PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on Box

March 8, 2011 -

The Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) rating board, the organization responsible for rating games in Europe, defended its decision to rate We Dare for 12 year olds and above (PEGI 12) this week, even as Ubisoft takes extra precautionary measures to warn parents about the game's content. It's interesting because it undercuts PEGI's stance.

A statement by the ratings board (found on Cubed3D) defends the decision to rate it for such a young age group, stating that "it contains mild swearing, minor assault on a human-like character and words/activities that amount to obvious sexual innuendo, explicit sexual descriptions or images and sexual posturing."

That does not sound like much of a defense to me. Ubisoft is taking a different tact, saying that the game is "intended for mature audiences" and pointing to its saucy ad campaign as evidence of that fact. Further, the company plans to add a "Parental Discretion Advised" sticker to the packaging, warning parents of "potential sensitive nature of the game content."

Why PEGI does not want to change the game's rating is baffling.

Source: Joystiq


Comments

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

Baffling?  It would be baffling for the ESRB, but this is Europe, meaning the lowest common denominator is not quite as low. 

Anyway, exactly what is the "intent" of the game?  To get people naked having sex?  Or to get them to giggle and flirt a little.  Does Spin the Bottle deserve an adults-only rating?  Twister?  This whole thing is ludicrous.

--

Charles Herold - Wii Guide nintendo.about.com

Charles Herold - Wii Guide nintendo.about.com

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

The biggest surprise here is that there is a game with a very mild amount of sex in it and PEGI gave it a rating less than an 18. Normally they're very quick to slap an 18 rating on this sort of content.

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

PEGI does not want to change the game's 12+ rating because it is not the ESRB. And the rating forms for 12+ clearly states what the PEGI representative says. It is, my impresssion, however, that Ubisoft (although being a French company) now takes its cues from their US masters - thus trying to get everyone in the world to think like the US does. Especially when it comes to racy and saucy innuendo like content. Swearing of any kind in the US will automatically give a game a 17+ (Mature Rating), partial nudity will also automatically give the game a 17+ rating in the US. The same goes for sexual innuendo and visible breast or bums. However, in the PEGI forms, a one time view of either a breast, a bum, or even a sideboob is not enough to invoke or give the game a 16+ or 18+ rating. This is written directly into the forms that people rating the game are using. And Ubisoft can stick their Parental Discretion Adviced or Parental Advisory sticker on another product. Especially when the game is being sold in Europe. I know that in the US there is a law that says that any kind of explixit content must have such a sticker on it; however, in the EU and in Europe, no such laws exist. (that I'm aware of...)

 

 

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

 Now that it is not true. The issue here is not the content of the game itself but what players are meant to do while playing the game. For instance the game contains a stripping challenge. Now you may not have a problem with a game where two adults might strip down to their underwear, but do you think 12 year old boy and girl players should be doing the same? THAT is the issue that's surrounding this game. Really ubisoft labels this game as a sexy party game that is meant for mature audiences so you have a feeling of what their intent was behind the game. Even pegi was considering rating the game higher due to the racy environment, However the video standards council rejected the idea because the game could be technically played in a more innocent fashion. For example, technically you can play the stripping game without loosing your pants and shirt. A real big question around this game is if it is making a very direct instruction and encouragement to strip down and perform other actions that most would say are inappropriate for very young teens. If the game did so, do you still think the game should be made available to players as young as 12 year olds without parental consent (which is what a 12+ rating basically means)?

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

Unfortunately you are incorrect on some of your accusations of the ESRB:

Swearing of any kind in the US will automatically give a game a 17+

Incorrect. The ESRB has many descriptors for language. Crude Humor, Language, Lyrics, Mature Humor, Strong Language, Strong Lyrics. It is not until you get to the strong end of things that you stradle the line between T and M ratings and language itself is rarely enough to push a game over that line.

partial nudity will also automatically give the game a 17+ rating in the US. The same goes for sexual innuendo and visible breast or bums.

Again, incorrect. The ESRB has many descriptors for sexual content: Nudity, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Sexual Themes, Sexual Violence, Strong Sexual Content. Partial Nudity is found in many games getting a T rating and sexual themes can be found in most T rated games and occasionally, when it is relatively mild, in E10 rated games. It is nudity and up that gets a game an M rating and strong sexual content that can push it to AO.

I know that in the US there is a law that says that any kind of explixit content must have such a sticker on it;

One last time, incorrect. There is no law requiring any kind of labeling on games or any otehr media. All ratings labels and warning stickers are done independently of any government body.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

 The parent advisory stickier does seem like it would send some mixed signals with the 12+ rating. Really if ubisoft feels the need to put such a stickier on the box that's rated 12+ then would they not agree that the game should be rated higher than 12+? And if that were the case, shouldn't it be possible for them to make some kind of appeal to the Pegi ratings board and the Video Standards Council to have the game rated 15+ or 18+ which ever ubisoft feels suits the intended audience. 

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

Interestingly, PEGI reportedly did consider raising the game's rating but the VSC shot that idea down.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

 Ya i know, that's why i suggested the idea that ubisoft make an appeal to both PEGI and the VSC. Get the VSC to reconsider their decision and allow PEGI to slap on a higher rating. 

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

There is an appeals system but I can't recall off the top of my head exactly how it works.  That said, I haven't heard news of Ubisoft going that route and honestly, who could blame them?  It's probably a bit of a time and money suck for something that doesn't matter that much in the first place.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

Why PEGI does not want to change the game's rating is baffling.

It is not that baffling at all. If they were to allow a developer or piublisher the ability to just randomly choose a higher rating whenever it suits their purpose, the ratings could potentially lose all meaning.

Its one thing to go through the processes in place to contest a rating, but it is quite another to just go around all that and just ask for a specific rating regardless of content.

If Ubisoft really feels the game should be rated 18, they should have put more racy content in rather than stuffing it full of inuendo.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

 I would disagree. The purpose of the ratings is essentially to help parents make good decisions about the type of games that they allow their children to play. Really in that context, there really is no harm in allowing publishers to INCREASE the rating. Really the ONLY party that stands to loose from self-increasing the rating is the publisher themselves. 

Furthermore i still think that this game is different than any other game since the content itself is more innocent than what the game seems to encourages players to do. In the end, ubisoft made a game that they intended to be played in a racy manner and was meant for mature audiences. 

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

The parent has more than just the rating to base their decisions on. They have the content on the back of the box. They have information on game developer websites.

If Ubisoft is serious about this being played by adults only, they need to make sure that is clear in the game description.

The rating itself is only for the content in the game, not actions made independent of the game. That is the same reason why ratings boards do not take into account online interactions or player made content. They only have what is in the game and nothing more. That is how it should be.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

Do you think it's appropriate to reflect how the player is intended to interact with the game in its rating?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

That is a very good question. I think that the rating should reflect the actions the game requires of the player.

If the game were telling players to remove their clothes, it could warrant a higher rating. But if the game is simply telling the players to be the lightest person playing to win, that is a fairly innocent request and would not in itself warrant a change in rating.

So far we don't know much about what ways the game is intending the player to interact outside an obviously adult targetted ad.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

Yep, my thoughts too.  I guess we'll just have to wait until someone actually plays the game.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on ...

*nod* I get the impression they REALLY want to build up the game as a racy/edgy title with lots of naughty in it... 'so sexy we can't even sell it in the puritanial united states!'... but it sounds like it is no more naughty then half the books you find in a children's library.

Still, I want a copy ^_^

 
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