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View Full Version : ESRB Ratings - Should they be enforced?



PharaohsVizier
08-30-2011, 05:39 PM
Skipping the back story about why this came to my head, but do you think ESRB ratings should be enforced?

Personally I think ESRB ratings should be relaxed a little (meaning games get lower ratings) but at the same time, they should TRY to enforce them a little. I've seen a lot of like 10-12 year old kids talking about GTA or Manhunt and personally I find it a little disturbing.

I've usually been an advocate of play whatever you want, but only recently have I found it particularly disturbing when kids talk about pointing guns at cops or the latest scene in a Silent Hill game with dismembering body parts.

I'm not sure how many of you will agree with me on this, since I'm beginning to feel like one of those annoying parents when I tell those kids they probably shouldn't be playing GTA... But I strongly feel that ESRB ratings should be enforced, but at the same time, some of their ratings are ridiculous.

There are games that just shouldn't be in the hands of young kids, but at the same time I don't think a game like Dead or Alive should be banned simply because there's an attractive female character. I suppose it's a tough call, since I'm more bothered by certain criminal activities over others. For example, it's odd when kids talk about shooting cops or trafficking drugs, but I really don't have a problem with them playing CounterStrike or talking about shooting mindless zombies...

Anyways... that's quite spiel that really didn't go anywhere, I'm curious where you guys stand on enforcing these rules and whether these rules make sense.

Overlord Nadrian
08-30-2011, 06:02 PM
Well, ESRB (and PEGI, CERO, USK, ...) are to my knowledge simply guidelines, whether you follow them or not is up to you.

It sure is disturbing when you hear 11 year old kids talk about 'banging' prostitutes and then killing them later to get their money back, and it is sad when you realise that's all because their parents are idiots and/or don't pay attention to their kids, but it's all up to the parents and how they choose to use the Parental Controls.

Jakob15
08-30-2011, 06:09 PM
Lol you think that I shouldn't be playing GTA?

The Pi
08-30-2011, 06:29 PM
I remember people talking about San Andreas in P4 so I was what 9 or 10? XD Never played it myself for a while wasn't really too interested till a couple of years later.

My own experience with ratings is rather funny really when I was quite young I always got my mum to buy the 16/18 games/movies I wanted but since I look a bit older than I am I haven't really had much issues buying myself since I was about 14

Anyway, I'm not keen on these 18 ratings, I mean it's pointless. People at 15 already know about all the stuff in these games so why can't they go ahead and play? In my view their should be a single rating for games, I'll say 15 is a good number.

Without bringing up the "kids copy the characters they play as" tardism games on the most part don't change people. I've played and replayed GTA IV 3 times now and I've never killed a person, stole a car, blew up something or took any hard drugs.

In general, kids are more likely to copy their friends or parents in what they do; not what they watch or play.

Edit: At least here anyway, it's the age to buy not to play. A 5 year old can legally play GTA for example.

PharaohsVizier
08-30-2011, 06:40 PM
Well, ESRB (and PEGI, CERO, USK, ...) are to my knowledge simply guidelines, whether you follow them or not is up to you.

It sure is disturbing when you hear 11 year old kids talk about 'banging' prostitutes and then killing them later to get their money back, and it is sad when you realise that's all because their parents are idiots and/or don't pay attention to their kids, but it's all up to the parents and how they choose to use the Parental Controls.


Lol you think that I shouldn't be playing GTA?

I think Nadrian summed it up quite nicely that these are guidelines. Depending on who you are and your maturity level it wouldn't really bother me. Let's face it, there are morons at any age. It's not so much that I think these should be enforced by the rule of law, but as it stands, this is pretty much no different from having no label at all because very few people seem to even notice the rating.

@jakob - not really, you are old enough, I'm talking about really young kids, like 9-10 ish.

While I agree with Pi that I don't think kids are going to go out and kill cops after playing a round of GTA, I guess the only way to describe it is that it very odd when you see them talking about it openly.

SoulSnatcher
08-30-2011, 09:05 PM
Hell no.

Like Nate said, ESRB ratings are merely guidelines. They shouldn't be substitutes for good parenting. If their parents are idiots, then so be it. Why punish everyone else for the mistakes of a few?

If ESRB ratings are enforced, then we might as well enforce movie ratings (exception of R-rated movies which is the equivalent to AO) or even the parental advisory that's on some albums. This will just end up being used as an excuse to censor certain type of games and will result in developers censoring their own content in an attempt to get a lower rating (and thus more sales as more people are able to buy it).

If I want to buy fucking Catherine at the age of 16, I'll get it regardless of some stupid M rating. ESRB ratings are flawed because rather than taking a person's maturity level into account, they use ones age.

PharaohsVizier
08-31-2011, 05:40 PM
The sad thing is the kids that need guidance are usually the ones without it, and the parents that do care often go overboard. Question is, are we against enforcing the ratings or do we feel that the ratings are inaccurate?

Lpp
09-01-2011, 08:52 PM
I honestly think parents should at least be more aware, but they shouldn't be enforced. A kid I know who was around 12-11 started playing Black Ops, I didn't mind the zombie part because it's harmless, but then he started playing online and started talking like me and my friend with Modern Warfare 2 (Both of us are 16-17). It's rather disturbing to hear people at the age 11-12 to people talking about shooting other people in the head... I guess hearing it after awhile it's desensitizing and doesn't mean much, but still bad. it is absolutely terrible.

In short, it shouldn't be enforced, but parents should be more AWARE and be able to tell the game ratings.

DeltaBurnt
09-03-2011, 02:28 PM
Well because of Walmart and Gamestop ESRB is already enforced pretty much. Both stores with refuse to sell most games without ratings from ESRB and won't sell games to those who don't fit the guidelines without parental consent. So unless you digitally sell your game, distributing it without a rating is a death sentence to the developer's profits.