Absolute Idiocy (Oblivion M rating)

Excuse me? You’re going to make a game mature because of a third party patch? And then you give some bullshit about the game being gorier than you thought? Right. I believe you, ESRB. You’re so trustworthy and reliable. I hate you.

Oh noes, Minesweeper has boobies, better slap it with an M rating.

F*** the ESRB.

Isn’t there third-party nude patches for The Sims? Why isn’t that game getting an M rating? The devs shouldn’t be held accountable for the actions of horny perverts who tweak the game.

You have to understand the huge amount of flak the gaming industry is getting from the media in general and if things can be done to reduce the amount of bullshit flying around it’s not a bad idea. Games are the new demon of society, just like music was before it, movies were before that, telephones (I’m dead serious), dancing, novels, and every other popular culture youth latch on to that someone has placed blame on for their degenerate behavior. Sure, the ESRB isn’t a perfect system, but I would rather prefer a flawed self-regulating system then the hideous option of government control.

And to be completely fair, female topless content was in the gold release of the game. It was textured over it with a bra however, and there was a mod to remove said texture (within 3 days if I recall correctly). Sure, in general I think the entire notion of getting people for blocked out content is ridiculous, but we’re covering our own asses at this point. Why? Because people are trying to fuck us.

Having played this a bit, you dont need a patch, just pause it when they are taking showers/baths etc. They did them in full, and just fuzzed over them with code. But the fuzz isnt perfect.

I think it would be great if a game had nude people in it, but they were made to be pixaly in the first place. Llike, the graphic designers actually put in blocky pixals instead of breasts for instance.

That would be awesome.

Or a parody of the “hot coffee” thing in which, if a player hacked his way into viewing it, would reveal the two characters doing the Macarena and making funny faces or something.

I think we all understand that, but the ESRB can’t just change the rules in the middle of the game. Are they going to start rating games based on their potential to be modded for violence and sex, or just the violence and sex that they come with by default? And even if they are going to start rating them on their “potential” (which is totally fucking insane), its not fair to immediately enforce the new rules on a game you’ve already rated with a different set of standards. By that logic, quite a few games should be getting re-rated as well.

Right, and I won’t argue that. The entire situation just pretty much sucks.

Suck it up or get daddy to buy it.

True the esrb system is flawed. But I’d rather have a system that rates on what is, than the government rating on what might be.

Hades- I’m 21. Yeah, it doesn’t affect me, but it’s just… stupid. To change a rating into another rating destroys any credibility the ESRB once had (if it ever did have any).

No it doesn’t. The fact that they’re willing to correct their mistakes increases their credibility.

I think we all understand that, but the ESRB can’t just change the rules in the middle of the game. Are they going to start rating games based on their potential to be modded for violence and sex, or just the violence and sex that they come with by default? And even if they are going to start rating them on their “potential” (which is totally fucking insane), its not fair to immediately enforce the new rules on a game you’ve already rated with a different set of standards. By that logic, quite a few games should be getting re-rated as well.
They didn’t re-rate it because of it’s potential. They re-rated it because new material was brought to their attention: <blockquote>‘When a company submits a game to be rated, it is required to provide the ESRB with a video tape “showing the most extreme content and an accurate representation of the context and product as a whole.”’</blockquote>Bethesda is responsible for the incorrect rating. The ESRB didn’t just go back and say “We want less people to be able to buy this. M.” like a lot of you seem to think.

Uh, what? From TFA:

The content not brought to the attention of the ESRB was a <b>locked out</b> art file, not part of the game (and certainly not part of “the context of the product as a whole”, as the ESRB defines it in your quote), which can only be accessed by a third party mod. If you’re saying that Bethesda was wrong for not informing the ESRB that you can hack their models to make people naked, then by your logic The Sims should be rated M. And so should Morrowind, and any other game that layers clothing on top of models. Not only that, but these games should be re-rated once they’re already on store shelves and being sold with a different rating, AND all versions of the game should be re-rated because of content that can only be accessed in one version.

How does that give the ESRB credibility at all? I’m 18, i can buy the game myself too. I’m not defending the producers because i hate the ESRB or something, they have a job to do and i understand that. But they can’t just change the rules in the middle of the game. They knew there was the possiblility that a 3rd party hack could access content not meant to be seen, heck, thats the whole reason they re-rated GTASA. So why wouldn’t they bring that into account with their initial rating of Oblivion?

No, they didn’t know that. That’s the whole reason the game had to be re-rated:

After discovering the issues in “post-release monitoring and play-testing,” the ESRB initiated a review of the game’s original ratings process. The board cross-examined the tape Bethesda submitted with video taken from the final release of the game, and ultimately determined that the developer understated the detail and intensity of the blood and gore in the game. In reference to the nude skin, which is inaccessible during normal play and so couldn’t have been included in the taped submission, the ESRB said publishers are required “to disclose locked-out content during the rating process if it is pertinent to a rating,” and that Bethesda failed to do so.
The game was re-rated because NEW material was brought to the attention of the ESRB through a review of the game’s content. It doesn’t matter that it’s not accesible during normal play. What kid can’t get his hands on a third party patch? You have to look at this from a practical point of view.

Furthermore what kid can’t access real pr0n if it can find a silly patch? Or open the TV? We’d better search for scapegoats instead of doing some real parenting. Too bad the latter needs some effort.

The thousands of kids who bought it for their Xbox360 and can’t run the patch? The kids who don’t follow e-news and don’t know about the patch? Honestly, what KID (since thats who the ESRB is trying to protect) is going to go out and find this exploit, and install it. Hell, i hadn’t even heard of it until now. What kid even has a computer capable of running Oblivion, or has an interest in it? Most people interested in playing a sandbox RPG are probably old enough that they’ve seen boobies before. But this doesn’t even fucking matter because…

You’re missing the point. The ESRB rates the game as its meant to be played, not by its potential. By that logic, if i went out and replaced all the sprites in Super Mario World with penises, Super Mario World should be rated M because “any kid can find the patch” and look at penises jumping around. Hell, if i did what these hackers did, and removed clothing textures from say, Ocarina of Time, we could see Link and Zelda holding each other while naked. But should OoT be re-rated? No, OoT or SMW only becomes an M rated game when the game is taken outside of the context it is meant to be played in (via exploit), and by the ESRB’s own mission statement, they rate the games in the context they’re meant to be played.

Now, is there anything wrong with parents being warned that its possible to hack games to see sex/boobs? Hell no, they should be aware that you can mod games. But is re-rating the entire game the correct way of doing that? I don’t think so. Something like an extra sticker next to the rating would be more appropriate, warning that the game can be modded to access obscene content not intended for viewing. But then, every single game out there would get such a sticker. :\

Honestly, what KID (since thats who the ESRB is trying to protect) is going to go out and find this exploit, and install it.
The type of kid who would buy Oblivion in the first place.

Now, is there anything wrong with parents being warned that its possible to hack games to see sex/boobs? Hell no, they should be aware that you can mod games. But is re-rating the entire game the correct way of doing that? I don’t think so. Something like an extra sticker next to the rating would be more appropriate, warning that the game can be modded to access obscene content not intended for viewing. But then, every single game out there would get such a sticker. :
No, only games that have been released for PC, X-Box, and PS2. You can’t mod cartridges. It also excludes games that don’t superimpose clothing onto naked frames. Very few games can be modded to access obscene content, and throwing hyperboles at me isn’t going to change that.

The ESRB rates the game as its meant to be played, not by its potential.
No they don’t. That’s why you’re pissed off at them. You’re contradicting yourself. You think the ESRB SHOULD rate games as they’re meant to be played, but who are you to decide what they should and shouldn’t do? This isn’t even about the Oblivion re-rating for you. You’re pissed off at the entire ESRB system. Which is fine. Just stop trying to make this about what it isn’t. Based on the current ESRB rating system, upgrading Oblivion to “M” was exactly what the ESRB had to do in order to maintain its integrity.

If you want to talk about the ratings in general, then fine. I think blood, gore, and nudity are something any ten year old can handle, especially with all of the counter-pressure our over-sensitive society puts on kids not to be violent or promiscuous. That doesn’t change the fact that the ESRB doesn’t think so, or that it has VERY rigid categories for games to fit into, or that according to those standards, Oblivion is exactly where it should be right now.

Y’know, Hades, that last bit reminds me of a quote from Thief of Time about changing the Discworld equivalent of Grimm’s Fairy Tales to be “more approproate for children – or at least, more appropriate for the people who had to tell the stories to children.” That said, I’m with you on this one – if there is potentially obscene data “in the game”, then it will be hacked by someone, somewhere.

Besides, y’know, for some reason, Oblivion seemed to me to be the kind of game that would get an M rating anyway.

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