Poll: Should 'Sexism' Factor Into a Video Game's Rating?

November 20, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

The ESRB currently has 30 different content descriptors to use in its game ratings covering violence, sex, nudity, crude language, references to alcohol and even real-money gambling.

Not only do these descriptors list potentially objectionable content so that consumers can make informed purchasing decisions, they also factor into what age group the game is ultimately recommended for: Everyone, Teens, Mature or Adults Only.

This week's poll asks "Should ‘sexism’ factor into a video game's rating?"

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New Zealand's Rating Board Head Not Happy With Companies Avoiding Classification

November 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

New Zealand's chief censor in charge of rating games is not happy with some game developers and publishers who are skirting the classifications process in the country by launching them digitally, according to this NZ Gamer report.

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Sweden's Dataspelsbranchen Researching Gender Equality Content Ratings for Video Games

November 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Joystiq (thanks MaskedPixelante) reports that the trade group representing the video games industry in Sweden - Dataspelsbranchen - is doing research on a new content system that would rate how video games promote gender equality.

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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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Uncensored Version of 'Left 4 Dead 2' Now Available in Australia

September 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The uncensored PC version of Left 4 Dead 2 is finally available to consumers in Australia via Steam today (thanks Blue's News). The uncensored version of Valve's co-op zombie survival shooter sequel now carries an R18+ rating and is for sale - for a limited time - for 75 percent off its normal asking price.

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'Left 4 Dead 2' Finally Gets R18+ Rating in Australia

September 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The PC version of first-person cooperative zombie survival game Left 4 Dead 2 has finally been reclassified in Australia with an R18+ rating (thanks Cheater87). The game, now has warnings for "high impact violence," "strong impact themes," and "mild impact language."

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'Only God Forgives' Co-Star Bags on Film, 'GTA V'

August 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Christian music publication Breathecast has an interesting article on actress Kristin Scott Thomas, who says that she would not let her 12-year-old son watch her new film, "Only God Forgives." That makes sense. In the article she also laments about video games and their evil influence on young people.

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Video Standards Council Appoints New Chair

July 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The UK video games regulator, the Video Standards Council (VSC) has appointed a new chair to take over from Baroness Shephard of Northwold who was appointed in 2005. The new Chair will be Tony Lake, who has served as a vice-chair for the organization since December 2009. According to the VCS, Tony Lake has an extensive background in law enforcement, having served for 36 years in the Police Service and working for five different police forces during his career.

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'The Evil Within' Edited For Japan, Cut Content to Become DLC

July 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

When Bethesda Softworks releases the horror game The Evil Within in Japan, it will be missing some content. Bethesda had scheduled Shinji Mikami’s upcoming survival-horror game for an August release, but the publishers announced that the game would be delayed until October.

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Report: Western Australian Amendment Meddles With R18+ Rating

July 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On January 1, Australia finally and officially implemented an R18+ classification for games - something the government took a very long time to put in place. The goal of the rating was to allow games rated "Mature" elsewhere in the world to have a similar rating in Australia.

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June is 'Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month'

June 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

It's June, which means it's time for the Entertainment Merchants Association, the Digital Media Association (DiMA), Music Business Association (Music Biz), and National Association of Theatre Owners to remind consumers that this month is "Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month." This coalition of trade groups representing various industries has chosen June as the month to raise awareness on all the ratings systems available for entertainment - something they have been doing annually since 2004.

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The Sims 4 Rated 'Adults-Only' In Russia Because of Same-Sex Relationships

May 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Russia's ratings agency that handles video games has given The Sims 4 an 18+ age rating due to the inclusion of same-sex relationships. The game violates a law that protects children from "information harmful to their health and development."

The Sims Russia Twitter account announced earlier this week that the game had earned the restrictive rating. Previous Sims games released in the region have all been rated T (Teen) or 12+ but a law passed in 2010 is the reason for the more restrictive rating.

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Australia Considers Automating Classification Process for Games, Film and TV

May 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While Australia's government pushes for an automated solution to speed up the work of the Classification Board (the government ratings agency in charge of classifying ratings for games and other forms of entertainment) in the country, civil liberties groups and anti-pornography groups in the country are sounding alarm bells.

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TIGA Urges PEGI To Lower Pricing on Games Rating Certification

April 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

UK video games industry trade group TIGA has written an open letter to European game content rating system PEGI calling for a review and adjustment of its pricing policy, which the groups claims is charging indie developers in the UK "unreasonably high and repetitious fees." TIGA wrote the letter in response to complaints from its members about PEGI’s pricing policy.

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Report: 'Bravely Default' Banned in Saudi Arabia

April 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this Destructoid blog (from a reader named "Lord Spencer" who lives in Saudi Arabia), the government has banned the Square Enix 3DS game Bravely Default for promoting sexual behavior in children and pedophilia. While it is not at all shocking that the government in this country bans a particular game, the reasoning for the Bravely Default ban is as over-the-top as one can get.

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Ubisoft and The Australian Classification Board Explain Why Watch Dogs Was Reclassified R18+

March 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Both Ubisoft and the Australian Classification Board have issued statements explaining why Watch Dogs was reclassified in the region as an R18+ game.

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Watch Dogs Gets a New R18+ Rating in Australia

March 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Watch Dogs has been reclassified in Australia and will come with more content warnings when it is released this Spring, according to CVG. The open-world hacking-themed action game was originally classified by the Australian Classification Board in September last year with a rating of MA15+.

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South Park: Stick of Truth Censored in Europe

February 25, 2014 - GamePolitcs Staff

A number of scenes have been cut from South Park: Stick of Truth to get the game a lower rating in Europe. According to a BT Games report citing a document given to the publication by publisher Ubisoft, at least seven 20-second scenes were removed from the European version of the game.

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Report: EA is Manipulating the Ratings for Free-to-Play Dungeon Keeper Game

February 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Electronic Arts is taking a bit of heat for its "free-to-play" mobile game, Dungeon Keeper. Besides players and critics complaining about how horribly the microtransactions are implemented into the gameplay, there's also accusations that EA is gaming the ratings system on Google Play.

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Analyst: Reviews Matter More at the Beginning of a New Console Cycle

December 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

New research from financial analytics firm EEDAR concludes that software reviews matter more in the early part of a console's life cycle. The new research from EEDAR provided to GamesIndustry International this morning shows a stronger correlation between review scores and sales early in a platform's lifespan.

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Report: Australians Getting Censored Version of South Park: The Stick of Truth

December 18, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Australians hoping that the new R18+ ratings system would finally allow them to play the same games the rest of the world is playing (save Germany, which has an even stricter system in place) will be sad to hear that the version of South Park: The Stick of Truth they'll get will be a modified experience.

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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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Poll Results: What do you think about Metacritic?

October 15, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

In last week's poll we asked our readers, "What do you think about Metacritic?." Around 367 votes were cast, with the majority of voters saying that the review aggregation site isn't a bad thing, it is just being used incorrectly.

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Dead Rising 3 Will Not Be Released in Germany

October 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

German gaming site Games Welt reported last night (thanks to Cheater87 for sending this in) that the BPJM (Bundeprüfstelle für Jugendgefährende Medien), Germany's entertainment software self-regulation body, has refused to rate Capcom's Xbox One launch title, Dead Rising 3, effectively banning it from release within the region.

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Beyond: Two Souls Gets Censored in Europe

October 1, 2013 - James Fudge

Sony has confirmed that the European release of Quantic Dream's Beyond: Two Souls has been censored. Sony says that around 5-10 seconds of footage has been edited in the European release so that the game could get a PEGI 16 rating. Sony did not say just what exactly censors in Europe found so offensive as to have it altered to avoid a higher rating, but one would guess it relates to gratuitously violent scenes. As a general rule, having wanton violence in a game is a good way to get a PEGI 18 rating under the European ratings system...

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South Australian Attorney General Wants to Scrutinize Ratings Classification Board

September 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

South Australia Attorney General John Rau recently told the Australian Broadcasting Network (ABC) that the country's new video game classification (R18+, which went into effect in January of this year) rules are not being applied properly to games and the ratings process needs further scrutiny from the country's policy makers.

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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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Grand Theft Auto V Lets Players Smoke Pot

August 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Earlier this year a trailer for Grand Theft Auto V gave the public a glimpse at an odd vending machine that apparently allowed players to buy marijuana. At first people thought it was a bit of a goof, but it turns out that pot smoking is in GTA V, alongside the usual amounts of violence, criminal activities, sexual content, and other drug use.

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IGEA CEO: Get Rid of Australian Classification Board

August 2, 2013 -

The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA), the trade group representing the interactive entertainment industry in Australia, thinks that the rating system there is a mess and that the board that oversees it is more a hindrance than a help.

IGEA CEO Ron Curry says that the whole system needs to be overhauled because the classification system is dysfunctional and administered by a handful of government bureaucrats. He thinks that the system needs a serious revamp and that it needs to be administered by members of the industry instead.

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Poll

Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.businessinsider.com/xbox-one-virtual-reality-headset-will-compete-with-oculus-rift-2014-12 can a xbo even handle doing vr?12/21/2014 - 10:48pm
PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
 

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