Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

November 12, 2008 -

Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) have praised a new ratings supplement announced by the ESRB today. Both senators have been harsh critics of the video game industry in the past, lending extra weight to their support for the inititiative, which the ESRB is calling “rating summaries.”

The summaries, which provide additional detail on game ratings, can be accessed via the ESRB website or through sites which host the ESRB widget (like the one in GP's sidebar). The ESRB's new mobile site allows parents to check the summaries in real-time while making game purchasing decisions. The new rating summaries go into effect today and apply to all games rated after July 1, 2008.

Of the enhancement, ESRB president Patricia Vance said:

Parents can always use more help when making choices as to which games are right for their children. With our new rating summaries, which provide exclusive and unprecedented insight into the nature of the content that triggered a given rating assignment, parents will be that much more empowered in making those choices.

Sen. Clinton said:

This new supplement to the ratings is a real gift for parents as we head into this holiday season.  Parents need all the information they can get to make more informed decisions about what’s appropriate for their children.  These new rating summaries offer more helpful information than ever before to help parents to get involved and get informed.

While Sen. Lieberman added:

For well over a decade I have called upon the video game industry to inform consumers about the content in video games so they could make the right choices for their children.  One result was the creation of the ESRB rating system... The ESRB has now taken consumer education one step further with their new rating summaries, which provide a greater level of detail about game content to help parents be even more prepared to make informed game selections for their children.  I applaud the ESRB for taking this proactive step to inform video game consumers.

Also on board are National PTA president Jan Harp Domene and Dr. David Walsh of the National Institute on Media and the Family, a frequent game industry critic.

Check out Far Cry 2's ESRB page for an example of the new rating summaries.

GP: This is a smart move by the increasingly proactive ESRB. The rating summaries certainly can't hurt and the backing of Hillary and Lieberman may assist in heading off a pair of bills presently in Congress which seek to bring "truth" to video game ratings.


Comments

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

Do you really think that Microsoft will ban Halo or Sony will ban God of War if the Ao rating was destroyed tomorrow?

Come on man nobody's that stupid.

----------------------------------------------------

"What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" - Tasmanian devil

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

Of course I don't.

My point is that getting rid of the AO rating would be pointless. Any new policies they would make to selectively license M rated games after the abolishment of the AO rating could just as easily be implimented for AO rated games today.

They are just being lazy. They like to have that easy one swipe rule and it makes them look good for watchdog groups and politicians.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

Right, which is why I suggest removing the ability to have an easy swipe rule.  Force them to evaluate each game on its own merits.

I see an AO rating as pointless anyway.  It doesn't tell me anything I couldn't already glean from the content descriptors and I personally feel that when you're 17, you can play any game you want.  I've never seen a game that I felt appropriate for 18-year-olds but not 17-year-olds.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

While I am not a personal fan of shaking up the ratings when you don't need to, I will support a change if the ESRB feels the need to change it.

I have made the suggestion of having a T15 or T16 and an M18. That could even things out a bit. That way games like Halo can be T16 and GTA and Manhunt ca nbe M18.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

I think that would be a fine solution too, so long as the M18 isn't treated as an AO.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

I don't foresee console manufacturers refusing license to M rated games.  That would cost them a crap load of money.  It's possible they may refuse license on a case by case basis but if one of them decides it doesn't want a particular game on its console (because of the game, not the rating), I could live with that.

That said, I totally agree that the console and retail folks should support AO games.  Unfortunately, the rating has such a negative stigma attached to it that I don't think they ever will.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

 shit will be cool when the dems somehow achieve 59 seats and lieberman's role as THE CRUCIAL VOTE will be taken over by a socialist (Sanders)

 

he'd have a lot of free time to embaress himself with shit like this

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

I give it less than a week's time before one of them calls for federal regulation again.

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

I think it's a good idea, at least for those parents that are proactive in their child's gaming choices.  "What does 'suggestive themes' mean, exactly?"  Now if they're proactive enough, they can look it up and see if it's something they want their kids to play.  It's proabaly not going to change the landscape, though.  Some parents will see the M and prohibit the game without further insight, while others won't give a damn, or at least think that their child can handle anything (most parents worry about OTHER children, not their own, being influenced negatively by games).

I have friends with children, and pretty much all of them are game-illiterate.  I once saw one of these couples considering buying God or War for their 9 year old just by looking at the cover art.  Much to the kid's ire, I explained exactly what happened in the game, and they immediately shelved it, and looked around the store as if surrounded by live grenades.  Since then, I have bookmarked the ESRB on all my parent-friends' computers.  I'm definitely going to tell them about this new tool, as well.

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

Yep, and if they had some signs posted showing the ESRB web site for their phones, they can take a quick look and get some info for when your not around. I've had no issue trying to warn a parent about buying God of War or (this happens WAY to often) about the Grand Theft Auto series.  Some appreciate it, all kids hate me for it, and some parents have actually threatened me because they thought I was telling them what to do. 

Jeremy Powers aka Zen
Panama City, Fl.

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Editor and Host of the Zenspath Podcast (now on iTunes)
www.ZensPath.com
XBL: "PsychoticZen" PSN: "Zenspath"
Nintendo Network: "Psychoticzen", 3DS: "0860-3238-7260

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

Meh, they will surely turn heel once it's politically useful to them.

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

They might. It's politics after all.

 - Warren Lewis

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

"Can I get this Blood Guy game, mommy?" "Sure. But.. what does the M stand for?" "Uhhh ...monkeys!" "Okay!" Expecting these parents to check 'teh intertubez' for more information on said Monkeys might be reaching a bit.

******************** "Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedom

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

I loathe Hillary Clinton with an unbridled passion, but I have to say I agree with her statements on this one. Granted, this system is a bit redundant, but if it helps parents ACTUALLY parent their children and take responsibility for the content they bring into their home then I'm all for it.

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

http://www.myspace.com/hermoinefan_420 (and boom goes the dynamite)

 

wait so its still too difficult for parents to look at a game and see the M on the side of it?? seriously? *shakes head* oh well at least we arent at the whole "does M stand for motor vehicles" anymore..

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

As a parent, (even though I work in a game store as well) I can see how it would be helpful to have information like this available.  I don't see it as changing the actual content on the box but, as an example for me and my kids, what if I want to see if my younger son can play a T rated game?  I could check on my phone for more detailed information that would let me decide between letting them play the new Mortal Kombat Vs. DC, Tony Hawk, or any other number of games that a parent may say is in the "ok range" for a younger kid but may cross a few lines anyways.  I welcome it.

Jeremy Powers aka Zen
Panama City, Fl.

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Editor and Host of the Zenspath Podcast (now on iTunes)
www.ZensPath.com
XBL: "PsychoticZen" PSN: "Zenspath"
Nintendo Network: "Psychoticzen", 3DS: "0860-3238-7260

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

Any parent who willingly subjects their children to the garbage that is Mortal Kombat Vs. DC needs to be arrested for child abuse :p

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

Nah...it may be a weird idea..but I think it will be a hillarious game to play in a group though.  But it was also just one that pops to mind for those "T" rated games that can run a pretty wide gammit of content from fairly harmless, to "shouldn't this be an M?" type games.  Soul Calibur is another good example.  We love the game, but when my 8 year old is playing we try to avoid Ivy (at least in the stripper suit) when we play because I don't find it appropriate for his age, but I am ok with him playing a figting game with me. Stuff like that could be included in the summary that would be a phones internet away.  I just never see it as a problem to make more information available so someone can make an honest, well thought, decision. 

Jeremy Powers aka Zen
Panama City, Fl.

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Editor and Host of the Zenspath Podcast (now on iTunes)
www.ZensPath.com
XBL: "PsychoticZen" PSN: "Zenspath"
Nintendo Network: "Psychoticzen", 3DS: "0860-3238-7260

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

Ivy's a ridiculous character anyway. Sadly, my favorite character has now switched from mitsirugi to the apprentice. I feel so dirty. Anyway, I know what you're saying and I do agree, I just hate the way they constructed MK VS DC. At first I was thinking "They CAN'T be serious" then thought "Okay... this might be cool" then back to "Oh Jesus, they CAN'T be serious"

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

Lieberman needs to STFU and start kissing Reid's ass so he can still be a committee chair and not dropped down to the White House Sanitation Improvement Committee.

 

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Yes, I am a liberal. I also believe in a strong military, less government, and the right to bear arms. 

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

Before he can start kissing Reid's ass, he needs to stop kissing his own. Oh, wait. Politician. Sorry, carry on.

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

your sig directly contridicts your post you know.


Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

I'm from CT and extremely despise Lieberman. I'm biased, and I admit it.

 

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Yes, I am a liberal. I also believe in a strong military, less government, and the right to bear arms. 

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

you still said a man should kiss a mans ass for job security. and have a sig that says it is wrong to give up freedom for security


Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

OWNED!, good catch deuxhero

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

Personally, the old rating in which they say what the game contains on the actual box seems to be enough, but if they can make politicians happy by having a online database, more power to them. Personally, I think the politicians were just looking for an excuse to be mollified.

Also, google could probably tell you enough in about 15 seconds, but far be it for me to say that a little research wouldn't hurt.

Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries


Does this mean people will start treating games the same as music and movies?

---
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Re: Hillary, Lieberman Hail ESRB's New Rating Summaries

come on... do you really think that people will treat video games like music and movies... people have a special hatred for games

Jesus Jack Jones Thompson.... is dead... (funeral udruge, followed by Celebrate :D )

Jesus Jack Jones Thompson loves you, so kill for his amusement so we can get money for the new "People's Temple of Jesus Jack Jones Thompson"
 
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