Halo-in-Church Controversy Points Out Flaw in ESRB Rating System

October 14, 2007 -
From the New York Times on down, newspapers and bloggers - including GamePolitics - have had a field day recently with the news that some Christian youth ministers are using Microsoft's best-selling Halo series to attract teens to church.

The major point of contention for critics seems to be that, since the Halo games are rated M (17 and older) by the ESRB, they are inappropriate for use by church youth groups.

The problem with that logic is that the M rating encompasses too wide a variety of games, including some military shooters as well as other titles with clear good vs. evil themes, like Halo.

Also included in the M's broad swath are games with less lofty ideals such as the Grand Theft Auto titles, the ridiculously gory Manhunt series, and controversial offerings like last year's 25 to Life, which featured violence against police officers.

When you look at it like that, it's hard to blame those who criticize bringing Halo into sacred space. For the most part the critics are not gamers and have no concept of the vast difference between Halo and GTA. All they know is that the games share a common M rating, a designation assigned by the game industry itself, theoretically for the protection of impressionable youth.

For the uninitiated it's only logical to assume the content must be of a similar character as well. As somone who has played both, I'd argue that there is a world of difference between Halo and GTA. In fact, as a parent I saw Halo as digital cops-and-robbers with the player in the role of the good guy. I let my sons play it at 12 and 13. Anecdotally, I can say that a lot of their friends were allowed to play at that age as well.

On the other hand, GTA was always verboten. I never wanted to expose my kids to the pretend hardcore criminality. And Manhunt? Fuhgeddaboudit...

Now that they are older, I'd be okay with GTA, but so far there's no interest. World of Warcraft and Neverwinter Nights 2 are the games of choice lately at GP HQ.

So what's the solution?

There are those who have called for an AO (18+) rating that means something other than a de facto sales ban. Under that scenario, perhaps GTA is an AO while Halo is an M.

On the other hand, M is currently the most serious marketable rating, but leaves in its wake a four-year gap to the next lower step, T (13 and older). As any parent can tell you, from 13 to 17 is a huge span, developmentally. 

There are those who argue for something similar to the U.K.'s 15+ rating. Would the critics object if church youth leaders were exposing their young congregants to a game cleared for 15-year-olds?

They might, but probably with less force. And, they'd be making their case without the industry's own flawed rating system to back them up.

As the differences between games become increasingly nuanced, the ESRB really needs to look into fine-tuning its system to better meet the needs of those who must make game choices for adolescents.

Comments

yea, i like the idea of a T15. they did make a pretty good point too..

Good point. It is a tough one to decide though. If we remove the cap on AO (Make GTA series stuff AO but have Wal-Mart carry it), then does that mean Hentai games will also be available? Or do we create another label to confuse parents (as some have pointed out) even more.

I also like the point made in the article over where Halo stands in the M rated game area. So many people were calling foul for Halo in church when this game is so different from GTA. Plus some have already discussed the logic in gamers buying games for their children. I liked the LEGO format which was (Fantasy or Sci-fi is okay, but NO realistic) which is why there are no legitamit gang legos or army legos.

I suppose the only downside of the idea is that part of the reason for such a large seperation, I think, is to ensure that no-one can say 'Why was this game rated 15 when it's clearly an 17! It's a conspiracy I say, Rockstar are paying the ESRB to lower the rating on EA's games!!1! There's no evidence or motive, but I'm saying so, therefore it must be true!'

Part of the problem is that people like Yee and Thompson are working to an agenda, it's not about introducing any real parental help or assisting the ESRB in getting the system working in a way that helps parents in some way, it's more about using 'The Children' as an excuse to grasp power and ignore the 1st Amendment. Regardless of what the ESRB change, they will always find reason to complain, they don't want the problems fixed, they simply want more power.

I'm still convinced the consoles would refuse to license +18 games, or start selectively licensing.

Honestly, I think any tinkering would only make the situation worse. The only impovement I think needs to be made is to move the descriptors onto the front of the box as well as the back. (I know they take up space, but cover art be damned, this is far more important.) I also agree that there is room for another rating between T and M, but if you abolish AO at the same time, then M is likely to become the new AO - essentally banned.

Let' face it, no rating system is perfect. Hell, I dont even think any rating system in existence is even GOOD at its job, and the best only barely make the cut. But it's not their fault - rating systems have to be both comprehensive and idiot-proof - SIMULTANEOUSLY. They have to list every kind of possibly objectional content in the game/movie/etc., and ALSO slap a simple label on it so that those unfamiliar with the system can make some sort of judgment. Not to mention that, in the case of games, they have to do this based on video clips of the game provided by the developer, considering that playing evey game fully would be impossile, even without the poblems of user-created content, etc. It's horribly paradoxical, and I'm actually surprised that the ESRB, PEGI, and all the other game rating systems have handled the job as well as they have.

Also consider that the MPAA ratings system fails miserably by pretty much any standard - and they have a MUCH easier medium to rate. Compared to them, the ESRB is dong great.

@brokenscope

The phrase "18+" or "Adult" with regards to media in America is associated with pornographic materials, it's part of our culture. Thus, you'd probably have to go with 17+. I would say that it should just be called 17+ instead of M, both to make it clear that the game is not for children, and to make it clear that the 17+ rating is not the same as the old M (So that parents would be less likely to continue buying their child M rated games thinking they were like Halo)

the system was never flawed to begin with . . . it was intended to give parents a idea of what the game included so that they could make up their own minds

(i know several of you have allready made this point but i feel it needs to be repeated)

@ Decivre

Why would religious themes require an ID? That makes no sense. Just because your game has a strong theology in it makes it bad?

Please expand.

As for all this, I can support a middle rating between T and M.

@ Brokenscope

I would rather them selectively license games rather than blanket ban a whole spectrum of games. In a selective license situation, The console companies can refuse a straight up porn game but let the unedited version of Manhunt 2 through.

why not drop the age ratign and put the flipping discriptors in a poly/plastic cover over the front list the "top" 5.

This issue is a waste of time. The world is going to have to face the fact that Halo is played by kids as young as 8 years old. You can prove that by logging onto Xbox Live and hearing all the little kids screaming into the mic. In my opinion, it doesn't deserve an M rating anyway.

I do agree that the ESRB needs a new rating stronger then M so the simple minded critics won't be confused that an "M" rated game means that it is some hard core violent porno game. The gamers understand that there's a difference between GTA and Halo, and so do alot of Parents. So is it really that big of a deal if teenagers are playing Halo at youth group? I see no problem with it as long as their parents give approval.

@JT

Jack, with all the anti-christian sentiment perpetuated by people like Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, and yourself, it's no wonder that Jesus isn't as appealing as he used to be. If you want to go around like a mormon, saying "Hi, we're here to tell you about our religion", go ahead, but it NEVER works.
If you use Halo to get the youth to actually want to LISTEN to what you have to say, instead of shunning you, is that so wrong?
Jesus said "We are fishers of men." He did NOT say "We are fishers of men, but we can't use bait that Jack Thompson does not approve of."

Sorry for the long winded post.

@JT

Also,
CIVILITY!

Ok, this is a fairly interesting topic.

First, lemme say this. I feel the AO rating, as it's currently used, is pointless and should be discarded, completely. It should be replaced by a rating that is actually a Rating, not a banhammer.

I'd be all for an older rating on the condition that it was placed on the shelves with the rest of the games. seperating it from the other games would defeat the purpose, not to mention give certain people a reason to claim the ratings an admission of guilt.

I'm big on the idea of more mature game, but only so long as the games themselves are more then just shock value and are actually good games.

Personally, i'm the type of guy who would like a really violent action game like manhunt to be rated 18 or something so that a game can push the limits and still be sold. Otherwise games won't evolve as an art form if they aren't allowed to push the limits.


Anyway, thats just my opinion is all.

@Jack Thompson...

The solution is that church groups are to be about Christ, not Master Chief. Pretty simple, really.

Whilst I'm inclined to agree with the sentiment, it should also be borne in mind that people aren't suggesting in the slightest that in some wierd way Master Chief is the new christ or anything, what they are suggesting is that in order to communicate with modern people, you need modern methods.

Now, believe it or not, I actually don't think that Halo is the thing to do it with, not because of the violence, I played enough physically violent games as part of a church group to not be bothered by that, but more around the fact that people would be turning up for the game, not for the religion

Religion as a whole has a problem with change, many of them struggle to adapt to the world they exist in. It's a difficult challenge, how do you make ancient words compatible with modern thinking? Often this is done merely by claiming that 'modern thinking' is at fault and we should all go back to the way we used to be 2000 years ago, personally, I'm inclined to disagree with that ideal, but if religion is to carry forward it's message meaningfully, then they obviously have to adhere to the ideals that they were formed on.

Halo, I think, is not the way to go, it's a 'gimmick', but if religion wants to reach out to people in a more modern context, then it's needs to be less judgemental and more understanding, which, oddly enough, was exactly what was preached by Christ.

@JT

And you wonder why churchs are rapidly seeing there followings drop in the modern world? Church is boring, depressing, and often dishearting, and modern people, especially in america, are getting tired of it all.

Halo is in my opinion and excellent way to make the message of faith relevant to a group that does not normally have an intrest in such things as faith.

When faith finds itself becoming irrelevant, it must do what it has to, including using halo, to regain that relevance.

Course, a self serving parasite like you, probably doesn't get that.

"The solution is that church groups are to be about Christ, not Master Chief. Pretty simple, really."


Then we really should get rid of church softball leagues also. Church should be about Christ and not sports eh?

The fact that Halo and GTA both got an M doesn't mean, to me anyway, that the rating system is flawed. There is a minimum level of violent content (and other factors) that will push a game into the M area (games like Halo and Perfect Dark for example).

Just because another game overshoots the minimum doesn't mean it doesn't fit in that category. AO is useless so M is for everything from Halo on up.

Besides, here's the back of the box:

Halo 3 - "Blood and Gore, Mild Language, Violence"

GTA:SA - "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs"

So yeah, as long as games are marked appropriately I don't see why they can't carry the same rating even if they are completely different content wise.

After all, both "Hudson Hawk" and "Hostel" are rated R.

Andrew Eisen

@ Paul

correct me if I am misunderstanding (I don't go to church)
but I was under the impression that the Halo time wasn't in the middle of mass, but a separately scheduled event, designed to for people to make friends and a chance for them to get to know the pastor/ priest/whatever, who could then encourage them to come to the service, which IS about Christ.

Oh my goodness.

"The solution is that church groups are to be about Christ, not Master Chief. Pretty simple, really."

I'm actually agreeing on that part with JT. And I'm an atheist !

@DoggySpew,

I know, odd isn't it? Am I alone in noticing that since his hearing last week, Jack has, to a degree, been moderately polite in here? It's been like a breath of fresh air, I must admit.

He still slips up on occasion with blanket statements and offensive complaints about offensiveness, but he's trying at least.

@Garret
You have a point there, guess I didn't think about it that way. You're right, they probably don't play it during mass or anything, in which I don't reall y see much of a problem (besides the fact that it's technically rated M, even though Halo has always seemed like more of a T game to me.)

As for the one that said that rating theology and religious texts isn't the same as normal texts/images/whatever...I don't think that violence, even if it's against aliens or "nonbelievers," is ok for small kids...all violence is just that, violence. I don't care if you're a scientologist or Christian or Atheist, all violence is violence and should be looked at in terms of why the violence was commited and who it is apropriate for.

Sorry if all that didn't make much sense...I don't post long things very often

I disagree, the ESRB and other ratings boards aren't tasked with contextualizing the violence, sex, etc. that is in the media. That's our job as consumers and parents. Content =|= Context. GP, your entire article is filled with putting the two game you use as examples in context. You basically argue that because you find Halo to appropriate for your kids at 13, then the rating is 'flawed.' However, there are many parents that would disagree, and put the game as for 'Mature' simply because it is very violent. The ESRB, then, rates them both M, because they both have an M-level of violence. However, GTA has more things, that are contextually worse. Hence the added descriptors.

I recognize your point about non-gamers not understanding the nuances, but I like to think education is the answer here. The flaw with the ESRB is that they've got no AO that isn't a ban. That's it. And this isn't really just the ESRB's issue, you've got retailers and console providers that are to blame, too.

@BlackIce, Leftie
If retailers and console makers tried to ban games based on rating, then yes GTA would be banned because it now has the same rating that's used for porn and such. With the use of an M15 rating, the M18 ratings would need to cover anything that the M15 doesn't cover (ages 16, 17), thus forcing the rating to be used much more leniently. while Porn and the orginal Manhunt2 still fall into that rating, games like GTA and god of war would also fall under tha same rating; try to ban the M18 rating to get rid of porn and such, and you will also end up banning all the games that you DO want. The only way the console makers and retialers can keep the games they want and ban what they don't want is for them to judge on a game by game basis, instead of banning the whole rating... as a result, the M18 rating would not be a death sentence like the AO rating is...

it's basically getting rid of the AO rating and having only the M rating(though up from 17 to 18), but also making a new M15 rating for stuff that is above T but clearly below M (Halo)... y'know, that's probably how i should have phrased it in the first place; much simpiler

I remember when I first learned Halo had an M rating, I was really surprised. As you say, when you compare it to GTA, or a horror game, or even BioShock, there's nothing especially M rated about it. M is a very broad categorization. My personal opinion is that the ESRB should be more liberal with the T rating and use it to help ferret out games that are barely in the M territory.

This is what game stores need to do:

- Ask for identification for people wh appear to be

Dammit, it cut off because i used a less than sign. Never mind.

Jack, it's Sunday - a day of rest. Considering that sitting online and being a moron constitutes your WORK, I suggest logging off and beating your children or something.

jack thompson, attorney Says:
October 14th, 2007 at 3:43 pm

The solution is that church groups are to be about Christ, not Master Chief. Pretty simple, really.


You blockhead. It's revealed in the ending of Halo 3 that Master Chief IS Christ resurrected as a badass super solider.

JT, duh.... The Youth groups using Halo are using Master Chief as an allegory for Christ. I personally think the tactic inaccurate and subversive, but that's because I'm a free thinker. Halo is being used merely as a lure, as bait to attract dwindling crowds. I do not support these methods, but I am not intolerant of anyone based on race, religion, social background or anything else we use to divide the masses. I like to think that on some level we're all the same.

On the issue itself, that the M rating is not accurate, I agree. I also think that Film Ratings are not entirely accurate as to Film content. But I also do not think that content should be based entirely on age.

The purpose of a rating system is to identify what is in a product that is to be viewed or played. Every individual decides for themselves what they want to watch or not watch. Rating is a tool to make that selection easier. The same with descriptors like genre.
We use age because age is easy to grasp, but it is not accurate. We use age because of what people learn at various ages.
At around 7-9 (11 at the latest) children learn about death and accept that it is permanent. A rating with a violence descriptor today differentiates only between violence against human-like opponents and those against human like opponents and whether or not someone dies. If enemies are not actually killed or destroyed, they are just beaten then it may be acceptable for preteens. At age 13+(Grade 7+) students learn about war and combat and accept that it happens in the world. Games are rating Teen or the like if violence involves destroying enemies, but not realistically. Megaman destroys machine enemies, but they are not people and most of them are not human. Teen is a rating reserved for violence with obvious consequences, permanent death. FF XI and WoW has such ratings because although there is such death, the dead just disappear. Only when the violence involves blood, the one descriptor of its truth is the video game M rated.
At 12(Grade 6), children learn about sex and how it works. When people start having sex past that varies from person to person and family to family, but it isn't until 18 that sex becomes socially acceptable to the majority in our culture. Vulgar Language is outlawed to anyone under 18 and every medium of communication is assumed to be under the prying eyes of minors.
I think that content descriptors for these 3 factors and others should be used instead of age because I know people who don't like sex in media, but don't care about violence or vice versa or with language.
You know the ones, "You can see sex or blood, but don't swear in front of me."
I think I've run out of room for a response, so that's all I have for now.

# jack thompson, attorney Says:
October 14th, 2007 at 3:43 pm

The solution is that church groups are to be about Christ, not Master Chief. Pretty simple, really.

Well yes, but you seem to be thinking that the church has replaced Christ with Master Chief. Really it's just a social activity. Now if the church were using something like Manhunt to attract teens I can see where the problem is.

I honestly think the 'Church using a M game' being quite silly, it honestly doesn't matter. They might as well criticize the old testament for being too violent.

Halo was originally rated T and got changed about a month before release aafter Bunige had already put out a press release and cover art with the T rating. I f I remember what Matt Soell said on the Halo.bungie.org forums correctly, the issue that caused the rerating was mainly the ability to kill the NPC allies. Apparently, you only get away with killing humans in a T if it's totally bloodless, which seems like a very odd standard.

I say we have plenty of ratings already. Halo just got the wrong one.

I'm sometimes amused when people discuss the appropriateness of ratings in terms of age. I think assigning particular age ratings to particular kinds of content has more to do with personal attitudes toward child rearing and the nature of childhood than with statistical facts about the effects of violent video games upon minors. In other words, the appropriateness of ratings is largely a "religious" issue between people with different ideas about what children are able to handle, and about the family's role in molding their children's views and opinions.

Every parent who cares about what their children are watching thinks they know what's best for those children, even when they're wrong. The best the ESRB can hope for right now is to reflect "popular opinion" about a game's age-appropriateness, even if, as with individual opinion, there is little support for it.

Coming at this from a different perspective - how much extra 'allure' gets attached to a game when it moves from T to M?
How many potential buyers would think "T? Booooring! Now, M, THAT'S the ticket!"
I understand that it is an issue in the movie biz - the rating comes back to low and no one will likely go to see it. Stick in a few rude words, maybe some low-level nudity or 'adult gags' and the audience numbers go up with the rating.
I can see some game developers seeing a T15 rating as another 'kiss of death' rating - not cool enough for the majority of gamers. ;)

What flaw in the ESRB, the ESRB ratings are only there for people who are purchasing the game, not for going to church or a friends house to play the game.

@jack thompson, attorney
ever hear of a parable? It's a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson. With all the religious references, Halo is an example of a parable. Jesus himself told fictional parables to get followers and explain moral lessons, does that make him a liar?

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

@jack thompson, attorney

I never saw anything implying the church was replacing anything with a game character.

I've never trusted the rating system of movies or games. There are G-rated Disney movies that would give my young (5 and 3) sons nightmares. There are PG-13 movies I don't recommend to anyone, anytime and R-rated ones I think everyone should see someday.

Screenit.com is a great resource for movies I like to use. It's immensely detailed, but as a parent, I love it. Game reviews are everywhere as well.

I believe parental involvement is the key. It's not easy. It takes time. It takes research. We have to lose our selfish lives. We're taking the responsibility to raise our kids...not their friends, not their teachers or government or a local church.

As a youth pastor, I dealt with a lot of parents that had zero influence in their kids lives. Then, these parents, when lovingly confronted to be more involved would imply, "That's what we're paying you for." No way. A caring pastor is a shallow replacement for a loving, involved parent.

Parents, share you wisdom. Do you know the difference between murder and killing? Do you know when violence is wrong or when it's necessary? Do you know the difference between love and lust? Do you know what makes commitments last?

Lead your kids, because Big Brother will never be capable of it.

I wonder if anyone would make a fuss if they were using Assassin's Creed instead with it being set during the third crusade n' all.

Sometimes I wonder what the ratings system would be like if we had the M15, an M18 and instead of AO there was a 'P' or 'X' rating for pornographic games. What would have happened if they gave Manhunt2 a 'P' under that system? As it stands AO basically equates to such yet its vague enough to slide extreme violence under its label. The rating does say "Prolonged scenes of intense violence" but thats just a little subjective. Especially in interactive environments.

@Anonymous

Basically,he expects the world to adapt ot him instead of him adapting to the world.

@ Bloody

You was talking about the rating process due to the violence.

The pile of videos of the uncut version of Manhunt 2 I seen shows alot of the killings including the red killings and most was not worse than alot of the red killings in Manhunt 1.

If the esrb is not for censoring video games, then they would allow games like Manhunt 2 to get the M rating by telling Rockstar Games that they need to put a big warning on the front cover like Conker: Live and Reloaded did. I feel that the warning on the front cover like Conker: Live and Reloaded had would be more effective than the AO on the box.

The esrb needs to stop violating the 1st amendment and give the uncut versions of games like Manhunt 2 the M rating if the warning was on the front cover.

@Lanodantheon:
"Teen is a rating reserved for violence with obvious consequences, permanent death."

Why should characters being killed require a T rating? I'd say there's "violence with obvious consequences and permanent death" in G-rated Disney movies (granted, said death is usually by a fall or otherwise out of sight), so there would seem to be a major disconnect if that were the case.


@Ace of Sevens:
"Apparently, you only get away with killing humans in a T if it’s totally bloodless, which seems like a very odd standard."

...but if that's the case... what was I seeing in that Heavenly Sword demo?

Maybe the problem was that the game let you shoot your allies in a not-bloodless way?


@spartanmichael:
"The killings in the bible make the killings in manhunt 2 look very tame after seeing alot of videos of the uncut version of manhunt 2 and yet the bible is taught to very young children."

There's a bit of a difference between non-descriptive text and video, though. It's a lot worse to show a video in which a character is stabbed through the chest with a sword and dies painfully than to write that "[character] was stabbed through the chest, put on a rack, drawn and quartered, and left out for the birds to eat," even though the second is a whole heck of a lot more violent.

Plus, no one actually teaches the very young children the violent parts of the Bible in any kind of detail beyond "David hit Goliath in the head with a rock from a slingshot and won the battle" anyway, so it's not really a fair comparison.


I agree about the T-15 rating idea, though. Having an extra rating would probably only help matters. An alternative could be an M-C rating, for Mature-Context, which would encompass games like GTA and Manhunt where the context for the violence is questionable.

@spartanmichael
The first amendment is for the government.

@spartanmichael:

"The esrb needs to stop violating the 1st amendment and give the uncut versions of games like Manhunt 2 the M rating if the warning was on the front cover. "

Please don't start again. The last time you said the ESRB was infringing on our 1st Amendment rights you were shredded by EZK, me, and about three others (you never responded, by the way). This time, you're making even less sense. The ESRB rates games based on certain criteria just as any other ratings board. If they judge Manhunt 2 to be AO, are you really telling me that making a larger disclaimer on the box would justify changing the rating to M? The content is STILL THE SAME.

I think Halo 3 is more of an "Older Teen" title than a Mature one. Maybe label is as 15+ or 16+, the tone violence is too unrealistic to warrant an M in my opinion.

'Round here in Australia our highest video game rating is 15+ (Not to mention the second highest rating is also 15+. Figure that one out)

It seems that the world has still not yet adapted to rating video games properly.

@jack thompson, attorney

"The solution is that church groups are to be about Christ, not Master Chief. Pretty simple, really. "

Even though I'm not religious, I do agree that it is kind of a cheap attention toy.

@hayabusa75

It seems to me like your the one that makes no sense. The esrb are the ones in charge of rating games. The rating decides the fate of being able to be on systems and in stores. Manhunt 2 got rated AO for violence instead of extreme sexuality. I even seen alot of videos for the uncut version of the leaked game and the violence was not even that extreme to getting a rating that would cause the game to be censored. And guess what, it does not even matter how extreme the violence is because the game company should have the right to sell the game with an acceptable rating.

It seems to me like I make alot more sense than you do.

@spartanmichael:

You just don't get it. The console makers and retailers have set the conditions that result in the ESRB ratings having the significance they do. If the Big Three license AO games and the retailers agree to sell them, we're not even having this conversation.

"...the violence was not even that extreme to getting a rating that would cause the game to be censored."

Oh, I'm sorry, do you work for the ESRB? Are you familiar with their guidelines? Just because your idea of what violence is or isn't acceptable for an M rating doesn't mean that the ESRB should follow suit.

"...it does not even matter how extreme the violence is because the game company should have the right to sell the game with an acceptable rating."

As inane as this statement is, I'll humor you for the moment: they DO have the right to sell the games...just not on the consoles which don't allow AO, and not through retailers that won't carry them.

I asked you this before and you didn't answer so I'll ask again: what does the ESRB have to gain by de facto censorship? If they're censoring games on purpose there must be a reason, right? So what is it? And don't say they get the watchdog groups off their backs, you and I both know the anti-game crowd will never be satisfied until violent games are wiped out.

@hayabusa75

To answer your question, there is a few reasons why the esrb would try to violate our 1st amendment right with the AO rating for games that only have violence.

1. Actually the trouble making groups could of had an impact because the people in charge at the esrb would not want to deal with those groups pounding on them with letters, the media and etc.

2. There could be people working for the esrb that would have views similar to people like Jack Thompson and would only let games get to a certain amount of violence before giving the game a rating meant for porographic games.

3. Some of the people working there could be parents that would think that the material is to extreme for kids so they violate the 1st amendment by giving the game the AO rating where the uncut game will not make it on the game systems.

4. They are afraid that lawsuites will be filed on them along with the game company for giving the uncut game a rating that will allow it on game systems if a violent act happens.

There is some of the very possible answers.

There is so many answers as to why video games have no effect that causes violence.

No matter what happens, the game companies have the right to get a rating that allows the game to be on the game systems.
 
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ZenMatthew, the 3DS already has GBA games in the form of the ambassador tittles. And I an just as curious about them not releasing them on there like they did the NES ones. I do like them on the Wii U as well, but seems weird. And where are the N64 games?07/28/2014 - 10:40am
james_fudgeNo. They already cut the price. Unless they release a new version that has a higher price point.07/28/2014 - 10:19am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, It most likely is. The question is whether Nintendo wants to do it.07/28/2014 - 10:12am
Matthew WilsonI am sure the 3ds im more then powerful enough to emulate a GBA game.07/28/2014 - 9:54am
Sleaker@IanC - while the processor is effectively the same or very similar, the issue is how they setup the peripheral hardware. It would probably require creating some kind of emulation for the 3DS to handle interfacing with the audio and input methods for GBA07/28/2014 - 9:30am
Sleaker@EZK - hmmm, that makes sense. I could have sworn I had played GB/GBC games on it too though (emud of course)07/28/2014 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, the DS has a built in GBA chipset in the system. That is why it played GBA games. The GBA had a seperate chipset for GB and GBColor games. The DS did not have that GB/GBC chipset and that is why the DS could not play GB and GBC games.07/28/2014 - 7:25am
IanCI dont think Nintendo ever gave reason why GBA games a reason why GBA games aren't on the 3DS eshop. The 3DS uses chips that are backwards compatable with the GBA ob GBA processor, after all.07/28/2014 - 6:46am
Sleakerhmmm that's odd I could play GBA games natively in my original DS.07/28/2014 - 1:39am
Matthew Wilsonbasically "we do not want to put these games on a system more then 10 people own" just joking07/27/2014 - 8:13pm
MaskedPixelanteSomething, something, the 3DS can't properly emulate GBA games and it was a massive struggle to get the ambassador games running properly.07/27/2014 - 8:06pm
Andrew EisenIdeally, you'd be able to play such games on either platform but until that time, I think Nintendo's using the exclusivity in an attempt to further drive Wii U sales.07/27/2014 - 7:21pm
Matthew WilsonI am kind of surprised games like battle network are not out on the 3ds.07/27/2014 - 7:01pm
Andrew EisenWell, Mega Man 1 - 4, X and X2 are already on there and the first Battle Network is due out July 31st.07/27/2014 - 6:16pm
 

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