Randy Pitchford Compares ESRB and NRA

Hey look!  An interview with Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford that doesn't go into the kerfuffel surrounding the development and release of Aliens: Colonial Marines!

Of course, that's because this interview with GamesIndustry International was conducted before that game's release.  It's a great discussion and it covers many interesting topics from violence in games to how game developers weigh the importance of artistic expression versus what's commercially viable but what caught our eye was Pitchford's comparison of the ESRB and the NRA.

"Think about the world's relationship and the game industry's relationship with the ESRB. The ESRB is our self-regulated ratings body; the industry created this body to put labels on games. Most publishers, we pay for the ESRB, but we also have this high tension relationship. They're really good at their jobs – they hold the industry accountable to fitting within the guidelines of whatever the label is and they will label appropriately. If you cross a line they will put you in a different spot, whether you want to be in that spot or not. And compared to the movie rating system, they have the best awareness and understanding of what their rating system is, and they have the best enforcement. Retail participates. That's awesome."

"Imagine if the NRA was actually advocating for gun laws; imagine if the NRA had the same relationship with the gun industry that the ESRB has with the game industry," he continued. "Instead of the NRA saying don't make any laws, now it would be like, 'F**k, the NRA's making me do all this so my guns are safer, and I get why they're doing it but it's kind of a pain in my ass.' That's how the game industry's relationship is with the ESRB. We love that it's there but we've got to deal with shit; we have to go through a process to get the rating. If we don't the retailers won't stock us, and when some of the content pushes the line a little bit they're going to call us on it and we have to deal with that. Imagine if the NRA had that same relationship with its industry, the rest of the country would be like 'Go NRA!' They could be good guys."

Source (story and pic): GamesIndustry International

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

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