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File: 387fd7fe16724c1⋯.png (32.54 KB, 719x752, 719:752, _ESRB is too expensive.png)

File: e20eec55321dd1d⋯.png (994.8 KB, 1600x1092, 400:273, _ESRB does NOT effect PCub….png)

c9b500 No.329225

(Source on first image: https://archive.is/GQXVf#selection-333.54-333.58)

The ESRB has been at the center of the censorship in vidya in recent years. Everyone scrambles for a T Rating, yet getting that rating is inconsistent. Not to mention the ESRB is charging an arm and a leg for it. Most stores refuse to sell anything without an ESRB rating, but small indies get away with it. If the ESRB got bigger, it could become mandatory (as in, all vidya media must have an ESRB rating- no matter how small the studio). The ESRB is almost there already, but after a few generations, you could have the ESRB refusing to classify some titles for being crass and inappropriate for all. And who should decide what is inappropriate for all in the future?

Goal

Either we drag the ESRB's reputation through the mud (too expensive, doesn't do it's job properly, is outdated as a guide to parents and consumers, does not assist the industry in a process that is almost needed), or they change their ways and/or costs.

Big companies would want the ESRB cheaper (but probably want to keep it around so the Mature label can be used in advertising), smaller companies would want the ESRB cheaper, and the (good) consumers would want the ESRB to have less power. Those who want to use the ESRB as a deterrent for "problematic" games get shafted when it loses it's teeth, and bad parents have to admit they never did the research in an age of youtube instead of blaming devs.

Methodology

Basic spreading & digging.

No major/decent dev is gonna reject the ESRB until it's reputation is reduced, and any backlash is minimal. So, under a new hashtag (ESRBusted) we showcase the worst of the ESRB:

- Expense.

- Anti-Developer practices.

- Inconsistent Ratings (as well as possible signs of bias- against Japanese games or "problematic" themes, etc).

Infographs, and digging into the above for more ammo.

Like (but snappier & more focused):

https://twitter.com/Maximus_Honkmus/status/745842986727186432 (https://archive.is/R7jYJ)

https://twitter.com/Maximus_Honkmus/status/745836634562793472 (https://archive.is/lsawh)

Follow the whole chain by him- download the images. I'll attempt to repost during the week, but if anyone has free time I'd recommend they do it.

When the ESRB responds to these claims (if we apply enough pressure they will), get trusted journos to write about it, shill their articles and research, and apply more pressure.

This is not to shift the blame of censorship from devs or producers- most of them wanted the lesser rating for a wider audience and more money. I wouldn't recommend making it sound like it's entirely the ESRB's fault (disinfo, even in our favor, can only end badly), but as an individual, you can decide how to present this info to some groups (i.e. getting Capcom fans thinking they're crusading for Capcom when the ESRB "made" them censor SV5). Do it your way, but never lie.

c9b500 No.329226

>>329225

Risks

- Topic Dilution via Blame Game.

ESRB claims the figures are false. Major companies claim they are vague. ESRB claims The devs chose to censor before speaking to them, etc. The whole things moves away from "Are the ESRB doing bad work?" and to "Is the fault of bad ratings due to devs or ESRB?"- and that's an argument they can orchestrate until everyone gets bored and goes home (likewise, blood in the water and someone big covering up keeps them interested).

To counter this- stay on message. Don't change it. Don't even argue with other people (tell they're wrong once, then leave- otherwise the argument becomes the focus. "What is the real #ESRBusted?")

- Hijacking Goals via Removing Lesser Evil for Greater Evil.

The ESRB changes it's policies (or is replaced by a similar body) that's much stricter- but puritan or slanted to the left. We can't always rely on Trump to save us in all matters- he has to run a country (and even if he is in charge, they'll be pockets of SJWs holding power in places who'll double-down their mission to make everything "pure" and "good"). SJWs can certainly hijack this, and instead of making it about inconsistency, it'll be focused on how "problematic" content doesn't get a higher rating or banned. Not to mention a stricter ESRB helps western devs, as it'll shut down efforts to localize Japanese vidya that isn't kid stuff, so the western market only has access to western games.

This is harder to counter. Setting out goals can be abused as we all know (following out the goal in writing but not in spirit). So keep complaining, and if the method to address the concerns is a bigger fuck up, raise MORE hell. The MO is the same as everyone else we've fought: Denial, Mud-Slinging, Appeasement, Fear. The ESRB has the advantage of being a "white noise" organization- necessary but never questioned as thoroughly as they should. As a result, this should freak them out, and could get some interesting reactions. Reactions we can capitalize on.

Expansion

- Other countries versions of the ESRB being put through similar scrutiny.

- Get the consumer to talk more about them being the ones who decide what is appropriate for sale (via their wallets) and expanding this analogy to other forms of media.

- A stronger demand against bad localization.

- Pushing for changes to laws (or even just re-iteration) that a game does not require a rating to be sold. Online stores start to stock games without a rating, but use their own in-house rating for customers (someone looks up gameplay and makes a judgement call)

Remember it's ESRB, not ERSB.


c9b500 No.329229

File: 078d3d1f6da822a⋯.jpg (70.65 KB, 962x353, 962:353, ClnEsdZWQAAWXmY.jpg)

File: 6d3d9e635180a22⋯.jpg (54.92 KB, 908x238, 454:119, ClnFVI1WgAAs1n7.jpg)

File: fc3842808bc5d63⋯.jpg (81.06 KB, 918x254, 459:127, ClTUzG4UkAEpMow.jpg)

Looking at this stuff (VERIFY. I followed the URL in pic 1 and all I can find is this: https://www.esrb.org/ratings/ratings_guide.aspx which is clearly not the same as where these pics come from https://archive.is/EZtuG. Lucky we have it, but keep your eyes peeled. Never use fake evidence), there's some other avenues.

From: https://twitter.com/Maximus_Honkmus/status/745842986727186432

- If brick & mortar stores can dictate the ESRB, encourage people to buy online and ship. Don't mention specific stores (that's a boycott, and that's bad due to how it can be twisted back on us), but the big chains will get hammered first buy it.

- Point out how the 4th principle (pic 2) is incredibly easy to game if you get a shitstorm going. Even a minority of people can stop a game going on sale via SJW email tactics. Soccer moms could ban [violent game with a good message] in case their child buys it- despite their child being too young for it, and it's the parents responsibility to dictate what can and cannot be bought.

- How the advertisement limitations (check the tweet. On their own those images don't say that they're guidelines) actually clash with other parts of ESRB ruling on false advertising (Can't show extreme violence or sex on adverts/box-art, but then the game contains that)

From: https://twitter.com/Maximus_Honkmus/status/745836634562793472

- If the game is entirely something that is against their guidelines, they won't rate it. (pic 3) Wonder how many AAA western games break those guidelines? https://twitter.com/Maximus_Honkmus/status/744454179284934656

- Buy Japanese on import or online only. If brick & mortar stores hate cartoon boobs, then they can settle with western AAA money instead. And that'll never crash, right guys? Likewise, if you're one of those who write to Jap devs begging for a release, explain how you'd be happy with an online store/online release as well. Less fuss on their end- cuts out the middle man.


c9b500 No.329230

File: 7b888f0ba505290⋯.jpg (1.07 MB, 1920x3659, 1920:3659, T for Teen rating is bulls….jpg)

File: dd20de718e735ac⋯.jpg (297.53 KB, 1200x577, 1200:577, WWE Can still get T for Te….jpg)

Seems the ESRB's own laws mean nothing above a T rating should exist.

Yet things get a T rating that should be M by their own laws, T games get M for a split second of nipple or one act of violence, and genuinely Mature games fly in the face of all their rules.

Is the ESRB still following it's post-Mortal Kombat laws? I

f so, why not apply them consistently?

Is the ESRB making any back-room-deals with devs or producers to get games past ESRB?

If the ESRB has become more relaxed- why have them?

In the day and age where any gameplay footage can be found, why do we need the ESRB?

Why are clerks in gamestores not a good enough filter to warn a parent if a game is inappropriate? (if anything, the second the parent goes against the staff's warning, they are no longer legally viable)

How come major Japanese titles are under more scrutiny for sex than niche Japanese titles?


c9b500 No.329231

An anon from the thread also advised:

Watch this documentary [This Film Is Not Yet Rated], too. Some of the problems with favortism and pressure on films' ratings is also mirroring issues ESRB and possibly more. It doesn't quite cover stuff like the push for PG-13/T for more potential sales, which is something even Japan deals with with their CERO board (All Ages A rating have become stricter, which means older titles ported up have to be censored if they wish to keep them from becoming rated B or C; CERO Z titles having government-restricted advertising venues so certain games get trimmed to CERO D)


c9b500 No.329232

Here's an example got for ESRB inconsistencies: The Super Smash Bros. Series

>Smash 64 is E for Animated Violence: Logical

>Melee is T for Comic Mischief & Mild Violence: Illogical, why isn't it E?

>Brawl is T for Cartoon Violence & Crude Humor: Also illogical, the E10+ rating was already established, why isn't it that? Snake doesn't even use any weapons outside of his rocket launcher and even then it doesn't make people explode

>Smash 4 is E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief & Mild Suggestive Themes: OK…The ESRB site says players can unlock/obtain character trophies that depict female characters in revealing outfits (Oh boy here we go again), interesting thats a suggestive theme while in that same game you can no longer see Peach or Zelda's upskirts


c9b500 No.329233

Research from /v/ thread:

While I was searching for more ESRBusted examples, I found this short list to be useful

https://archive.fo/V5pkG (pt1)

https://archive.is/8FpTw (pt2)

I also remember when Hatred was originally assigned a AO rating before that changed. Trying to think of other example where the rating change fucked over a game's enjoyment (Or whatever you call it where the original story and concept would've been so much better than what you got but you didn't because the ratings board cried like a bitch & demanded you change it)


c9b500 No.329234

File: 316ca0b30a33908⋯.png (1.18 MB, 1666x952, 7:4, 2d41f42e827fcb987a3293614f….png)

Infograph example- but it has a small error.

Zelda never had her upskirt changed, only Peach did.


2c7576 No.329235

If you guys get this going on twitterfront, be sure to keep in mind what happened with OP Torrential Downpour. With that some butthurt people mad that 8ch was doing something created gore spamming bots to ruin the tag.


c9b500 No.329236

>>329235

Shit I never even thought of this avenue.

I still see it occasionally, but I suppose the only thing to do is try to out-perform it, focus on message, report anything that breaks Twitter TOS.


c9b500 No.329237

File: 9731c64866517d1⋯.png (2.63 MB, 1440x890, 144:89, 9731c64866517d1c10952b4f17….png)

Propaganda from Christmas past.


c9b500 No.329241

Reposting:

While the bill is 4 years old and I have no idea if it passed, it says that distributing without a rating can net you a fine of $5,000.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/287


c9b500 No.329242

Reposts

Another idea for ESRBusted:

Argue a case where people ask if the ESRB is needed anymore in the era of the internet where they can look up gameplay footage to make the call themselves or the ESRB's mission on trying to keep the children away from what the ESRB considers inappropriate a failure when mature rated big franchises such as Call of Duty & Grand Theft Auto have children playing them.

> that is a good point. I have seen 10 year olds play that game and the ESRB does nothing to stop them. They are absolutely useless in terms of effectiveness for their intended purpose. If anything, their bright red tape just draws children to them.

> The purpose of ESRB is to give parents a general idea of the content of what they're letting their children play, not to keep the kids from playing them.

To that last point I'd argue even parents know to look up vids online.

The only person it helps is the impulse buyer (buying fora snot-nosed brat having a tantrum).

War games will have blood, games with tits will show the tits front and center, so it's only a small minority of games that betray what is in the game (or how severe it is).

In fact, the ESRB's guidelines >>329229 mean the game can't show how gory or sex-filed it is, meaning the ESRB (or rather, large chain stores) are hindering the accurate depiction of the game.


e8917f No.329243

You really have to lead with stronger evidence than you are putting forth. Half this is just "NISA are lying bastards" and has nothing to do with the ESRB.

>>329232

This can easily be chocked up to graphical fidelity and characters. 64's most human looking characters are really stylized.

>>329241

>Introduced in house

>no cosposers

Went nowhere


328c4c No.329244

File: f389c7d9f27f66d⋯.png (1.7 MB, 1890x2000, 189:200, ESRBusted Phoenix Wright.png)

>>329234

I'm assuming you're the same anon that made this, good job.

If you're soliciting advice though, you could change the smallest text font to something else without serifs to make it easier to read. Fonts like Times work better on print, not so much on the screen.


86f000 No.329247

File: b15d7c11ba6215f⋯.png (1.94 MB, 1752x1537, 1752:1537, ESRBusted Phoenix Wright.png)

>>329244

Nope, I'm the anon who did that and made it more spoiler-free Even though e8917f has a point that it doesn't have anything to do with the ESRB.

Feel free to give me advice!


86f000 No.329250

File: 7f921cbabe9eb62⋯.jpg (117.9 KB, 300x388, 75:97, Manhunt_2_Wii_Box_Art_FINA….jpg)

An article from 2007 explains Manhunt 2 getting the AO rating

https://archive.fo/rWinb

>As for the reason this is only an "initial" rating, when the ESRB rates a game, it notifies the publisher 30 days prior to publicly releasing its decision.

>While Take-Two doesn't agree with the idea of an AO-rated Manhunt 2, one parent watchdog group believes it's only appropriate. Earlier today, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood demanded that the ESRB give Manhunt 2 an AO rating, saying that "harmful effects of ultra-violent video games on children will be magnified by playing them on the interactive Nintendo Wii system."

Things may have changed in 10 years but it's interesting that they contacted the ESRB president with their concerns

>"We have received the letter from CCFC and, while we might take issue with some of the statements made within, we sincerely appreciate their expressed concerns," Vance said. "Our ratings are intended to provide guidance that allows parents to choose games they deem suitable for their children, and that is a responsibility we take extremely seriously."


86f000 No.329251

File: a8e9f455d118608⋯.jpg (45.21 KB, 300x424, 75:106, Punisher_game_cover.jpg)

Why the Adults Only rating may be pointless and harmful to games as an art form

Also explains why The Punisher originally got the AO rating before it was changed to M.

https://archive.fo/0m0WE

>The team worked directly with the ESRB, letting them know there would likely be issues with the content. As for Marvel? "They supported it, they bought it completely," Cermack said. The idea of an ultra-violent game based on an ultra-violent comic book made plenty of sense.

>Cermak laughed when I asked what content the ESRB found problematic. The words "interactive torture" came up; scenes where the hero would do ghastly things to criminals in order to gain more information about what to do next in the game. They were optional, but they tapped into the grim determination that makes the Punisher an interesting character.

>There was a scene that involved a wood chipper. There was a torture sequence where the criminal was gored by a wild animal. In one scene Frank Castle, the Punisher, tortured someone with a drill press. There was a sequence where a bad guy was held up to a ceiling fan "that was spinning pretty fast." It wasn't just a visual issue, as scenes were interactive. You didn't watch someone get tortured, you participated. It was a game mechanic.

>They showed these scenes to the ESRB, and the decision was made to change the coloring to black and white to try to dull the impact of what was being shown. Kill Bill had just been released, and that series featured a scene that was changed to black and white in order to escape with an R rating as well. The idea seemed sound.


86f000 No.329252

File: 7ea925bf3c55d5a⋯.png (26.24 KB, 363x165, 11:5, Rating Pending.png)

This Game Is Not Yet Rated: Inside The ESRB Ratings System

Gamasutra interview with ESRB president Patricia E. Vance back in 2007. Some really useful information on how they operate, I'll choose the parts that stick out to me but I recommend you look in to it.

https://archive.fo/8mzKj (pt1)

>What kinds of things are you looking for in the raters? Do they have to be gamers?

>PV: We prefer raters who've had experience with children, whether through their profession or by being parents or caregivers themselves. We also want people who are articulate and thoughtful, able to express and defend their opinions about content, as well as people who are familiar with video games. They don't have to be hardcore fans, but they should have experience playing games, especially since part of their job is to test final product after its release to confirm that the original submission materials prepared by the publisher reflected the final product.

https://archive.fo/XDey1 (pt2)

>How are games assigned to raters? Can a rater request a specific game, or is it done randomly?

>PV: Raters cannot request specific games to rate. We'll have a docket of games that are set to be rated on a given day, and the raters' time is scheduled accordingly. There's effort made to have each panel be as heterogeneous as possible, such as trying to have both male and female represented, but on the whole it's a function of scheduling and managing time.

https://archive.fo/fFcPa (pt3)

>How are disagreements among the raters resolved?

>PV: Usually through discourse. They express their opinions about the content and recommend ratings to the group that they think are most appropriate, and they'll deliberate together trying to find common ground. They may review submissions for similar games previously rated by ESRB to help with the parity aspect. But ultimately, ratings are based on the majority consensus of raters, not on unanimous agreement, so it's not essential that all the raters completely agree all the time.

https://archive.fo/S9RrT (pt4)

>Some of your raters are parents. Are they instructed that they should think as a parent while rating games which their own children might play?

>PV: We ask that the raters view content and assign ratings from the perspective of what they think would be most helpful to the average consumer, parents in particular. Our preference for hiring raters that have experience with children is so that they can apply that knowledge when considering content and assigning ratings that are intended to provide helpful guidance to parents.


2f7b3b No.329253

Cross posting reposting something from the /v/ thread.

>>>/v/11624765

Will post the archived link later when that bread is done.

Possible figures of the ESRB, see if there's any connections and other interesting tidbits for ESRBusted

ESRB's Linkedin page

https://www.linkedin.com/company/esrb

Alex Schoch: The Marketing Manager

https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-schoch-7362911b

Max Jay: Manager, Communications

https://www.linkedin.com/in/maxjay

Matt Hochheiser: Manager, Ratings Submission

https://www.linkedin.com/in/hochheiser-matt-5223875

Brian Pyne: Director, Legal Affairs & Enforcement

https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianpyne

Brian McMillan: Tester & Video Editor

https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianmcmillan88

Randy Walker

https://www.linkedin.com/in/randy-walker-616847

Dmitri Kalmar

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dkalmar


2f7b3b No.329254

>>329253

Err, from this post in the thread that is.

>>>/v/11624679


7372c8 No.329278

File: a78fe1340b52264⋯.png (239.07 KB, 662x483, 662:483, laundry list.png)

I feel that the best way to deal with the problem is to keep the ESRB as an information source, but it needs its inherent power to be neutered. the ESRB is no different from the movie rating system, but has the same problems; assholes will use the highest ratings as a blood stain to cause outrage.

Hatred got an AO rating, solely because someone with influence complained to the ESRB, when its executions are no more or less violent than anything you can do in other games. hell, Duke Nukem Forever has a fucking laundry list in it's rating box, and is "merely" M.

I remember when GTA San Andreas got pulled because apparently Hot Coffee could be used in the console versions.

http://archive.fo/ZFeUG

http://www.ign.com/articles/2005/07/20/gta-san-andreas-gets-adults-only-rating

of course, the reason this is such a mess because idiots follow guidelines like dogma, and would rather indulge their anger instead of thinking.


86f000 No.329279

http://mediacoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Only-A-Game-Why-Censoring-New-Media-Wont-Stop-Gun-Violence.pdf

http://comm.psu.edu/assets/pdf/pennsylvania-center-for-the-first-amendment/videogame.pdf

http://www.jthtl.org/content/articles/V8I2/JTHTLv8i2_OHolleran.PDF

http://twvideo01.ubm-us.net/o1/vault/gdc07/slides/S3883i1.pdf

Since we're already in the discussion of the inconsistencies of ESRB's ratings and reasoning on censoring game titles, I suggest you search for papers like the one I posted regarding the matter and how it doesn't help anything at all. Save these PDF files for posterity and make sure you dig more of it.


86f000 No.329280

An old article on HowStuffWorks Tech explains how the ESRB works.

How the ESRB works

https://archive.fo/RcMDz

Legal Restrictions

https://archive.fo/yR5i4

The Effect of Ratings (pt3)

https://archive.fo/AXpks

The "Hot Coffee" Controversy

https://archive.fo/rgI9R

Sources used

https://archive.fo/tl3bf


86f000 No.329281

Dig up on Michelle Pagano for any connections or information. She used to be a communication manager for the ESRB

https://www.linkedin.com/in/paganomichelle


2f7b3b No.329282

>>329253

archived link of thread

https://archive.fo/K5im2


c9b500 No.329283

File: 5f8bea5c862df14⋯.png (138.97 KB, 1283x497, 1283:497, Mandatroy ESRB (Theory).PNG)

Finally found this post. I think it's a work of fiction why make it an official law, when you can make it a "moral" law? Compare to political correctness. IMO the goal is for the bulk of the "main" gaming industry to go PC- while a few niche foreign games will be "allowed", but soley to be mocked, but I think it could lead to this later, or this still could be the/one of many main goal(s).

Again, we can't rely on a Trump office to over-turn it ("What? They think this body is too strict? I need to sort bigger things out, get [someone who is a marxist who played their cards close to their chest] to deal with it…")- so a clear message of pro-free speech in industry is needed.


c9b500 No.329284

>>329278

>Hatred got an AO rating, solely because someone with influence complained to the ESRB, when its executions are no more or less violent than anything you can do in other games. hell, Duke Nukem Forever has a fucking laundry list in it's rating box, and is "merely" M.

TBF the "context" of this might have changed it. Aliens to innocent civillians who beg for mercy.

Still, I think when people of influence complain to the ESRB it certainly makes sense.

Hence why some niche titles get a light rating compared to more mainstream stuff.

For example the first image here >>329230 was in context of SV5 "aiming" for a T Rating when they censored themselves. Then, you see a split second of blue ass in Mass Effect, and that gets Mature (I think).

Mainstream/Niche, who complains, If the dev/publisher pushes for a certain raiting, and backroom deals may influence a game's rating.


c9b500 No.329285

>>329244

>>329247

I think the second is better, but they don't show a child.

I think Athena post-death-accidentally mutilating her mother is one thing (since it's off screen) a child covered in blood is all hands to panic mode.

Heard out of context- that sounds like a horror game right? But that one moment is just one moment- and not particularly gory.

>>329250

>Things may have changed in 10 years but it's interesting that they contacted the ESRB president with their concerns

DisNod wins. Whether it be concerns, or adverts.

>>329278

Neutering ESRB is priority 1. Free speech can reign if they mean less.

Convincing the consumer to research themselves will take longer than dropping it in their own lap. Not to mentioning kicking the "Be a good parent and research the media they consume. And learn to say no to them." will generate enough salt to give it free publicity.

Educating does work better than it appears however. Funny how all those bad journo websites lost viewers when we revealed they were crooked. (even if normalfags don't get it all, they get the gist).

>>329279 papers explaining why the ESRB is unnecessary are gold.


86f000 No.329286

Pasting some more stuff.

>https://twitter.com/ESRBPrivacy/following

>blizzard

>watchdogs2

>shit ton of women & some pajeets

>Dona Fraser

>Vice President, Privacy Certified @ ESRB

She's also a fucking lawyer on top of being a VP

I think it's safe to say she's pulling some strings, not entirely sure of who handles the social media

Patricia Vance

https://twitter.com/PatriciaEVance/following

>Planned Parenthood

>Rachel Maddow

>The Daily Show

>Stephen Colbert

>Jerry Seinfeld

ESRBRatings

https://twitter.com/ESRBRatings/following

>Kotaku

>Adam Sessler

>Felicia Day

>Patrick Klepek

Ron Curry: CEO of IGEA

https://twitter.com/Ronki/following

>DiGRA Australia

>IGDA Melbourne

>Malcolm Turnbull


86f000 No.329287

File: 9461e35a1107b33⋯.jpg (75.22 KB, 800x450, 16:9, cover comparison.jpg)

Dead or Alive Dimensions box art deemed too leggy by ESRB

https://archive.fo/lElZb

>In what seems like some backpedaling in order to make nice with the ESRB, Tecmo has told 1UP the following:

>This whole thing is getting blown way out of proportion. The truth is that when we submitted the box art as-is from Japan, there were a few parties both internal and external who thought there might be some issue with the image. Nobody 'demanded' anything be changed, it was just pointed out. You have to pick your battles, and covering up that small bit of the image seemed to be harmless. Honestly, if you look at the comparisons between the Japanese and US box shots, it's not like the image loses anything after the edit.

>The ESRB has been very helpful working with us on recent projects. If the box art was something we felt really strongly about, we would have kept it as-is. But we just didn't really see the harm in editing it to make it appropriate for everyone involved.


0cf354 No.329290

>>329287

>You have to pick your battles

You have chosen your battle… poorly

What a fucking mealy-mouthed, poorly-bearded, Mac-using, SanFran Sophisticrat, probable rapist, male "feminist ally".


c9b500 No.329347

YouTube embed. Click thumbnail to play.

For those who get it mixed, it's ESRB, not ERSB.

Emily Sucks Rigged Benis.

As another prong to this, a recent game attempted to have all the "bad" content toggleable in the options. Vid related- only 5 mins.

In short, it would make everyone is happy except SJW since others can enjoy stuff they hate.

Hell, even Tim Schafer did it one time- Brutal Legend has in it's intro the option to toggle off gore and even censor swearing.

Now I'm far from suggesting all "problematic" content should hide behind an options menu (lord know that's easy to abuse into DLC to unlock if major companies did it. Compare to that Warhammer game that got slated for charging DLC)- but it exposes the SJW much easier to normalfags.

> OK, lets put an option in that lets you toggle it. The game will still be rated 18+, but at a flip of a switch, it shows content appropriate for 15+. Ain't that swell.

And instead of focusing on the obvious flaw of any kid just toggling all the violence on, the SJW will cry out:

> But they're enjoying things that are wrong! No one should see this content! It makes people [label]!!

Everytime. Everytime.

Get them to play that hand over something that isn't a big deal and they'll lose influence in the fight.

Hatred is an example of something hard to defend and easy for others to spin (focusing on comparing it to real life events, or how enjoying it is wrong and shameful), but not all games will be like that.

Anime tiddies are surprisingly easy to defend. Yes it's "weird" to normalfags, but also harmless. When they casually say "what's wrong with letting them see it?" the SJW will wig out, and (since normalfags hate to be confronted/made to feel negative) they'll have a negative connotation to SJW in the future.

If you do the legwork for them (compare a violent horror movie to a violent horror game- and the fact one was allowed to be sold or had a lower rating) even then normalfags will sympathize. And every time normalfags talk, they spread memes a little further (SJW are a joke and Trump won. Either normalfags are easier to talk to than we realized or there's a lot less of the one who don't listen or produce an opinion than we first thought)


58b22a No.329361

Complaints about the consistency and cost of a rating process aside, I think it's a good idea in principle. Executed well, it lets people choose what kind of content they want to see in games they play. For parents, it lets them keep content that might harm or traumatise their children away from them.

I agree it's a problem when the requirement to achieve a certain rating in order to be commercially successful leads to developers arbitrarily censoring their games at the whims of the rating body.


ed1d57 No.329363

File: 6aad359ddb4f4e1⋯.jpg (68.13 KB, 750x720, 25:24, 6aad359ddb4f4e1b3b2eafa8a7….jpg)

>>329287

sometimes i wonder if the Japanese devs are getting pissed off at all the tampering with their art and characters or they just shrug their shoulders and go

Damn stupid Gaijins!!!

These at blizzard assholes even got mad when overwatch porn was made,Mario and sonic porn has been made for decades yet nintendo and sega never once complained about it


86f000 No.329386

Playstation has an adults-only section…only in Japan

https://archive.fo/XSDVM

>Japan has strict regulations when it comes to games rated CERO Z. These games cannot be sold to anyone under 18 and are usually kept behind the counter. The taboo about CERO Z games have declined since more companies are releasing them, even Japanese developers like Tecmo Koei with Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge and Killer is Dead from Kadokawa Games. However, the same restrictions applied to digital distribution and most CERO Z games are not sold online.

>Sony Computer Entertainment Japan is taking a leap forward by opening an 18+ game section on PlayStation Network in Japan. This part of the PlayStation Store will carry CERO Z rated games like The Last of Us. The new section will go live on October 31 with the following titles:

>The Last of Us, God of War: Ascension, Killer is Dead, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, Sleeping Dogs, Hitman Absolution

>The Last of Us and God of War: Ascension will be discounted from 5,145 yen to 3,980 yen until November 13 as a launch promotion. PlayStation Plus members will be able to purchase either title for 3,480 yen.

>Future CERO Z games like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Retro City Rampage, Saints Row IV, and Onechanbara Z: Kagura with NoNoNo will be available in this shop.

>Unfortunately, this won’t make importing Onechanbara Z any easier since you can only purchase CERO Z games with a master account and a credit card. Still this is a notable policy change that will increase distribution for CERO Z titles, many of which are developed in the West. Microsoft tried a similar strategy for Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, but did not push CERO Z digital distribution even though they held events specifically for CERO Z games in Japan.


86f000 No.329389

ESRB president Vance: We could use more 'Adults Only' games

https://archive.fo/CBhW3

>Speaking to Gamasutra in a recent interview, Vance explained that contrary to popular belief, the Adults-Only (AO) rating doesn't only apply to sexually explicit games. Rather, the label can just as easily be used to describe violence or any other themes deemed best suited for adults.

>"You know, up to this point most people associate AO with sexual content," said Vance. "We've actually assigned AO ratings for violent content as well; it's just that most of the time that product gets edited or changed in order to warrant an M rating, so you never see it in the market."

>Vance speculated that as games transition from retail shops to digital storefronts, the industry might see more AO-rated games, as retailers would have no more influence over the types of content consumers can get their hands on.

>"It's very possible that there will be greater acceptance of an AO rating going forward," she said. "And by the way, I think that would be a good thing for the system. It's very frustrating that publishers can't release AO product, in many cases."

ESRB president Patricia Vance's plan for a world ratings solution

https://archive.fo/rrEmE

>It seems like there are a lot more games coming out now that are quite popular that are outside of the ESRB's purview. Like digitally distributed PC games. Minecraft doesn't have an ESRB rating on PC, but it's played by millions and millions of people. So do you foresee some sort of solution to that?

>Well, look, the ESRB was created as a voluntary system. Console manufacturers decided they wanted to require all games published on their systems to have an ESRB rating, major retailers decided they didn't want to stock games that didn't have an ESRB rating. I think you'll get to a point - or maybe not - where there is just either the marketplace in which you want to sell your product or make your product available requires it, or publishers just feel that it's something they want to offer as a tool for consumers to make an informed choice. It's not something we can force; it's got to evolve organically.

>As publishers kind of…not necessarily fall by the wayside, but perhaps decrease in importance a little bit, how do you foresee the future of the ESRB, as regards submitting games? How would an independent game developer that wanted to have their game rated get that done?

>Well, it depends on where they want their product distributed. If they're in a storefront that requires an ESRB rating, ideally they should just be able to get a rating when they submit to that storefront; it's an integrated rating process. They then utilize that rating when they submit to subsequent digital storefronts that have ESRB ratings.

>We want to make it easy to use; we don't want to create additional costs, we don't want to create additional time delay for product getting to market. So that's why we developed these scalable, kind of automated solutions and shifting our resources from pre-release to post-release testing and monitoring.

>The beauty about digitally-delivered content is we can quickly correct, in the event that there's a mis-assigned rating, whereas in the boxed games world, you know, if a product gets shipped with a rating it's exceedingly difficult to correct it. So I think it's a lighter touch from our standpoint, in terms of the burden on publishers, but can work just as effectively.

>What if there's a game that is released outside of a storefront?

>There's no requirement. If they want to come to us and get a rating they certainly can, and hopefully we'll have processes available for them to do that. But it is important for us to be able to work with companies or distributors or storefronts who are committed to correcting misinformation quickly. Because if that agreement doesn't exist, then we're vulnerable, we're exposed in terms of our marks and the credibility of the ratings that we provide.

Interview with Hatred Dev, says getting the AO rating wasn't part of their plan, the ESRB prematurely rated the game

https://archive.fo/psOyT

>The game is actually violent and currently rated as Adults Only, what was your goal developing Hatred?

>Przemysław Szczepaniak: Receiving Adults Only rating wasn’t our goal, it’s the ESRB who prematurely rated the game – they didn’t even play it. We wanted to make a brutal and dynamic shooter. It isn’t of course designed for children. We aimed more into mature audience. M-rating would be the best, as the level of violence and gore isn’t as high as everyone expected to be, it isn’t even as high as you can find it in newest Mortal Kombat.


86f000 No.329397

ESRB's faqs

https://archive.fo/PHfy6

Is it illegal to sell or rent M (Mature) or AO (Adults Only) rated games to customers under 17 and 18 years of age respectively?

>A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011 (Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association/Entertainment Software Association) found that video games are a constitutionally-protected form of expression, and that laws restricting their sale or rental based upon violent content are unconstitutional. That said, ESRB supports retailers' voluntary policies restricting the sale or rental of M (Mature) and AO (Adults Only) computer and video games in the United States and Canada to customers who are at least 17 and 18 years of age, respectively (unless permission from a parent has been obtained). Through efforts such as the ESRB Retail Council (ERC) and a strong commitment on the part of major video game retailers, retail stores have vastly improved the rate at which they comply with their store policies, as measured both by the ERC mystery shopper audits as well as audits conducted by the FTC. More information on federal, state and local regulations in the U.S. is available through the websites of the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) and Entertainment Software Association (ESA). In Canada, you may contact the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESA Canada) or the Retail Council of Canada (RCC).

How effective has the retail partnership program been?

>Through direct retail partnerships and the efforts of the ESRB Retail Council (ERC) in the U.S. and the Commitment to Parents initiative in Canada, the ESRB has successfully implemented ratings education programs with every major video game retailer in North America. Retailers' commitment to enforcing their store policies has also been furthered through ESRB's efforts, as evidenced by the high levels of compliance reported through ERC mystery shopper audits in the U.S. The ESRB also provides ratings education materials to numerous independent retailers. On an annual basis, over one billion consumer impressions are generated through the retail partnership program, which continues to contribute to greater awareness and use of the rating system by parents and other consumers. These successes would not be possible without the significant support of retailers throughout the United States and Canada.


86f000 No.329406

20 years of ESRB: More blood, less hassle for developers (interview)

https://archive.fo/2LDM0

>Entertainment Software Rating Board ratings have changed over the past 20 years — but as little as possible.

>I spoke with ESRB president Patricia Vance on the eve of the board’s two-decade anniversary. It’s been a difficult balance, she said. “What we try to do is keep up with cultural norms, but what makes our system credible and trustworthy is consistency.”

>The voluntary board has rated more than 21,000 retail games since it gave its first grades 20 years ago today — nearly 38,000 counting digital and mobile — and things have gradually changed, she said.

>Those first rated titles included Doom for Sega 32X (M/Mature), Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure for Super NES (T/Teen), Super Punch Out!! for Super NES (K-A/Kids to Adults), Sonic Triple Trouble for Sega Game Gear (K-A), and Donkey Kong Country for Super NES (K-A). Those categories have changed over the years — some children who are in the intended audience for E10+ (Everyone 10 and up) games have barely lived in a time when that rating did not exist — but the overall standards have adjusted as little as possible, she said.

>“We’ve adjusted somewhat, but not as much as the film industry,” Vance said. The organization might rate some of those early games appropriate for more audiences today, she said, thanks in part to the extreme pixelation of the images compared with today’s hyper-realism. “Clarity and sharpness of image have become part of our standards.”

>Vance said the agency conducts market research to make sure the ratings are still consistent with what people expect. That results in some minor changes, such as the use of blood in the Teen category. Once it was forbidden; now it must be static and not gratuitous, she said.

>“Any adjustments are subtle,” she said. “We stand by all our ratings, no matter how old they are.”

>The language and suggestiveness the board rules appropriate for each age group has stayed largely the same.

>“The American public is still very sensitive about sex, relatively sensitive about language, but has a relatively high threshold for violence. Our ratings reflect that.”

>Other countries have different standards, which is what makes current international efforts by the ESRB so interesting. A collection of game rating organizations from around the world have collected to create a single online questionnaire that developers can use to receive ratings from all regions at the same time.

>The end rating is not the same, Vance says, because cultural norms are different in different parts of the world. But a developer only has to apply once to get their ratings for this country, Brazil, Germany, and other parts of Europe.

>“It’s quite revolutionary,” she said. “It gets nuanced. Our challenge was to streamline the form. A lot of people made compromises. We’re sensitive to each country’s specific criteria.”

>The form, which is undergoing an update, asks developers to answer 10 basic questions, then opens up with more queries depending on the answers to the first 10.


86f000 No.329407

>>329406

>Some questions are in the form for a specific country: the use of swastikas, for example, will affect a game’s rating in Germany in a way it does not here. A game might be appropriate for wider audiences in other markets than in the U.S. depending on sexual content. And different countries slice their audiences in different ways.

>“I don’t think there would ever be a universal global rating,” Vance said. Among other reasons, this country has the First Amendment right to free speech, which is unique, she said. Governments run most other ratings agencies and have the right to censor content.

>“I don’t see a time when you’d have one global rating that would be effective and recognized. I think it’s really about making sure that tools are available for parents across the board.”

>Other changes to ESRB ratings over the years have been the result of new technology. Online play resulted in a generic warning about content, she said. Now, the agency is tracking the types of online engagement a game offers and requires and is considering more detailed information for parents. Does the game allow you to share things you’ve created with other players? To play them head to head? To chat while playing?

>“Those are the things that are increasingly important to be clear about up front,” Vance said. “As we develop these interactive elements out, they may change. Now we find ourselves needing to go beyond those lines [of basic description]. I can envision a future where we become more specific.”

>The agency has worked hard to make ratings fast and easy for developers, she said, especially on newer platforms such as mobile. Originally few mobile games carried an ESRB rating. The organization launched a program that made them relatively quick and free — now many games come with the familiar badges, and the ESRB uses an app itself to help parents get more information about games while on the go.

>“There’s no reason why an indie developer shouldn’t get an ESRB rating now,” she said. “We’ve really tried to exploit new technologies as we’ve gone along. It’s a challenge to keep up with an industry as dynamic as the video game industry, but I think we’ve done pretty well.”

>What hasn’t changed is the basic process for rating a boxed retail game. A panel of testers assign video game ratings based on footage provided by developers, typically ranging from 45 minutes to two hours in length. The raters discuss the content and arrive at a score.

>They’re trained by the ESRB on criteria and what ratings games have received in the past. Incentives, reward systems, controls, intensity, frequency of types of content, are all part of the formula.

>“The fundamentals haven’t changed,” Vance said, even though the organization now employs 30 full timers, mostly as raters, plus a part-time staff. “It’s about human judgment calls.”


86f000 No.329408

NEXT-GEN BIZ ESRB INTERVIEW FROM 2005

https://archive.fo/Z0NNE

>Our industry's ratings board is taking a chasing from politicians and the media, as well as agencies vying for the job of protecting American consumers from inappropriate content. But the ESRB is determined to show its independence - and its teeth…

>In the wake of the recent criticism from commercial agency PSV Ratings, Next Generation spoke to ESRB president Patricia Vance about how the board handles criticism and competition, and how it's working with publishers, retail and the media…

>Next Generation: Why is the Entertainment Software Ratings Board under constant fire?

>Patricia Vance: "There are people who just don't believe in self regulation. They don't believe that an industry can regulate itself, even though there are plenty of examples of successful regulatory bodies out there, including the film business.

>"But consumers aren't the ones complaining. Parents with kids between the ages of 13 and 17 as well as parents with kids between the ages of three and 14 heavily rely on the ratings and find them to be effective. We have plenty of research to show that.

>"There is nothing broken in the ratings system. It works well both in providing consumers with information on which to base an educated purchase decision. It also enforces numerous guidelines that the industry has adopted and when we believe that our guidelines have been violated we follow enforcement and corrective actions along the lines of what we did this summer with Hot Coffee and Grand Theft Auto.

>"Then, there are some people who have ulterior motives whether they be political or business motives like in the case of PSV, which is a for-profit entity which would like to create a business based on ratings services."

>The industry is under fire from pressure groups who argue that self-regulation isn't working. Wouldn't it be easier all round if we, as an industry, closed ESRB down and handed this off to an independent, commercial entity?

>" Our ratings are based on independent raters. The people who rate these games have no ties to the game industry. They come in for two to three hours a week. They are not reliant on this income for their living. They do this because they find it interesting and challenging. They are independent.

>"We are not going to get better ratings by changing to a different source. The ratings that we have today provide a lot of information to consumers, and the consumers are happy. They are not the ones complaining. There is no reason to throw out a system that has been in place for ten years and has the trust of consumers."


86f000 No.329409

>>329408

>There has been some criticism that many gamers are just rated by people who don't even play the games.

>"Our ratings are based on the consensus of independent raters who come in and view content. They don't have to play the game but they need to look at the (video) content.

>"We don't want gamers rating content. If all we had were gamers there might be a skewed consensus. There might be bias. We want the ratings to reflect mainstream American tastes and values. Our raters are all ages, all backgrounds and they all have experience with kids.

>"We do tests every year on whether our ratings are accurate and the research we do - year in and year out with independent researchers - proves that consumers overwhelmingly agree with the ratings we assign. We will never get to 100 percent. People are too diverse. But when 83% of parents say they agree with the ratings and another 5% say we are too strict we think we are managing to reflect American mainstream tastes and values."


86f000 No.329410

PART 2 OF THE NEXT-GEN BIZ ESRB INTERVIEW. BE WARNED THAT DUE TO THE UNAVAILABILITY OF THE ORIGINAL 2ND PAGE, A BLOG HAD TO BE USED

https://archive.fo/nHhZf

>Next Generation: Many critics focus on the M-rating and the AO rating. Between those two lines lies retail presence and, effectively, a ban…

>Patricia Vance: There are some people who would like product to be banned, in other words not available at all. Those people tend to claim that a game like Grand Theft Auto, for example, should not be rated 17 or older but 18 or older which thereby would limit its market potential because many retailers don't carry AO product.

>But there is no science to ratings. There is no child psychologist who will stand up and say 'this is not good for 17-year-olds but it's okay for 18 year olds'.

>Next Generation: Do you believe the media gives you a fair hearing?

>Patricia Vance: Some reporters understand the industry but some make assumptions about games and the industry. They assume that most of the games are violent. They don't know that only 12% of the games we rate are mature.

>Next Generation: Are the ratings working at the retail level, where much of the new legislation is targeted?

>Patricia Vance: Retail enforcement has significantly improved in the last few years so I think that we are on our way. Is it 100% fail-proof, that a kid can never buy a Mature rated game? No.

>What it boils down to is often a minimum wage store associate in a big store environment checking out a consumer with a line of 12 people waiting. That person is checking out everything from laundry detergent to movies and games. A register prompt says 'check for ID' but the associate may not know why, or may not have the time or someone in the line complains. There are a host of practical issues. And it's worth noting that they are not being asked to check for ID for an R rated DVD.

>I think most stores have implemented policies but it all boils down to execution.


86f000 No.329411

2006 ESRB Commitment To Parents Interview

https://archive.fo/HW34p

>FiringSquad: First, how did this idea for beefing up the enforcement of sales of "M" rated games come about?

>Patricia Vance: Enforcement is certainly not a new concept, if that’s what you’re asking. ESRB has worked closely with retailers for a number of years now to encourage and support their store policies regarding the sale of M-rated games, post in-store signage and train store associates about the ratings. However, the Commitment to Parents program takes those partnerships to a whole new level. Sharing best practices among retailers, collectively commissioning mystery shopper audits to measure compliance, and consumer redress are all new elements of our work with retailers, thanks to the Commitment to Parents program.

>FiringSquad: How hard was it to get the major retailers listed in the press release to agree to the new terms?

>Patricia Vance: As with any partnership involving several entities, there’s a process of coming to a mutually acceptable agreement, and of course that was part of the process. But the retailers have been enormously supportive of ESRB, recognizing the need to do more, and their commitment to ERC is a strong demonstration of that.

>FiringSquad: What about the other 20 percent of retailers that were not covered in this program? Will the ESRB attempt to contact them to see if they will participate?

>Patricia Vance: Absolutely. We fully intend to expand the ESRB Retail Council to include retailers that are not yet members. (By the way John, just to clarify, it’s not 80% of retailers involved in ERC, but rather retailers representing approximately 80% of retail video game sales overall – an important distinction).

>FiringSquad: The press release said that a number of US Senators appeared with ESRB and retailers reps for the announcement. Why did these lawmakers want to stand with the ESRB, especially as other state and national lawmakers seem to be set on making laws that restrict the sales of certain games?

>Patricia Vance: It’s probably best to ask the Senators themselves, but clearly Senators Santorum, Allen and Pryor understand the issues, and realize that initiatives such as those being undertaken by the ERC are truly where the greatest success is to be had. The FTC recently reported, and even your survey has recently found that retailers are doing a commendable job in terms of responsible game sales, requiring age verification and posting signage to explain the ratings to consumers. When the average age of a game buyer is 37, and national retailers are enforcing their store policies 65% of the time (according to the FTC), it becomes apparent that education and a commitment on the part of retailers to continue building on their improved performance is the most sensible direction. And these Senators are wise enough to recognize that effective self-regulation is a better alternative to government involvement in these areas.

>FiringSquad: As you know, FiringSquad did an informal survey earlier this year of a few retail stores, all of whom were listed in your press release, and our survey clearly indicated that the video game industry is doing a lot more in terms of not just labeling nearly every product but informing the public about the ratings, especially when compared to DVD releases, many of which are unrated and none of which have the rating on the front of the package. Having said that, why do anything at all and instead tell politicians to compare the two industries and see which ones do the better job?

>Patricia Vance: I think the best answer for that question is that the video game industry and the retailers that are participating in ERC are not interested in simply maintaining the status quo, even if the reality is that we are more effective today than in the past. The message to take away from ERC is that, even though there has been substantial improvement in terms of enforcement, we all agree that more can and should be done, and the ERC will facilitate that progress in a way that parents will realize the greatest benefit.


86f000 No.329412

>>329411

>FiringSquad: Do you believe this new enforcement policy might keep other lawmakers from proposing further restrictions on video game sales?

>Patricia Vance: Our goal is to implement what works, and we feel strongly that the efforts that both retailers and the industry continue to undertake, both education and enforcement, are the most effective means for ensuring that parents have the information they need to buy games they deem appropriate for their families. When 9 out of every 10 times a parent or adult is involved in the purchase of a video game, it becomes evident that parents are the gatekeepers. The obligation ESRB and retailers have is to make sure they are presented with information with which they can make informed choices.

>FiringSquad: Finally, what was the ESRB's reaction to Wednesday night's Daily Show segment on the violent video game hearings in Congress last week?

>Patricia Vance: As you know, ESRB participated in those hearings and I did my very best to explain the ratings, how they are assigned, and the aggressive efforts we continue to make to educate parents. I respectfully answered all of their questions, and remain willing to work with legislators on finding viable remedies for their concerns. As far as satire goes, I think the Daily Show segment was amusing, but more importantly, they bring up a good point: parents are undoubtedly in the best position to raise their children, and the ratings provide ample information for them to make educated and sensible choices.


c9b500 No.329414

Digging up some great ore guys. Turn it into gold.

Found some more interviews with the ESRB president, very old & old.

20 years of ESRB: More blood, less hassle for developers (interview)

https://archive.fo/2LDM0

>Entertainment Software Rating Board ratings have changed over the past 20 years — but as little as possible.

>I spoke with ESRB president Patricia Vance on the eve of the board’s two-decade anniversary. It’s been a difficult balance, she said. “What we try to do is keep up with cultural norms, but what makes our system credible and trustworthy is consistency.”

>The voluntary board has rated more than 21,000 retail games since it gave its first grades 20 years ago today — nearly 38,000 counting digital and mobile — and things have gradually changed, she said.

>Those first rated titles included Doom for Sega 32X (M/Mature), Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure for Super NES (T/Teen), Super Punch Out!! for Super NES (K-A/Kids to Adults), Sonic Triple Trouble for Sega Game Gear (K-A), and Donkey Kong Country for Super NES (K-A). Those categories have changed over the years — some children who are in the intended audience for E10+ (Everyone 10 and up) games have barely lived in a time when that rating did not exist — but the overall standards have adjusted as little as possible, she said.

>“We’ve adjusted somewhat, but not as much as the film industry,” Vance said. The organization might rate some of those early games appropriate for more audiences today, she said, thanks in part to the extreme pixelation of the images compared with today’s hyper-realism. “Clarity and sharpness of image have become part of our standards.”

>Vance said the agency conducts market research to make sure the ratings are still consistent with what people expect. That results in some minor changes, such as the use of blood in the Teen category. Once it was forbidden; now it must be static and not gratuitous, she said.

>“Any adjustments are subtle,” she said. “We stand by all our ratings, no matter how old they are.”

>The language and suggestiveness the board rules appropriate for each age group has stayed largely the same.

>“The American public is still very sensitive about sex, relatively sensitive about language, but has a relatively high threshold for violence. Our ratings reflect that.”

>Other countries have different standards, which is what makes current international efforts by the ESRB so interesting. A collection of game rating organizations from around the world have collected to create a single online questionnaire that developers can use to receive ratings from all regions at the same time.

>The end rating is not the same, Vance says, because cultural norms are different in different parts of the world. But a developer only has to apply once to get their ratings for this country, Brazil, Germany, and other parts of Europe.

>“It’s quite revolutionary,” she said. “It gets nuanced. Our challenge was to streamline the form. A lot of people made compromises. We’re sensitive to each country’s specific criteria.”

>The form, which is undergoing an update, asks developers to answer 10 basic questions, then opens up with more queries depending on the answers to the first 10.

>Some questions are in the form for a specific country: the use of swastikas, for example, will affect a game’s rating in Germany in a way it does not here. A game might be appropriate for wider audiences in other markets than in the U.S. depending on sexual content. And different countries slice their audiences in different ways.

>what makes our system credible and trustworthy is consistency

>consistency


c9b500 No.329415

>>329414

2005 ESRB interview (Unfortunately part 2 is not available and only bits of it are on some guy's blog with his opinion on the subject matter)

https://archive.fo/Z0NNE

>Our industry's ratings board is taking a chasing from politicians and the media, as well as agencies vying for the job of protecting American consumers from inappropriate content. But the ESRB is determined to show its independence - and its teeth…

>In the wake of the recent criticism from commercial agency PSV Ratings, Next Generation spoke to ESRB president Patricia Vance about how the board handles criticism and competition, and how it's working with publishers, retail and the media…

>Next Generation: Why is the Entertainment Software Ratings Board under constant fire?

>Patricia Vance: "There are people who just don't believe in self regulation. They don't believe that an industry can regulate itself, even though there are plenty of examples of successful regulatory bodies out there, including the film business.

>"But consumers aren't the ones complaining. Parents with kids between the ages of 13 and 17 as well as parents with kids between the ages of three and 14 heavily rely on the ratings and find them to be effective. We have plenty of research to show that.

>"There is nothing broken in the ratings system. It works well both in providing consumers with information on which to base an educated purchase decision. It also enforces numerous guidelines that the industry has adopted and when we believe that our guidelines have been violated we follow enforcement and corrective actions along the lines of what we did this summer with Hot Coffee and Grand Theft Auto.

>"Then, there are some people who have ulterior motives whether they be political or business motives like in the case of PSV, which is a for-profit entity which would like to create a business based on ratings services."

>The industry is under fire from pressure groups who argue that self-regulation isn't working. Wouldn't it be easier all round if we, as an industry, closed ESRB down and handed this off to an independent, commercial entity?

>"Our ratings are based on independent raters. The people who rate these games have no ties to the game industry. They come in for two to three hours a week. They are not reliant on this income for their living. They do this because they find it interesting and challenging. They are independent.

>"We are not going to get better ratings by changing to a different source. The ratings that we have today provide a lot of information to consumers, and the consumers are happy. They are not the ones complaining. There is no reason to throw out a system that has been in place for ten years and has the trust of consumers."


c9b500 No.329416

>>329415

Part 2 of the 2005 ESRB interview

https://archive.fo/nHhZf

>Next Generation: There has been some criticism that many gamers are just rated by people who don't even play the games.

>Patricia Vance: Our ratings are based on the consensus of independent raters who come in and view content. They don't have to play the game but they need to look at the (video) content…

>We do tests every year on whether our ratings are accurate and the research we do - year in and year out with independent researchers - proves that consumers overwhelmingly agree with the ratings we assign.

>Next Generation: Many critics focus on the M-rating and the AO rating. Between those two lines lies retail presence and, effectively, a ban…

>Patricia Vance: There are some people who would like product to be banned, in other words not available at all. Those people tend to claim that a game like Grand Theft Auto, for example, should not be rated 17 or older but 18 or older which thereby would limit its market potential because many retailers don't carry AO product.

>But there is no science to ratings. There is no child psychologist who will stand up and say 'this is not good for 17-year-olds but it's okay for 18 year olds'.

>Next Generation: Do you believe the media gives you a fair hearing?

>Patricia Vance: Some reporters understand the industry but some make assumptions about games and the industry. They assume that most of the games are violent. They don't know that only 12% of the games we rate are mature.

>Next Generation: Are the ratings working at the retail level, where much of the new legislation is targeted?

>Patricia Vance: Retail enforcement has significantly improved in the last few years so I think that we are on our way. Is it 100% fail-proof, that a kid can never buy a Mature rated game? No.

>What it boils down to is often a minimum wage store associate in a big store environment checking out a consumer with a line of 12 people waiting. That person is checking out everything from laundry detergent to movies and games. A register prompt says 'check for ID' but the associate may not know why, or may not have the time or someone in the line complains. There are a host of practical issues. And it's worth noting that they are not being asked to check for ID for an R rated DVD.

>I think most stores have implemented policies but it all boils down to execution.


c9b500 No.329417

2006 ESRB Commitment To Parents Interview

https://archive.fo/HW34p

>FiringSquad: First, how did this idea for beefing up the enforcement of sales of "M" rated games come about?

>Patricia Vance: Enforcement is certainly not a new concept, if that’s what you’re asking. ESRB has worked closely with retailers for a number of years now to encourage and support their store policies regarding the sale of M-rated games, post in-store signage and train store associates about the ratings. However, the Commitment to Parents program takes those partnerships to a whole new level. Sharing best practices among retailers, collectively commissioning mystery shopper audits to measure compliance, and consumer redress are all new elements of our work with retailers, thanks to the Commitment to Parents program.

>FiringSquad: How hard was it to get the major retailers listed in the press release to agree to the new terms?

>Patricia Vance: As with any partnership involving several entities, there’s a process of coming to a mutually acceptable agreement, and of course that was part of the process. But the retailers have been enormously supportive of ESRB, recognizing the need to do more, and their commitment to ERC is a strong demonstration of that.

>FiringSquad: What about the other 20 percent of retailers that were not covered in this program? Will the ESRB attempt to contact them to see if they will participate?

>Patricia Vance: Absolutely. We fully intend to expand the ESRB Retail Council to include retailers that are not yet members. (By the way John, just to clarify, it’s not 80% of retailers involved in ERC, but rather retailers representing approximately 80% of retail video game sales overall – an important distinction).


c9b500 No.329418

>>329417

Continued:

>FiringSquad: The press release said that a number of US Senators appeared with ESRB and retailers reps for the announcement. Why did these lawmakers want to stand with the ESRB, especially as other state and national lawmakers seem to be set on making laws that restrict the sales of certain games?

>Patricia Vance: It’s probably best to ask the Senators themselves, but clearly Senators Santorum, Allen and Pryor understand the issues, and realize that initiatives such as those being undertaken by the ERC are truly where the greatest success is to be had. The FTC recently reported, and even your survey has recently found that retailers are doing a commendable job in terms of responsible game sales, requiring age verification and posting signage to explain the ratings to consumers. When the average age of a game buyer is 37, and national retailers are enforcing their store policies 65% of the time (according to the FTC), it becomes apparent that education and a commitment on the part of retailers to continue building on their improved performance is the most sensible direction. And these Senators are wise enough to recognize that effective self-regulation is a better alternative to government involvement in these areas.

>FiringSquad: As you know, FiringSquad did an informal survey earlier this year of a few retail stores, all of whom were listed in your press release, and our survey clearly indicated that the video game industry is doing a lot more in terms of not just labeling nearly every product but informing the public about the ratings, especially when compared to DVD releases, many of which are unrated and none of which have the rating on the front of the package. Having said that, why do anything at all and instead tell politicians to compare the two industries and see which ones do the better job?

>Patricia Vance: I think the best answer for that question is that the video game industry and the retailers that are participating in ERC are not interested in simply maintaining the status quo, even if the reality is that we are more effective today than in the past. The message to take away from ERC is that, even though there has been substantial improvement in terms of enforcement, we all agree that more can and should be done, and the ERC will facilitate that progress in a way that parents will realize the greatest benefit.

>FiringSquad: Do you believe this new enforcement policy might keep other lawmakers from proposing further restrictions on video game sales?

>Patricia Vance: Our goal is to implement what works, and we feel strongly that the efforts that both retailers and the industry continue to undertake, both education and enforcement, are the most effective means for ensuring that parents have the information they need to buy games they deem appropriate for their families. When 9 out of every 10 times a parent or adult is involved in the purchase of a video game, it becomes evident that parents are the gatekeepers. The obligation ESRB and retailers have is to make sure they are presented with information with which they can make informed choices.

>FiringSquad: Finally, what was the ESRB's reaction to Wednesday night's Daily Show segment on the violent video game hearings in Congress last week?

>Patricia Vance: As you know, ESRB participated in those hearings and I did my very best to explain the ratings, how they are assigned, and the aggressive efforts we continue to make to educate parents. I respectfully answered all of their questions, and remain willing to work with legislators on finding viable remedies for their concerns. As far as satire goes, I think the Daily Show segment was amusing, but more importantly, they bring up a good point: parents are undoubtedly in the best position to raise their children, and the ratings provide ample information for them to make educated and sensible choices.


c9b500 No.329419

ESRB FAQ (please verify)

> What is the ESRB?

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is the non-profit, self-regulatory body that assigns ratings for video games and apps so parents can make informed choices. The ESRB rating system encompasses guidance about age-appropriateness, content, and interactive elements. As part of its self-regulatory role for the video game industry, the ESRB also enforces industry-adopted advertising guidelines and helps ensure responsible online and mobile privacy practices among companies participating in its Privacy Certified program. In 2015, ESRB expanded the use of its ratings to mobile and digital storefronts as part of the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC). ESRB was established in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

> Are all games and apps required to have a rating?

The rating system is voluntary, although virtually all video games that are sold at retail or downloaded to a game system in the U.S. and Canada are rated by the ESRB. Many U.S. retailers, including most major chains, have policies to only stock or sell games that carry an ESRB rating, and console manufacturers require games that are published on their systems in the U.S. and Canada to be rated by ESRB.

The ESRB is one of the founding rating authorities of the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC), which administers a streamlined process for assigning age and content ratings to the high volume of digitally delivered games and mobile apps coming into the market today. The Google Play store and Firefox Marketplace are among the app storefronts that have deployed the IARC rating system, which facilitates the display of ESRB ratings on devices in North America.

> Does the ESRB have any restrictions on how a game can be marketed?

Publishers of packaged or boxed games carrying an ESRB rating are contractually bound to follow the industry-adopted Principles and Guidelines for Responsible Advertising Practices, along with numerous additional requirements addressing how rating information must be displayed on game packaging and in advertising and certain restrictions on where ads for Mature-rated games may appear. The ESRB's Advertising Review Council (ARC) diligently monitors industry compliance, and in the event that a game publisher is found to have inappropriately labeled or advertised a product, the ESRB is empowered to compel corrective actions and impose a wide range of sanctions, including monetary fines.

Similarly, publishers of digitally delivered games and apps are strongly encouraged to provide consumers with clear and prominent disclosure of ESRB rating information as well as abide by the various advertising and marketing guidelines to which publishers adhere.


c9b500 No.329420

This is a lot to take in, so:

For those who like to break down info

1. Check the OP >>329225

2. Decide how to sort information. Handy labels like with Deep Freeze would help, including:

> Hypocrisy or working against their stated goals

> Inconsistency

> Proof of backroom dealings (you can show us stuff you suspect, but we can't use it. Other diggers can.)

> Conflicts of Interest (including political. I.e. person is shown to be anti-violence or anti-gun)

> Law confusion - attempts to deliberately mislead consumers or developers into what the ESRB can and can't do, and what can and cannot be sold.

> Developers/Publishers using ESRB's vague laws to change content in a game (despite ESRB past examples showing the games rating should be higher/lower).

> Developers/Publishers screwed over by ESRB (told one thing one day, then they made the change and they added more things to change or something that was once fine now isn't, etc. Basically anything that would mean the ESRB could keep sucking money from them).

> Large stores making demands of ESRB.

> A small group making demands of ESRB (i.e. Group of 20 people in one area affects the whole nation).

> ESRB costs of service Vs how much they spend.

> How the company has changed over the years (staff, heads, and attitudes).

3. When all the above is sorted, we can carefully use the information to make infographs and spread information in a manner that should prevent/mitigate/lessen the risks laid out in >>329226


86f000 No.329421

AO-rated Manhunt 2 would be unacceptable to Nintendo and Sony

https://archive.fo/SRlB8

>Although AO-rated games are legally sellable in North America, the approval processes of Nintendo and Sony do not allow such games to appear on its systems. Manhunt 2 is under development for the Wii, PlayStation 2 and PSP, though the game would not be approved for release by Sony or Nintendo.

“Games made for Nintendo systems enjoy a broad variety of styles, genres and ratings. These are some of the reasons our Wii and Nintendo DS systems appeal to such a broad range of people,” read a Nintendo statement to the press. “But as with books, television and movies, different content is meant for different audiences. That's why the ESRB provides ratings to help consumers understand the content of a game before they purchase it. As stated on Nintendo.com, Nintendo does not allow any AO-rated content on its systems.”

Sony Computer Entertainment of America responded to inquiries with a similar response, saying, “Currently it's SCE's policy not to allow the playback of AO rated content on our systems.”

>Even if Sony and Nintendo were to allow the AO version of Manhunt 2 for play on their systems, retailers such as Wal-Mart have a policy of not selling explicit media, which would severely limit the game’s exposure to the buying public.


c9b500 No.329422

Getting the feeling this is turning into a "everyone is at fault" situation.

Article from 2015 talks about PEGI. Surprise! (PEGI kinda related?)

How paying for content ratings is hurting devs who release in Europe

https://archive.fo/TBGzY

>A few months back I was Skyping with Matthew Burns and Zach Barth about Zachtronics’ TIS-100 when Barth mentioned his frustration with PEGI, Europe’s self-regulating video game content ratings agency.

“We have to work with them, and they have some crazy policies that are not cool for indies,” he told me. “You can't put your game on an Xbox or PlayStation without a PEGI rating, and they charge thousands of dollars.”

>PEGI designed its licensing fee scheme for digital games based on how it's been rating physical video game releases since 2003: with the expectation that publishers would foot the bill. But the rise of self-publishing has created situations where the biggest line item on a small developer’s budget may well be ratings board licensing fees.

>Is that, in turn, putting pressure on indies not to release their games in Europe on platforms that require PEGI ratings, i.e. Xbox Games Store, Sony's PSN and Nintendo's eShop?

>Indies are paying roughly $300-$1,000 per platform for a PEGI rating

>Happion Labs, for example, released Sixty Second Shooter Prime on Xbox One last year through the [email protected] program and reported the biggest expense was paying just over $2k in PEGI and USK fees so the game could release on the Xbox Games Store in Europe and Germany.

>By comparison, getting the game ESRB-rated so the game could be sold in the U.S. cost nothing; the ESRB rolled out a free, streamlined voluntary rating service to digital platforms years ago.

>This week studio frontman Jamie Fristrom told me via email that paying for ratings ultimately proved worthwhile (“SSSP on Xbox One has been the most I've earned for time invested of anything I've done as an indie”) but that it does seem like PEGI’s fee scheme has a chilling effect on indies releasing games in Europe.

“It used to be that localization would have been the big expense to release in Europe, but the costs of loc. keep dropping and often indies can get it done for free by tapping their communities, so that PEGI license becomes the big cost of shipping in Europe,” wrote Fristrom.

>PEGI knows this. It’s been taking fire on this front from members of the European game industry for some time (UK game industry trade body TIGA called on PEGI last year to reform what it called “unreasonably high and repetitious fees”) and when I sat down with agency communications manager Dirk Bosmans at Gamescom last month, he tried to offer both an explanation and the promise of a near future where no indie will have to pay for a rating on a Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo platform ever again.

>But first, he acknowledged PEGI’s fees are an outdated relic of the way the video game industry used to operate. They're also the primary thing keeping PEGI in business.

PEGI knows this is a problem, but it wants to maintain income

“Our money comes from fees that publishers pay to get a ratings license…that’s basically our only source of income,” Bosmans told me, estimating that PEGI has less than five full-time staffers. “When we were at the height of the console cycle, there were lots of games. That’s come down in the past few years, so obviously our income is shrinking.”

“A couple of years ago, if you’d asked me [whether PEGI fees have a chilling effect on European game releases], the answer probably would have been no, because in order to release a game in a box on a shelf you’d need a lot of funds,” said Bosman. “But because digital is so much more accessible, it’s much easier to release a game, but we still charge the same.”

>The developers I spoke to typically paid (depending on exchange rates) between $300-$400 per platform for a PEGI rating if their game took up 450 megabytes or less when fully installed; rise above that size limit, and the fee rises to around $1,000 per platform.

———————————————–

All of this seems to tie into one message: Cut out the Middle Man. The ESRB aren't needed.

Stores can chose what they do and don't stock (and if they make a bad call, it's their fault).

Parents can look up online what a game's content is (and if they make a bad call, it's their fault).

You could reduce the ESRB to a website that just lists the short blurbs of "content"- and any reviewer who got their hands early can do that. You don't need to pay someone $300 per game to submit a paragraph on whats in it. Hell, why aren't developers and publishers doing it? It's not like the ESRB are playing the fucking games. Just get the devs themselves to write the content paragraph, and put that on the lesser-ESRB website.

All the ESRB does is dissolve responsibility of other parties for money.


c9b500 No.329423

>>329422

Part 2

>Axiom Verge was released on PlayStation 4 back in March, and is not my idea of "casual"

“Mainly for me it is just time-consuming and frustrating," he added. "You also have to create a highlight reel showing all the most egregious blood/language/sexual content in the game, and it takes them a while to process the whole thing. Since I'm a solo dev it means all development stops as I'm doing it.”

>Barth echoes these complaints about PEGI’s video reel submission requirements (“It takes forever, and it’s a pain in the ass”) and asks a question that has, in turn, been echoed by other developers I’ve corresponded with: Why can’t the process of age-rating your game for release in Europe be straightforward and free, like it is in the U.S. under the aegis of the ESRB?

“Simplifying this process would be extremely beneficial to small teams that would rather focus their time on developing and marketing their game,” Sportsfriends developer Ramiro Corbetta (maker of Hokra) tells me via email. “Removing the PEGI charge would obviously be great for developers, especially those operating at a smaller scale who might be worried about not making enough money in Europe.”

>But is paying for PEGI ratings inhibiting indies from releasing games in Europe? Corbetta says no, not really – it's just a painful but necessary reality of game development.

"Dealing with ratings boards is never glamorous and it comes up at a point in development when you are least excited about filling out paperwork, but we always knew that it would be a necessary step to finish the game," he told me. "While any costs can be painful for a small development team, we always assumed that European sales would be much, much larger than the cost of PEGI ratings, and now that we have sales numbers in front of us we know we were right."

>In the face of Infinifactory's impending PlayStation 4 release, Barth isn't so sanguine about the price.

"I'm always optimistic going into a new title. I really hope that Infinifactory sells a ton of copies," he says. "But in all honesty, it's probably not going to, and the PEGI cost is probably going to eat up a substantial amount of what we make in Europe. It's not enough to not do it, but it hurts."

IARC might (eventually) be the answer

>Again, PEGI knows this, and Bosmans promises that things will change – soon.

“IARC should solve these issues," he tells me. "If Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony are joining IARC, getting your game rated for ESRB, PEGI, USK and all the other ratings boards will be free. That’s our goal.”

>Here’s the pitch: IARC (International Age Ratings Coalition) is a process whereby you fill out a questionnaire and receive an auto-generated content rating for all ratings boards participating in IARC (notably the ESRB, USK, and PEGI) every time you submit a game to a participating digital storefront.

>It doesn’t take very long, and it’s completely free – IARC draws revenue from royalties paid by participating storefronts, and Bosmans says PEGI's cut will allow it to stay in business in the absence of revenue from licensing digital games to use its ratings.

Earlier this year IARC was implemented in the Google Play Store, and Bosman expects it to come to Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo’s digital platforms at some point in the near future.

“I’ve just come out of two days of IARC meetings [we were speaking at Gamescom, remember] and it seems we’re in very, very good shape,” he told me. “I don’t have timeframes for you, but I do know that Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony are working on the implementation. So at some point in the future, I can say, those four will be using IARC.”

>When that will happen, exactly, depends on how quickly the three companies integrate IARC into their platforms. When I press him about timelines – are we talking weeks, months, years? – Bosmans says any estimate would be misleading, because this is the biggest IARC rollout yet.

“It’s a gigantic operation. We thought when we knew that we could make an adoption by Google possible, that was going to be the biggest undertaking ever – it was very difficult,” he tells me. “But now, with three different platforms joining at the same time and possibly new ratings boards joining too [Japan’s CERO board recently expressed interest in joining IARC] it’s become a massive undertaking.”

“I'd love to see a timeline for that; it's one thing for them to say that they've ‘committed’ but having it actually be a reality is the only thing that matters,” Barth responds.“We used IARC to rate a few of our Android games and it was exactly the amount of work (very little) and cost (free) that I'd expect. I still don't think they have an excuse for charging us over $3,000 for what the ESRB can, right now in the exact same industry climate, do for free.”


c9b500 No.329424

>>329423

IARC is used for App stores. And we all know those refuse to stock anything above 15.

I always have issues with global efforts. Usually the person spear-heading it is doing it to control.

Separate organizations have different ideals.

Australia censors this, Germany censors that, US puts a higher rating on this, etc.

If IARC puts all countries under the same standard, what will they be?

Europe won't allow it to be free or problematic. SJW will be able to focus on one organization.

IARC has potential to be worse than the ESRB- Global and Puritan.


c9b500 No.329425

Compared to the ESRB who has had plenty of interviews in the past, it looks like PEGI doesn't have much. (Then again, PEGI was founded in 2003 whereas the ESRB was founded in 1994)

Before I post the next article, meet Dirk Bosmans. He is the Operations Director of PEGI S.A. and will be the one thats being interviewed. His Linkedin for those curious to see what's he done in the past

https://be.linkedin.com/in/dirkbosmans


c9b500 No.329426

And Then There Was One… (Video Game Classification in the UK)

https://archive.fo/8bbgA

>I have often found myself the port of call for family members, friends or strangers who need advice on video games. When browsing the shelves in my local purveyor of interactive entertainment I frequently help the unfortunate parent, grandparent or child who has a vague notion of what it is they are looking for, but just can’t find “that puzzle-y, cartoon-y thing about a man in a hat” (Professor Layton and the Curious Village in case it wasn’t clear). In many ways, I consider gamers the window into the gaming world for all those people who have just enough information to be a danger to the poor child who wanted Rock Band for Christmas, but got Rock Revolution instead.

>It is with that in mind that I sought to make sense of the situation regarding video game classification in the UK. The switch in the classification system has been pending for more than 24 months, and is currently scheduled to occur on Monday 30th July 2012.

>As with films, video games sold in the UK are classified and given an age rating by an authorised organisation. However, the classification of video games is more complex than it is for films. All of this we, as gamers, know. No matter our age or background, at some point in our lives we have all had to consider the alphanumeric in that little coloured box on the cover of a video game. For parents it is likely with child safety in mind; for teenagers it is whilst weighing up which sales assistant looks more susceptible to charm, or at least less inquisitive.

>The important point is that the certificate awarded by the organisations performing video game classification affects us all in some small way. How these organisations determine the age rating for a game and where to go for further information on a given game’s rating or content is not as widely known.

A little history

>The Video Recordings Act (1984) required any video game sold in the UK to be submitted for classification by a nominated organisation (at the time it was the British Board of Film Classification) where it contained:

> Gross acts of violence towards humans or animals

> Horrific behaviour or incidents

> Human sexual activity

> Criminal behaviour

>Games devoid of the ‘controversial content’ listed above were exempt from classification, but in practice, almost all video games were awarded an age rating because Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony made the Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) rating mandatory for all games on their platforms in Europe.

>Complexity therefore arose from the fact that, for some time, both PEGI and the BBFC performed video game classification. Though every game was rated by PEGI, and many displayed that rating, the BBFC rating had to appear on the box (in the UK) for those games with the aforementioned controversial content. Only the BBFC’s rating was legally enforceable, but that is about to change.

>Following The Byron Review in 2008, the UK government undertook its own review of video game classification in 2009. The outcome was that the Video Recordings Act (1984) was repealed and partially reinstated under the Video Recordings Act (2010). A significant part of this change was the decision that video games would no longer be classified by the BBFC, and that PEGI would take sole responsibility. The implementation of this change has been delayed several times, to the frustration of both PEGI and UKIE (UK Interactive Entertainment – the video game industry’s trade body in the UK), but is currently scheduled to occur, as mentioned, on Monday 30th July 2012.

>So, what of PEGI and its rating system?

Pan-European Game Information

>30 European countries, including the UK, use the PEGI classification system. In addition to this, Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony gaming consoles have integrated the PEGI system in their parental controls in Europe. Why is PEGI’s ratings system so popular, and how does it differ from that of the BBFC?

>PEGI was created in 2003 to replace many of the different national classification systems that existed around Europe. As such, it was developed to be an amalgamation of all of these. That PEGI specialises in classification of video games and offers multinational, multilingual coverage means that it has become very widely used. Further information on the system and a catalogue of ratings decisions can be found at pegi


c9b500 No.329427

File: 53b8f66343eaa93⋯.png (78.29 KB, 681x435, 227:145, serveimage.png)

ATTENTION ALL

IARC is literally the greater of two evils I lined out in >>329226

Any "global" initiative is always a push for all nations to do the same. Whether it's intended to do it from the start or not, IARC will be used to push SJW style censorship eventually, if left unchecked. It'll make Australia and Germany's ratings boards look free by comparison.

Even Japan is thinking of joining them.

NEW OP

STOP IARC. SPREAD INFO ON HOW THIS CAN GO TITS UP NOW.

TPP died, and so can this.

Globalist ideals die in 2017!!


86f000 No.329433

Part 2 of And Then There Was One…

>PEGI has also introduced PEGI Online, a seal of quality that recognises those games with online features that meet PEGI’s standards of safety and performance, particularly with respect to the protection of children. Another part of the PEGI system is PEGI Express, a fast-track system designed for Windows Phone apps, but that will hopefully be expanded to include other small digital games/content.

>Further information on these subsidiaries of the PEGI classification system can be found at www.pegionline.eu and create.msdn.com respectively.

>It should be noted that the PEGI Online label implies age restrictions affecting online features different to that indicated by the overall rating. This is an issue of data protection for online accounts and may therefore not be detailed upon the game’s packaging. Do not be surprised if a game rated PEGI ‘3’, ‘7’ or ‘12’ restricts online services to those above 13 years of age. Like many web services, the creation of an account for/by an under-age individual is a breach of the terms of service.

>The rating information printed on the game packaging is accompanied, on PEGI’s website, by extended consumer advice in the form of some additional descriptions. PEGI ratings are determined in a slightly different way to BBFC ratings, and aim to provide parents and caregivers with detailed recommendations regarding the age suitability of game content.

>This point was addressed when I spoke to PEGI Communications Manager, Dirk Bosmans, who was keen to stress that “while it is frustrating for the 15 or 17 year-olds who can’t buy a particular game due to its rating, PEGI’s systems and ratings cater to parents”.

>PEGI relies on a content declaration system when receiving games for classification. This takes the form of a 50-point checklist that the game’s publisher must complete (the form can be viewed here). Based on this checklist, a provisional rating is determined by the publisher and can be used in marketing materials for the game. An examination pack is sent to one of the PEGI administrators, who check the submission.

>All provisional ratings awarded by PEGI are subject to review by their administrators, the Video Standards Council (VSC) or the Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media (NICAM). Games with a rating of PEGI ‘3’ or ‘7’ are examined by NICAM, and those with a rating of PEGI ‘12’, ‘16’ or ‘18’ are reviewed by the VSC. It is the responsibility of these bodies to check that every review is in line with PEGI’s own classification criteria. See the links (above) for details of the PEGI criteria. If you would like to read more on the checks then the Games Rating Authority section of the VSC website is your best bet (videostandards.org.uk). In short, game content is investigated by an examiner who will play and view as much of the game and associated materials as they deem necessary to determine the rating.

>Usually the provisional rating is confirmed and then accepted by the publisher of the video game in question. This rating is the same in all countries that use the PEGI system. PEGI does not censor content, but publishers can initiate a consultation with the PEGI administrators to identify content that warranted a given rating and consider cuts/alterations to meet the criteria for a different age rating (higher or lower). This is similar to the way classification works for films and in a few cases results in different versions of the game/film being released in different countries.

>Examples of such alterations, though not associated with PEGI’s rating of the games in question, include the European release of Grasshopper Manufacture’s No More Heroes, in which (like the Japanese version) blood was replaced with black ash to satisfy German ratings board, USK. Also, Bethesda Game Studios chose to rename Morphine as Med-X to avoid problems securing a rating in Australia.

>Being reliant upon content declaration, PEGI requires all publishers to agree to the PEGI Code of Conduct as part of their agreement. This, the declaration form and the content suitable for each age rating are regularly updated by PEGI’s Experts Group, which includes representatives of the administrators and academic experts in the fields of child protection, psychology, etc.

>It is incumbent upon the game publishers themselves to adhere to PEGI’s system. I asked Dirk Bosmans about this, and he explained, “Publishers are contractually obliged to adhere to the PEGI Code of Conduct. We have a great relationship with the coders who submit the games to us and they understand the importance of the PEGI system”.


86f000 No.329434

Part 3 >>329433

>Though not associated with PEGI, the infamous Hot Coffee mod for Rockstar North’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that plagued its release in the United States was an obvious touchstone for our conversation about publisher honesty. Dirk is confident that a situation in which a publisher would willingly cheat would be unlikely to arise under the PEGI system since “The Code of Conduct details warnings and fines that can be levied if a publisher were to break their agreement with PEGI. It would leave the publisher with a mandatory re-rating of their game and a very costly withdrawal of the game from retailers”.

BBFC and PEGI

>As the handover from the dual ratings system to a single PEGI system occurs it is important to understand how these systems differ from one-another. There are differences in how the games are rated, but the most obvious and pertinent difference for consumers is the rating shown on the packaging.

>As with films, these ratings are used by retailers to determine who may purchase a game. However, for parents they are meant as a guide. There are no hard rules here, but, in general, the ages designated by the rating apply. Expect a game rated BBFC ‘U’ or PEGI ‘3’ to be suitable for all, whilst one rated BBFC or PEGI ’18’ to be suitable only for mature audiences.

>Like the BBFC, PEGI provides additional information to help parents (and all consumers) decide whether a particular game is suitable. Until now, the Extended Classification Information provided by the BBFC has been generally more extensive and detailed than the additional descriptors provided by PEGI. This has often been pointed to as a strength of the BBFC’s system, and so I put this to Dirk. He explained the technical reason that PEGI was unable to provide such information: “The practicalities of including extended information prevented us from doing it. PEGI rates more than 2,000 games each year and provides ratings information in 26 different languages – that was just too much work”.

>However, Dirk was able to say that extended information for the PEGI rating will be available very soon: “Providing extra classification information, like the BBFC did, was a requirement of PEGI being chosen as the single system for the UK. That information, in English, is coming sometime after the transition occurs next week and will be provided by the VSC under the Games Rating Authority (GRA)”.

>One note of caution when drawing direct parallels between the BBFC and PEGI ratings – they can sometimes vary for the same game. For example, Mass Effect was rated BBFC ’12’, but ’18’ by PEGI, clearly showing two very different interpretations of the same content. Digging a little deeper on this game, the BBFC Extended Classification Information states that the game contains “moderate violence”, qualified by the “futuristic setting” and its “undetailed” nature. The “moderate sex scene” in Mass Effect is described by the BBFC as “brief and undetailed” with “breast nudity in one version of the scene”. The fact that the sex scene is the result of “a series of choices about becoming more than friends with a colleague” is also noted to provide context.

>PEGI also assessed Mass Effect and, as mentioned, rated the game ‘18’ with a content descriptor icon for violence. Their additional information is briefer than that of the BBFC, but also addresses the violent and sexual content. PEGI describe the “extreme violence” as “realistic looking”, whilst the “nudity of a sexual nature” is described as “sexual activity without visible genitalia”.

>A second example came to my attention whilst writing this article. The ratings for SEGA’s 2012 game, Binary Domain were also different. The BBFC’s ‘15’ rating cites “strong violence” but tempered since “opponents are invariably robots” that “disappear from the screen” precluding any form of “post-mortem damage”. That “there is neither blood nor injury detail” was instrumental in avoiding the “particularly strong gory images” and “sadistic or sexualised violence” that are not allowed in ‘15’ rated games. “Moderate sexual banter” and “infrequent strong language” are mentioned only in passing and are deemed acceptable for a BBFC ‘15’ rating.

>The BBFC are known to make a distinction regarding the victims of on-screen violence when considering its severity. Violence is regarded as more severe when perpetrated against humans and animals, meaning that, for instance, the beheading of an Uruk-hai (an orc-like creature) in The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring was permissible in a PG rated film.

>PEGI rated Binary Domain at ‘18’ and included pictograms for Online Gameplay, Violence and Bad Language. The consumer advice classifies the violence as “extreme” and cites “strong language” as the other deciding factor in the games rating.


86f000 No.329435

Part 4 >>329434

>Anecdotally, differences in rating rarely occur, but where they do PEGI tend to award a higher rating (as above). Dirk was keen to avoid drawing direct comparisons between BBFC and PEGI ratings in specific cases, but he did have a more general point to make: “The BBFC and PEGI have separate systems for different forms of entertainment and, focusing on our won system, PEGI was built to deal with the specific nature of video games. Sometimes it’s possible to look at the brevity or impact of (for instance) violence, but we have to consider that a player may have to re-play a section multiple times if it’s a hard section”.

>He raises an interesting point. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) – the BBFC’s counterpart in the United States – is notorious for detailing the number of times particular profane language can be used for a given rating. This just isn’t realistic for rating video games where each player’s experience may be significantly different in content.

>Both organisations, of course, award ratings as a reflection of their particular standards, but the above examples are illustrative to the consumer of the effect the forthcoming change could have on the games they buy, and play. Subjectivity in the age appropriateness of certain types of content or games can be minimised through the continued development of specific, objective criteria by experts referring to evidence and comparable materials. The consistent application of those standards through a system such as PEGI’s content declaration checklist can also help remove subjectivity. Differences between the various ratings boards will still exist, however, and so the adoption of a single classification system in the UK was vital.

>There we have it, the situation regarding the classification of video games in the UK and how those ratings are determined. Personally, I am glad that the recommendation of The Byron Review to consolidate video game classification under one body was acted upon; two distinct systems could only cause confusion. The debate over which system is more suitable is moot at this point, the UK Government having decided that PEGI should be solely responsible for video game classification some two years ago now. Be aware that, come Monday 30th July 2012, you can expect to see a lot more of the PEGI ratings on the cases of your video games.

>To coincide with the switch-over, GameBurst have published a podcast interview with UKIE CEO, Dr Jo Twist. UKIE have been instrumental in the changes discussed above and the interview is highly recommended. You can find it here: www.gameburst.co.uk

>If you want to know more about PEGI, the BBFC, UKIE, the VSC or NICAM then please visit their respective websites, below. Also, take a look at the newly relaunched Ask About Games where parents and players can find a lot more help and guidance on video games, classification and parental controls.


86f000 No.329436

2011 Gamasutra Interview with the co-CEO of Quantic Dream, Guillaume de Fondaumière

https://archive.fo/8TlJP (Partt 1)

>What's the problem with having an 18 PEGI?

GDF: There are numerous problems. The first problem is you can't advertise your game primetime on TV, for instance, in certain countries – which is the case in France or in the UK. So there's the first limitation: you can't market it the way you should.

When you look at the bigger picture, I also think that it's not good for our industry to have so many games rated 18, because in the minds of the people you always see "this is a game for adults, this is a game for adults, this is a game for adults," and I really don't believe that in most cases the content deserves these kinds of ratings.

And then when I compare it to what I see in movies, or on a TV series today, I don't think that certain games are showing more violent scenes than certain movies, and certain films, and I see a big difference in ratings.

How many NC17 films have you seen in your life?

https://archive.fo/ywF9b (Part 2)

>Something people don't tend to think about is that you don't know what you're not seeing. In other words, if a film gets an R, you'll never know what they might have cut to reach the R – what part of the director's intent might have been lost. Do you feel there is a similar effect in games?

GDF: Of course. I know that a lot of developers are cutting content. [They] are asked, or there are very long discussions about, what should be in it, what shouldn't be. Throughout the development of a relatively mature game, there are these discussions between the developer [and the publisher].

And most of the time the developer doesn't want to cut, because there is an intention behind what he's trying to do, and why. It's the publisher's role to make sure the game releases, and is not hindered in its distribution. So yeah, we have these discussions on a continuous basis.

https://archive.fo/LlllR (Part 3)

>Do you have a sense that developers aren't not only not speaking up for themselves in regards to ratings, but also not pushing boundaries? That you don't have the equivalent of the directors who are sick of the Hays Code?

GDF: This is changing. There are more and more director-type creators at the head of studios, working within the studios, and having more and more influence on how games are created. The more and more central figures who drive the creative vision of a particular studio – at Quantic it's David Cage, but [also] Kojima – which probably wasn't the case maybe 10 years ago.

The more and more creators that, also, the consumer recognizes today – the press and consumers, the whole ecosystem sees them as, sometimes they're called the visionaries. The creators, the directors, those are the people that drive the industry forward.

I think these people should also start. But I'm talking to a lot of them, and a lot of them back what I'm saying, and say, "Yeah, you're right. We should do something about this."

https://archive.fo/X90yx (Part 4)

>To return to the beginning, why, then, are you doing the modified edition?

GDF: The reason why we're doing it is that, well, there is this deal in place with this distributor. He wants to have a 16 version, so we are releasing it. It was also, I would say, an exercise – it was an act for us to understand where the limit was.

And we were extremely surprised by what we've been asked to change in the game to go from an 18 to a 16-plus, which I think makes absolutely no sense. The difference between the PEGI 18 game and the PEGI 16 game is one scene: the scene with where Madison dances in front of Paco in the nightclub.


86f000 No.329437

Video Games: Commission welcomes progress on protection of minors in 23 EU Member States, but asks for improvement of industry codes

https://archive.fo/5eRqt

The European video games sector is dynamic, with expected revenue of € 7.3 billion by the end of 2008. However, public concerns that video games can cause aggressive behaviour, heightened by school shootings such as in Helsinki (Finland, November 2007), have led several national authorities to ban or block video games such as "Manhunt 2". In response, the European Commission has surveyed existing measures protecting minors from harmful video games across the 27 EU Member States. 20 EU Member States now apply PEGI (Pan European Games Information), an age-rating system developed by industry, with EU support, since 2003. In the Commission's view, industry must invest more to strengthen and in particular to regularly update the PEGI system so that it becomes a truly effective pan-European tool. Also, industry and public authorities should step up cooperation to make classification and age rating systems better known and to avoid confusion caused by parallel systems. A Code of Conduct for retailers should be drawn up within two years on sales of video games to minors.

>"Video games have become a strong pillar of Europe's content industry and are experiencing booming sales across Europe. This is welcome, but implies greater responsibility for the industry to ensure that parents know what kind of games their children play", said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for the Information Society and Media. " PEGI, as an example of responsible industry self-regulation and the only such system with almost pan-European coverage, is certainly a very good first step. However, I believe it can be greatly improved, in Europe and beyond, by making the public more aware about its existence and fully implementing PEGI Online. I also call on Member States and the industry to govern the sale of video games in shops to respect the fundamental need to protect minors."

>"All consumers need clear, accurate information to make informed choices. But this is particularly about children – some of the most vulnerable consumers in society. And our clear message today is that industry and national authorities must go further to ensure that all parents have the power to make the right decisions for themselves and their child," added Meglena Kuneva, the EU Consumer Commissioner.

>According to the Commission survey, the PEGI system is currently applied by 20 Member States. 2 countries (Germany and Lithuania) have specific binding legislation while Malta relies on general legislation. However, 4 Member States (Cyprus, Luxembourg, Romania and Slovenia) have no system in place. 15 Member States have legislation concerning the sale of video games with harmful content to minors in shops, although the scope of laws varies between Member States. Until now, 4 countries (Germany, Ireland, Italy, UK) have banned certain violent video games.

>Adopted in 2003, PEGI labels provide an age rating and warnings such as violence or bad language, empowering parents to decide which game is appropriate for their children, as well as adult gamers to better choose their games. PEGI is supported by the major console manufacturers in Europe. PEGI Online was launched in 2007, co-funded by the EU's Safer Internet Programme (IP/08/310), in response to the rapid growth of online video games.

The Commission has called for several measures to converge approaches in the Single Market:

>Regular improvement and better advertising of PEGI and PEGI Online by the video games industry.

>Member States should integrate PEGI into their own classification systems and raise awareness of PEGI, particularly parents and children.

>Cooperation on innovative age verification solutions between Member States, classification bodies and other stakeholders.

>A pan-European Code of Conduct on the sale of games to minors within two years, agreed by all stakeholders.

Background:

>Video games are increasingly accessible via internet and mobile phones, which are expected to make up 33% of total revenues for video games by 2010. The European video gaming sector is already worth half as much as the entire European music market and exceeds the cinema box office.

>The Commission already supports self-regulation at European level to protect minors using mobile phones (IP/07/139). Self-regulation strengthened by cross-border cooperation has also been pursued for audiovisual services under the Television Without Frontiers Directive (IP/07/138).


86f000 No.329438

EU audiovisual and media policies - Video Games

https://archive.fo/MBq1C

Video Games

>Communication on protection of consumers, in particular minors, in respect of the use of video games.

The issue

>Video games are one of the favourite leisure activities of Europeans of different ages and social categories. There are also promising opportunities for a strong interactive games industry in Europe, which is already the fastest growing and most dynamic sector in the European content industry, and has a higher growth rate than in the US, half the revenue of the music market and more than the cinema box office in Europe. The rapid growth of on-line video games is also a key driver for the uptake of broadband telecommunications networks and third generation cellular phones. All this makes video games a front-rank medium, with the result that freedom of expression for both creators and gamers is a paramount concern.

>However, - because of the potential psychological effects of video games on minors - this must be balanced by high standards of protection. The fact that video games are increasingly played by adults and played jointly by children and parents demands in particular differentiated levels of access to video games for minors and adults.

>Amongst several other EU initiatives in related fields, the rating by age group and the labelling of certain video and computer games were already the subject of a Council Resolution in 2002.

The Method

>With its Communication, the Commission is replying to the Council's call for a review of the various methods used for assessing the content of video and computer games and to report back to the Council. For this purpose, a questionnaire was sent to all Member States. The questions covered age rating/content rating systems, the sale of video games by retailers, video game bans, effectiveness of current measures, on-line video games and a cross-platform and pan-European rating system. All 27 Member States replied.

>Video games are one of the favourite leisure activities of Europeans of different ages and social categories

>According to the information received from the Member States, the PEGI system is currently applied by 20 Member States. Two Member States (Germany and Lithuania) have specific binding legislation while Malta relies on general legislation. However, four Member States (Cyprus, Luxembourg, Romania and Slovenia) have no system in place. 15 Member States have legislation concerning the sale of video games with harmful content to minors in shops, although the scope of laws varies between Member States. Until now, four countries (Germany, Ireland, Italy, UK) have banned certain violent video games.

>Adopted in 2003, PEGI labels provide an age rating and warnings such as violence or bad language, empowering parents to decide which game is appropriate for their children, as well as adult gamers to better choose their games. PEGI is supported by the major console manufacturers in Europe. PEGI Online was launched in 2007, co-funded by the EU's Safer Internet Programme (IP/08/310), in response to the rapid growth of online video games.


86f000 No.329439

Part 2 >>329438

The Objectives

>The Communication, bearing in mind the value of video games in promoting cultural diversity:

Calls upon the Member States to recognise that video games have become a front-rank medium and to ensure that high standards of freedom of expression and effective, proportionate measures for the protection of minors should apply and mutually reinforce each other.

Consequently, calls upon the Member States to integrate into their national systems the information and classification system put in place in the framework of the PEGI and PEGI On-line initiatives.

Calls upon the video games and consoles industry to further improve the PEGI and PEGI On-line systems and in particular regularly to update the criteria for age rating and labelling, to advertise PEGI more actively and to increase the list of signatories.

Recognises that on-line videogames bring new challenges, such as effective age verification systems and possible dangers for young consumers related to chat rooms associated with these games, and calls upon Member States and stakeholders to work together on innovative solutions.

Calls upon Member States and stakeholders to evaluate the possible negative and positive effects of video games, notably on health.

Calls upon all stakeholders involved in the sale of videogames in retail shops to agree within two years on a Pan-European Code of conduct on the sale of games to minors and on commitments to raise awareness of the PEGI system among parents and children, as well as to ensure adequate resources to implement the provisions of this Code.

Encourages the Member States and all stakeholders to take initiatives to improve media literacy applied to video games, in line with the Commission Communication of 20 December 2007.

Welcomes and supports further efforts to achieve a self-regulatory or co-regulatory cross-media, pan-European age-rating system. The Commission intends in particular to organise meetings of classification bodies to exchange best practices in this field.

Intends to use existing networks of and platforms with Consumer organisations in order to raise public awareness on PEGI and on the recommendations in this Communication.

>cultural diversity

There's your favorite word!


86f000 No.329440

PEGI LINKEDINS

Jennifer Wacrenier: PEGI Project Manager at PEGI SA/ISFE

https://be.linkedin.com/in/jenniferwacrenier

Jürgen Bänsch: Director, Public Policy & Government Affairs, Europe

https://be.linkedin.com/in/j%C3%BCrgen-b%C3%A4nsch-7aa1b26

Simon Little: Managing Director & Chairman of the Board

https://be.linkedin.com/in/simonlittle

Hemant Jadhav: Management Trainee at PEGI SA

https://in.linkedin.com/in/hemant-jadhav-7a3a653a

Antonio Xavier: Chairman of PEGI Council

https://pt.linkedin.com/in/antonio-xavier-18902320


86f000 No.329441

European Commission - Communication on Video Games

https://archive.fo/wC1jL

>On 22 April 2008, the European Commission issued a Communication on the protection of consumers, in particular of minors, in respect of the use of video games. The Communication was adopted in response to the booming prospects of the European gaming market, which, in the words of Commissioner Reding, is “welcome, but implies greater responsibility for the industry”. The European video games market is the fastest growing and most dynamic sector of the European content industry, with an expected revenue of EUR 7.3 billion by the end of 2008. This growth is in part due to a rapid expansion to older age groups, with the average age of gamers now exceeding 23 years. This shift is accompanied by a growing need for increased protection for minors: already, video games have been blamed for incidents such as the Helsinki school shootings in November 2007, raising public concern that they encourage violent behaviour. The Communication, therefore, was intended as a review of the various methods used for assessing the content of video and computer games.

>According to the information received during the consultation phase, as things now stand, PEGI (Pan European Games Information), an age rating system developed by the ISFE (Interactive Software Federation of Europe), with the support of the Commission, is applied in 20 European States. This applies with or without the support of additional specific legislation. Four countries have heretofore banned games for having violent content and most do not have any specific legislation on online video games. Half of the Member States consider the current measures to be generally effective, while, as far as the introduction of a cross-platform, pan-European rating system is concerned, most Member States agree that such a move would contribute to the smooth operation of the internal market and help avoid consumer confusion.

>In its conclusion, the Commission called, among other things, for Member States to integrate PEGI and PEGI On-line into their national systems, as well as on industry to regularly update and actively advertise both systems. In addition, it called for a Pan-European Code of Conduct for retailers on the sale of games to minors and on raising awareness of the PEGI system among parents and children; this should be drawn up within two years. It especially emphasised the new challenges brought by online video games. The Commission urged Member States and stakeholders to encourage media literacy in respect of video games, in line with the Communication of 20 December 2007. Finally, it supports further efforts to achieve a self-regulatory or co-regulatory cross-media, pan-European age-rating system, as opposed to parallel systems which bring about confusion.

>The Communication comes a couple of weeks after the Byron Review, which dealt with similar matters on the national UK level. The Byron Review recommended a hybrid classification system, in which the logos of the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) are placed on the front of all game packaging and PEGI pictograms on the back.


86f000 No.329442

2009 interview with Mike Rawlinson, the boss of ELSPA

https://archive.fo/Xruxr

>Following the publication of the Digital Britain report last week, TechRadar caught up with ELSPA boss Mike Rawlinson to quiz him a little more about the Government's recent decision to back the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) system as the UK's single games rating body.

>ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) has campaigned and lobbied long and hard to establish PEGI as the single system by which games are allocated age ratings depending upon the acceptability of their content to certain age groups.

>The decision follows a lengthy period of public consultation involving consumers and gamers, the Government, the games industry and the (now-ousted) BBFC, following Tanya Byron's review of the UK's games age-ratings system early in 2008, in which the eminent psychologist identified the fact that the current system was flawed and confusing to consumers (by which, read: parents buying - often inappropriate - games for their kids).

>TechRadar: Why do you think PEGI was chosen?

Mike Rawlinson: Simply put, PEGI is the best games system there is and it is right the UK wants the very best – and because it answered the nine tests of a competent rating system, giving the best possible protection to British children now and in the future. It works whether they are playing online or at home on a games console. It gives a consistent, clear, uniform rating on games and an accurate understanding of game content for parents, and it helps retailers prevent access to unsuitable content to children by PEGI having clear, legal backing.

PEGI differentiates linear from interactive content - it was designed to rate games that are interactive and experienced differently by every player who plays them. Films, in contrast, are linear and are a passive viewing experience. The videogames industry deserves and needs an appropriate body rating its content that is independent of industry involvement and which at its core is about protecting child safety however and whenever children are playing games.

>TR: How does ELSPA respond to criticism that PEGI is not as 'independent' as the BBFC was?

MR: The Video Standards Council is responsible for administering the PEGI ratings system. They are an independent regulator and their regulatory decisions are entirely independent of the games industry. The PEGI system is not the games industry regulating itself. It will be funded via the ratings fees, in exactly the same way as the BBFC is funded.

>TR: What are the plans to establish the new symbols in the public consciousness?

MR: The industry has committed to a making a major contribution to awareness and education campaigns, and it's ongoing. We want to ensure as an industry that everyone knows and understands the logos and ratings. It's critical to ensure child safety when playing games.

We have just heard the decision but we're already firming up our plans and will give you a sense of what those are shortly, but it will be a major advertising campaign backed up with an educational campaign that will roll out in schools across the country to educate teachers, parents, guardians and children about the new ratings system.

>TR: How will retailers selling adult games to minors be identified and punished?

MR: Previously a small number of games rated 15 and above had legal backing to prevent underage children from being sold the game. Once this new legislation is in place, it'll mean it will be illegal to sell a PEGI rated game to anyone underage for every game rated 12 and above. It's exactly what the retailers have been asking for and the industry has been lobbying for. It will be enforced in exactly the same way as BBFC rated films are.

>TR: When will we see the new symbols on boxes in store?

MR: We're working with the Government and stakeholders now to finalise a date, but we're working towards the quickest implementation we can muster. PEGI logos and descriptors already appear, but the new updated system together with extended written advice on all UK packaging will start to appear late spring/early summer.

>TR: Does PEGI have the power to ban?

MR: No, this power currently resides with the BBFC. Under government proposals this responsibility will transfer to the VSC.


86f000 No.329443

Translation: 4Gamer Interviews CERO Higher-up About Censorship in Japanese Games

https://archive.fo/70PXO

>The following is a full translation of this interview conducted by 4Gamer on February 10th of 2014 with the lead of Japan’s gaming regulatory board, CERO. (It’s a part of their editorial team known only as “MU.”) It touches on how censorship comes about in the Japanese gaming industry, how the board was created, and how “forbidden expressions” are maintained in accordance with “societal standards.”

>Why are the expressions and content different between Japanese versions and overseas versions? We now dare to ask CERO about the current state of the “ratings system”

>It’s been a while since it became normal for titles targeting toward overseas gamers to be sold and played even in Japan regularly. Often some of the reasons given for that include a lessening of resistance to “Western games” and the spread of online delivery services, but this has also increased the chances we have to see “differences in expression and content.” This is a point that often worries players who would like to play the original (overseas) version with the same content and expressions left intact.

>How exactly do these types of changes come about?

>You might remember that many reporters believe that CERO’s (Comptuer Entertainment Rating Organization) rating system is one factor that contributes to this. However, I think the facts of the situation, how this same system is actually carried out, or how it affects the game industry, aren’t well known.

>That’s why 4Gamer visited the senior managing director of CERO, Kazuya Watanabe, to hear about the current state of the ratings system and how the “differences” between Japanese versions and overseas versions come about.

>4Gamer: Thanks for speaking with us. We’re used to seeing “CERO ratings” on games and official sites, but today I think I’d like to ask you about the deliberation process and what basis you decide things.

Watanabe: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us.

>4Gamer: Let’s get straight to it. Does this rating system apply to every game sold within Japan?”

Watanabe: Our purview is mostly the console games sold within the country. We handle PC, cellphone, and smartphone games, but only a select part.

By the way, the amount we cover for console games is pretty much 100%. We were able to reach this number because many of the industry groups cooperated with us.

>4Gamer: When you say industry groups, are you talking about game companies?

Watanabe: What I mean here by industry groups is CESA (Computer Entertainment Software Association). As well, it would be correct to say it’s also from the gaming companies including the ones who make the platforms, as well as the distribution groups.

>4Gamer: Well then, will you tell us the story of how CERO began?

Watanabe: We got started in June of 2002, and our rating deliberations started from October of the same year. I think you may already know this, but previously there had been a ratings system. At that time, CESA was around and they performed their own kind of self-regulatory “ethics code.”

However, there was this problem that the ethics committee only consisted of around 10 people and the deliberations their ethics code were based on were very abstract to the point where the basis would blur from person to person.

So CESA used the ESRB(Entertainment Software Rating Board)inspections standard as a basis and aimed for the establishment of a rating systems for Japanese versions, and that was CERO’s starting point.

>4Gamer:And when CERO started up, at that time did the entirety of the gaming industry see it as a need?

Watanabe: It would have been ideal had that been the case, but it was quite different from that (bitter laugh).

That was still a time when the criticism toward games in the general public was strong and there was this typical bad image they could be interpreted under. Because people were saying, “games can have a bad influence on young people,” as if it were in anyway true, so the industry had to make their stance clear against such a societal prejudice. Thus it took the form of game industry groups calling game makers together and having them agree to our standards.

Before CERO started, we enacted a survey asking game companies, “Is a rating system needed?” and perhaps it was because the very idea of a ratings system was not well known, but it’s the truth of the situation that there were a lot of negative opinions.


86f000 No.329444

Part 2 >>329443

>4Gamer:In the current rating system, how are the inspections actually carried out?

Watanabe: Since we recruit inspectors from our official site, we invite the general population. The qualifications to apply is that you must be “over 20 years old” and that you “can’t have any deep affiliations with related game companies.”

Our applicants are chosen from looking at their details and from interviews, and right now we have about 45 people registered. As for the makeup of it, there’s pretty much 50/50 men and women. Ages range from 20 to 60, and we’re trying not to have a prejudice for any one age range. There are students, housewives, etc. lots of different types of professions.

>4Gamer:By the way, on what basis do you select your inspectors?

Watanabe: We don’t inquire about your skill or experience with games, but because there are those who get queasy with extreme depictions or sick with 3D games, we look at their ability to handle those things.

>4Gamer:Do you pay them a gratuity?

Watanabe: We do, but it’s really rather small. It’s best described as something like what you get from working a part time job.

>4Gamer:How many people work on the inspection of one game?

Watanabe: The principle is to assign three people to one title. We have them come to the CERO offices, and then have them check a video in a special booth.

Well we call it a booth, but all there is is a monitor and a playback device, so it’s even more bare bones than an internet cafe room (laughs). Of course the booths are divided by partitions, so inspectors can’t talk with each other.

>4Gamer:So the inspectors aren’t actually playing games, are they?

Watanabe: No, they aren’t. They do their inspections on the basis of a digest video the game makers submit. Having said that, the inspectors aren’t making decisions based on their own individual feelings. With CERO ratings we have set up a finely categorized system of inspections standards, what the inspectors actually do is cross reference the inspection standards with the content of the game’s digest video. That’s what the inspector’s job is.

>4Gamer: And you’re saying it makes no difference how the inspector “felt”?

Watanabe: That’s right. It’s an objective inspection system, so there really isn’t much of a personal difference.

For instance, if we were to take one kiss scene, it’s split into several different levels, like “a cute kiss you’d see in a kid’s cartoon,” “a tongue twisting kiss,” or “a wet, noisy kiss.” They look at the actual images, and just check off which level it falls under, so I believe we can say personal opinions mostly don’t enter into it.

>4Gamer: Even so, what do you do when the three different inspectors’ results don’t match?

Watanabe: When it’s some sort of expression where it’s hard to decide, the inspectors results can differ. In those cases we either go with a majority vote or ask for another check.

>4Gamer: So that’s how it works. If you’re going to have this kind of system, it would seem that referencing the inspection standards would become very important, wouldn’t it?

Watanabe: The inspection standards are split into four categories: “sexual expressions,” “violent expressions,” “expressions of anti-social acts,” and “language/ideology-related expressions.” These are further divided into a more detailed list of around 30 items and with those we set a rating according to a scale of 6 levels.

Thus it follows that the references for the inspection standards become a matrix of 180 cells aligned along rows.

>4Gamer: Can you show us that reference?

Watanabe: I’m sorry, but as of right now, we don’t allow them for general public viewing. Though, since it has been over ten years since the current ratings system has started, even if we don’t show all of them, I want to think about displaying the inspection standards for public view in some sort of form.

By the way, when the rating systems started, we didn’t necessarily fill in all of the cells of the matrix. We made over 20 revisions for the expressions measured in the inspection standards, adding new ones, making certain expressions more easy to understand, following the changes made in games themselves. In this way, we’ve built up to the current way we are now.


86f000 No.329445

Part 3 >>329444

>4Gamer: You mentioned “ratings aligned along 6 levels of expression” before, but CERO ratings have 5 categories: A (all ages), B (12 and over), C (15 and over), D (17 and over) and Z (only above 18).

Watanabe: Yes. To add to these 5, there is something that goes beyond Z, and we call those “forbidden expressions.” Games that contain these expressions don’t follow our ratings, in other words, we don’t give them ratings. We decide this with the agreement of industry groups, so it’s not related to government laws. Therefore, you could say it’s a kind of censorship, but it’s only this part where we’re censoring expression.

>4Gamer: And on what kind of basis are you deciding this on?

Watanabe: To explain it simply, that’s decided by consulting with “healthy ethical standards for society.” And because of that, “forbidden expressions” are included under expressions that are allowed under the law.

>4Gamer: Only “people over 18” can purchase Z-rated titles. Therefore, because people 17 and under can’t play them, there’s a certain viewpoint that says we ought to widen the acceptable range of forbidden expressions.

Watanabe: Yes. I know there are opinions like that. Except, you said that “17 and under can’t play them,” but what CERO is doing is not censorship. We don’t have the authority to do that.

What we’re doing is the “presentation of information.” Before a player buys something, we offer information so they’ll know something of the level of content in the game; it doesn’t have any power of enforcement. However, it’s certainly true that there are cases where local governments or industry groups have decided upon acts that amount to censorship based on CERO ratings.

>4Gamer: Of late, there are overseas games that have parts which fall under your forbidden expressions and when they are put on sale in Japan, there are quite a few cases where expressions and content are changed. It would appear that people who want to play a game as close as possible to its original shape feel unsatisfied, but is this some sort of rule that they can’t avoid in order to sell games in Japan?

Watanabe: When you say “rule,” it sounds nasty. The are “methods” CERO and industry groups have decided on, and because these aren’t compulsory, they’re in fact different from rules and censorship. Like I said before, we consider forbidden expressions to be things that are far removed from the ethical standards of polite society. There are those who peddle a different argument, but a few years ago we enacted a survey about Z expressions and forbidden expressions. In the end, it reached about 400 pages, but extremely interesting results came out of it.

We targeted around 1000 people for this survey, and asked them to answer questions around all sorts of expressions, like sexual and violent ones included in the Z ratings and forbidden expressions; we had them answer us, “Above what age would this be valid, as well should it be forbidden?” And when we did, the majority of people answered that the things that are currently considered forbidden expressions “should be forbidden.” Of course, there were opinions that weren’t like that, but we think our results show that we haven’t strayed far from the common consensus.

>4Gamer: In short, you came to the conclusion that the current ratings standards are justified, didn’t you?

Watanabe: I’m sure you know this, but the regulations for overseas games are what we could call “relaxed” compared to Japan. That’s why, just like I explained, in the survey we had them answer for us about the level of violent expressions. The result was, unrelated to how much it was regulated in Japan, that “gruesomely violent expressions ought to be further forbidden” was a majority opinion.

We don’t use these survey results to actually change the ratings standards, but if these opinions become the standard, then perhaps we should look into the restriction of violent expressions.

On the other hand, when it comes to sexual expressions, we saw a lot of opinions that “we ought to make the restrictions more lenient.” A great deal of women are included in this. For instance, we got some feedback from women that said “women’s nipples” are considered a forbidden expression, but “that’s strange, since you can see them in movies and on television.”


86f000 No.329447

Part 4 >>329445

>4Gamer:Certainly, it’s easy to compare to television and movies.

Watanabe: Yes. Except, this type of comparison was but one example, we mostly compared the common sense of each and every one of our participants when we have them give us their opinions. And because common sense changes based on the flow of time and the upheavals of wider society, we must always create an inspection standard that fits it.

>4Gamer: In short, what you’re saying is that inspection standards change based on the times. And until now, a few years back expressions that were considered D or Z level are now considered forbidden expressions, and so could there be cases where that works in the opposite direction?

Watanabe: We have not raised or lowered the levels for similar expressions since the start of inspection under the CERO system. In addition, I don’t think it’s necessary.

However, it’s not like we’re thinking that we want to stubbornly protect the inspection standards for the Z level and forbidden expressions; previously we did have a proposal where we said, “Why not loosen the restrictions on sexual expressions?” Except, at that time we weren’t able to reach a consensus among industry groups.

That said, we don’t know what will happen 2 or 3 years from now. “Society” is something that doesn’t move quickly. It only changes gradually, you see.

>4Gamer: For example, even though there’s one game that contains severed zombie limbs, a different game doesn’t show severed limbs, but they have the same rating. Are you saying this is not because of CERO’s inspections, but that the game makers just decided for it to be that way?

Watanabe: That might be it, but someone in my position can’t speak to that question clearly. It’s just the types of expressions in games are many and varied, and it’s true that inspections are becoming more difficult.

Just like I said before, the inspectors don’t play the game from start to finish. Since the most extreme expressions are provided to us from the makers in a 15-20 minute digest video, they can’t take into account the elements that aren’t included in the video.

>4Gamer:And you haven’t perhaps considered changing to an inspection method where you actually play the games?

Watanabe: Unfortunately, when you think about the number and volume of games we have to inspect, that’s not realistic and too difficult to implement when you consider the time it would take. Right now, we inspect about 100 games a month, but no matter what the number of games is, we’ve set it to where we convey the results in under a week.

When you get right down to it, it’s an inspection process that depends on the logical supposition that “there are no lies” in the provided materials and videos.

>4Gamer:Well this is changing the subject a bit, but there are cases where game shops don’t put up games with Z ratings on store shelves, or they put them in places where they’re separated from the rest and don’t stand out. I would think that would produce a lot of game makers who want to get a D rating instead of a Z.

Watanabe: Oh, I don’t think there’s a lot, but there have been cases where the first inspection results came up with a Z, but the expression level was changed upon another review. If we receive some sort of request for discussion from game makers, we can explain what makes for a Z rating. And the same can be said for forbidden expressions.

>4Gamer:I’ve heard of cases of overseas games that contain forbidden expressions and because of various circumstances couldn’t change those expressions, and thus weren’t able to be sold in Japan. People who want to play these games can only buy the overseas version and that’s just the way it is, what do you think of that?

Watanabe: I have heard of stories where there are contract problems and they have to give up putting these games out for sale, but these cases amount to only a few. There’s nothing that can be done under the ratings system, I believe.

>4Gamer: Again, there are cases where, even when games go on sale in Japan, the players don’t know that content and expressions are different from the overseas versions until they play them. And you don’t think CERO is contributing to this situation?

Watanabe: When it comes to things like that, I do recognize that it’s a problem that players feel unsatisfied, but it’s a decision based on each game maker’s sales strategy and thus it is not for us at CERO to speak up about it. We strictly respect each other’s standing ground.


86f000 No.329448

Part 5 >>329447

>4Gamer: All right. Then, tell me what the merit of a CERO rating system is.

Watanabe: Our greatest merit is to give a basis of selection to those who don’t know that much about games when they buy them. When it comes to games, there’s a lot of cases where parents are buying games for their children or grandchildren, and in these cases, it helps them. It’s an information proposition for end users, you could say.

The ESRB rating system’s purpose is also to provide a basis for buying or not buying based on your own responsibility. Along those lines, can it not be said that Japan is late at adopting a system of personal responsibility? This is not just limited to games, with television or movies, if there are extreme expressions “the municipal government is lazy,” “it’s because they don’t censor something,” there’s a tendency to blame the government or somebody else. I think we ought to consider a bit more about where the lines of our personal responsibility come in.

>4Gamer: In short, you’re saying the CERO ratings are a material that can be used to make your own decisions about purchases?

Watanabe: That’s exactly it.

>4Gamer:So what do you think the future holds for rating systems?

Watanabe: I think it will continue to be an important role for someone to provide information to players. However, if you’re asking if the current rating system will be applied in the future, that’s a difficult question.

The current ratings system is built with consoles in mind at its center, but if we’re going to also treat cell phone, smartphone and digital PC games, then the numbers become extraordinary. As well, like I said we report findings in a week, but we’d need them to come out more quickly perhaps.

Whatever happens, we may move to a “self-rating method” like parts of America and Europe do. This is an inspection system wherein a part of inspection standards are widely shared for all to see, and the those who sell the games consult with the standards and we let them decide their own ratings.

>4Gamer: If you do that, there’s a chance the uniformity of ratings would be lost, isn’t there?

Watanabe: For instance, in parts of America, it’s something like you answer several dozen questions and you can find which rating is appropriate for you. For small scale things like smartphone apps, we might have to move to this system whether we like it or not.

In addition, you could intentionally settle on different ratings, but if after you’ve put it out into the world and it’s revealed there’s a problem with the rating, it would be corrected in an open fashion. At the same time, you would lose the trust of the society around you and as a result I believe it would function correctly.

>I looked upon this interview thinking to find some sort of road to play overseas games in as close as possible to their original state, along with learning the facts of how CERO ratings work. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get a clear answer for that, but I think I’ve perhaps understood that a ratings system does not necessarily exist for the purpose of regulating expression. However, as long as the inspection standards reflect the ethical standards of wider society or opinions, it might be hard to change it based on just the game industry or its players.

>Nevertheless, much like Watanabe said, this doesn’t mean that it’s been decided that in the future it will be the same system that will never change. CERO has said that in response to society’s demands, they will continue to broadly solicit opinions for discussion around the validity of inspection standards that match the age we’re living in.

>It’s something of an aside, but Watanabe’s pointed statement, “Japan is late at adopting a system of personal responsibility,” left an impression with me. It made think all of a sudden that, although there may be many opinions about what constitutes the limits of personal responsibility, if each and every person who bought a product thought for themselves and decided themselves what kind of influence they have, and this was recognized by all of society, then all of what is seen as “censorship” would become completely unnecessary, would it not?


dfde4b No.329450

archived link from gamergate + nys thread over at /v/ on january/09/2017, containing info regarding the clique and christine love

https://archive.is/PAfam


c9b500 No.329464

>>329427

Mods,

please use mod magic to move this post to just under the OP or edit it into the second post.


633377 No.329474

>>329450

Senor Acid with the shitty waifu digging got some nuggets, he asked anon to post in on gamergatehq. Probably could use a different thread, and I have not found the old dickwolf thread at the moment. But I'm posting it here so the two set of archive links can be referenced if needed for further reading.

Second continued archived link from gamergate + nys thread over at /v/ on january/09/2017, containing info regarding the clique and christine love

https://archive.is/2hyqr




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