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US Considering Universal Ratings System For Entertainment

In our estimation, the ESRB has done an excellent job over the years. But due to recent Congressional investigations into potentially harmful media content, there is now a call to have one universal ratings system for movies, TV, and video games.

This according to a Bloomberg report, where it says the FCC will consider a universal rating system, the ESA has stated in the past that the FCC has no jurisdiction over the game industry, and ESA senior vice president for communications and industry affairs Rich Taylor said the ESRB is "considered by parents, family advocates, the Federal Trade Commission, and elected officials as the gold standard in providing caregivers with the information they need to make the right choices for their families." He's clearly not a big advocate of this new universal system, which he says would "confuse consumers, violate the Constitution's first amendment, and are a solution in search of a problem." We have to agree with him because we believe the MPAA is actually more at fault in this matter than the ESRB; in looking at how movies and games are rated, we think games are rated on a much stricter scale. It's downright amazing that some PG-13 movies weren't rated R, but you'll almost never find a T-rated video game that will piss off parents or other anti-game activists. So we say, just leave the ESRB alone. They're doing their job.

We're not entirely sure if a universal ratings system would "confuse" consumers - once they got used to it, of course - but we still agree with Taylor. If it ain't broke...don't damn fix it.

8/28/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (116 posts)

sunspider13
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 9:59:10 PM
Reply

Umm yeah...FCC keep your government hands off my fun. The ESRB does a great job at rating games and it's up to the parents to know what they are buying their children and the rating system we have now does just that.

Last edited by sunspider13 on 8/28/2009 9:59:43 PM

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OtisFeelgood
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 10:40:25 PM

I second that.

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Highlander
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 11:31:05 PM

You do know that the rule of law is what separates the United States from the likes of Somalia right? The FCC is charged with supervising the communications industry, including entertainment. That includes TV and movies, so why not games as well? How is ensuring that games with R rated material get an R rating going to qualify as the government having their hands on your fun?

Good god, people are so quick to react with the typical knee-jerk reaction. They can't even stop to think about the idea and evaluate it, before spewing the predictable reactionary response to any suggestion that government might try to apply a rule to something.

Last edited by Highlander on 8/28/2009 11:32:16 PM

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Wage SLAVES
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 2:08:45 AM

“Always love your country — but never trust your government!"
-Bob Novak

@highlander

Dude are you American? If you are you should very well know we can't trust our politicians further than we can throw 'em. I agree that we gotta keep their money greased hands off our favorite industry. Ben's right if it ain't broke don't fix it!

There is nothing more patriotic than to have your Reticle of Scrutiny permanently afixed on government.

Last edited by Wage SLAVES on 8/29/2009 2:09:46 AM

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sunspider13
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:01:30 AM

@Highlander
No I don't think this is a knee jerk reaction as you put it. I do agree that the government has the best intentions at heart, namely to serve the public. However in my eyes streamlining the rating system, as the article points out, will not only confuse the public, but imo is just one step away from regulation. Heck even the FTC has said that the ESRB rating system is 'the gold standard'.

I'm assuming you know how the ESRB comes up with the ratings so I won't bore you with that. I much rather trust impartial parents to give their unbiased opinions on a game than some government employed lackey with an agenda trying to make a name for themselves.

Ok sorry for the rant, but when you mix government with videogames I don't think the end result will be better for us fans. Just my two cents.

Last edited by sunspider13 on 8/29/2009 3:01:59 AM

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Highlander
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:23:42 AM

@SunSpider. Here's the thing. The FTC is charged with economics, so the fact that they think the ESRB rating system is a good one is fine, but since their area of responsibility is economics and industry, but not entertainment or communications, their opinion is less interesting to me than that of the FCC which is the equivalent of the FTC only actually responsible for communications including entertainment.

@WageSlave
Keep your "reticule of scrutiny fixed on government"? keep "their (government's) money greased hands" out of our industry? Are you serious? Please stop and think about this for a moment. You are basically saying that we should apply all our scrutiny to our politicians, the ones we democratically elect every 4 years, but not the captains and generals of industry, who were elected by no one, and are answerable to very, very few if any. You talk about money greased hands, and yet who is it in the last 5 years that has screwed the economy to the floor? Was it the government, or was it the privately run finance industry? Madoff - was he a member of the government? He sure as hell had money greased hands, greased with the money of millions of victims.

I'm so sick of people who throw their full weight of mistrust at the government and show what amounts to blind faith in industry. Industry exists to exploit consumers and basically extract money from consumers for the profit of the corporation. Government exists to serve the people and everything it does is in one way or another for the country. If you don't like the bums in charge of the company, you're hosed, they're in charge and you're not. With government you re-elect them regularly, so if you don't like them, don't vote for them. Don't anyone try to question my patriotism or understanding of civics. I sometimes try to imagine how the founding fathers of the US would react to current times in the US, and I think that they would turn away in shame, which to me at least is a true tragedy.

I'm done with this thread.

Last edited by Highlander on 8/29/2009 3:24:11 AM

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Wage SLAVES
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:42:18 AM

@ Highlander

You my friend don't know a thing about socialism.

"Democracy is the road to Socialism,"
--Karl Marx--

Every day in school I recall this...

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all"

We are supposed to be a Republic.

Do you really believe ONE man (Madoff) ran this thing by himself? What about the Banker Bailout? Pretty fascist in my book, no? How much of that 23.7 trillion did you get?

www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aY0tX8UysIaM

Last edited by Wage SLAVES on 8/29/2009 3:48:07 AM

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Mornelithe
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 9:12:05 AM

You know, in all honesty, the FCC would be FAR better than the _Civilian_ authority that's currently in use for Music and Movies. At least the FCC are appointed by the government and therefore, we can hold THEM responsible for their faux-pas...whereas, the MPAA/RIAA are a civilian organization made up of the most powerful music/movie producing organizations in the world, not to mention Priests, and are under the direct supervision of no governmental agency. 'This Film is Not yet Rated'. Pretty much sums it up.

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Jawknee
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 12:54:23 PM

Government doesnt have our best interests at heart. Government doesn't do anything well except fight wars. Stay the fak out of my life. Yes industry exploits consumers, so that means te government doesn't? Give me a break. If government was all caring we wouldn't be debating sending our elderly to an early grave with obamacare to save a few bucks. Blind faith in government leads to tyranny.

Last edited by Jawknee on 8/29/2009 12:56:54 PM

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Jawknee
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 1:22:16 PM

"Government exists to serve the people"

that's the problem high, they aren't serving the people they are serving them sevles and their special interest groups like the labor unions and trial lawyers. this government seeks more and more control over our lives with each passing day. If you don't see that you need to wake up. You accuse us of having blind faith in industry, it's not blind, I trust my fellow American more then I trust my government. Private industry seeks to make a profit, they have a reason to cater to me. If they do a poor job then I go some where else. Government on The other hand doesn't have any incentive to be honest. They screw us over, their response is "let then eat cake". Seems your the one with a blind faith. Your an intellegent person Highlander, this should be clear as day. Governmet has the worst track record of making peoples lives better by getting involved in private matters. There's not a single thing in the private sector that they haven't ruined or made more expensive by getting involved. Government only does two things well. Fight wars and waste our money.  

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Byakko2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 2:07:50 PM

Jawknee gets your facts straight before you start calling Obamacare a death panel. Check out http://www.healthcarereformmyths.org/

And please, stop getting your news from Fox and Rush Limbaugh.

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JMO_INDY
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 2:56:55 PM

Look, i love my government, ive trusted it since the day i was born, i'd still like to, but with Obama, thats impossible, hes so concerned with controlling our lives, and hes not even the one doing it, hes just a pawn in a bigger cover up.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 4:16:44 PM

Alright you guys I know what road this goes down. If you want to discuss politics: Take it to the forums. I'm leaving up all of the comments for now but if this discussion continues down this road I'm going to start deleting them. Keep it on topic here, this is not the place to discuss health care reform.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 4:46:48 PM

Yeah! What Shadow said, you guys aren't allowed to rent here anymore! Woops, looks like I already contributed to the BS. It's hard not to :D

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Highlander
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 6:41:16 PM

@wageslaves & Jawknee
You are both so very wrong. I cannot even begin to tell you how wrong you are. It saddens me that you are so utterly incorrect, and yet you are totally convinced of your correctness. Why your minds are so very closed tight I do not know. One point I must reply to. WageSlave talked of the pledge of allegiance and the republic of the US as if somehow being a republic was incompatible with socialism. Socialism is an economic system, not a form of government. There are plenty of socialist republics. A republic is a form of government with an elected leader rather than a monarch.

Neither of you understand what socialism is, nor do I think either of you has any experience with real socialism. I have, I've lived under a socialist government, and in socialist countries. Real socialism my friends, is not even remotely like what we have in the US, or Canada, or the UK. Not...even...remotely.

Good day to you.

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Jawknee
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 6:59:24 PM

Sorry Byakko, but Besty Marky (D-CO) already confirmed it. There will indeed be rationing.

Higlander, I admit, I never have lived under socialism, it sounds good in theory, but human nature prevents it from working without losing freedom.

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DaNgerSteVe
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 9:59:25 PM
Reply

they dont need to changed anything, ITS THE DAM parents fault for letting their 8-15 year olds buying them a rated M game when they shouldnt get it

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Mornelithe
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 11:16:32 AM

Whoops

Last edited by Mornelithe on 8/29/2009 11:16:59 AM

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Cpt_Geez
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 10:00:15 PM
Reply

A universal rating system is a bad idea, the system we have now is prefectly fine.

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Highlander
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 11:25:37 PM

Why is it a bad idea?

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fluffer nutter
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 1:30:15 AM

It's bad because the FCC are driven by money. Pay them enough, they will make changes. Look to Clear Channel, for example. Disgusting company.

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Highlander
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:25:04 AM

A publicly funded government department is driven by money, but a for profit, commercially driven industry body isn't? You've got that backwards my friend.

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fluffer nutter
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:41:23 AM

You have misunderstood my post. Please, read it again and then slap your forehead like a monkey would. ;)

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Mornelithe
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 9:12:57 AM

The FCC is far less driven by money than current ratings groups that we have in place in the US.

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fluffer nutter
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 10:02:22 AM

That's nice but it still doesn't mean much. They are driven by money and that point cannot be diminished. Saying that one serial killer eats the eyes and ears of his/her prey first, to shield them from fully experiencing the sights and sounds of their demise, doesn't make him/her one that wouldn't be as punishable by law.

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Mornelithe
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 10:33:16 AM

Again Fluffernutter, I urge you to actually research this issue, before just jumping in headlong with absolutely no idea what I'm referring to. First and foremost, hate to break it to you, everyone's out for money. If such a thing is a crime, then every person in the world, is guilty.

The MPAA employ ratings boards, that have absolutely NO oversight, via the government, or civilian populace. The only people with a say, are the ones actually making the decisions of what gets what rating. Major heads of the largest film studios in the world. And a few members of the cloth (Christian/Catholic only). Interestingly, these folks seem to only be interested in censoring sex. Violence, it seems, is appropriate for everyone.

I've mentioned the name before, but 'This Film is Not yet Rated' is an absolutely horrifying look into how movie ratings are set in this country. Absolutely not, no civilian authority. Government through and through, people we can actually remove from office if we don't like how it's going.

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fluffer nutter
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 11:00:13 AM

What do you mean by again? I didn't read a previous instance where you urged me to do some research? Was that post deleted? Also, stating the obvious doesn't help your case. We all understand that these companies/groups are driven by money. I apologize if I haven't expressed that I am a member of society and have interacted with other people. Please, don't assume things about me as it shows your level of reasoning. Stating that the FCC is far less driven doesn't change the fact that they are driven by money. We're not talking about degrees here. Changing the way the system is setup will not improve things. It can only make them worse. People need to stop worrying about the things that shouldn't matter if they had their fundamentals instilled properly in the youth of today. Education is the key. And by education, I am referring to parenting. I have seen way too many cases where the lack of parenting has produced problems. Just look at how many people get their music from the radio. It's saddening.

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Mornelithe
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 11:17:04 AM

What I mean is, if you understood how civilian ratings boards were driven, you'd understand having one Unified ratings system that was removed from civilian control would be good. Understand though, by civilian control, I don't mean you and me, and the general populace. The folks in charge of rating movies, MAKE THE MOVIES.

Why is this a big deal? Because, ratings dictate your ability to sell your movie. G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17, XXX etc.. Whichever rating your movie is branded with (and this is particularly difficult on independant studios/producers), directly impacts it's ability to be marketed.

Anything branded NC-17+ doesn't hit theaters, nor does it get any shelf space in retail chains. This is a fact, and you'd think, well, it's NC-17 for a reason. Funny thing is, some of these reasons are so paper thin, completely biased, or not even following in lines with movies they've already rated. It's almost a, well, I feel this way today, so this movie gets NC-17. As I said though, watch 'This Film is Not yet Rated' (documentary), it explains this whole issue much much better than I can.

My basic point though, is that yes, we can always be mistrustful of the government...but at least that can be changed. Whereas, with the civilian setup we currently have, the average citizen has absolutely no say in how movies are rated, or whom is part of the ratings board.

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fluffer nutter
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 11:29:28 AM

Well played, Mornelithe. I get your point but and I don't think that if the movies were rated by the creators that it would be better. I don't agree with any of the ratings done by any of the boards but that's an opinion based on my personal tolerances. NC-17 movies are shown in theatres and they are sold in stores but I do live in California so it may just be different for this state. I think that people are more open to things here than in some other areas. Even if they do listen to the radio. That still is saddening. No matter what, people are not going to be in agreement with how movies, music, etc. are rated but the censorship needs to stop. Point is, people should always be given the option to choose. Don't assume and alienate a populous before they've been given that chance. And I'm not saying you. I'm talking in general terms.

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Mornelithe
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 11:43:44 AM

I totally agree FN, it should be subject to change, just like the rest of the country is. The countries ideals, beliefs, values, alter, shift and evolve daily, weekly, monthly, yearly etc.. so should ratings boards be.

Which is why, given over to Government control, we could hold them accountable when they step over the line (The saving grace here, is that even if the ratings board screws over the movie, we can still find it online via retailers...or other means), remove them from their position, and replace them with someone a bit more fair-minded/open.

As it stands now though, we have CEO's/CFO's of major movie distributors, people of _one_ specific religious group (it doesn't matter which), all deciding what we can and cannot watch. Even worse though, all of these people, represent the upper crust of American's (Financially speaking). Kirby Dick, is the man who made the movie 'This Film is Not yet Rated', he makes a very VERY good case that the MPAA not only has a monopoly on their ratings, given their closed standards, but that they give special consideration to movies made by MPAA members (Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios and Warner Bros.), whereas independant films/producers aren't.

It's really sickening to understand how the system works. Just terribly sickening.

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Mornelithe
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 12:11:02 PM

I think the best ratings board, would be comprised of a proper, and truly diverse cross-section of America. Younger and Older minds, rich and poor, religious and not. They all play a roll in our society nowadays, and should be represented in any ratings oversight board, that governs the airwaves/tv/movie theaters/games etc... It's hardly representative of the majority, any other way.

The creators, producers, and distributors of these entertainment medium, however, should have absolutely no involvement in the ratings process, as they are all financially tied into each decision they make in that regard. This is where the big conflict of interest comes from. Giving a movie they don't own, a good rating, gives that movie X thousands/millions of dollars in revenue that doesn't go to them in any way. You follow? It should be the common joe as well as the rich folk. We all seek entertainment....

Last edited by Mornelithe on 8/29/2009 12:11:54 PM

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fluffer nutter
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:03:57 PM

As great as that type of panel sounds, we all know it would never fly. Too much diversity and it wouldn't allow a major "group" to take financial control and influence the rest of the panel. Corporate America would not stand for it. This, is why we know that this type of panel is a very "sound" idea.

Last edited by fluffer nutter on 8/29/2009 3:04:43 PM

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Mornelithe
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:47:24 PM

I know, the only way it would fly is if the majority of American's spoke up against the private control of the ratings boards via MPAA. And since noone has yet, big business can just do as it pleases.

The thing is, these people make money...telling us what entertainment is. You know? That really bothers me. Because they can single-handedly, prevent the mainstream from seeing something that really broadens our horizons. As well as inserting their own small view of world opinion, and enforcing it upon the whole at large. I realize that big business would do everything in it's power to prevent such a thing from occuring...but we as the consumer should also have the right to dictate the manner in which our entertainment is rated/censored etc... IF we choose it at all.

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dlte
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 10:26:45 PM
Reply

this sounds like a good idea....

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dlte
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 5:40:40 PM

does anyone understand sarcasm? jeez.

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Scarecrow
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 10:29:18 PM
Reply

They have nothing better to do, do they?
Anyway, if we get the movie system, devs could get away with a lot of things :D

^But then again, maybe not -_-

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TGG
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 10:32:18 PM
Reply

The ESRB is doing perfectly fine, I've never looked at a video-game and went "Dude, why the f*** is it rated that?". There have been plenty of movies where I had that reaction. Now that I think about it, the only thing the ESRB is doing wrong is not adequately getting the word out. Combining all the ratings administrations into one big one wouldn't solve that problem.

I don't see why they all can't operate separately. On the other hand, I do want to hear the FCC's reasoning, just to see why they think it would.

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Wage SLAVES
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 2:33:14 AM

Yea like TITanic...hee hee get it.

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Dancemachine55
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 10:39:01 PM
Reply

Here in Australia, our games were changed to match the movies rating system, and its worked like a charm.

The colour coding with the rating works really well too. Green for G, yellow for PG, Blue for M, red for MA15+, and for movies, black for R18+. Contents of the product are described next to the rating.

eg. Gears of War on PC here has a red MA15+ on the cover with "strong violence and course language" written next to it. Now, even the most oblivious customer who knows nothing of video games can have no trouble knowing which games are suitable for their 9 year old boy.

Last edited by Dancemachine55 on 8/28/2009 10:39:58 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 10:46:16 PM

Yeah but the GOWIII guys are worried about a ban there.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 8/28/2009 10:47:06 PM

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tes37
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 10:39:16 PM
Reply

I'm all for it staying the way it is. So far, I've been able to trust the ratings with my child. So I agree, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

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Highlander
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 11:25:05 PM

Do you disagree with the TV and movie ratings? If not, then why not have them applied to games as well. No parent would ever be able to claim that games were either not rated properly or say that they didn't know.

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tes37
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 11:44:23 PM

I find movies to contain more questionable instances than games. There are some teen rated games that I allow my daughter to play because it received that rating just for violence. Movies, or might I say hollywood, try to circumvent the ratings by slipping inappropriate material in that doesn't match the rating. This is based on my observation of some titles and I don't mean to sound like I have any expertise as a movie critic. If game ratings were applied to movies I think they would reflect the contents better than the other way around.

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tes37
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 11:54:57 PM

I just realized how vague my original post is. I mean I like the way game ratings are and they shouldn't be changed. If it goes universal then hollywood should change their rating system to match games.

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Highlander
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 12:26:53 AM

I agree completely, like Ben said in the article, there are PG-13 movies that deserve an R rating. Then again there are R rated movies that only get that rating because the script dropped an F-bomb or two.

It might seem ironic, considering I think that a single system would be better, but the current TV/movie rating system needs an overhaul to re-baseline what the ratings mean, and make sure that they are applied consistently. They would do well to consider a system like the one in the UK that basically places an age limit on the audience of movies based on the content. In the US system, until you get to the 'R' classification, there is no restriction at all. What's the point of a G, PG or PG-13 rating in that situation? They're all the same, a person of any age can watch a movie with any of these ratings without adult supervision. The only rating that means anything material is the 'R' classification.

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Gregory Freeman
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 2:19:41 AM

but yet, even R rated flicks allow children inside "as long as a parent whom is over the age of 18 is buying the tickets, the age of the remaining participants is irrelevant" the exact words my manager told me at cineplex...

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Jawknee
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 6:48:02 PM

Yes. The movie rating system is indeed broken.

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Deleted User
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 10:41:54 PM
Reply

the ESRB is doing a great job, if theres any problem it lies in parents who don't pay attention to what they're buying for their kids. theres so many people that still think game = kid stuff, and forget the ratings system even exists.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 10:48:22 PM
Reply

I'm just glad it would never happen, our government could never get that legislation through, it would take decades.

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tes37
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 10:55:47 PM

Let's hope so. They seem to be able to expedite BS faster than things that matter most.

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Highlander
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 11:23:14 PM

Not sure it would require legislation, the FCC rules are quite broad enough to include games, they simply need to alter the interpretation of the rules, and I believe that a simple executive order from the President can make that happen.

Last edited by Highlander on 8/28/2009 11:23:53 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 11:55:40 PM

lol, yeah that seems to be the new game, just changing the meaning of words that are already there to be followed. *sigh*

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King_Krollen
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 10:50:56 PM
Reply

When did I move to Russia?

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Highlander
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 11:17:04 PM

That is utter nonsense. Don't make yourself sound so silly please.

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Gregory Freeman
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 2:22:49 AM

when your socialistic president was elected...

tba im all for socialism, because i've been raised socialist here in canuckistan...

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Wage SLAVES
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 2:36:48 AM

@Canuck

Im offended...its Fascist to be exact. Be careful cuz our crazy government likes to pick on peeps that disagree or that can't fight back (Iraq, Afganistan etc..).

(I wish that were a joke :( its kinda sad really)

Last edited by Wage SLAVES on 8/29/2009 2:38:51 AM

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Highlander
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:26:11 AM

You folks have NO idea what socialism is, so please, just stop before you embarrass yourselves.

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Scarecrow
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 12:40:52 PM

OMG SOCIALISM

Guess they prefer fascism then where businesses and banks control our very lives more than they already do

Get poorer, and the rich control everything, funny

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Jawknee
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 1:04:27 PM

Why don't you enlighten us highlander?

Socialism promotes laziness and mediocrity.Keep that crap out of the US. Freedom above all. Americans fled Europe to get away from the tyrannies of socialism. Going back now is insane.

Scarecrow, look up the defenition of fascism. It's has nothing to do with business but everything to do with statism.

Last edited by Jawknee on 8/29/2009 1:07:17 PM

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Byakko2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 1:22:59 PM

Curios how this new rating system is a promotion of socialism. That's absurd thinking and please put it to a halt. Jawknee you seem to be on some kind of anti-Obama crusade, and frankly I find it silly. The only socialist in congress I know of is Bernie Sanders. Furthermore, we are NOT heading down a path of socialism, so stop trying to promote this crazy idea that we are.

I refuse to be sucked into this debate as it's going off the deep end and it's becoming less about games and more about politics.



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Byakko2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 1:22:59 PM

Curios how this new rating system is a promotion of socialism. That's absurd thinking and please put it to a halt. Jawknee you seem to be on some kind of anti-Obama crusade, and frankly I find it silly. The only socialist in congress I know of is Bernie Sanders. Furthermore, we are NOT heading down a path of socialism, so stop trying to promote this crazy idea that we are.

I refuse to be sucked into this debate as it's going off the deep end and it's becoming less about games and more about politics.



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Jawknee
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 1:27:55 PM

Not on the path of socialism? Tell that to the banks and GM who are now owned by the Feds. Tell that to the insurance companies who are going to be put of buisness if Obama gets his way. Tell thay to Obama the man who admitted that redistributing other peoples wealth is a good thing. Sounds like socialism to me.

I know the FCC has nothing to do with the socialism. I was responding to the ents above.

Last edited by Jawknee on 8/29/2009 1:31:11 PM

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JMO_INDY
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:00:10 PM

Dude, seriously? Russia? dont even compare the US with the Russia, that is unfair and ridiculous, dont. I love how Canuck just snuck in that little socialism right there, congrats, I hope you also enjoy taking your neighbors hard earned money.Yeah, GO Socialism,(sarcasm) PSSH!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:06:47 PM

Ben is gonna stop this real soon so I'll just say this, Americans didn't flee Europe because of socialism *laughs* It hadn't even been conceived of yet.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 8/29/2009 3:11:48 PM

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JMO_INDY
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 4:13:55 PM

Just because no one though of a name of it yet, doesnt mean it didnt exist. Think about our elements, they were always around, we just havent discoverd they were there, and gave them a name.Same deal here.

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King_Krollen
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 4:34:00 PM

(Quote: TheHighlander
That is utter nonsense. Don't make yourself sound so silly please.)
I'd suggest you not worry on how I make myself look/sound. I stick by what I posted whether you like it or not.

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Highlander
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 11:22:00 PM
Reply

Before everyone jumps off the deep end decrying this as yet another attack on the 1st amendment, or complaining that it's socialism or some other nonsense, can we simply stop and think for a moment.

If the ratings for movies, TV and games were all the same, then no brain dead parent would ever be able to claim that they didn't know what the rating meant/ Games are getting to the point of being as big as the movies, it's time they were rated in the same manner.

Frankly, uniting the ratings of games with the ones used for movies and TV would be a step towards less political interference with video gaming. Right now the rating system is voluntary and politicians with an election are a danger because they can argue that games are dangerously unregulated. With the FCC backed ratings as applied in the movie industry, that argument cannot be made.

I like this idea a lot.

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Masterofallz
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 11:39:22 PM

This is probably going to be the one time I disagree with you, highlander. Think.

Countries have their own 'sensitivity'. In Europe, for example, they dont care about the more sexual contents. But they do care alot about too much violence and blood.

Now look at America, we dont care about violence or blood. And we are the exact same opposite as Europe. We freak out about nudity on commercials less than Europe.

Look at Australia, they want to ban God of War 3.

Universal ratings would be a bad idea from the start. Countries will disagree. They will fight and argue about whats right and whats not.

Then they are going to come to a compromise, and we will all regret it.

Last edited by Masterofallz on 8/28/2009 11:41:10 PM

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NoSmokingBandit
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 11:42:27 PM

I agree, Highlander.
Its not like its going to make games harder to get or anything, its just going to make it much easier for parents to make sure their kids dont get a copy of GTA. Lets face it, parents arent the most tech-savvy people out there, so anything we can do to help them make better decisions for their kids will be great.

Its not like the FCC is going to start censoring games, they just want to consolidate the ratings system, and i am 100% with them.

Masterofallz:
This isnt going to affect Europe or Australia. The FCC has no jurisdiction there. If i read the article correctly, "universal" just means it is one rating system for all media in the US. Instead of one rating system for movies and another for games they want to wrap it all up into one. It will help parents know what games are all about. People can easily tell if they want their kids to see a movie based on the rating, but parents dont play a lot of video games and arent familiar with where the lines are drawn between each tier in the ESRB system. This wont hurt anyone, it just makes the whole process more streamlined.

Last edited by NoSmokingBandit on 8/28/2009 11:47:05 PM

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Highlander
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 11:43:48 PM

Forgot to add, I agree completely with the article about how the current movie rating system is applied. There are a LOT of PG-13 horror and action movies that to me are clearly not rated appropriately.

Where I can't agree is regarding confusion brought about by a single rating system. If you have a single rating system for TV, movies and games that universally tells you when something is suitable or not abused on the age of the audience, how can that possibly be more confusing than two or more separate systems doing the same thing in slightly different ways?

Now, for this to work, the current rating system needs to be re-evaluated and a baseline established. A PG-13 movie needs to be a movie that is targeted at audiences that include 13 yearolds. Clearly the way the ratings are currently implemented this is not the case. But it's not like the implementation of the ESRB ratings is perfect either.

@Masterofallz
The FCC only regulates the US ratings, they do not rate the content, nor do they apply ratings outside the US. Any unification if TV, movie and game ratings under the FCC would only relate to the US. So your concerns over whether European morality would affect ratings here is misplaced.

Last edited by Highlander on 8/28/2009 11:46:30 PM

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Masterofallz
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 11:52:11 PM

Whoa, I just confused myself. Whoops.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 12:01:31 AM

That's the problem, everything will get re-evaluated. I like movies where they are and games where they are, separate and belonging to their own standards of rating. If we lump them together then it will be off kilter on both sides of the coin. Not to mention how it will affect games themselves, like when movies dumb themselves down to get the PG-13 rating so more people can buy tickets.

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fluffer nutter
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 1:36:33 AM

Movie ratings are quite strict and people need to lighten up. If you don't think your "children" are ready for some content, then get off of your lazy ass and bring them up properly. No matter what the content, if a child is raised properly with good information, they shouldn't have a problem, or at least be heavily influenced, by the content presented to them. People worry way too much. Parents need to be parents, not bystanders. This strikes a chord with me because I was raised by my parents and now I am a parent. Sorry for the rant but I just don't get why people are so offended by so many trivial things. Oh no, blood. Look out. Jumpin' Jesus on a pogostick.

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Gregory Freeman
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 2:26:13 AM

FCC also rules stuff in canada too, yah know

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Highlander
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:27:38 AM

@Canuck, the FCC is a US government body, it has no power in Canada, at all. The canadian government may have it's own FCC, but they are not one and the same.

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dart_driver
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 1:57:04 PM

I to would like this. but not when I wanna watch an R rated film and its Soft core porn. Im 19 and a guy so you would think Im all like yay vagina in my R movie but I dont like it. To me a reporductive organ in a movie should have a special rating and not just R with nudity. so SCREW movies like. sara marshall, and watchmen or harold and kumar escape

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Kr3sn1k
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 11:23:50 PM
Reply

theres no problem with the system its all the parents fault or the kids for example my mom bought me grand theft auto not cuz she didnt bother to look at the rating but cause she was an immagrant and didnt know what the f*** it ment

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Qwarktast1c
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 12:59:54 AM
Reply

another case of government wanting to control/regulate everything regardless of wether its broken or not

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NoSmokingBandit
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 9:50:43 AM

Wat?
We already have a rating system, how will switching over to a different, universal rating system change games? I'll let you in on a secret:

GAMES WONT CHANGE

Only the rating system is going to change. I dont get why everyone has their panties in a bunch about having an "R" on the box instead of "MA"

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___________
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 2:18:07 AM
Reply

lol i wish i could say the same thing for the OFLC........
there was suppose to be a paper submitted to parliament 3 MONTHS! AGO to discuss if there should be a R18+ or not.
god knows how hes got away with it, normally you can loose your seat for missing a dead line, its BS.
theres only 1 attorney general thats stopping it, thats the stupid thing there could be 1 million attorney generals approving it but if theres 1 opposed it cant pass.
it should be a minority rules.
he doesnt want a R18+ here because kids could have access to the material which is a load of BS retailers are so strict on R18 stuff its not funny.
ive never been asked for ID when buying something MA not even when i just turned 15.
but every single time i go to a R movie or buy booze they ask for ID every time without fail.
it would be harder for kids to access the material if it was R18+.
they ban fear 2 and fallout 3 because its not appropriate for kids so fallout 3 changed 1 name, and fear 2 appealed and both got through.
im starting to think its got nothing to do with kids, im starting to think its whos the highest bidder.
nope sorry you dident pay us enough pay more or your not allowed to sell your game here.
democracy my A$$ when were told what we can and cant play.
soon were going to be told what shoes were allowed to wear out.
or what pajamas were allowed to wear to bed.

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Gregory Freeman
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 2:31:43 AM
Reply

this better not happen any time soon, i turn 17 in 5 months... i dont wanna go buy mag and be like "sorry dude, gotta be 18 now... tough luck..." my rents said once i turn 17, they wont vouch 4 my games or movies anymore... so regardless of the shape the rating systems are in, im no for change..

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Blink182Fan99
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 6:47:54 AM
Reply

I don't get your rating system in the US. It's all PG-13, and T etc. It's much simpler over here in the UK. We have "U" for suitable for everyone, "PG" for Parental Guidance were parents are adviced to watch the film first, "12A" which means no one under 12 without an adult, "15" for no one under 15, and "18" for the same. And games are pretty much the same. "3+", "7+", "12", "15" and "18".

Why confuse people? Keep it simple :p

This is all my opinion of course. Across the pond, you may find yours simpler?

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fluffer nutter
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 10:04:43 AM

Here is the wiki on the ESRB ratings here in the U.S. It doesn't look confusing to me, once you read the descriptions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entertainment_Software_Rating_Board

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Lairfan
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 9:42:56 AM
Reply

If the FCC has no jurisdiction over games at the moment, why do they think they have it now? From what I've heard (correct me if I'm wrong), they only really control (control in this context meaning censoring and rating) TV and movies. Why expand jurisdiction when all of their legislation says they only have control of movies and TV?

I know, I know, "This will make it so much easier for parents to..." Bah! If parents don't know what a rating on a game means, they need to find out for themselves. All you have to do is flip a game over, see the words beside the rating, and you know what a game entails. For example, on the back of Resistance 2, right beside the M rating it says, "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, and Strong Language." If that doesn't serve as a red flag for someone buying a game for their 6 year old, then that person should go learn how to be a parent.

This is the same for all games in the US. Eventually, through looking at the backs of so many games, parents should be able to figure out what M entails, T entails, and so on and so forth. And if they really don't want to put the effort into doing that, why not just ask the clerk, "Hey, is this game alright for my 8 year old?"

There are already so many ways parents can keep bad games away from their kids, we don't need government to come in and regulate the ratings for them. America's parent today are too lazy, thinking government will regulate content for them. But it all comes back down to the homefront, the parents. And if they don't do their jobs, no matter how much government legislation there is, its not gonna work.

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Jawknee
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 12:31:07 PM

Doesn't matter. The head of te FCC that Barry H Obama just appointed is a huge fan of the way Hugo Chavez conducts himslf in regards to free
media and press. He thinks its just swell that Chavez shut down opposing TV stations and news papers in Venezula. Americans were fooled into thinking they were voting for a moderate demccrat. Instead we got a neo-communist and a supporter of tyrants and their methods.

Last edited by Jawknee on 8/29/2009 12:40:37 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:14:07 PM

Chavez is also a democratically elected official, not a dictator. And well, wouldn't we all be better off without Fixed (fox) news?

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JMO_INDY
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 5:11:36 PM

FOX news is very reliable and very informative, I personally like Glenn Beck, hes awesome, i bet the reason you dont like FOX is because its negative towards Obams, and its really not, their just staing the facts, there hardly biased as you so claim. If you want to talk about fixed, look at NBC (National Barack Channel), CBS (Central Barack Station), and ABC (American Barack Channel).

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Byakko2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 5:22:44 PM

JMO Indy. I invite you to have this off-topic debate with me via PM on my PS3.

PSN ID: Byakko2009

For anybody else who wants to I can make a chat room. Just PM me. The politics are overwhelming the games discussion now.

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Jawknee
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 6:31:57 PM

I ask that you not assume to know where I get my news. There's absolutely no way you know. I've read the bill.

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Jawknee
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 6:43:11 PM

Worlds, I guess being democratically means you can shut down privately owned TV stations and new papers the are critical of you? Obama should shut down "Fixed News" then.

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fluffer nutter
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 11:33:21 PM

If you guys are seriously going to have a debate via PSN on this, I'd like to come in and watch. I can make popcorn in a jiffy.

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Oliver
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 11:39:22 AM
Reply

The ESA is correct, the FCC has no jurisdiction over the game industry. The only reason the FCC has any say over the "decency" of content on TV or radio is because those broadcasts are available free over the public airwaves. The FCC has no control over pay TV, that's why you can purchase exlicit adult content on PPV or see adult programming on HBO or Cinemax. Cable TV does not provide ratings info because they want to, but rather they do it voluntarily to avoid falling under the jurisidction of the FCC.

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Jawknee
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 12:13:35 PM
Reply

"If it ain't broke...don't damn fix it."

sadley Washington these days have a habbit ot destroying freedom in the name of "the children". I agree some content could be inappropriate for children but ultimatly that's up to the parents to decide.

Anyone know which law makers are sponsering this bill? I'm a member of the republican party but to my great disappointment they havent been very good allies to gamers. I'd be interested to see who's idea this was.

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Jawknee
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 12:24:54 PM

Guess I should have just looked at the bloomberg link.

Now that I see Rockefellers name on this I'm not surprised. This asshat has been pushing for more an more government control over Americans lives for decades. These statist "liberals" need to be removed from Washington. Just wait you neo-marxists. Were coming for you in 2010. Take your hopenchange and stuff it.

On top of this, Rockefeller is sponsering another bill that would give The One authority to turn off the private sectors access to the Internet in the name of "protecting against a cyberattack". These people are out of their minds. Our founders are rollng over in their graves.

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Byakko2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 1:12:13 PM

You're surprised the bible-toting evangelical members of the Republican party aren't too fond of video games? Really now....

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Jawknee
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 1:23:29 PM

Yes please bring on the stereotypes and bumper sticker slogans.

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GuernicaReborn
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 1:32:46 PM
Reply

As long as they don't dictate what developers can put in games, who really gives a crap? So the little white box in the corner will say PG13 instead of T. I don't see why this is such a big issue.

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dart_driver
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 1:47:16 PM

The ESRB is awsome. It has a def meaning. I mean come on. Some movies that are rated R these days Show both reperductive organs. they might as well be soft core porn so the movie ratings suck. We all no that M means 17+ and AO+ means adult only cuz it has sex, but other systems can bend the rules for the producer if its based on comedy(lie) or how much cash they get(truth).

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fluffer nutter
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:10:53 PM

You know what? We're human. We have bodies that are naturally nude and we do engage in non-reproductive sex. These are facts of life. Now, I do believe that if these things are contained in a film, or video game, it should be expressed and noted. This way, the public knows whether they should allow certain individuals, in their guardianship, to view these things but don't take away the right of anyone else that isn't phased by such things. People are way too prudish, and I don't mean everyone. I'm referencing those that have been so appointed to govern the ratings and regulations. Keep hope alive.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:08:41 PM
Reply

You people are nuts, there are no conspiracies and no dictators that will rule our lives or games. Everyone that is doing their job was democratically elected to do it, so leave it alone for Gods sake. Watch O'reilly and Glenn Beck if you wanna feel better about your whack ideas.

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fluffer nutter
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:12:23 PM

I'm giving you a thumbs down for three reasons.
1. I'm starting a fight.
2. You mentioned O'Reilly.
3. You mentioned that idiot, Glenn Beck
4. Because I can't count. :p

Let the onslaught begin!

Last edited by fluffer nutter on 8/29/2009 3:12:41 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:15:36 PM

That's cool, I also have a death panel to sell ya ;)

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JMO_INDY
Sunday, August 30, 2009 @ 9:32:37 PM

Glenn Beck and O'Reilly are very well informed gentleman, just because you dont like their views and opinions, doesn't mean you can call them idiots, ok? They are always respectful and un-biased, so leave your clearly Democratic biased behavior out of this. They are very good men doing a service to the American people, letting you know what's going on with our government and country, so if it's negative towards Obama, so be it, its the truth, and they just report it and bring it to our attention. Oh, and if it's fixed, why isn't it positive towards Obama while we have a Democratic filled government at the moment? Don't you think they would want another positive station towards Obama? He's the president of the United States, he has the power to do it, so why not? Because FOX NEWS has higher ratings then NBC, CBS, and ABC, people are finally opening up their eyes and ears to the truth, thats why his approval rating has been on the decline for quite some time now, people are realizing their decision to make history by voting for the first African American and "popular and hip" president was a dumb decision to base their vote for the leader of their country on. My feelings towards who should be allowed to run our country...if you haven't served this country in uniform, you can't serve this country in a business suit in the White House.

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TubbyUrchin
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:17:00 PM
Reply

I saw Borat opening night in the theatres... It was rated pg 13....

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Oyashiro
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:21:40 PM
Reply

EC/E = G
T = PG/PG13
M = R
AO = NC-17/X

There is not much of a deference. The only problem I have is that a lot of PG-13 films I've seen should have clearly been rated R. I don't care if they just change the names of the ratings, just as long as they don't touch how the ESRB actually rates the games.

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THEVERDIN
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 3:55:49 PM
Reply

Another step closer to communism. Thank you Mr. President

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 4:47:49 PM

A rating system to protect impressionable children is communism?

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Jawknee
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 6:35:34 PM

No, a government sticking it's nose where it doesn't belong can will lead less freedom.

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DarkManX
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 4:08:20 PM
Reply

go back and research what the Federal government was put into place to do...you will see this and many other things theyhave their hands in does not fit the original description due to the fact they have slowly been trying to gain more power little by little...I in no way think the federal government needs to have anything to do with my life or the happenings in my life...if a parent (which I am) can't look over and research the things their children so want then I think that is their problem not mine...Another thing the government does not have anyone but their own interests at heart...Look at this country its obvious. I don't need a baby sitter from cradle to grave.

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Byakko2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 4:16:40 PM
Reply

Hey I found a loophole in this crazy government scheme to control our video games! Follow me to the special underground where we discuss me buying a game for you and also checking online vendors who can't card you!

There. All your insane theories about seizing our video games to these "socialistic communists" have been debunked by my simple, yet genius idea. Some of you are using this as an excuse to lay on some insults towards Obama and that's sad. The worst part is, you're often putting no weight behind any of it, just calling him a communist, or socialist. Save those politics for the forums or some other channel. This is supposed to be about games and what a universal rating system means to us.

Myself, I think it's a great idea. And as Highlander said above where he mentions how games are becoming much like movies, they really should be rated as such. I too see this as less confusing for the average parent who's never been into a game shop to understand the ratings.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 8:27:51 PM
Reply

If you want to continue the political discussion do so in the following forum thread. This is not the place for it.

http://www.psxextremeforums.com/off-topic-forum/10330-americas-new-socialist-agenda-political-discussion-thread.html#post133223

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THEVERDIN
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 11:10:49 PM

Sorry didn't mean to open a can of worms.

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Kangasfwa
Sunday, August 30, 2009 @ 12:38:05 AM
Reply

I'd like to see the ESRB system become universal. Makes more sense than the PG and "R" ratings to me.

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King James
Sunday, August 30, 2009 @ 2:59:09 AM
Reply

Just read most of the comments. Man, you folks are so sensitive. Wasn't this about games? Guess some of you guys need a new one to play.
3 things:

-Stop watching the digital cancer (most cable news networks).
-Ignorance may be bliss, but you still sound like an idiot. Stay in school children.
-No matter what rating system the games switch to...parents will still blame others for their negligence. And lil' Timmy will still be playing GTA.

Oh yea and for shock value:
-HEALTHCARE REFORM WILL KILL YOUR GRANDPARENTS!
-Governments can't run a business.
-It okay to tap your neighbors phones, if they're Middle Eastern.
-OBAMA'S A SOCIALIST NAZI! HEAR MY VOICE! HEAR MY VOICE! HEAR MY VOICE!
-And leave Sarah Palin alone!!! She's not a quitter!

Last edited by King James on 8/30/2009 3:06:08 AM

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Mcbever
Sunday, August 30, 2009 @ 4:49:47 AM
Reply

If the fcc were to make this unversal rating less stricter than the esrb than the entertainment business and gaming industry would ear a lot more money, but on the other hand it would corrupt kids

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Random_Steve
Sunday, August 30, 2009 @ 2:42:03 PM
Reply

its all worng imho, when i was 13/14 i always played and watched 15s, its all suitable and at that age it doesnt hit on stuff that u dont know about, its really annoying

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