ESRB reing of Tyranny
Little rant here..
The ESRB has been SERIOUSLY pissing me off recently. I thought the MPAA was horrible, but those guys are pornographers based on the standards ESRB uses to rate videogames.
First of all, there's that whole deal with Manhunt 2. Since no retailers will carry an Ao (Adults Only) rated game, and no game console manufacturers will allow Ao games on their systems, the ESRB has de facto censorship control over many games. They rate Manhunt 2 as Ao and it CAN NOT be released. That's too much power for any organization to have, period. And why have an Ao rating if it is the definition that retailers use to no carry a game. I thought the purpose of ratings was a guideline for consumers to accurate select games that are appropriate for them, not to deliver a black mark of censorship on any product the ESRB wishes.
How about control freaks too? The newest bunch of bullshit coming out of left field is that now the ESRB wants control over ratings AND distribution of internet trailers! Even the MPAA doesn't go that far. They want to rate trailers (which will cost money to the publishers, of course) and any trailer for a game rated Mature or Adults Only must be behind an "age gate" (those things where they ask your birthday).
What's wrong with that? First, age gates are stupid and they don't work.
Any kid will figure out immediately. Heck, when I bother to do it, "I just say I was born in 1969, just because I can."
The second problem is that they said that trailers for M or Ao games must be behind age gates. Not that the trailers are M or Ao, but that the games are. That's like saying you have to be 18 to see a trailer for an R-rated movie.
Also in that little posting is the note that the trailers for the game Dark Sector were so offensive that the ESRB wouldn't even let them be posted behind age gates. That's right. They don't just have the ability to control which games get released, but also which TRAILERS do!
Their goal of cleansing the videogame world of every nasty thought for the sake of our children is an admirable goal, but children aren't the only people who play videogames. Having the ability to outright ban videogames and even videogame trailers is just too much power, and the conservative context of the upcoming presidential election (in which videogame violence will no doubt play a part), we'll be seeing more and more control enforced at the whims of the ESRB. I have a major problem with that, and not just because I wanted to play Manhunt 2. (well maybe a little)
In the more major mediums, out right censorship takes place. With the radio and broadcast television, the FCC is psychotic - but both have private alternatives like Serius Radio or HBO. With the movies, the MPAA is psychotic, but when the movies get released to DVD these days, it's the unrated director's cut.
But what alternatives do videogames have? An ESRB rating is not only required by many large retailers (who, I should point out, have no problem selling the unrated director's cut of Hostel), but going unrated essentially guarantees that you can't sell your game at all. States are trying to pass laws which put M-rated (not even Ao-rated) games in back rooms that you need an id to get into, putting it on the same level as porn.
They rerated Oblivion based on the fact that hackers could remove female tops, and the boobs had NIPPLES! But they didn't just rerate the PC version of Oblivion. The rerated the Xbox 360 version, which you couldn't access nipples on. In both cases, the rerating costed the publishers millions as they had to recall and relabel all the games. If absolute control over distribution of products isn't enough, how about the ability to arbitrarily rerate games and put the bill of doing so on the publisher?
I just happen to think that there can be found value in any idea, even violence. Violence can send messages. Satirical messages, as used in Robocop. Realistic messages, demonstrated by things like Platoon or Saving Private Ryan. Intense messages, like Hostel or Straw Dogs. Comical messages, like Monty Python. Violence is not just one thing. It's a whole bunch of things - a whole bunch of meanings. No, they aren't all equal, but they all have value to a person adult enough to see it.
That's what this is all about. Somebody thinks something bad is going to happen. But it hasn't happened yet. It probably won't. And rather than having the balls to let our freedoms defend themselves, they force us to defend our freedoms before we are allowed to have them.I say, we release Manhunt 2, and then when the sky doesn't fall, people will either have to move on or shut the hell up
lol. Whether or not his age matters in his ranting he has some points to his argument. Call it an unjust balance of powers if you will. Too much power is being given to that organization.
Originally Posted by Jyuu
No, I think the ESRB does a great job. The fault lies in the irresponsibility of parents. It's their job to rate games. It's the job of parents to see to it that their kids don't play it.
I really fail to see where it's the ESRB's fault if Manhunt 2's status is like that.
But what irritates me more, is that ESRB was originally promoted as a healthy, happier version of the MPAA. But the truth is far worse. They are as corrupt as the MPAA ever was, but with far more power.
The fact that the ESRB is run by ESA (Entertainment Software Association, which is like a union of top shelf publishers who look after their own interests) makes the ESRB biased against smaller developers. The Godfather might get an M rating because it is by EA, while some small game from a company that can barely afford an ESRB rating in the first place might get an Ao for the same content. That's how the MPAA works with movies, and I see no reason why this won't be the case for the ESRB. But that hasn't really been a problem just yet. I'm just pointing out that as the ESRB becomes more tight assed, the people who are going to be hurt the most are the small independent developers.
They can't ban the sale of a video game. If Manhunt 2 currently does not have a platform, blame the companies that don't want the game to end of their system.
Correct it is the parents job to make sure that their kids don't get those games in their hands, so why bother to completely ban a game or make it Adult Only. If the game is rated M should the game not be out of the reach of kids under the age of 17. Now if the parents choose to buy an M rated game for their child it is their responsibility.
Originally Posted by Jyuu
Who is it that works at EB Games here? Is it Deuce22? Just ask him. I'm sure he has sold M-rated games to parents who are buying it for their 10 year old kid.
How's that the ESRB's fault here? If anything, they should be given powers to intervene in such cases. There was a big debate recently on the status of the ESRB. To function better, it needs to be given more powers.
No, what he is saying is that ESRB can give games an Ao rating and because that it wouldn't be aloud on any consoles.
I didn't say it was the ESRB's fault I said they are being given too much power on deciding whether a game should be AO or M. There is always the ESRB next to the cash register at Gamestop's and EBgame's. Also the person who sells the people games has to tell them that the game is M rated if the kid is present if not oh well. The parents should then know more and be more involved.
Also then what is the point of AO ratings if there is an M rating.