lucky to just have moving, low resolution sprites, and didn't really have the resources to do much that was potentially offensive without being flagrantly stupid even if they wanted to.

Do you really want to go back to that world?

  Icewhite

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Pink, it's like red but not quite.

7/15/12 4:45:24 PM#37
Originally posted by zekeofev
This is why we do not have games with full nudity or excesive graphical torture that would put it in the category that retails would not sell it at.

But but but...Square-Enix wouldn't have survived without their period of Hentai games.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  Loktofeit

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7/15/12 4:54:09 PM#38
Originally posted by Disdena

First of all, just wanna throw this out there: using yourself as an example is an awful way to try to prove a point. I mean, using any one person as a single example is bad (because it's only circumstantial evidence) but using yourself is particularly bad. Of all the people in the world to judge whether you turned out okay, you are probably the person least qualified to do so. That's just how it is.

Aside from that, what "law" are you talking about? The ESRB isn't a government agency. There is no law preventing a game company from creating a game and selling it without submitting it to the ESRB for a rating. There is no law preventing a retailer from selling unrated or M-rated games to minors. Game creators choose to allow their games to be rated because it allows the consumers to make a more informed choice.

Exactly. People really need to research a topic before they rally against it. If an industry doesn't regulate itself, the gov'ts will, and none of us - players or developers - want that. It's why the movie industry created their own rating system, as well.

Switching to a more universal system of ratings in place of ESRB and PEGI is something I *might* agree with, but the removal of the ESRB leaves room for vile beasts like Tipper and the PMRC to step in and, again, NONE OF US want that.

 

  Icewhite

Made History

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Pink, it's like red but not quite.

7/15/12 5:01:10 PM#39
Originally posted by Quizzical

Then perhaps you should recall what preceded the ESRB. 

Tipper Gore and the PMRC?  Moral Majority elections?

"You cannot distract people from thinking about an unfair tax by talking about Music Appreciation. For that you need sex, and lots of it."--F. Zappa

http://www.vulture.com/2010/09/pmrc_25_anniversary.html

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  demongoat

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7/15/12 6:25:02 PM#40
Originally posted by navroan

There are only 21 games that have received (and kept) an ESRB  AO rating.  They are all because of "Strong Sexual Content".  You can decaptiate people, you can splatter blood all over the screen.  You can screw hookers in a car (obscured) and the shoot them for cash.  You will not receive an AO rating.  You show a boob -- OMG AO.  (edit - that's not even accurate... conan has boobs  [ had boobs, I dunno what it's like now, and I refused to keep paying for a beta] and it's not AO... so in hindsight the only thing that gets AO is human sex, in clear detailed view...because that's what important to censor is the reason why you were born)

The problem with the ESRB is not that requirement that things get rated or else you do not sell at all.  The problem is, it's pretty much everything goes (blood violence horrible language you name it, you'll get an M rating) till you show some genitalia or 'oh noes' a boob.

Then you magically get an AO rating.  God fobid you can't be sold at wal-mart, the world's coming to an end now.

 

Pretty much same thing applies to movies with R ratings,  though they seem much more lax about what can exist in an R rating and what goes NC-17, which has to be pretty much porn.  (violence alone, no matter how gruesome,  will pretty much never get you above an R rating in movies, or an M rating in games... only sex gets you higher)

 

most retailers are squimish about AO ratings, they get flak from the moral police and they don't sell well.

well showing genitala isn't even worthy of an AO rating, gta4:ballad of gay tony  has male full frontal nudity in it.

so it must be how extreme it is and how much of it it is.

GoW has nudity in it as well, along with conan as you said, so it must be something else.

i would say sex is really the only thing, and extreme violence and gore.  sorry but the only reason movies seem like they don't get X ratings is because the movie is forced to cut out really extreme scenes that you won't see, same with games.

 

of course in america we are pretty screwed up in our priorities, violence should be presented as AO not nudity.

 

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