Senators Request Review of Mature Rating on Manhunt 2 Videogame

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Four U.S. senators have sent a letter to the president of the videogame ratings board requesting a “thorough review” of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board ratings system as a response to the Mature rating given to Rockstar’s Manhunt 2. The move was initiated a signed by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.).

According to the law makers; unlike its British counterpart, the U.S. ESRB, “reduced the revised version’s rating to “Mature,” effectively opening the door to its widespread distribution and its licensing approval by game system manufacturers Sony and Nintendo.”

The letter sent to ESRB President Patricia Vance also states that the motion sensitive Wii-mote “permits children to act out each of the many graphic torture scenes and murders.” The senators are suggesting the ESRB take the controller’s functionality into consideration when rating future games.

“In sum, we ask your consideration of whether it is time to review the robustness, reliability and repeatability of your ratings process, particularly for this genre of ‘ultra-violent’ videogames and advances in game controllers,” the letter concludes.

I personally find it ludicrous that this is still an issue. Politicians and the media, each for their own reasons, keep playing off the public’s fear for their children when actually an M rating bars the sale of these games to minors. I’d assumed that reading was a requirement to be elected to a governmental position, but I’m beginning to have my doubts as these senators seem to be genuinely baffled by the ESRB’s M for Mature rating.

If these four elected officials and other individuals who will not be named are truly worried about games falling into the hands of children, there should be an AO rating allowed for games to be marketed for and made available to adults.

Forget the incredible stupidity of inferring that pushing buttons and shaking a controller in any way equates to harming another human being. What it ultimately comes down to is these senators want to control what games can and can’t be made and marketed.

Rockstar has got to be eating this up. They’re still getting tons of media publicity for Manhunt 2. Players that normally wouldn’t have considered it have bought a mediocre game because of all the controversy over the ratings. Now if only Rockstar can get the same results for Grand Theft Auto IV.

via Video Business

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4 Comments on Senators Request Review of Mature Rating on Manhunt 2 Videogame

LightAce

On November 20, 2007 at 8:43 pm

“The letter sent to ESRB President Patricia Vance also states that the motion sensitive Wii-mote “permits children to act out each of the many graphic torture scenes and murders.” The senators are suggesting the ESRB take the controller’s functionality into consideration when rating future games.”

You have got to be kidding me. How is this even a reason to control video games. Theres a reason its called a “Video Game” and not “The Practice to kill everything in Sight”

Zom

On November 20, 2007 at 8:57 pm

“permits children”?

It’s rated Mature! Politicians make me sick…

Phil Migrowen

On November 21, 2007 at 2:14 am

“actually an M rating bars the sale of these games to minors.”

Actually it doesn’t bar such sales as the ratings system is totally voluntary and is not mandated by law. Minors can legally buy M rated games in the U.S. even if some retailers refuse to sell them those games.

“What it ultimately comes down to is these senators want to control what games can and can’t be made and marketed.”

I’ll agree with you there, but the video game industry’s self-imposed rating system is hardly better as it is retailers who are now controlling what games can be made and marketed, e.g. Target and other retailers refuse to carry Manhunt 2, and who are censoring games by having publishers modify game content to meet their approval.

bob

On November 22, 2007 at 12:16 pm

what’s the point of being a parent. just let fat thighs raise your kids.