The Entertainment Merchants Association has declared June as "Entertainment Ratings Awareness Month," as it does every year. As part of "Entertainment Ratings Awareness Month, the trade group encourages all retailers of entertainment and video games to promote the ratings systems in place intended to help parents and guardians make informed decisions about purchasing and consuming age-appropriate content for their children.
Siliconera reports that Atlus will make four specific edits to the U.S. version of its upcoming first-person, turn-based RPG, Dungeon Travelers 2.
Atlus issued a press release explaining the "minor edits" to the game - a move it made to make sure the game avoided creating offense to Western audiences and to avoid an "Adults Only" rating by the ESRB. Here's what the company said:
The Entertainment Software Association's (ESA) Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) will soon start rating games on mobile and digital platforms with the help of the global game ratings organization, the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC).
The IARC, which launched in 2013, is already working with PEGI in Europe, ClassInd in Brazil, USK in Germany, and the Classification Board in Australia (who announced earlier in the month a year-long trial run of using the system - with the right to reject ratings it doesn't agree with).
Okay, let's take a quick break from all that heavy net neutrality stuff and talk about Batman!
Specifically, the new Batman game's ESRB rating.
Batman: Arkham Knight will release this June sporting an M rating. This surprised many as the previous games in the Arkham series (Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, Arkham Origins and Arkham Origins: Blackgate) have all been rated T.
Batman: Arkham Knight has been given a mature rating by the ESRB for its North American release, much to the surprise of Rocksteady, whose previous Batman games have all been rated "T for Teen" in the past.
Speaking with IGN, Rocksteady founder and the game director Sefton Hill expressed surprise at the rating:
The ESRB has rated Creative Destruction's ultra-violent "mass shooting spree" game Hatred "Adults Only," with content descriptors for "Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, and Strong Language," according to what an ESRB representative has told GamesIndustry.biz.
According to data gleaned from the ESRB, the next iteration of BioWare's popular RPG will be extra sexy.
According to descriptions from the ESRB on certain moments in Dragon Age: Inquisition, sexual acts such as fellatio are implied, topless scenes are shown and lots of sexy language is used. Here's more from the ESRB:
"A female character briefly depicted in front of a man's torso," it rasps, "(fellatio is implied)."
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has released a new public service announcement on its YouTube channel to highlight and promote the ESRB's video games ratings system and the parental controls they can use to keep their kids from playing inappropriate games.
Kotaku has an interesting editorial written by "a video game retail veteran" discussing how 100 of the 1,000 copies of Grand Theft Auto V sold last week were to parents accompanied by young kids who "couldn't even see over the counter." In his editorial he talks about being a parent who works at a retailer that sells games, and how he is often surprised at how many parents don't pay attention to the ESRB descriptors, shrug off any advice about what a given title might contain, or how many parents simply ignore what he is saying.
The ESRB has updated its video games rating search app in an effort to improve the information parents have access to when making decisions about the appropriateness of a purchase for their children. The ESRB recently expanded its rating system to offer more details on "interactive elements" associated with digital games and apps, such as the sharing of personal information, sharing location-based data with others, or the ability for users to interact, communicate, or share media like photos or videos.
The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) has changed the appearance of its icons for the first time in 14 years, according to a report at Polygon. The ESRB (owned and operated by the Entertainment Software Association) decided to make some small changes to the existing logos in an attempt to make them smaller in size for mobile devices. You can see a picture of the changes below (courtesy of Polygon).
The Entertainment Software Rating Board announced a new privacy seal certification program called ESRB Privacy Certified. The new program offers expanded services to help companies manage their mobile app privacy practices. The program’s services include helping companies achieve compliance with the recently revised Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule, which the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires by July 1st.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) was recently honored by the Telly Awards' Silver Council and the International Academy of Visual Arts for public awareness campaign that featured San Francisco Giants players Buster Posey and Ryan Vogelsong who explain in a simple way how parents can check a game's packaging to understand what a video game contains before they make a purchase for their children.
It's June and that means that the Digital Media Association (DiMA), Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), and National Association of Theatre Owners have banded together once again to declare June to be "Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month."
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) released its 2012 Annual Report (PDF) today, revealing that it sent a total of 3.4 million takedown notices for copyright infringement and helped remove more than 99,500 Google links containing infringed game files during 2012. The trade group that represents the video game industry (and operates the ESRB and the E3 trade show) also said that it helped to create a 10 percent decrease from 2011 in the speed of removing infringing files.
Three editorials offer just about every side of the New Jersey Governor's push to study and then regulate the sale of violent video games in the State. The first two are two different sides from a special dueling editorial in The Star-Ledger called "Do violent video games breed violent behavior?". The first one, "Do violent video games breed violent behavior? Yes " was written by Paul Boxer of Rutgers-Newark.
Oblivious to a Federal Trade Commission report released this week that said that only 13 percent of under-age secret shoppers it deployed (as part of a Secret Shopper Survey program in 2012) were able to buy video games from national retailers (see the story here) New Jersey Assemblyman Sean T.
The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) today applauded the efforts of retailers in the United States for continuing to show record levels of enforcement of video game and DVD ratings. The praise comes in response to the results of a Federal Trade Commission survey released today. That survey found that video game retailers turned away unaccompanied 13- to 16-year-olds who attempted to purchase Mature-rated games 87 percent of the time and turned away under-aged children who attempted to purchase R-rated or unrated DVDs 70 percent of the time.
On this week's show we talk about Congressman Frank Wolf's hearing this week to slam "violent video games," changes being made to the ESRB, the ESA's plan for a PSA campaign, the latest SimCity news, and the results of the latest GamePolitics poll. Download Episode 45 now: SuperPAC Episode 45 (1 hour, 12 minutes) 66.6 MB.
It is the general consensus on the Internet that age gating videos is a way for the ESRB / video game industry to say "hey we're doing something about youngsters looking at Mature content" when in fact it is just a way for the industry to cover itself. So it is not surprising that the Entertainment Software Rating Board is relaxing the rules regarding the promotion of titles rated M for Mature.
Given a recent Harris national poll showing that a good majority of respondents either didn't know that much about the Entertainment Software Ratings Board's ratings classification for games or thought they were ineffective, the Entertainment Software Association makes a smart play today by announcing a new national public education campaign to educate American parents further about the tools and information available.
Earlier this week, we reported on a new Harris Poll that said, among other things, that 58% of 2,278 U.S adults (ages 18+) think that there's a correlation between playing violent games and violent behavior in teenagers. Many of us were wondering exactly how the question that prompted that response was phrased.
GamesBeat seems to have secured the exclusive on a new poll from national polling outfit Harris Poll about video games. The poll, which questioned 2,278 U.S. adults found that nearly three in five adult Americans - or 58 percent - think that video games contribute to violent behavior in teenagers.
The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) issued an action alert asking the Internet community and ECA members to let Rep. Jim Metheson's colleagues in the House of Representatives know that his proposed bill, the "Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act" (H.R. 287), is a big mistake for a number of reasons.