Poll: Will an M Rating Hurt Batman: Arkham Knight's Sales?

February 26, 2015 - Andrew Eisen

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.

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ESRB Gives 'Batman: Arkham Knight' a Mature Rating

February 24, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

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:

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ESRB Gives 'Hatred' An 'Adults Only' Rating

January 16, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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ESRB Details Sexy Content in 'Dragon Age: Inquisition'

October 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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)."

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ESRB Celebrates 20th Anniversary

September 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Seeing that government regulation was in the wings if it didn't do something, the Interactive Digital Software Association (now known as the Entertainment Software Association, or ESA) decided that the industry needed a self-governing ratings system.

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Poll: What Should 'Night Trap' Have Been Rated?

August 14, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

Hey, remember those Senate hearings back in the 90s that bemoaned violent games like DOOM and Mortal Kombat that ultimately resulted in the establishment of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board?

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Research: Games Media Criticism of Violent Video Games Decreased as Technology Improved

April 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A new study conducted by Greg Perreault, a doctoral student at the MU School of Journalism, concludes that, as technology has advanced, the criticism of violence in video games by the media has decreased.

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ESA Releases ESRB PSA

October 29, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Video Game Retail Veteran to Parents: Do The Right Thing

September 23, 2013 - James Fudge

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.

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ESRB Rating Search App Updated

August 23, 2013 - James Fudge

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.

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ESRB Tweaks Ratings Icons for Mobile Devices

August 2, 2013 -

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).

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ESRB Launches Privacy Certified Program

June 25, 2013 -

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.

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ESRB-Giants PSA Wins Four Awards

June 3, 2013 -

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.

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June is Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month

June 3, 2013 -

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."

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ESA Releases 2012 Annual Report

May 28, 2013 -

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.

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ESRB Warns Wartunes 'Publisher' about Using AO Rating in Marketing Campaign

May 13, 2013 -

An online marketing campaign for the free-to-play MMO game Wartune has caught the attention of the ESRB, who claims that it has asked the game's "publisher" to stop claiming that it has an ESRB "Adults Only" (AO) rating. The game has yet to be rated by the board, according to the organization.

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Dueling Editorials: Paul Boxer v. Craig Ferguson on Media Violence and Violent Crime

April 30, 2013 -

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.

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NJ Assemblyman Proposes Bill to Fine Video Game Retailers

March 28, 2013 -

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.

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EMA Applauds Retailers' High Marks in FTC Ratings Enforcement Report

March 25, 2013 -

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.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 45

March 18, 2013 -

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.

ESRB Tweaks Age Gating Rules for Mature Video Content

March 13, 2013 -

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.

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ESA Plans Public Service Announcements to Educate The Public About the ESRB and Parental Controls

March 11, 2013 -

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.

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Randy Pitchford Compares ESRB and NRA

March 4, 2013 -

Hey look!  An interview with Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford that doesn't go into the kerfuffel surrounding the development and release of Aliens: Colonial Marines!

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Harris Poll: Older Americans More Likely to Assume Link Between Game Violence and Youth Violence

February 27, 2013 -

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.

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Harris Poll: 58 Percent of Adults Believe Playing Video Games Cause Violence

February 26, 2013 -

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.

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ECA Action Alert: Tell Congress That There's No Link Between Video Games and Real Life Violence

January 22, 2013 -

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.

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President Obama: Entertainment Industry Needs to Give Parents More Tools

January 16, 2013 -

The Washington Times (thanks to PHX Corp for pointing this out) notes that the President is not looking for more regulations on video games and movies (through research announced today through the CDC), but wants the respective industries to provide parents with more tools so they can make more informed decisions about the content their children are consuming.

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ESA Issues Brief Statement on Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

December 20, 2012 -

Late last night the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) broke its silence on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, offering its condolences to the families of the victims, but urging lawmakers to include a mountain of research that has shown no correlation between playing video games and real-world violence. The statement was likely a response to a bill in the senate sponsored by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) that calls for the National Academy of Sciences to conduct an 18-month study of the effect of violent video games compared to other entertainment mediums.

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Senator Joseph Lieberman Bids Senate Bye-Bye

December 20, 2012 -

Senator Joseph Lieberman (ID - Connecticut), who gamers might know as one of the original critics of video game violence, is retiring from the U.S. Senate at the end of the month after a 24-year term.

Back in the early 90s, Lieberman led hearings on video game violence and threatened the industry that if it didn't do something, Congress would.  And so, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) was born.

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EA CEO Calls for Universal Ratings System

November 15, 2012 -

At a gathering of politicians and industry types this week in Washington D.C., Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello said that the industry needs a universal ratings system for games across all conceivable platforms and in all territories around the world. He made his comments to a gathering that included the FCC Commissioner and Chairman, according to a Polygon report.

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ZippyDSMleeuuuhhhggg in other news been sick since last night.....uuhggg.....I iwsh it did not hurt so much when my tummy wants to leave my body..02/28/2015 - 11:39pm
ZippyDSMleeBrings me to the Q why alt costumes would be needed in competition anyway... http://www.eventhubs.com/news/2015/feb/28/dead-or-alive-community-aims-ban-over-120-overly-sexualized-costumes-dead-or-alive-5-last-round/02/28/2015 - 11:36pm
MonteThough from a business side, i would agree with the article. While it would be smarter for developers to slow down, you can't expect EA, Activision or ubisoft to do something like that. Nintnedo's gotta get the third party back.02/28/2015 - 4:36pm
MonteThough it does also help that nintendo's more colorful style is a lot less reliant on graphics than more realistic games. Wind Waker is over 10 years old and still looks good for its age.02/28/2015 - 4:33pm
MonteWith the Wii, nintnedo had the right idea. Hold back on shiny graphics and focus on the gameplay experience. Unfortunatly everyone else keeps pushing for newer graphics and it matters less and less each generation. I can barely notice the difference02/28/2015 - 4:29pm
MonteON third party developers; i kinda think they should slow down to nintendo's pace. They bemoan the rising costs of AAA gaming, but then constantly push for the best graphics which is makes up a lot of those costs. Be easier to afford if they held back02/28/2015 - 4:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/02/28/the-world-is-nintendos-if-only-theyd-take-it/ I think this is a interesting op-ed, but yeah it kind of is stating the obvious.02/28/2015 - 2:52pm
prh99The government probably doesn't need an app, but I was think more along the lines of a company that was going to sell the collected info. “If you're not paying for the product, you are the product” sometimes even if you pay.02/28/2015 - 1:50pm
E. Zachary KnightWhat better way for the government to keep track of you than to get you to install an app that lets you insult the government.02/28/2015 - 11:03am
prh99No, but I looked it up and it's basically spyware. Their privacy policy says their apps tracks among other things your location and browsing habits via cookies.02/28/2015 - 8:20am
Ryan RardinHas anyone here heard of an app called iCitizen? It's basically Yelp for politicians.02/28/2015 - 5:16am
Andrew EisenAh, not linked in the way you (and everyone else) want and expect. That's true.02/27/2015 - 10:06pm
Matthew Wilsonthey are not linked in a way that tracks purchases though. the fact that they have to send a code for the other system shows that they are not linked in the way it counts.02/27/2015 - 9:39pm
Andrew EisenAccounts are already linked. Have been for quite a while. Also, Mario vs. Donkey Kong was announced as a cross-buy title during last January's Nintendo Direct.02/27/2015 - 9:25pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/20…/…/27/olli-olli-3ds-wii-u-cross-buy/ I wounder if this is a sign that Nintendo may finally link accounts across the 3ds/wiiu in the near future.02/27/2015 - 9:18pm
prh99http://www.romanoriginals.co.uk/invt/70931?colour=Blue The dress does comes in white and blue but both have black lace and a sheer back top, I don't see gold or brown. 02/27/2015 - 8:54pm
ZippyDSMleeDungeons was a so bad so good game to me so I been keeping up with its sequel which will more of a Dungeon Keeper clone. As for pre order out of 7 preorders I was not burnt by 2... Add my contempt of most of modern game design.Ya I have all kinds of hurt.02/27/2015 - 8:40pm
MechaTama31I don't even want to know...02/27/2015 - 8:22pm
ZippyDSMleeFun? I can do fun…. I think LOL. Dungeons 2 is on preorder but not via steam... >> Hell I am breaking all kinds of personal butthurt rules to even THINK about pre order...02/27/2015 - 8:12pm
E. Zachary KnightHad some fun discussions about that dumb dress on Facebook. I opened the original picture in GIMP and sampled the colors and determined them to be Blue and Gold. People still say I am wrong.02/27/2015 - 7:41pm
 

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