Improving the Entertainment Software Rating Board
  • I was reading through an EGM article on the ESRB where the writer commented on changes to the rating system, and was wondering what changes you guys feel would be best to improve the rating system. I
  • Games tester opinions dont get listened to, this is what ive been told by my mate. These are the people that should be making the age regulations on games as they see more of the games than anyone else. I honestly done think that any game i have ever seen should have been banned even the multi player fighter that was designed for the ps one because shortly after wu tang game was released wich was pretty much identical in play and strong violence however they also released a parental key code system that could be administrated to work on any game. This could also work like said above to prevent other cultures being offeneded as particular codes could bar or unbar these features. However as long as good games get made im happy as larry.
  • Games tester opinions dont get listened to, this is what ive been told by my mate. These are the people that should be making the age regulations on games as they see more of the games than anyone else.


    I agree with that...:clap:
  • Yeah, the fact that the raters don't play the games is really absurd to me.. now I know they might not have time to play the games in entirety from start to finish, but the should at least play a portion of the game to get an idea of the content first hand rather than watching a video of it.
  • I also agree they should play the game when rating it- not to the end but the first few chapters/ levels, at least. That should give the raters enough of an idea by then. Regarding sequels, they should be judged on their own, not having any influence from what previous games have in the series.

    As for the ratings themselves, the AO could be scrapped- they could simply refuse to rate a game that pushes past the considerations for M. Also, the final decision should be the raters themselves, not a higher up that hasn't been watching the footage.

    As for the government, I don't know why they seem to keep wanting to bring in laws that try to "protect the children" yet they infringe more on the adult gamers- after having each one shot down you would think a different approach would be tried. Why not work with the ESRB to have the ratings enforceable and not just suggestions, with stores being fined if found infringing (say, selling GTA IV to a 10 year old with no parents permission)?
  • Yeah i agree with all of that...:clap:

    Over here in the UK, most games have a Pegi rating which gives the store an idea of which age group should be buying a game - but it doesnt stop anyone younger from buying the game...That could mean that 10year olds actually could walk into a store and buy a game meant for 16year olds and over....:rolleyes:

    Still most parents will willingly buy GTAIV and other games for their underage children anyway, so i dont know where any government thinks they are going with the rating system?
    Also, kids whose parents do take note of the ratings system will still most likely be able to play these games. Be it at a friends house or a softer relatives? The fact is kids are going to get their hands on any game they want really, its pretty much impossible to stop at the moment...
    Theres one more thing. Kids in the UK are allowed a debit card at the age of 11, so they could just order the games themselves off the internet without anybody knowing...

    So the point is, in my opinion the ratings system should be improved as much as possible but do not expect that to stop a lot of children playing over-their-age-limit games. Its like films, kids can easily watch anything they want nowadays.
  • Hard nut to crack.

    I do agree that people who are rating any type of media should experience it in its whole.

    It is the government’s duty to 'protect' the users (us) from getting content we don't want/was not expecting. This is an important issue and as such resources should be invested to set up a team that can, for example, play a game to its full length.

    This should result in an appropriate rating with enough scales to describe the content of your purchase.

    These ratings should then be enforced to the stores and fined if broken.

    Of course this will not solve current problems but its always a good start.

    Banning, in my opinion is not an option and goes against individual rights. As long as it is marked and you know what you are buying nothing should be banned.
  • I don’t really think that game testers should have a say on ratings as long as the people rating are proficient in what they are doing. Game testers should know how to test a games performance in general not who is suitable for it or not.
  • [QUOTE=Zeppi;59462]Hard nut to crack.

    I do agree that people who are rating any type of media should experience it in its whole.

    It is the government
  • Rob C STAFF said:
    Whether or not the Game Raters are proficient enought at their job? I still believe that the Game Testers should be given the priority of rating the games, and then have the decision reviewed (and if too low or high, changed) by a ratings board.


    Just to make it more clear...
    • Some titles i feel are well rated and some other not.
    • To improve Game Raters proficiency they need to work out a more hands on system.
    • Game testers should focus on testing the game not rating it :) .
    • Banning should not be an option.


    These are my views :eek:

    P.S. But then if i edit my posts how will i be able to increase my post count!!! :rolleyes:

    Holly cow i love these smiles :) anyway i can coppy them to msn :P
  • The game testers have one purpose and one purpose only. To see if the game is playable and to note any and all glitches for the programmers to fix. They have and probably never will have anything to do with the actual rating of a game. The rating has already been pretty much figured out BEFORE they even get into the hands of the testers. Its just like making a movie. A script/story is written and submitted. At that point, the majority of the content is already given and an idea for the rating is established. There is a simple set of guidelines that they rate a game on....and i mean simple which of course are listed on the back of the final product of the game. If it has this much blood, it gets this rating. If it has this much language, it gets that rating. If it has both, it gets an entirely different rating all together. I agree that no matter what, kids will get their hands on these games some way or another but for them to be able to go into a store and purchase it WITHOUT an adult, is absurd. Then it should fall back on the store that sold it. Kind of like smoking. Here in the US, stores/vendors get fined if they get caught selling smokes to anyone under the age of 18. Same rules should apply for game stores. Produce ID or produce an adult to purchase it is what I say.

    Nec
  • Zeppi said:


    P.S. But then if i edit my posts how will i be able to increase my post count!!! :rolleyes:


    We're believers in "quality over quantity", zeppi- it's not the amount you have, it's what you say in them ;)

    Zeppi said:

    Holly cow i love these smiles :) anyway i can coppy them to msn :P


    Don't think so- these are a part of the vbulletin system. The person you are talking to over msn would need this type of smilie installed as well to see them.
  • We're believers in "quality over quantity", zeppi- it's not the amount you have, it's what you say in them


    Exactly...;)

    Game testers should focus on testing the game not rating it


    Yes, but surely after testing it they would have a good idea about what kind of rating it should recieve. I think they should have a big say in the final rating of a game, it makes perfect sense.
  • Imo, they wont be trained in determining such metters. Just my opinion though :p
  • Your entitled to your own opinion here Zeppi, dont worry...;)

    Anyways, i doubt the current systems for videogame ratings will change in the next few years so for the time being, the Entertainment Software ratings boards just need to get their act together. And the governments need to keep their noses out, and forget any kind of ban...;)
  • Don't worry Rob, i am right by default so :p hehehe

    Anyways, always nice to see the other side of the coin when discussing points.
  • Rob C STAFF said:
    Your entitled to your own opinion here Zeppi, dint worry...;)

    Anyways, i doubt the current systems for video game ratings will change in the next few years so for the time being, the Entertainment Software ratings boards just need to get their act together. And the governments need to keep their noses out, and forget any kind of ban...;)


    Game makers are getting bolder and bolder with the content. I'm thinking it might be possibly less than a few years that they might make adjustments to the ratings system due to this. They have crossed the language and gore barriers to the point that they cant really go any further with shock value and have only begun to venture the beginning boundaries with the sexual content. THAT is where the ratings will be changed. They have done everything from insinuating people having sex (cars rocking back and forth in Vice City) to flat out saying that they are doing it. They have yet to actually show this type of content and I think that is where the next step in M to Adult rated games will go. Its pretty much the only line they haven't crossed.

    Nec