You are under arrest for the corruption of our youth
nullnullnull (1474), Aug 10, 2006
Matt Paprocki has an Op-Ed piece running on Blog Critics about whether Rockstar's upcoming game Bully should be given an ESRB Teen rating or not. Gamepolitics speculates that Bully will most likely get a Teen rating due to its "lack of blood and death". Paprocki feels that, "Given the state of the industry, the rampant (and horribly uninformed) critics, and the way the game has been billed in the media, it doesn't seem like a smart move on the ESRB's part to give the game a lenient rating". He argues that the game should get a Mature rating even if the substance of the game does not warrant it.
Never one to shy away from controversy Rockstar's Bully will feature a 15-year-old boy named Jimmy Hopkins stuck in a bully infested boarding school subtlety named Bullworth. He has to defend himself and other students with weapons such as baseball bats, stink bombs and bags of marbles. Rockstar's philosophy of no press is bad press has paid off wonderfully. The game has come under fire from any number of concerned people from the School Board in Florida to our buddy Jack Thompson himself.
The question is not whether or not the game deserves a Mature rating, but whether the rating process becomes politicized itself. Ratings in themselves I feel are pretty silly. Anyone with a half a brain should be able to tell the appropriateness of a game without even having to look at the rating. Compare the cover for Postal with ... say ... Pokemon Channel. Even if you missed the cultural double entendre of the word postal it should be apparently obvious from the bullet holes in the cover that this is not a game for our younger and more sensitive gamers. I have never played Pokemon Channel, but I am willing to bet anyone in the room that the game in entirely devoid of beheadings or frontal nudity.
Should the ESRB consider the political climate when rating a game? Do ratings even matter?
Judging a game by its cover sounds like an awesome idea. I can imagine the Bully prototype covers looking like this:
Just kidding flipkin ;)
The ERSB serves the same purpose the MPAA does.
Depending on your perspective, It is either... A ) A good faith effort from game publishers by voluntarily self moderate content. ...or... B ) A token effort to keep the hand wringers from pushing for government regulation/censorship of content.
(Edited by Mobygames has been cybersquatted (588), Aug 11, 2006)Re: You are under arrest for the corruption
Mobygames has been cybersquatted (588), Aug 11, 2006
I never cared much about Rockstar games; I mean, they are incredibly open-ended and the damage models for the cars are uncanny and what have you, but I played halfway through both GTA 3 and GTA VC and I dropped them because I became bored to death with all the errand running; so I don't care much for this "GTA at school" either.
That said, I do take Rockstar's side on this discussion, especially after reading stuff such as this interview with Bully Online's John Carnell. Bullying Online is some sort anti-bullying group, and this guy is standing firm against the game because "The world just doesn't need a game that glorifies bullying as fun even if it is as Rockstar are spinning it one where a child stands up to the bullies."
Now, I've been bullied for my entire school life (in fact, I'm 30 now and I get so much shit from my bosses at my job, you could say I'm getting the adult version of bullying), but when I read this whiny freak's nonsense reasonings, it makes me want to go ahead and bully him. I mean, Jesus Christ, man, get over it already!
I gotta admit the man did a smart move there when he asked Rockstar "to provide a better outline of the game and where possible to supply us with code we could review to have a better informed opinion". Maybe I'll start a grassroots campaign against zombie abusing in videogames, and then write a nasty angry letter to Capcom asking them to send me a free copy of Resident Evil 4 so I can have a better informed opinion...
Mobygames has been cybersquatted Wrote:
What?! Somebody finds GTA games boring, and this somebody is not me?! Am I dreaming?!
From now on, I will only buy products from Uruguay :-))
You seem to have an uncannily similar taste to games as I do. I got bored with VC around half way through as well and the main reason I played it that far was the superb soundtrack. The stuff you were supposed to do was mostly dull and some were almost impossible (the ambulance thingy for instance) or just extremely annoying (boat races, flying the damn mini-helicopter).
I stopped at the mini-helicopter sequence, those controls are impossible.
Ratings can be very useful for quick assessments, as not all cover art gives you a proper description of what the game is like. (Especially a game that's trying to make some sort of joke with the cover art.)
I've never played a GTA-style game so I can't comment.
It took some work, but I did complete that...
I spent most my time taking the biggest motorcycle (I forget the name of it) and finding places to jump it.
The one thing that I couldn't complete was the tank... mainly because I never did figure out how to open the hatch (or get them to open it) and I didn't bother looking online. I also never managed to steal an army vehicle from the base or whatever it is... I managed to run past everyone and into the vehicle once, but as soon as I got in, it was blown up. Heheh!
There's a trick to it. But I only found that out after the 50th try? Stupid game.
I wonder what'll happen if RockStar games makes a remake of the Ultima series....
I vaguely remember something from the book of Revelation about that...
Indra is awakening... Wrote:
The main hero will be a nameless aspiring pirate from Bucanneer's Den. Your fascinating quest will involve killing Lord British, killing Iolo, killing Shamino, killing Dupre, killing Avatar, and killing as many inhabitants of Britannia as possible. Who needs the stupid, useless interactivity of Ultima, who needs talking to people and picking up objects? In this game, the interaction is reduced to overrunning people with horses and shooting at them with the crossbow, but that's much more fun!
(Edited by PCGamer77 (3031), Aug 12, 2006)Re: You are under arrest for the corruption
PCGamer77 (3031), Aug 12, 2006
If there were any real logic to it, then Rockstar would jettison Ultima's virtues in favor of the seven deadly sins. Alas, I doubt they would actually try to implement something that sophisticated...
Marko Poutiainen Wrote:
Well we might have been separated at birth, brother, because the soundtrack was precisely the main reason why I preferred VC over the other one :P I'm quite the freak for 80's music.
Mobygames has been cybersquatted Wrote:
Ah, the good'ol days...
Mobygames has been cybersquatted Wrote:
I have to disappoint you. In general I'm not so much into the 80's music, most of it was actually quite horrible, but VC did have a great selection. Having said that it didn't have my favourite 80's stuff such as Joy Division and Sonic Youth.
I'm more into the late 60's/early 70's stuff. The Who, The Kinks, The Velvet Underground, King Crimson, Steely Dan etc.
Marko Poutiainen Wrote:
Of course it was horrible, that is precisely the beauty of it.
And the synthpop hair, man, GREATEST HAIR EVER!!!! :P
Marko Poutiainen Wrote:
Yep, a post-punk oriented radio with Joy Division, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and such would've been greatly appreciated.
That's the only thing that's really good in Interstate '82. I mean, there's even previously unreleased tracks from Devo!
I just love when we go off-topic!
At less you have ESBR or MPAA... here in Russia no such organization, and game mostly rated but developers and labels like +18 can be found only at... well adults games :) Other ranting only on exported games. Sure here more freedom but if something going not right here no any ESBR to blame for bad rating on game, and the same way no one really care what they make and sell till “guys in black” came…
There's no reason to have ESRB ratings. The ratings are often inaccurate and misleading, and why can't the publishers just say whether the game is suitable for children or not? It's not like they don't know what audience their content is targeted towards, that is, unless they're total idiots. I mean, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that a game isn't suitable for children if it has gore, sex, and/or cussing in it.
For one, you can't have companies rating their own games and expect it to be unbiased. Think about it. If a FPS game is made with really bad language, sex, violence, blood, drugs, etc. (many include some or all of that), the developers are trying to market that more to the teens than to the adults. They wouldn't rate it Mature, but would rate it Teen so that more of their target audience would get it.
ESRB and others are meant to be an unbiased 3rd party reviewer to give unbiased reviews of all games so consumers have a good idea what they are getting. It's far from perfect, but it really is a good barometer for the level of the game. If a game it rated Mature, you can bet that even if the rating is too strong, it really should be for at least 16+ rather than the Teen rating of 13+. So, even though it says 18+ (or is it 17 for Mature?), you can almost guarantee that it really shouldn't be played by anyone under 16 unless they are mature for their age, or very able to handle such things without "damage", etc.
I won't say that I really think ESRB is that great, but I also don't think it's wrong to have it and use it.
In Estonia, ratings don't matter. My 6 year old cousin bought San Andreas, alone :).
In Brazil it's the same, even DJCTQ/Dejus having a so elaborated rating system. But actually, I like to think about ratings as a guide, not a censor.
Right. I don't think we really need to prevent kids from getting them, but just use the ratings as a sensor. The only real difference being that I think a game that is only about porn should be restricted just as movies are.
(Edited by Stratege (15348), Aug 14, 2006)Re: You are under arrest for the corruption of
Stratege (15348), Aug 14, 2006
Well really story from live. One day I was in bass going home from work. 2 old ladies seat before me and speak:
1. “All that game are evil, lot of murder and sex.”
2. “Yes, but my grandchild play only good games, and today I buy good new one for him.”
1. “What one? Maybe I will buy it too for my grandchild.”
2. “It some game about holy one Andreas!”
1. “Oh if it about holy one that it really good game.”
And that is real story, sure grandmother buy Pirate GTA:SA and sure box was America with ESBR but Russian text on it with one say “GTA: Saint Andreas”(GTA: Святой Андрес). And that really problem when there no such organization people just don’t know what to buy.
Saint Andreas was responsible for "cleaning up" some of the pagan religions back in the 11th century I believe. His nickname used to be "Earthshaker".
*posts to wikipedia and waits for it to become true* :P
As a matter of fact, St. Andreas was the brother of apostle Peter; I think he was tortured and killed by the Roman Emperor Nero.
YID YANG Has Left In Protest Wrote:
Well now I just feel stupid. Here you go ruining my jokes with facts :)
Sorry... but go ahead and ruin the facts with yet another joke ;-)
LOL! Now that was a good one! :-))
Slashdot is reporting the following today:
"Jack Thompson is back on the video game scene and has followed through with his threat to file a law suit against Rockstar, Take-Two and Walmart for Rockstar's upcoming "Bully" title. bit-tech was sent a copy by the man himself which started as follows "Take-Two has until five o'clock p.m., Eastern time, Monday, August 14, 2006, to inform me in writing that it will forthwith provide me with a copy of Bully so that I and others can analyze it to determine whether it still poses a threat of copycat violence in our schools.""
Full slashdot URL with comments from that site -- http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/15/2314226
Gamasutra is reporting today that the Edinburgh University has started to develop what it calls an "Anti-Bully" game. More specifically it's going to be a game that provides alternative (so-called "positive behavior") methods for dealing with these types of situations.
I'd just like to thank them for not being one of the ones shouting out and denouncing violence in videogames, and instead taking the high road by trying to build a better product and provide an alternate viewpoint within the medium. The release date for this game is tentatively at 2007 and most likely it will ride some of the buzz from Rockstar's Bully title. Myself I hope it will be a good game and people will enjoy it, however the track record these types of "role model" games hasn't exactly been steady. Still, I wish them all the luck in the world and thank them for contributing another (and unique) game into this interactive form of media that is not evil just from it's existence.
Just as the rest of the industry, the game will ultimately be judged by the people who are playing it and the free market.
Full Story Link -- http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=10736