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Second Take: Banning Games and Manhunt 2

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Should there be an Adults Only rating?

Total: 37 votes

  • Yes
  • 71 %
  • No
  • 30 %
June 22, 2007 5:39:24 PM

In the wake of Manhunt 2 receiving an Adult Only rating, Ben Meyer and Rob Wright discuss the changing climate for game ratings in The U.S. and abroad.

Watch Video

How do you think we should change the ratings system? I'm not sure, but it seems like some changes are in order.


More about : banning games manhunt

June 22, 2007 6:16:20 PM

Nice report. I think the US ratings system is fine. The real issue in the US is that private companies are banning art (Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft). There is a good argument here that companies should be able to make games compatible with consoles without the manufacturer's license.

The UK ratings system however is seriously flawed because in that case the government has effectively banned the game.

Sometimes I wonder if Rockstar is intentionally stretching the limits with the Man Hunt series to see what they can get away with in GTA. The game itself doesn't look terribly interesting.
June 22, 2007 9:48:03 PM

I personally do not mind an AO rating any more than an NC17 rating on a movie. Honestly, I do not see it as a "scarlet letter" as you guys put it only because I have watched NC17 rated movies w/o issue. Sure, the market is not large for them, but then that is b/c of their content and not the rating. (Most sit back and do the "unrated" thing now anyway...) but then you also have movies that totally SUCK but push a limit on one are just to GET that "scarlet letter" so that some word of mouth will be generated and ppl will see it.

but I digress...

The rating is not what bothers me. What ticks me off is the double standard that is carried in all forms of media entertainment. Movies can get away with ALOT and still be sold at walmart next to the next spiderman flick or an episode of Barney. Music can have the most vile lyrics and only get an "advisory" sticker on it at best. (much more gets by w/o even that as rarely are the entire albums listened to)...

...but games? Nope, those are for kids. Lock it down.

I feel that the same standard should be held for all of these forms of entertainment. We all (read: ignorant parents, reporters and politicians trying to get a political soapbox) need to understand that movies, music and video games come in forms for all ages. If you are ignorant to assume that just b/c Abel Ferrara's "Bad Lieutenant" is a "movie" and spice1's "AmeriKKKa's Nightmare" is "music" that your 6 year old can listen to or watch it... everyone on this planet would call you an idiot and some government agency would take your kid away and/or lock you up.

Why should it be any different for "games"?

My point is this:

politicians and reporters need to quit bellyaching over this and move on to something genuinely important.

Ratings boards (especially in the UK) need to back down a bit and rate all media based on the audience it is intended for. (which means that AO can be fine, and M and T really need to be for those audiences)

Parents need to get a clue and figure out what their kids are doing. Take back the ground that have been given up. YOU ARE THE ADULTS. you can say "NO" to a game the kid wants. If it is rated "M"... you probably should think twice about letting your 13 year old have it.

Lobyists just need to stop it. (most of them are part of the above clueless parent group) If your kid, or one you know bought a game and you were "shocked" at the content... Then take charge as the adult and clean up their lives! Legislating rules for good parents is not the answer, EDUCATING parents to actually BE good parents IS the answer.

Store owners (small and large) need to keep music, movies and games that are rated for adults out of the hands of unsupervised kids. Snoop Dogg is not for 8 year olds, and neither is Saw or Gears of War to be quite honest. They are all rated WAY above that.

Basically, I believe the system is all there and works just fine (at least here in the US) if all the idiots would just start paying attention and quit whining about how dumb they are.

</my 2 bits>
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June 22, 2007 11:00:31 PM

i would much rather have a violent video game labeled AO.
1st because children shouldnt even be knowing about such games.
2nd an most important:

the creation of these rating systems work both ways.

the esrb provides me with a list, to find only The Most Brutal & Violent of video games to play.

if i want a game to go on a virtual raping spree, all i have to do is call up the ESRB website.

this is also the same with the rating & content system of films an tv shows.

this rating system allows me to tell the DVR to record programs based on ratings & content.
if i want to record only films that have brutal & graphic content such as rape.

they gave us the tools, to do that.

they are much more messed up than anyone has yet realized.
June 22, 2007 11:26:25 PM

The game makers can simply make changes to the game in order to get it an M rating instead.

IMO if the game sucks who cares what the rating is I won't buy it anyway.

With out going into a rant I agree with a lot of what sojrner posted. I wonder how they come to these conclusions as well.

If parents were responsible and used good judgement we wouldn't even need a rating system.
June 22, 2007 11:53:26 PM

no game should have any rating.

99.9999% of all humans care nothing for the rating.

a M rating wont stop my neighbors 3 year old son from playing GTA SA (i even played that game with him.

but ratings like M and higher only reduces sales at some stores

(ps most stores will sell you games with any rating no matter what age you are)
June 23, 2007 12:44:59 AM

This is nonsense. Honestly. People will still play it, but this one will be pirated, not bought. Microsoft loves to jump in to stuff that is none of their business get the hell out of other developers games. This whole new 'Games for windows' heading must die. They won't deal with manhunt 2. Honestly I *wont* buy a game with that heading on it. Unless they get rid of that ugly thing i wont buy a game with it on it.

The fact that they are being so underhanded about the way they deal with this is not on. They should drop it to 17, they just hate Take2. If it wasnt for take 2 we would not have Max Payne. Not that rockstar need the dough but this is completely unfair.

I am willing to bet that you be able to buy manhunt 2 over here in the free world in any pc shop and it will be on display too.

Not that i like manhunt, it is a little TOO screwed up for me.
June 23, 2007 7:04:20 AM

Not that i like manhunt, it is a little TOO screwed up for me.

and see, that was my point earlier... you know what you want to buy and what you don't want to. Mainly b/c you pay attention to what it is you are looking at. (err... or something)

anyway, the ratings help you (and parents) to figure that out (or at least they should if they were given in a fair and balanced way... not sure yet if that is happening)

censoring and/or banning does not accomplish this. If anything it causes more hype and (as mentioned above) more theft. (movies and music are in that spot too)

education and responsible parents are the only real way to make everything work.

Rock on.
June 23, 2007 9:21:51 PM

I completely agree with sojrner.

If people try and control the media they will only encourage resentment toward censorship. Rather than trying to control the world, they should be helping to inform and educate parents. Afterall, until age 18, the parents are (legally) responsible for a child's actions. It is the children who are deprived of any structure or accountability that end up being the tragedy on the front page.

Whether it's suicide or a massacre, the parents are absolved of responsibility. And the ignorant masses are happy to blame the games rather than admitting the part they played in doing nothing to prevent it.

THE PROBLEM IS NOT THE ESRB. The problem is the parents who wont take the time to review the media. The ESRB has made it as simple as possible. If you wish to know the exact nature of a specific title, it's on the box (or

Sorry if this whole post seemed like reiteration.
June 24, 2007 2:17:05 AM

I think it is refreshing to see that it is not just the presence of a female nipple that is igniting fear in the hearts and minds of Americans and Europeans. 8O

They are actually afraid of violence for a change.
June 24, 2007 5:20:48 AM


to all of you reading that have kids. Stay involved in their lives. Don't let the TV and computer be their main source of interaction. Play games WITH them. Take them to ball games. Hang out with them. They are too valuable to let go of.

if you do not (yet) have kids, then when you do make sure they are your focus.

absentee parenting is the root of all the worlds current problems. In all countries. Not saying to smother your kids, but don't let them get too far away either.

If we do not take the time for our children, we are then but one generation away from destruction.

I am not trying to make this a (really) heavy thread here. Just adding (more) focus on the real problem. That is the end of my heaviness. I will be light and cheery from now on. ;) 
June 24, 2007 9:50:22 AM

And remember, corporal punishment is a GOOD thing.

Beat your kids.

Beat them good.
June 25, 2007 1:03:46 AM

I'm a bit confused about the opinion of Ben Meyer and Rob Wright. They do not state that they are against the rating of Manhunt 2, but their tone indicates that they are (Scarlet letter ratings) (Surprised of the controversy).

My impression is that they are crying hypocrisy in regard to the rating system. It is also my impression that Ben and Rob like these kinds of games. With that in mind it is conceivable that they come across as being 'offended' by the rating of Manhunt 2. Hypocrisy is a part of the human condition and can be found everywhere. "Many of us believe that wrongs aren't wrong if it's done by nice people like ourselves." ~Author Unknown

It is my humble opinion that most people do not like the content found in Manhunt 2 and other violent games. The industry is just now coming to grips with this, due to the fact that males 15 to 35 drive sales of this content. Everyone else is becoming aware of these games and are applying political pressure. (No surprise on my part)
June 25, 2007 2:03:02 PM

I'm all for ratings and the enforcement of them, but i think it's dumb that companies won't carry the games. I think there should be more adult only games. I can't stand the freakin whiny ass little voices over comms. It'd be awesome if there were more AO games and it'd be awesome if dumb ass parents would pay attention to what their kids are playing for a change. No kid should be playing a game where you run around beating up hookers. WTF kind of parent lets their kids play, or even see that kind of thing... I personally don't like the GTA series though so I'm in the minority i guess. But I love some violent games like Gears of War. That's crazy with gore, and I don't think little kids should be playing it, but i should be able to.
June 25, 2007 2:26:23 PM

It is my humble opinion that most people do not like the content found in Manhunt 2 and other violent games. The industry is just now coming to grips with this, due to the fact that males 15 to 35 drive sales of this content. Everyone else is becoming aware of these games and are applying political pressure. (No surprise on my part)

IMO though it is the pressure that is unwarranted. So what if there is "objectionable" content. That is what the ratings are for. Just like movies and music, if you don't like that stuff simply look at the rating and don't buy it.

No political pressure is needed here any more than on a movie like Hostel. (which is none)
June 25, 2007 4:27:58 PM

I'm a bit confused about the opinion of Ben Meyer and Rob Wright. They do not state that they are against the rating of Manhunt 2, but their tone indicates that they are (Scarlet letter ratings) (Surprised of the controversy).

My impression is that they are crying hypocrisy in regard to the rating system. It is also my impression that Ben and Rob like these kinds of games. With that in mind it is conceivable that they come across as being 'offended' by the rating of Manhunt 2. Hypocrisy is a part of the human condition and can be found everywhere. "Many of us believe that wrongs aren't wrong if it's done by nice people like ourselves." ~Author Unknown

Well, here's my position:

But to summarize, my feeling is that 1) I find it hard to believe that Manhunt 2 is worse in terms of violence than the first Manhunt (which I didn't like) or any other ultra violent game out there today, 2) the ESRB standards for rating games are not consistent 3) we do need an Adults Only rating for games, but it doesn't make any sense whatsoever to have AO games made for an adult audience next to impossible to find while M-rated games are available in every store for kids to buy? No, it doesn't.
June 25, 2007 5:18:08 PM

What interested me most about this decision was the ESRB gave the AO rating to a violent game rather than a game with explicit sexual content as it had in the past.

Echoing others in this thread, I think it is up to parents ultimately and ratings can help them make more informed decisions.

The AO rating however is different from the others (despite restrictions very similar to an M rating) in that it is not used to help someone make a choice, but to censor the title.

Everything else aside, scary movies and games freak me out anyway. I'd rather Viva Pinata.
June 25, 2007 5:26:59 PM

While i agree with a little of what everyone has said I want to look at it a little differenlty.

GTA is a fun game (notice game). It is not meant for kids and should be AO rated. There is no reason for anyone younger than 18 to be playing this game. This is the fault of the parents not the game maker or store. Your kids are your business. If Johnny can go by Dave's house and play it but you disallow it at your house then Johnny shouldn't be going to David's at all.

Manhunt in and of itself is just about cruelty and violence. There is no point to it no reasoning and no good in it. And I am guessing the second game will be more of the same X 2. Stop questioning if the game is violent enough or if there are boobs in it. Just like any of the postal games there has to be a stopping point for game makers. No one adult or child should enjoy some of the sheer cruelty there is in some games. And game makers are pushing it calling it art. How many people out there would like to play "Jeffrey Dahmer" the game. I know there are people out there who would probably give it a chance. I don't want to know those people.

I don't want people telling me i cannot play a game or read a book or watch a movie. But there should be a limit to what the game makers are allowed to create. Do you think that pedofiles should be able to write books about their fantasies? Would that be art? What if rapists decided to make a game where you co do what they dreamed of? What we need is more human beings and less people who don't think. Parents need to take responsibility. My son and daughter will be playing games it is just a fact. But they will not be playing anything that I (notice the I) don't think is appropriate.

About the opinion of Ben Meyer and Rob Wright. I believe you have your opinions. But most games don't have over the top violence to anything but aliens or something not of this world. In Gears you can take your gun and saw an alien in half. Know any aliens that you can call and say "hey they are messing with your people...they are racists because they wouldn't do that to a human". No. Most game makers don't take violence very far in terms of humans or animals. GTA is one of the few that probably has too much violence and shouldn't be available in store. Yes beat me with your opinion stick but these games whether you want to believe it or not are affecting us and our kids. But it is everything. The movies are way over the top in terms of violence and nudity and language. Why isn't someone beaching about them? Have you read any books lately. That is where the violence is. But again there are no rapists/pedophiles writing books. And books don't have warnings or rating systems on them. Why? Because you have to read and use your imagination. Music today is filled with violence and hate and language that would make sailors blush. But you can buy it and listen at just about any age.

I don't blame video games for humanities woes i blame us. But i still believe there should be a limit to the kind of violence people can interact with.

Sorry long rant. Now you can pummel me. :lol: 
June 25, 2007 5:33:52 PM

I agree w/ your take Rob. Good article.

if Hostel2 is ok... then manhunt2 should be ok.

consistency, thy name is ESRB
June 25, 2007 5:47:37 PM

I do not think anyone is blaming games for the woes of humanity.

I do not see anyone saying the game does not have boobs and so should not be AO

I see ppl complaining about a lack of constancy. it is an "all or nothing" type of thing here.

You say there is nothing good about manhunt 1 or 2... is there anything "good" about the recent torture-porn movies in theaters?

"good" for "entertainment" is subjective at best. I am not saying that truth or even real goodness is relative, but what entertains an individual IS.

I am not a fan of manhunt at all. Nor do I like movies like Hostel. Just not my thing personally and I find both rather distasteful. My issue is that #1: kids should not get this stuff. period. and the only way to assure that is if parents get a clue. #2: The same rules should apply to ALL entertainment when it comes to ratings and availability.

games, the machines they run on and the stores you buy them from are not "kid-only". Adults buy them and play regularly. (many grew up on the first video games) Movies are the same way, as both the flick, the machine they play on and the store they are bought from are not kid-only.

Rate, sell and police them the same and use a solid metric to do it. Give us truth and not a mutant amalgam of opinion and taste.
June 25, 2007 6:50:44 PM

I think that a lot of us are of the same opinion here. There is nothing wrong with giving a game an adult rating if it merited (in this case, possibly not). The issue is that if a game (or movie) gets an AO (or NC-17) rating, then it is virtually banned. I personally wouldn't care if a game received an AO rating, as long as I could walk into my local store and buy a copy. Just put it behind the counter and fine retailers that sell to minors. It works for cigarettes and alcohol, why not games? I guess we as citizens need to let the retailers know that we won't boycott their stores just because they will sell adult content to adults.
June 25, 2007 7:21:25 PM

I never liked GTA, and was disgusted by Manhunt. Banning the game will not help tho, but parents need to be more aware of what their kids are playing.

Violence for the purpose of violence is simply awful. Killing space aliens is a bit different than the depiction of killing actual people. Re-enacting a 1942 war is not that bad either, after all the 'victims' are fully capable of doing what you can do to them, to you. We must all come to understand bashing innocent people's head (although virtual) with a baseball bat to get their car or a few dollars bonus is different than many other types of violence seen in most games.

Beat anyone in GTA and you have your dollar bonus. Beating anyone in a game should be possible for the open-end feel to a game, but why the bonus?

I am not saying violence in computer games will lead to actual violence or actual killings. But think on the long run it contributes to the development of a new society where other people's lives are less important, and people are less humane towards eachother.
June 25, 2007 7:49:10 PM

Games are not the only thing to blame, thats why i mentioned music and even books.
But human life has worth. Kids playing these games don't have a good basis on what is real and what a game truly is. Because alot of parents just aren't PARENTS.
"Violence for the purpose of violence is simply awful."

Thanks for those words. I couldn't have put them better.
June 25, 2007 8:07:33 PM

There is nothing good about the movies like hostel and such.

You are correct in saying all things should be treated equally and not have such a lopsided policy. This game does DESERVE the rating. Postal deserved it and so did GTA. But they didn't get it. So maybe from this point someone on the ESRB has a conscience?

All I am saying is the standard is already to low. Any game that depicts this type of violence (violence for the sake of it) should have an AO rating. But at some point (SAW/HOSTEL) things shouldn't be made at all. The problem is the growing number of people who WANT to see stuff like that. When i read the info on SAW my first thought was "you have to be pretty sick to sit there and think of something like this". It wasn't "I can't wait to see this". But our world and our society is Falling and Failing. I live in Louisiana, in the news there was a gym coach who got busted for taking pictures of little girls (age 11-16) at a water park. This IS the type of person who would watch certain movies and view certain websites. My whole point is that if this types of movies and games give an avenue to thinking its OK to do these things. Even if its just a game/movie/music (entertainment)
June 25, 2007 8:08:35 PM

First of all, games should NOT be banned, in regard to the right to freedom of speech (In countries that don't have such rights, sucks for them lol).

What are reasons for banning? Just because the game is overly violent? If it's so violent, then people wouldn't be playing them. Or if it's the violence that sells, then why are they trying to censor it? Censorship goes against freedom of speech, plain and simple. Video game developers should NOT have to censor their own works. If I was a rich developer like that, I would just pay some hackers and mass produce a "bootleg" version of the game sold off the streets or maybe sold off the internet in pc version for cheap or for free, purposely to go against forced censorship.

And since putting AO ratings on a game is almost like banning (nobody would be able to buy the game), AO ratings should be thrown out the window. And since AO is only one year ahead of M, might as well have M be 17-infinity.

In regard to educating parents to take responsibility, do you really think that would ever completely happen? Sure steps could be taken to boost education of parents, but such progress would take years if not decades. Even looking at the next generation, does it really seem like George Bush is advancing education? I'm still in high school, and I can tell you that 99% of my textbooks are liek from the 70's.

In regard to the ESRB not actually playing the games themselves, they really shouldn't be rating the games then. Or maybe it's cuz they got no skills to beat the game?

Why do people think violence is bad? Complicated answer. My best guess is that violence it's too moral. Hammer to the back of the head kind of thing doesn't seem too moral. And people don't like that.

Will violence ever just go away? I HIGHLY doubt that. FPS is a big genre, and it's hard to picture a solid fps game without any shooting. Though RTS games aren't too violent, it's hard to picture one without any battling going on. Sure you can take away blood. Sure you can make it seem like the enemy just disappears rather than die in a pool of their own blood. But would it really still be enticing?

If the average age of the gamer is about 30 years old (hella mature enough for anything you throw at them), then why is violence in games too much? Hell, I started playing mature games when I was 8 and I'm just fine. 99% of people see the fine line between virtual and reality.

The bottom line is this: you may think such insane violence is so bad that it deserves censorship, but there are people out there (like myself) that are in love with insane violence. I love blood. I love how when I shoot someone in the face in an fps game, their blood splatters from their face.
And then there are people out there that oppose any form of censorship. The ESRB shouldn't get paid for just watching videos of a game (then again, if they were paid to play the game, there'd be too many applicants :p )

Someone should just create their own giant company bigger than Sony or Nintendo or Microsoft. And then add in a giant retailer bigger than Best Buy or Target or etc. And then sell any game regardless of what it's rated.

As for movies and music, let's not bring them in; it'd only probably force censorship on them too :p 

Sorry for my long long rant, but if everyone that opposed violence in video games, the world would be 10x smarter.
June 25, 2007 8:21:59 PM

ok, I think I understand what you are saying. and I agree.

incidentally, the first SAW movie was not very gory at all. No sex, just a very gritty movie that was high on atmosphere. (yes, there was blood etc, but compared to many others it is mild) It had a very "real" texture/feel to it but left alot up to the imagination which is why it was pretty good. (some scenes drew you into the tension so well that they were unsettling, but not b/c of the violence per-se) The point of it at the end was actually really good too. I am not saying it is a happy stroll through the park, but I found merit in what it was trying to do. I barely finished the 2nd one b/c of the turn to more graphic violence. (and much lamer ideal) Never watched the 3rd. I have never seen Hostel based on reviews and friends suggestions. I have no desire for that stuff at all. I only use that movie as a reference point compared to games. Based on scenes I have caught in it and what I have read in reviews Hostel is much "worse" than most games.

but I digress...

regardless of where the current "line" is that determines what is NC-17/AO does not fix the issue of how we determine where a movie/game is in relation to that line. I think we are agreeing on this. 8)
June 25, 2007 9:15:12 PM

Am I the only one here that really likes gory movies? For me, the more gore, more violence, more of pretty much anything and everything that society says is wrong is exactly what I want in my video games / movies.

I want to be able to sit down and play a game where you beat children with pool cues. Or a game called 'Endangered Species Tycoon' where you buy / sell panda bear livers. Or a game where you play a terrorist trying to blow up government buildings.

These are just GAMES, not real life, I don't understand why people have such a problem with exploring social taboos in a fantasy world. Just because I think its fun to play a game (or watch a movie) where people get tortured doesn't mean that I don't find the idea of torture horrific and awful in real life. I can understand why many people don't want children playing these games, but to say that they shouldn't be made at all and that people who like them are socially deviant is a bunch of crap. I have never done or had the desire to do any of these 'immoral' acts and I am a regular volunteer at charity events and I like these games / movies.
June 25, 2007 9:53:12 PM

I am pretty sure you are not the only one. .;) lol @ panda livers. :lol: 

I cannot speak for the others, but I do not think they shouldn't be made... just that things need to be consistent on any ratings.

Personally I love violent movies and games (get a kick out of postal and GTA), but not on the torture-type end of things (like Manhunt). Just not how I roll. Kinda "icky" to me. Would I be upset if they were never made? no. Would I be upset if we had the govt deciding what should or shouldn't be made and had them all censored b/c of that? You betcha.

Legislating "morality" is flat-out wrong.
June 25, 2007 10:44:45 PM

The UK ratings board needs to take on books as well.

I mean, there's that one that not only espouses genocide but demonstrates punishment for those who don't participate in it. It also promotes murder, rape, slavery, polygamy, and incest, the enslavement of women and children, and a reduced value of women's very lives, all in the context of the "right" way to live.

Of course you all know what book I'm referring to. Arab nations have a similar book that's even more demanding of violence.

What rating would that garner?
June 26, 2007 12:04:53 AM

Exactly, let people police themselves. Ensure that all artistic media is given an appropriate rating (and I personally think that we should have separate violence and sexual ratings) and let the consumer decide which one they want to purchase. This is essentially how the system is supposed to work.

And @ Jalek

Of course, this would include books as well. And I would LOVE to see them try and rate the Bible. There is no way that it wouldn't be given at least an M rating (or equivalent). If it didn't get that, it could be used as a precedent to allow other sexual / violent books have the same lower rating. I pity the organization that gets stuck with that job.
June 26, 2007 5:05:00 AM

I mean, there's that one that not only espouses genocide but demonstrates punishment for those who don't participate in it. It also promotes murder, rape, slavery, polygamy, and incest, the enslavement of women and children, and a reduced value of women's very lives, all in the context of the "right" way to live.

I get your point and I agree. We should all go on a crusade for total "entertainment equality". All media are created equal. Emancipate the games! lol

I have always believed that some of the accounts in the old testament are violent enough to give braveheart a run for its money if they were ever made into a movie. Granted, next to some current horror movies braveheart looks like a disney flick! 8O


Now for a small segue; not to bring this into a wholly different topic... but...

it really does not "promote" rape and murder. It is full of violence, but any account of history that similarly includes war is the same as the Bible. In war people die, but I am not sure you can call it murder. Nor is the telling of an enemy raping in a negative light promoting that at all... at any of the references that I have read regarding the subject it is never a promotional thing. Frankly, when taken in context of the entire collection of books none of the things you list are in a positive fashion regarding the right way to live.

As for reduced value of women... only seen that way if you want to. Reality is that men and women are placed in differing roles. Neither one "lesser" than the other in the eyes of God, just different. It is only seen that way from either side that is not content with their role. (hence the strife)

ok, I suppose I am done. ;)  This was not meant as argumentative. Just pointing some stuff out. I really don't want this to go on and hijack the thread, sometimes I just can't leave well enough alone. lol
June 26, 2007 2:39:58 PM

If it's so violent, then people wouldn't be playing them. Or if it's the violence that sells, then why are they trying to censor it?

This isn't thought out all that well. :) 
June 26, 2007 3:14:56 PM

If it's so violent, then people wouldn't be playing them. Or if it's the violence that sells, then why are they trying to censor it?

This isn't thought out all that well. :) 

Sorry for my long long rant, but if everyone that opposed violence in video games, the world would be 10x smarter.

8) nope.
June 26, 2007 3:35:51 PM

Im tired of hearing the people who dont like the type of game thats being discussed sayin theres no reason this type of game should be made in the first place. The reasons they give are that they convince people to do things they wouldnt normaly do. I find this argument completly unjust. People will do what they do, regardless of weather they play a game or not, of course im talking about and adult/mature audiance, which is what the game is intended for.

Its the same thing over and over agian, people blaming the existance of things for the choices someone makes. People need to take the responsablility for the act. People killed, murdered, raped, pillaged, tortured people long before any type of media other then maybe writen word was ever introduced.

I can understand you not likeing the game, or maybe not understanding the game, but just cuase you dont like it, doesnt mean it shouldnt exist, thats like me saying I dont like romantic movies and they should be baned from movie theaters, becuase they cuase my 17 y/o daughter to want to have sex.

This is another point I cant get over, people complaining that the games are going to currupt our children. Exuse me, but I belive if it didnt haved an AO rating it would still be M for Mature for 17 or older meaning that if your child has gotten ahold of the game its becuase YOU the person saying you dont want your kid playing it in the first place BOUGHT it for them or they optained it from a company that sold it to and underage child which incase your fight should be with that company NOT the game makers.

On another note, im perficitly fine with a game being slapped with an AO rating as long as its just, and as long as im still able to purchase the game, being of age, I should have the right, no? And I should be alowed to play it on a consel that I paid for. Dont sit there and ban it, there are parental controls based on game ratings that you can intrudoce to the consel so the parents can stop the kids from getting a copy and playing it.

Theres so many reasons why these arguments that are anti-games arnt holding up for me. You give reasons why it shouldnt be, but all thoughs reasons seem to be putting the responsiblity away from the person that rightfully holds it in the first place, and putting it on a corperation. Saying since I cant control myself or mychildern, you cant release this product.

Sorry but if thats the case, we need to do away with alot more things worse then a game.
June 26, 2007 5:33:20 PM

I really didn't see this one coming, but I think that this thread has come to a consensus:

1) Rate all media types equally and fairly,

2) Prevent minors from viewing inappropriate material (according to rating),

3) Provide equal access to media of all ratings (i.e. no effective AO / NC-17 ban),

and possibly 4) Train parents what the ratings mean and how to protect their children.
June 26, 2007 5:58:59 PM

Agreed... been a very good discussion.

The list you have there is good, but 2 things to add:

3. equal access to all media types. Honestly, if business X sells it and Y does not who cares? They are private run companies, they get to choose what they sell or not. Granted, I think your point is that none of the "big" ones sell AO stuff but if the political cloud over AO games disappears then they will be "free" to sell it if they want. We should not force them to sell it any more than banning them.

4. training parents. I am for education (obviously) but what did anyone do to "train" ppl on movie ratings? Honestly, I think the ratings are as clear or clearer than movie ratings. They are black and white right on the box. I think the education needs to be more of "hey! dumba$$, read the freaking box!" lol. Seriously though, I am just not sure how to "get the word out". Especially when so many parents let their 6 year olds watch south park or Underworld... those are the id10t parents that legislators are after methinks. Those are the ones causing our problems when the do-gooders see it. If we can reach the others and keep those problem-parents out of the political light...

I think we should beat em.

with big sticks.


June 26, 2007 11:17:10 PM

3) I guess if more violent and not traditionally "adult" titles are given an AO rating, that will lead to greater acceptance of the rating and likely to more stores selling the games. However, the NC-17 rating has been used for extremely violent movies before and the vast majority of theaters still refuse to screen them. Perhaps the ESRB should do more to take out the stigma associated with AO games, if they are going to start rating non-pornographic games as AO. I think that most people reading the rating "Adult Only" would assume that a game contained pornography (NC-17 is a better name). Maybe they just need to change it to M-18 or something. Only time will tell I guess.

4) This was mostly in regards to Zyric83's comment that parents can set filters on consoles and on TV. If parents knew how to do this perhaps there wouldn't be as much controversy surrounding this. Although then again, the average 8 year old have much more technical knowledge than their parents, so they would probably be able to circumvent this.

@ "big sticks", not sure if that was an intentional Roosevelt quote or not, but if so, it was somewhat appropriate.
June 27, 2007 2:13:07 PM

@ "big sticks", not sure if that was an intentional Roosevelt quote or not, but if so, it was somewhat appropriate.

not intentional... just random sarcasm. 8)
June 28, 2007 5:36:18 AM

3) I guess if more violent and not traditionally "adult" titles are given an AO rating, that will lead to greater acceptance of the rating and likely to more stores selling the games.

Do you really think developers are purposely gonna make insanely violent games just to get an AO rating, just to get "greater acceptance" of the rating? I think not. They will just continue to censor their shit so people can buy them.
June 28, 2007 2:00:15 PM

lots of movies are made to get the higher rating of R or "Unrated" (the route most go instead of NC-17... hmm... I wonder... ;)  )

many movies are made ultra-violent to cater to the crowd they want. Why not games?
June 28, 2007 5:55:09 PM


You misunderstand my point. My point is that IF the ESRB decides to start rating normal violent games (like manhunt 2 and other even more violent games) as AO, people are still going to want to buy them. They might not sell as well, but some people will go out of their way to get a copy. And with the advent of Steam and other online distribution channels, the virtual ban on AO games is becoming a little easier to get around. Again, IF more and more games get an AO rating, eventually the public will realize that AO games aren't just porn, but viable titles. Once they know that they won't be viewed as smut peddlers the retailers will come around.

To counter your point, given that the ESRB (and international counterparts) is becoming more restrictive in its ratings, and given that new games tend to push the boundaries of what others have done, I don't think games that are already holding back are going to cut even more out. If anything this will lead to vastly gorier games. Think about it, if companies no longer have to care if they get the highest possible rating, they can create games without even having to consider the rating they will get. It will only take a few moderately successful AO games before the floodgates open.


That is exactly what I am thinking. Once people realize that AO games aren't just porn, this will allow game designers to throw in as much over the top violence and gore as they want, trying to appeal to that crowd and not care about the rating.

As for being unrated, can games go this route? Or is the US like the UK where unrated games can't be sold?
June 28, 2007 6:02:02 PM

As for being unrated, can games go this route? Or is the US like the UK where unrated games can't be sold?

honestly not sure, b/c the ESRB is a "voluntary" self-regulating arm run by the industry it should be possible, but I am pretty sure none of the major devs would go that route and risk pissing off the govt. enough that they take control of the ESRB.
June 28, 2007 7:19:08 PM

That's what I thought, which is why I was surprised that the UK had a law that wouldn't allow unrated games to be sold. I wonder if its the same there for movies.
June 28, 2007 7:24:43 PM

I know you can sell/buy unrated movies here just fine. Even walmart, that bastion of morality that will not sell NC-17 movies (or explicit music or AO games) sells unrated movies just fine. :roll:

granted, many unrated are simply low-grade productions that do not deserve your dollar, but that is another matter. Some of them are just avoiding the NC-17 rating.
June 28, 2007 9:45:50 PM

Well the games' industry may end up going the "unrated" route since that seems to get the best of both worlds: no censorship and able to be purchased everywhere. Of course that's assuming that the laws are the same for both mediums.
July 25, 2007 9:46:31 PM

I think banning games is stupid. We have real life pornography, pornographic games, but ban a few violent games with shooting. We can watch a real life movie with retarded violence like in Kill Bill, but a less violent game gets banned.

The reason we have such games is so we can do such things we can't do in real life. Live the life of a mafia hitman, mobster, criminal, etc... I think we need more serious hardcore graphic rich games where we rape the women, steal from the rich, give to the poor. Become serial killers, kill and rape as much as we can trying to slip form the authorities. Deal drugs without getting caught. And we want it all with hardcore pornography censorship. That's what games are for.

Sell the above with an 18+ rating, require ID when selling, and sell them only through adult stores, or over the counter at regular stores. This stuff is good for our society and everyone going around saying games are bad are only projecting negative energy which is bad.

The US government can let the 9/11 attacks happen, use it as an excuse to invade legally just to run an oil pipeline, but they ban a stupid video game that isn't even good to begin with? I say let the raping, drug dealing, killing, psycho antics, and pornography exist, and ban the retarded government and people that listen to them.

No game produced yet to date has been deemed bannable by my standards. Nothing. I only hope they make an extreme game to my standards. I wanna live through the eyes of Charlie Manson and rape and kill a few hollywood stars. And I want it all in HIgh Def Surround Sound life like graphics. By all means rate it 18+ and sell it over the counter or in an adult porno shop. But it being banned by the government is stupid.

A government that can control the drug trade in its own country, but stop Howard Stern from saying tits on the air is retarded. ANd the people who vote them in each year thinking things will change are even more retarded.

My 2 cents. Thanks.