ESRB Changes

A story on NYTimes.com is titled "Busy Job of Judging Video-Game Content to Be Ceded to Machines," though that's a little misleading, as what's really happening is that the ESRB will begin giving games ratings based on surveys filled out by the developers, though they add that: "Major retail games — the ones advertised on television and stocked by Wal-Mart — will still be evaluated by real people. For now." They explain that there eventually be post-release testing: "All games rated via this new process will be tested by E.S.R.B. staff shortly after they are made publicly available to verify that disclosure was complete and accurate." They do note that the games don't actually get play-tested under the current system either:
The human game classifiers who will soon be ceding work to machines don’t actually play the games. Instead they watch a DVD submitted by a game’s publisher that is supposed to include the raunchiest and most violent scenes, if any. So they have not been experiencing games as they are played.
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Re: ESRB Changes
Apr 18, 2011, 19:20
Dev
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Re: ESRB Changes Apr 18, 2011, 19:20
Apr 18, 2011, 19:20
Dev
 
You know, if you watch movie interviews or MPAA ratings discussions with directors, they often are able to get the rating reduced to an R instead of NC17 on appeal because of the movie context, i.e. what happens in the surrounding minutes, not just the scene itself. For example, if its a comedy thing, or art thing, its more likely to have allowances made.

If the ESRB is like this (and I have no idea if they are) this change just means they will be more harsh on rating since they only see 30 second video clips of the most explicit scenes.

Oh and "stocked by Wal-Mart" doesn't mean "major retail games" to me. I've seen total crap junk there.

The Half Elf wrote on Apr 18, 2011, 17:15:
This is EXACTLY how it is Creston. I worked at a Gamestop during Xmas and let me tell you it was sad. Roughly 1 in 20 parents buying a game for their kids actually cared about the rating and told the child that they couldn't have it. The rest didn't even bat a eyelash when we told them it was M rated and the reason's it was M rated.
I'm impressed the store informed them, and even more disgusted with the parents who were verbally informed and still got it.
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