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Friday, July 15, 2005

New ESRB Ratings

It's going to go something like this, with a simple but strict delineation:

KIDS: Only cartoon violence is allowed.
TEENS: Violence may be prevalent and realistic, but there must not be any blood.
MATURE: Violence of any kind involving blood.
ADULT: Depicting that a man actually has sex with his girlfriend.

Oh wait, my bad. That's the current system. The fine line here is that any scene which actually visually shows sex is going way too far, but any auditory or other suggestion that sex occurs is probably OK. For instance, God of War features a rythm sex mini-game similar to what is in the GTA Hot Coffee mod, but the camera turns away just as a shipgirl is about to fellate Kratos. So that makes it OK for a seventeen year old to watch it.

If they showed that, you'd have to wait a year. But if Kratos' bloody evisceration of his foes were, you know ... just a little less bloody ... you could probably play God of War before you were able to drive.

Course since a lot of parents would buy it despite the rating, since the consumer advocacy groups have largely failed to convince them of a problem, that's all rather moot. Apparently the real reason to avoid an Adult rating for a game is that fact that Wal-mart won't carry it. So in other words, Wal-mart has video games with violence at any speed, but puts the brakes on any kind of sex?

Is sex really that much worse than violence? It hasn't been in my experience.

1 comment:

Brinstar said...

WAL-MART is one of the largest retailers of video games, unfortunately. Even the music industry bows to their selling power (clean lyrics versions of albums).

One of the (many) problems with WAL-MART is that their staff in the video game department are not knowledgeable enough to give good advice to parents. There are exceptions, of course, but in the main, they won't know as much about game content as people at GameStop/EB.