December 06, 2005

What Do You Think?

Following up on the last post, I thought I'd find out what you guys think. Here's the official ESRB ratings and content descriptors that are used on games today. What are its failings? What does it do right? What more could the ESRB be doing? If you like, and for extra Ra points, you can devise your own system that you think better represents the objectionable content in a game.


Unknown said...

Actually, I have a question. I hear a lot that the ESRB rating system is broken. One of the articles linked to in the previous post includes a quote describing it as "broken beyond repair".

What are the specifics of the complaints against the ESRB? I've never really had a problem with the ratings given. Pretty much every rated M game I've ever played deserved to be Rated M.

I think my only complaint about the system is that nudity seems to be rated more harshly in video games than in film. There's a sex scene in "Indigo Prophecy", for instance. In a movie, a boob-shot would have been damn near obligatory. I doubt the game could have gotten away with that. That ain't right.

Noumena said...

I think other people have complained that the ESRB is much more tolerant of violence than sex. Notice that games rated T are allowed 'violence' and 'minimal blood/gore', but only 'suggestive themes'; anything the ratings board considers sexual or 'strong language' gets you a M. These same criticisms get levelled against the MPAA ratings, too, who give ridiculously violent horror films an R while merely raunchy films have to trim things down to keep from getting a NC-17.

MosBen said...

Actually, while plenty of people have criticized the ESRB ratings for being too strict with sexual content, the people that most frequently use the word "broken" are the people advocating against games generally, not the people advocating for a more lenient stance on sex. To that end, Drew, I'm not entirely sure exactly what they mean by broken, but I do remember somebody bringing up the Hot Coffee mod while on that same rant. If I were to flat out guess I'd say that their complaint is that the ratings are too lenient with everything, that is, that the level of violence allowed in the T category is not suitable for teens and the content allowed in M category games should be restricted like porn.