The gurus over at Game Politics have been following the recent video game hearings at Capitol Hill. Specifically, the ESRB is being harshly attacked for its rating system. Things like the controversial "Hot Coffee" mod no doubt sparked these overdue investigations on the ESRB.
An independent researcher gave the ESRB a "failing grade" because, she says, of their inadequate rating process. One specific thing mentioned was that the people rating the games do not actually play them. It's up to game developers to send the ratings board a video clip of what they believe is the most graphic, most questionable material.Also brought up was that the FTC apparently does not have the power to levy hefty fines against game publishers for "deceiving" customers about what kind of content is in the game. Specifically, Take-Two and Rockstar were protected from multi-million dollar fines for Hot Coffee.
To me, this is just another one of those political video game investigations that seem to pop up every 5 years or so. There may be some policy changes, such as FTC fining and administrative changes in ESRB ratings, but I don't think we'll get the massive reconstruction in video game laws that most of the politicians on the attacking side of this debate want.
You can get tons of material about these hearings at Game Politics
Report Published by: Mark Raby
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