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