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Reply #64: The ESRB ratings system has been around since 1994... [View All]

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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-08-07 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #60
64. The ESRB ratings system has been around since 1994...
It is comparable to the other, more well known, voluntary rating system the MPAA, however, unlike the MPAA, which is an industry association that ALL major movie studios signed up to, and also controls which movie theaters get which movies, the ESRB doesn't have that type of power. For over a decade, the ESRB has existed, and most major game studios and distributors have used the system since it was established, however, they still don't have the control of the MPAA. Mostly this is because, up until recently, most retailers did not enforce the system that the ESRB has been using.

Most commercial games use retailers, department stores, malls, and video game stores, as a means to reach customers, and most of these store did NOT enforce the ESRB ratings. A child could theoretically go in and buy an M rated game anytime they wanted, and the ESRB, nor Game makers themselves, could do anything about it. Now, at least, the system is slowly but surely being enforced by many retailers, some of the largest department stores are beginning to enforce it, and even the small game shops are also beginning to enforce it.

Of course, the interactive nature of games themselves also is a problem, and makes things more complicated, in addition to additional things, such as hidden "Easter Eggs" or unused portions of data or code that the ESRB and most customers never access. There are also free games on the Internet which are never reviewed by the ESRB nor can they be. When any chump with a computer and some programming skills can make a game, its rather hard to keep track of that.

While, in the case of Rockstar a couple of years ago, had some blame, particularly in saying the "Hot Coffee" mod was NEVER a part of the game, this certain flap cannot condemn an entire industry, no more so than the nude image found in "The Rescuers". Should we say that the MPAA should have raised the rating of a G rated movie like the Rescuers because of that image, one that cannot be seen without using a Digital player?

Of course, while I agree that bringing this up now is somewhat disingenuous towards Hillary, and less so towards Holy Joe, who deserves the lion's share of criticism. I do find it disconcerting that such blatantly Unconstitutional legislation is ever considered by any Congressperson. All legislation that attempts to regulate the content of video games or movies has been overturned in the courts, both at the state and federal level. Shouldn't there be a time when the government should just give up on stuff like this, and instead rely on public pressure and education to win out?
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