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Video game censorship

#21PhilOnDezPosted 12/1/2013 8:09:30 PM
jokujokujoku posted...
The ESRB and game ratings exist to provide parents with enough information to make an informed decision as to what they allow their child to play. Some businesses may require a person to be of a certain age to buy a game of a certain rating, but there is no law that requires them to. In no way, shape, or form can video game ratings be considered censorship.

If a business won't let you buy an M-rated game because you're too young, that's the store's policy. You can then get your parents to buy the game for you. If your parents won't, then that is their decision, a decision they are fully in the right to make.


Thing is, the ratings system provides absolutely no information. Something fresh in my mind is Persona 4 which was rated M.

Alcohol Reference, Animated Blood, Language, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Violence


The alcohol reference is some highschool kids thinking they were getting a buzz off of some drinks that in the end weren't alcoholic.

I honestly don't even remember any animated blood. There are a few murders but they happen off screen and the crime scenes aren't really graphic, just a completely intact body hanging from random objects. They detectives made a point of how it was so weird that they couldn't find any injuries or cause of death. You only fight one (maybe two, depending on what you count as human) human and I don't remember him bleeding, none of the rest of the enemies even have blood to bleed.

The language is pretty strong, but it's a game about highschool kids in highschool. The dialogue felt really natural to me except for a few select scenes that felt like they were coming off of a script. Compared to 9 games out of 10 that get the language tag it's easily (EASILY) a lot worse. This is a problem as well since a game like battlefield gets the language tag for a simple "Get your ass outta there soldier!" which obviously isn't offensive, while P4 is full of, as I said above, high school kids talking and acting like high schoolers, hell, my friends in middle school had fouler mouths. I don't remember anything terribly offensive outside of a few gay jokes and I didn't feel like they were too bad, though I'm not gay so I won't try to be an authority on whether they were or not.

Not really sure what to say about the Partial Nudity/Sexual Themes. There's 16 year old girls in bikinis, one of which dances on a stripper pole for a minute. Honestly, nothing I'd hesitate letting a kid see, let alone a 'Teen:13+'. It's worse than most games I can think of (Worse in this case meaning it has belly buttons compared to most games having no belly buttons), but compared to the love scenes in Bioware games it's extremely tame, yet they both get hit with the same tag.

As for the violence, it's a turn based RPG where you summon monsters to cast spells for you. If you knock down all the enemies you can rush in and have your team lay the beatdown on them in the most literally cartoonish animation I can imagine, a cloud of smoke forms, slapstick sound effects play, and and words like BANG SMACK OW appear over the dogpile in colorful letters. You do have a standard attack where you slash a sword or throw a fan but honestly, if it gets stuck with the violence tag so should stuff like Mario and Sonic. Had it been Fantasy Violence I could understand since it has a focus on magic, even the physical spells are things like summoning a giant fist to smack your enemy.


If this post didn't make it abundantly clear, I think the ESRB is full of **** and if you use their ratings and nothing else to determine what's appropriate for your children you're doing it wrong. Their system is better than it used to be but it still has a long, long way to go.
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#22PezofpowerPosted 12/1/2013 8:09:36 PM
doomvi posted...
Seriously? This again?

I am not sure you should pose an opinion if you do not have children in your care.

but too many people want others to teach and raise their kids for them.



Contrary to popular belief, PC's and Consoles aren't babysitters. I don't care if mommy and daddy are busy, that's bad parenting if you don't at least attempt to enforce some kind of control of the media your kid receives.


That second part is called bad parenting and ultimately bad parenting does have repercussions at a higher degree.

Conversely, age gating content isn't really censorship. If mommy and daddy decide their informed decision will allow their kid to play Crawl of Doody then by all means, let them play it.


If your concern is censorship, you're better taking the fight to the feminists who actually seek to reduce the spread of content we see in games because it's sexist.
#23aiagfqPosted 12/1/2013 8:10:16 PM
I have no problems with rating games for adequate ages. Not every parent is a gamer and a good rating system helps a lot.

But I have a issue on the nudity vs violence debate. There are plenty of games where genocide is the order and they have a M or sometimes even T rating. But the moment you show a female nipple, bam, AO.
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#24Rama_IIIPosted 12/1/2013 8:15:38 PM(edited)
I am anti-censorship in all forms of media. I have an issue with Sandy Soccer Mom and Old Man Johnson deciding what I should or should not see.
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#25PezofpowerPosted 12/1/2013 8:19:01 PM
Rama_III posted...
I am anti-censorship in all forms of media. I have an issue with Sandy Soccer Mom and Old Man Johnson deciding what I should or should not see.


Are you 18 or older?

Otherwise you aren't being censored. There isn't a game sales law that says if you don't submit to the ESRB you don't get to sell your game on American soil. It's just a good marketing move to do so, because if you hit the ESRB's intended demographic you aren't going to get carded, and if you're 12 and playing an M rated game you're a bonus sale, and adhering to the ESRB also shows good will as a company so if you have a horrible M rated title but make a sweet E rated title later on, mom might consider your product with a little more enthusiasm. It's the difference between Crash sales and Ezio sales at that point.
#26Rama_IIIPosted 12/1/2013 8:22:24 PM
Censorship in games today isn't as bad as it used to be, but it's still there. Developers (and especially publishers) are always looking for ways to downgrade their ratings at the cost of whatever vision the game was based on. Didn't some huge corporation recently refuse to sell a game because it was AO? Wal-Mart maybe? Either way, censorship happens and it's f***ing insulting.
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#27PezofpowerPosted 12/1/2013 8:29:11 PM
Rama_III posted...
Censorship in games today isn't as bad as it used to be, but it's still there. Developers (and especially publishers) are always looking for ways to downgrade their ratings at the cost of whatever vision the game was based on. Didn't some huge corporation recently refuse to sell a game because it was AO? Wal-Mart maybe? Either way, censorship happens and it's f***ing insulting.


Your issue isn't with censorship friend, it's with market conformity. Money talks, if you can find a way to make it more profitable to increase a game's rating then people will adhere to it.

It's the same as the casual vs hardcore debate. Features get simplified to be more accessible to the masses, ruining the games for hardcores but selling more units for the people who like the simple herp derp and the hardcores that lack the capacity to vote with their wallets. It's all for money.
#28MasterDonGeroPosted 12/1/2013 8:30:46 PM
Featherwind posted...
KabtheMentat posted...
Directly cause violence? No. But playing games do increase dopamine levels in the brain...which so does doing just about anything you like. Which can cause an addiction and addictions can cause violence.

So indirectly, yeah, games can cause violence. But generally someone isn't going to pretend they're playing Call of Duty IRL unless they already have some underlying mental problem to begin with. Then the game is just a trigger, not the cause. It would be like saying Jodie Foster was the cause of John Hinkley's assassination attempt on Reagan. She wasn't, she was just an unwitting trigger.


Hmm... Even if video games are only a "trigger" then an argument can be made that they do increase violence. If group A and B both have the same underlying mental issues but group A has access to "triggers" then it would result in more violence and restricting access to these triggers would reduce violence.


Anything can cause violence. Music. Videos. Food. Work. Disease. Ugly people's faces. It's a silly argument.
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#29PhilOnDezPosted 12/1/2013 8:32:03 PM
Rama_III posted...
Censorship in games today isn't as bad as it used to be, but it's still there. Developers (and especially publishers) are always looking for ways to downgrade their ratings at the cost of whatever vision the game was based on. Didn't some huge corporation recently refuse to sell a game because it was AO? Wal-Mart maybe? Either way, censorship happens and it's f***ing insulting.


I don't think any B&M store sells AO games and I know Sony, MS, and Nintendo won't allow AO games to be released for their systems anyway. If you want an AO game you pretty much have to get it on PC.
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#30chase1234lifePosted 12/1/2013 8:36:21 PM
Here's what I'm hearing:
My mom won't buy me the new game I want because of the ESRB rating!!! Screw the ESRB for my mother's decision to follow their loose guidelines!!!
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