Rating Games the ESRB Way

February 8, 2011 -

Last week, IGN created a nifty little flow chart detailing the ESRB’s rating process.  GP veterans are no doubt familiar with the process but newer readers may look at the chart and think, “Wait a minute, why doesn’t the ESRB play all the games it rates?”

ESRB media relations guy, Eliot Mizrachi explained to IGN:

"Although it seems logical that one would play a game to rate it, there are lots of reasons why we don't. For one, when games are submitted to ESRB for rating they may not have been finalized or fully tested yet. As a consequence, these games may still be buggy, making it difficult, if not impossible, for a rater to play the game from start to finish. Secondly, we assign over a thousand ratings each year and many games can take 50+ hours to play through. So it'd be extremely time-consuming. More importantly though, it's crucial that the raters see all of a game's "pertinent content" which includes not just the obvious (the game's context, missions, storylines, reward system, etc.), but also its most intense content.

Having raters play the game -- and make their own choices as they do so -- would not guarantee that they see everything they need to in order to assign a rating. Check out this FAQ on our website for a fuller explanation that we hope will make it clearer as to why we require publishers to fully disclose content to us."


And don’t worry about publishers being less than honest when it comes to content disclosure.  The ESRB can fine a company up to $1 million plus require the relabeling of an already manufactured or shipped game so it’s in their best interest to be forthcoming.

AE:  An interesting bit of trivia: after the Hot Coffee fiasco, the ESRB adjusted its ratings process to require that publishers disclose all pertinent content on a game disc, whether it’s accessible by the player or not.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen

Posted in

Comments

Re: Rating Games the ESRB Way

They forgot the give bribe to recieve lower rating step. (sarcasm) 

Re: Rating Games the ESRB Way

Why would anybody want a lower rating?  Everybody knows you can't sell to the lucrative "angry young man" segment without a healthy dose of the ol' hyperviolence.

(also sarcasm~)

---
Fangamer

---
Fangamer

Re: Rating Games the ESRB Way

I know games can be a long as 50-hours but you would think they could play atlease a demo of the game in question.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Rating Games the ESRB Way

What for?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Rating Games the ESRB Way

They do play a random sampling of games each year to make sure that the games are in line with the rating they assign. They just don't have the time and man power to play every game submitted. As the quote says, even if they have someone play through the game, there is no guarantee they will see all the content in the game.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Rating Games the ESRB Way

There's also the caseso f games that don't really end, open world games, and games where most of the profanity is from online players.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Big PermBy the way. Anyone else kind of spooked by Microsofts data collection that's being reported about Win10? Thinking of finally trying a linux box for general use and Windows for gaming only08/04/2015 - 8:59am
Big PermCan you set youtube to load subs instead of recommendations first?08/04/2015 - 8:54am
MonteI've had mostly good experience with Youtube recommendations... only problem is when i watch a certain video that messes it up and gets me reconmendations i don't want. Though all i have to do is remove said video from my history to fix it08/04/2015 - 8:42am
Big PermYoutube wants me to watch Nicki Minaj videos. I am ok with this. Dat mute tho08/04/2015 - 7:48am
IvresseIronpatriot: I think it's fair to say that even anti-gamergaters want you to just shut the hell up...08/04/2015 - 7:27am
Sora-Chan@Andrew Eisen: A tip for when it comes to clicking people's video recommendations, use Incognito/Private Mode.that'll keep those kinds of recommendations off the radar. =P08/04/2015 - 5:37am
InfophileWow, I just got an e-mailed ad from Nintendo: "FREE AC Adapter with New Nintendo 3DS XL" - So... pretending this didn't used to be normal, are we?08/04/2015 - 3:34am
MattsworknameNight man, take care08/04/2015 - 2:59am
Andrew EisenOff to bed. Play nice.08/04/2015 - 2:53am
Andrew EisenNo worries. Yeah, it's the pits. It's like "How many times do I have to tell you I'm not interested in this producer's work before you stop recommending his videos to me?!"08/04/2015 - 2:53am
MattsworknameAndrew: Sorry man, youtubes recomendations system is really crappy08/04/2015 - 2:49am
MattsworknameIp: they cite 4 chan. Enough said08/04/2015 - 2:47am
IronPatriotWhat I don't get is why anyone wants to be part of the private online army for a stalker.08/04/2015 - 2:32am
IronPatriotYes, it's pretty sad that even after GG has been exposed as a fraud designed to harass Sarkeesian, they still want to attack her. Do facts even matter anymore?08/04/2015 - 2:30am
Andrew EisenDammit. For context's sake, I watched that one Chris Ray Gun video Matt linked to and now my recommends are chockful of anti-Sarkeesian crap from the usual suspects. ARGH!08/04/2015 - 2:27am
Andrew EisenIP - Now you just essentially asked Matt the same question twice in a row. Seriously, once is enough.08/04/2015 - 2:11am
IronPatriotMattsworkname, do you have any actual evidence for your "complete bollocks" claim? Or are you making up more "facts08/04/2015 - 2:11am
IronPatriotMattswork, prove your claim that the article is "based on complete bollocks"08/04/2015 - 2:08am
Andrew EisenIP - Stop asking me the same question over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. It's super annoying. Especially when I've already addressed it.08/04/2015 - 2:07am
Andrew EisenMatt - How? Set aside half an hour. It's not hard if you know your history. It's just time consuming.08/04/2015 - 2:06am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician