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ESRB Announces "Rating Summaries"

In a move that's guaranteed to provide more ammunition for the anti-game activists, the ESRB has decided to get more descriptive with its ratings.

According to Joystiq, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board has added "rating summaries" to its official site, which means they're leaning more towards the BBFC rating process. This could easily lead to descriptions that include eye-opening terms and phrases that are open to interpretation, but then again, it's just a matter of being more accurate. Basically, if there's bad language, sexual situations or graphic violence, these will be explained in some detail, and the ESRB will even include a list of the bad words with asterisks. You know, like "sh**" and "fu**." This new style only applies to any games rated after July 1, 2008, but now that it's permanent, all rated titles will feature some added descriptive summaries to further assist consumers. These days, with games spreading their wings and adopting more and more traits of movies, it might make sense to include such details, especially for the clueless parents. But on the other hand, the haters are going to take phrases like "implied child rape" and run with it.

The only thing we're not sure of is whether or not these new summaries will find their way onto game boxes. For now, it seems as if they're only on the PDF document issued by the ESRB, so nothing may change on the boxes; it might just be the rating and content listing, as always. No description, or anything. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

11/12/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (20 posts)

Riku994
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 @ 1:50:18 PM
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I think this is actually a good idea. Now parents (assuming they have the brains to go on said site), may reconsider allowing theyre 5 year old sons and daughters to play Grand Theft Auto and lean towards friendlier titles, like Sonic :D

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Sol
Thursday, November 13, 2008 @ 4:40:46 PM

But what if the new ratings hurt sales?

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tramp
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 @ 1:55:20 PM
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i like this idea too.it doesnt really bother most people i'd say.

i've clear MGS4 about five times,still i dont see any hint of the "child rape" could someone plz point this out to me.

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Joe_III
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 @ 1:59:55 PM
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Good to hear, maybe this will help parents understand that M games are not for 12 year olds...

But then again, I doubt parents buy their kids the wrong games because they don't understand the current ratings. It's probably more because they're a bunch of lackeits who should have been sterilized to begin with.

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Fabi
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 @ 2:00:07 PM
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"implied child rape"?

Huh?

Did I miss something in the news?

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tramp
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 @ 2:04:10 PM
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it was in the esrb rating for MGS4,i never found this tho.......has it something to do with sonny???

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CaptRon
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 @ 2:37:13 PM
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otacon was raped by his mom when he was little. maybe that is what it is talking about.

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tramp
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 @ 2:50:18 PM
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lol,
short dress,alot of thigh.
who could resist,lol.

i feel all dirty now

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Advent Child
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 @ 3:05:42 PM
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http://www.ps3fanboy.com/2008/04/23/kojima-productions-clarifies-mgs4s-implied-child-rape/

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Fatcat3788
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 @ 3:17:59 PM
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Two sides to this. Like Ben was saying, on one side maybe we will be hearing less pre-puberty voices on games like SOCOM or COD. On the other hand haters are definately going to try to destroy the videogame society with said descriptions. Solution---->HAVE GAMERS RATE THE DAMN GAME. I don't mean idiots who could care one way or the other, but from what I have heard the esrb are all parents that barely know anything about videogames besides what they're told or shown. Especially in this day and age... A lot of parents are playing games now. It isn't that hard a switch. That said, I bet when the older people rating the games pass the torch things will have lightened up in that regard.

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tramp
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 @ 3:25:55 PM
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nice idea fatcat

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RustEDalex
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 @ 4:35:13 PM
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a game having bad words just makes me want to buy it even more

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Reccaman18
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 @ 5:33:58 PM
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They tried the same thing with Heavy Metal albums. They got the Parental Advisory stickers on the albums, but it only made people buy them more. I see the same thing happening with this. Only its not not the angry moms, its the ESRB.

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shaydey77
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 @ 8:06:30 PM
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Kids will always find the way to get their hands on games they want.Same as EVERYTHING in life. If theres a will theres a way..I just hope this doesnt increase crime rates of stolen GTA and MGS4..reason..mammy wouldnt let me get it!!

Last edited by shaydey77 on 11/12/2008 8:07:05 PM

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Shadow_Striker
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 @ 11:31:23 PM
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Thats cool but it won't help. I was at eb games a week ago and a guy was there getting a pre-ordered game for his kid. The employee told the father the game was rated M and they refused to sell the game to the kid. When asked if he was sure he wanted to still buy the game he said "oh yeah no problem." Its great to have this system in place and that they want to improve it but unless people take some responsibility for the content they allow in their home then no system will work.(i know its probably harder then it sounds)

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Wage SLAVES
Thursday, November 13, 2008 @ 3:44:59 AM
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Im just afraid like with everything else you put one "LAW" in place then more are placed around it making it feel as snug as a jail-cell. I am in full support of keeping certain games out of the youths hands but I don't wanna see GTA6 with an AO label that will certainly kill it...

You get to see some nudity in a PG-13 film and worse in a R film (HOSTEL). Video Games just take a lot of flak in comparison.

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Jed
Thursday, November 13, 2008 @ 8:37:37 PM

very good point. If video games were anywhere near as vulgar as movies than they would all be AO.

Last edited by Jed on 11/13/2008 8:38:25 PM

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shaydey77
Thursday, November 13, 2008 @ 5:23:57 PM
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@ Wage SLAVES not to mention that these are just computer generated and not the real thing!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, November 15, 2008 @ 12:52:48 AM
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They might not make it onto game boxes, but you can bet your ass they will make it into the evening news.

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simplesimon
Saturday, November 15, 2008 @ 11:35:43 AM
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eh, It doesnt really effect me, but I know when I was younger my mom was a real stickler on game ratings and Im sure she would have loved this

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