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#1
Does anyone else find it mildly ridiculous that one of the most talented video game developers in the world was forced to butcher their game in order to make it available in stores? Rockstar Games' Manhunt 2 received the infamous AO rating from the ESRB rating panel of like 10 soccer moms. I mean, sure they could have left it as is, and shipped the game anyway, but what would this have meant for Rockstar? Probably more than 60% of their sales. Since most video game developers rely on the big chains such as Target, and Walmart for sales, Rockstar had no choice but to dumb down the original version of the game. Think of it this way, did any of you ever see the "PG version" of the 300 trailer? Yea....something like that.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=wElZ0AK-MLc

Now imagine you were forced to do that for your video game, which you specifically made to take full advantage of the gore effects that most likely took countless hours to perfect. I don't know about you guys, but I'd rather not see a picture of Chris Hansen shaking his index finger at me every time I want to put a bag over someones head and smash them until they drown in their own blood. Enough said.
Quote by Matt Damon
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Last edited by TylerOoost at Feb 25, 2008,
#4
What Rockstar should have done is make a version that would satisfy getting an 'M' rating which would be sold at Walmart and then release the original version as a "Special Unrated" edition for PCs that's available online and via distributors that will stock AO games.

The real reason to care about getting an 'M' over an AO is not because of the distribution chains but because Nintendo and Sony will not allow AO games to be made for their systems.
#5
Video games are for girls.
Quote by BeefWellington

what's the point in being "philiosophical"?

Interesting question...
#6
Quote by Vornik
Video games are for girls.



You're a girl.
Quote by Matt Damon
Matt Damon
#9
This is getting out of hand...
Quote by BeefWellington

what's the point in being "philiosophical"?

Interesting question...
#10
I'm allowed to flame Devon, he shot me in the face with a beebee gun
Quote by Matt Damon
Matt Damon
#12
Nothing, but it does mean something to Vornik, and clearly a public forum is the best mean of having a private conversation.
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Matt Damon
#13
... What?
Quote by BeefWellington

what's the point in being "philiosophical"?

Interesting question...
#15
Quote by garden of grey
What an adult does on their own time (especially in a video game) is none of your business. At all.

I know that... but I can see why people wouldn't like sony and nintendo wouldn't want to have an AO game on their system, they want to make it to be a "family oriented" company in a sense... you know what I mean, it's just a bit of a derrogatory mark on their company
#16
Quote by wizards?
too bad, you make a game that's just too incredibley violent and graphic, then it deserves the AO rating... I mean we have to maintain some level of decency


There's no standard of decency.

Fact.
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#17
Quote by garden of grey
What an adult does on their own time (especially in a video game) is none of your business. At all.
While I agree hole heartedly, the ESRB ratings don't really have any bearing on what an adult can or can not do.

ESRB ratings, like movie ratings, are 100% voluntary. The only caveat being that any business can chose not to carry unrated titles or titles that received a particular rating.

You can stretch that to say "well then it's not really voluntary because if the chains won't carry them then they're forcing blah blah" but what's the alternative ? Forcing Walmart to carry all titles ? That would be a restriction on freedom just the same as mandatory ratings. Walmart is free to sell, or not sell, whatever products they chose. They're not the government and so if they don't want to carry AO ratings it really isn't censorship. Nothing is stopping Rockstar from making an AO game and selling it. It's just that Walmart won't distribute it and Nintendo and Sony won't license you the ability to market it for their platforms. That's perfectly within their rights.
#18
Quote by garett
While I agree hole heartedly, the ESRB ratings don't really have any bearing on what an adult can or can not do.

ESRB ratings, like movie ratings, are 100% voluntary. The only caveat being that any business can chose not to carry unrated titles or titles that received a particular rating.

You can stretch that to say "well then it's not really voluntary because if the chains won't carry them then they're forcing blah blah" but what's the alternative ? Forcing Walmart to carry all titles ? That would be a restriction on freedom just the same as mandatory ratings. Walmart is free to sell, or not sell, whatever products they chose. They're not the government and so if they don't want to carry AO ratings it really isn't censorship. Nothing is stopping Rockstar from making an AO game and selling it. It's just that Walmart won't distribute it and Nintendo and Sony won't license you the ability to market it for their platforms. That's perfectly within their rights.


Many people consider even video games to be works of art, just as many people consider movies to be works of art. There are TONS of NC-17 movies in Walmart and Targets, but Walmart has no problem with them. Rockstar did not make an AO game, they made a game, and when it was all said and done, it was slapped with an AO sticker. You are basically arguing that Rockstar shouldnt make an AO game if they cant deal with the consequences, but since giving the game AO was based purely on the final product, how was Rockstar supposed to know? Please explain to me the rationale behind Walmart allowing movies like saw, that depict the torture and murder of a bundle of people, to be sold in their stores, but will absolutely not allow a video game with the same subject matter to be sold. Hell, at least in Manhunt everyone that you kill was a damn murderer anyway. So, please stop defending Walmart and the ESRB retard squadron, oh defender of corporations
Quote by Matt Damon
Matt Damon
#19
Also, I never once said that they were being censored, and I never once said that Walmart is impeding upon their freedom, you're arguing points that you made up
Quote by Matt Damon
Matt Damon
#20
I don't think the ESRB ratings are ridiculous at all. They don't stop anyone, they don't hold anyone back from doing what they want to do. The ESRB ratings let parents know what they're buying for their kids. Any sly marketer could slip Manhunt 2 in all its uncut, AO glory, into a case with a happy, hopping bunny drinking orange juice with a flamboyant little boy on a rainbow as the cover art and that parent would never know that they had just bought their five year old a ticket to an early desensitized mind.
I personally have no problem with the heavy regulation of videogame ratings. Yeah, ya know what, for someone like you or I it's just harmless fun. However, these games end up in the hands of dumb little kids just as often, if not more often, than they end up in the hands of 18 year old boys like myself, and when 8 year old Jimmy is laughing his head off as he bludgeons some guy's head into a bloody crepe of crushed brain and bone, I think people have every right to say "Hey, we should tell parents what's going on here!"
#21
Quote by madbasslover
I don't think the ESRB ratings are ridiculous at all. They don't stop anyone, they don't hold anyone back from doing what they want to do. The ESRB ratings let parents know what they're buying for their kids. Any sly marketer could slip Manhunt 2 in all its uncut, AO glory, into a case with a happy, hopping bunny drinking orange juice with a flamboyant little boy on a rainbow as the cover art and that parent would never know that they had just bought their five year old a ticket to an early desensitized mind.
I personally have no problem with the heavy regulation of videogame ratings. Yeah, ya know what, for someone like you or I it's just harmless fun. However, these games end up in the hands of dumb little kids just as often, if not more often, than they end up in the hands of 18 year old boys like myself, and when 8 year old Jimmy is laughing his head off as he bludgeons some guy's head into a bloody crepe of crushed brain and bone, I think people have every right to say "Hey, we should tell parents what's going on here!"


Wrong, if it had a M rating, only people over the age of 17 would be suitable to play it, and by 17, if you can't make your own decisions, then you need to take a long walk off a short pier.
Quote by Matt Damon
Matt Damon
#22
The difference between M and AO is one year. M being 17, AO being 18+, so don't give some argument about little buck toothed billy, or whoever the hell else is playing the game.
Quote by Matt Damon
Matt Damon
#23
Quote by TylerOoost
Wrong, if it had a M rating, only people over the age of 17 would be suitable to play it, and by 17, if you can't make your own decisions, then you need to take a long walk off a short pier.


I know that. You completely missed the point of my post, and I really didn't think it was that difficult to understand. The ESRB rating system is perfectly fine because it doesn't stop anyone from creating the games they want to create, it just tells parents what's in a game so that those who aren't completely daft don't end up buying GTA for a five year old.
#24
Quote by TylerOoost
The difference between M and AO is one year. M being 17, AO being 18+, so don't give some argument about little buck toothed billy, or whoever the hell else is playing the game.


My point was completely over your head, wasn't it?
#25
Quote by madbasslover
My point was completely over your head, wasn't it?



Haha, no, I think the problem is that you're completely missing MY point. Giving a game an AO rating immediately cripples the game, and severely hurts any chances of sequels. What do kids playing heavy video games have to do with anything? Almost ANY store has enforced ESRB policy. So they won't sell an M game to a kid without their parent. What's the point of giving the game an AO rating as opposed to an M rating? Are 17 year olds that much more impressionable then 18 and older? I don't care what you're point was, if you're going to change the argument, go start your own thread.
Quote by Matt Damon
Matt Damon
#26
The ESRB rating is a poor excuse for negating responsibility away from parents. Enough Said.
Quote by Matt Damon
Matt Damon
#28
Quote by madbasslover
I don't think the ESRB ratings are ridiculous at all. They don't stop anyone, they don't hold anyone back from doing what they want to do. The ESRB ratings let parents know what they're buying for their kids. Any sly marketer could slip Manhunt 2 in all its uncut, AO glory, into a case with a happy, hopping bunny drinking orange juice with a flamboyant little boy on a rainbow as the cover art and that parent would never know that they had just bought their five year old a ticket to an early desensitized mind.
I personally have no problem with the heavy regulation of videogame ratings. Yeah, ya know what, for someone like you or I it's just harmless fun. However, these games end up in the hands of dumb little kids just as often, if not more often, than they end up in the hands of 18 year old boys like myself, and when 8 year old Jimmy is laughing his head off as he bludgeons some guy's head into a bloody crepe of crushed brain and bone, I think people have every right to say "Hey, we should tell parents what's going on here!"

Don't be ****ing absurd. The day that that happens you might have an argument. Until then, you're just spewing irrelevant bull****. There never has been and never will be a game about rape and carnage with teletubies on the cover. That argument is absolutely stupid.
Quote by madbasslover
I know that. You completely missed the point of my post, and I really didn't think it was that difficult to understand. The ESRB rating system is perfectly fine because it doesn't stop anyone from creating the games they want to create, it just tells parents what's in a game so that those who aren't completely daft don't end up buying GTA for a five year old.

If you need the ESRB rating not to buy a game called Grand Theft ****ing Auto for the infant kid, then your kid is going to be ****ed up anyways. Video games won't **** a kid up, retard parents who should have had a prom-night abortion do.

Stores will sell M games. An AO rating is a death sentence for a video game, so that a kid who is 17 and can join the army and shoot real ****ing people can't play a simulation. Use your ****ing head.

Imagine if you couldn't buy CDs at HMV or WalMart because the subject matter offended the Christian Right. You'd **** bricks. Same thing applies here.
Quote by BeefWellington

what's the point in being "philiosophical"?

Interesting question...
Last edited by Vornik at Feb 26, 2008,
#29
I personally believe that the ESRB is both a good idea, and a bad idea. It encourages parents to see a little letter, and decide based upon that what games they will buy for their children. This encourages negligence on the parents, part, as they might not even know why a game was rated a certian way. Let's say a game was rated M because the main character says f*ck a few times. Some parents might not care about that. Other parents think that "naughty language" is the bane of humanity.

A game could just as easily be rated M for mature sexual themse, intense violence, drug use, strong language, ect.

The ratings system is good because it provides a standard for parents to know what someone else thinks of it, but ultimately, the parent needs to decid for themselves.

Let me give you an example of good parenting. When I was 13, I got a PS2 for christmas, and the game I wanted to get with it was Devil May Cry. I told my parents about the game, and when They found out it was rated m, they wanted to kknow why. When they discovered basically the games premise was "kill monsters and they bleed some" they were okay with it. Next, I asked them for GTA: Vice City. They took notice of the name of the game, and upon discovering that it featured adult language, sexual themes, violence, and drug content, they said no, and I wasn't allowed to buy it untill I was 17. My parents displayed that they actually cared what was in the game, not just what label someone stuck on it. Unfotunately, most parents these days are very f*cktarded, and don't seem to care about their kids enough to not buy him a third happy meal for lunch when he can't get out of the front carseat because of his fat ass, let alone what videos games he's playing.
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#30
Quote by TylerOoost
Many people consider even video games to be works of art, just as many people consider movies to be works of art. There are TONS of NC-17 movies in Walmart and Targets, but Walmart has no problem with them. Rockstar did not make an AO game, they made a game, and when it was all said and done, it was slapped with an AO sticker. You are basically arguing that Rockstar shouldnt make an AO game if they cant deal with the consequences, but since giving the game AO was based purely on the final product, how was Rockstar supposed to know? Please explain to me the rationale behind Walmart allowing movies like saw, that depict the torture and murder of a bundle of people, to be sold in their stores, but will absolutely not allow a video game with the same subject matter to be sold. Hell, at least in Manhunt everyone that you kill was a damn murderer anyway. So, please stop defending Walmart and the ESRB retard squadron, oh defender of corporations


actually neither wal-mart nor target carry NC-17 rated movies, even if they did there wouldn't be tons of them because there aren't very many NC-17 rated movies, and most movies that are NC-17 are foreign or Indie films that neither place would carry anyway. And in any case they can decide what is appropriate for their stores, Rockstar should have released two versions, an AO version and a M version.
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#31
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
actually neither wal-mart nor target carry NC-17 rated movies, even if they did there wouldn't be tons of them because there aren't very many NC-17 rated movies, and most movies that are NC-17 are foreign or Indie films that neither place would carry anyway. And in any case they can decide what is appropriate for their stores, Rockstar should have released two versions, an AO version and a M version.


I meant to say 18a not NC-17, my mistake
Quote by Matt Damon
Matt Damon
#32
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
actually neither wal-mart nor target carry NC-17 rated movies, even if they did there wouldn't be tons of them because there aren't very many NC-17 rated movies, and most movies that are NC-17 are foreign or Indie films that neither place would carry anyway. And in any case they can decide what is appropriate for their stores, Rockstar should have released two versions, an AO version and a M version.


Releasing 2 different versions of the game has never worked well for any developer.
Quote by Matt Damon
Matt Damon
#33
I feel that madbasslover has a very valid point, and coming at it from a different angle, it's the fault of the greedy corporation because they chose to change their game so it would get a lighter rating, to attract a better audience. If they actually cared about the game, they would have left it damn well how it was, but noooooooo they change it to suit concerned parents. They're in it for the money, man.
#34
Quote by TylerOoost
Releasing 2 different versions of the game has never worked well for any developer.


when has it been tried? I've never heard of having to different versions of a game released with different ratings.
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#35
You're all missing the point.

There is a rating for people aged 17+ which stores will carry.

There is a rating for people aged 18+ which stores will not carry. That is brow-furrowingly, mind-crushingly stupid.
Quote by BeefWellington

what's the point in being "philiosophical"?

Interesting question...
#36
yeah, but the reason they do that is because games have to be pretty extreme to get an AO rating, it's the same thing with movies R is 17+ and NC-17 is 18+ but theres generally a fairly big difference in how explicit the content is.
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#37
Quote by TylerOoost
Many people consider even video games to be works of art, just as many people consider movies to be works of art. There are TONS of NC-17 movies in Walmart and Targets, but Walmart has no problem with them. Rockstar did not make an AO game, they made a game, and when it was all said and done, it was slapped with an AO sticker. You are basically arguing that Rockstar shouldnt make an AO game if they cant deal with the consequences, but since giving the game AO was based purely on the final product, how was Rockstar supposed to know? Please explain to me the rationale behind Walmart allowing movies like saw, that depict the torture and murder of a bundle of people, to be sold in their stores, but will absolutely not allow a video game with the same subject matter to be sold. Hell, at least in Manhunt everyone that you kill was a damn murderer anyway. So, please stop defending Walmart and the ESRB retard squadron, oh defender of corporations
I'm defending Walmart, the ESRB AND Rockstar.

Do I think it's logical that Walmart will stock R movies but not AO games ? Yes and no. Part of the problem is that an AO rating can easily include pornography. Now, personally, I think it makes sense from an "ethical" point of view to stock porno before graphic violence, but Walmart's policy is not to stock any AO games at all. That's their right.

Now as for how fair the ESRB rating system is. You don't even know. Not only is the ESRB rating based on the "final product", but they don't even play the god damned game! The ratings board gets a package from the company that is supposed to be "representative of the content". It's a set of papers with descriptions and video clips. And they base the rating on that!

Yet, to answer "how is Rockstar supposed to know?", the ESRB board does make it pretty clear what their guidelines for their ratings. Now whether or not Manhunt 2 deserved an AO rating is an entirely different debate. What I think is the most absurd is that there is an "M" rating for 17+ and an "AO" rating for 18+. As if one year makes all the difference in the world.

But again, the ratings system is voluntary. No one forces Rockstar to get their games rated and no one forces Walmart to only stock games without an AO rating. And that's the way I like it. No one is forced to do anything. Each individual exercises their ability to chose to do whatever the hell they feel is right for their business.

Is it fair ? I think it's as fair as you're going to get before you start restricting freedom. I support Rockstars rights to make whatever game that they feel like. Hell, I own several Rockstar titles, and not just the GTA games. I'm actually a huge fan of their art. But Walmart has an equal right to stock whatever the hell products they want to. Not to mention that the ESRB is purely voluntary. So if you want to make things "fair" that means pissing on someone. Personally I'm in favour of letting people do what they feel is best so long as they don't harm anyone. And Walmart not stocking AO games is a far cry from harming someone.

What I am NOT in favour of is proposed legislation from Clinton and Republicans to enforce ratings and to punish stores for selling certain rated titles to children. As a parent and as a gamer that kind of concept pisses me off beyond belief. It takes away freedom and choice from everyone, including parents. What's equally absurd is that even movie ratings are not enforced. They're purely voluntary and a theater can admit or not admit kids to whatever rated movies they feel like at their discretion. The ratings system offers information for parents. That is it's entire scope and that's the way I like it.
Last edited by garett at Feb 26, 2008,
#38
Quote by st.stephen
I feel that madbasslover has a very valid point, and coming at it from a different angle, it's the fault of the greedy corporation because they chose to change their game so it would get a lighter rating, to attract a better audience. If they actually cared about the game, they would have left it damn well how it was, but noooooooo they change it to suit concerned parents. They're in it for the money, man.
What the bloody hell else would they be in it for?!

Businesses are money making machines. That is their primary function. Especially public corporations. Did you hear that a group of shareholders is suing Yahoo for not accepting Microsoft's offer for a buyout ? They can do that because, as a publicly traded company, Yahoo has a responsibility to do what is in the best interest of their shareholders.

Secondly, you can make the argument that reaching the largest possible audience is what is in the best interest of THE GAME! What good is recording an album, or making a movie or developing a game if no one is going to hear, see or play it ?
#39
Video games as a media are judged more harshly in terms of ratings; Content that gets the AO sticker rarely moves outside of rated R territory in film, simply because, and I'm actually surprised this argument still exists, of the 'children.' Because children might (MIGHT) play a game, we are expected to be far more critical of it, because video games are quite simply the only thing kids do nowadays. Kids will NEVER watch movies, TV shows, read books or listen to music that MIGHT have content that will warp their innocent young minds.
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#40
Youth crimes are down. The media picks up stories on young kids killing other kids because it sells, then the public freaks out and politicians use it as a great way to get votes or satisfy public needs when they're in office. Most youth who are killed are killed by adults who are close to them.

Furthermore, as tragic as they are, school shootings are not a problem. There are people dying from other crimes that are the real problem. A youth is more likely to be hit by lightning then they are to be shot in school.

Personally, I think Manhunt is ridiculous and was made simply to stir up controversy, but I do not like that it was censored because, like the post above me says, some little kid might play it. The War on Gaming is so ridiculous and just used as a great scapegoat for why youths commit crimes (meanwhile adults commit more).

There was recently a study done that said that a majority of people who play shooting games get negative feelings when they shoot an opponent, and get positive feelings when they themselves are shot. Those who got positive feelings when shooting opponents scored higher on psychopath tests. Surprise! It's possible that mental illness was present before the person ever touched a controller!
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