- Dec 3, 2002
- Best answers
First and foremost, I apologize for edit and my crazy rant above. I got patriotic. Game Nation is my home and I'm as nationalistic as they come.An Extremely Tired Moderator who pressed Edit instead of Quote said:(Wow. It's so late and I'm so zonked out that, as I typed this in reply to Optimus Prime's post...I accidentally edited his instead of quoting it, heh. I've never had to undo a post edit like that so I don't know if it's possible to fix, hopefully one of the big mods can undo my inadvertant screwup...but just in case they can't, here's a very basic recap what he said. OptiPrime made light of the fact that none of this decision was made in a courtroom, and that the ESRB along with R* and Take Two were all compliant with the requests given to them.)
The ESRB decision will be used in every scenario in the future. it doesn't have to have been decided in a courtroom necessarily. The point is when faced with this "new content" (that isn't even in the game, just as the Sims' nudity is censored and the characters' genitals inexistent), the ESRB had to up the rating. This will become the standard par for the course whenever they find "hidden" things in games.
Game development cycles will amost certainly extend as they will have to hard code lockouts to most of their unused data. A perfect example are the Smackdown games, who often at the last minute are asked to remove wrestlers from their rosters for various reasons. Most of these models, moves, and character entrance music remain on the disk, as it is much easier for the developers to use it for next years game if the character is already in the game. In fact any web designers out there know, whenever you are building ANY digital product, you just "comment out" parts of it rather than mutilating your original work.
The ESRB practically IS the court room in this case, as it has that completely unused AO rating that chokes off distro massively. Now that they have convinced them to follow through on one game, it will be used as a precedent, both to the ESRB and in any future legal proceedings.
This is how this legal garbage works. The first decision ends up becoming the "accepted" one. There really isn't a lot of "compliance" when you have to follow the ESRB rules or there is legal right to interfere in your distribution rights. I guarantee they will use this decision to push further attempts on other games, and it will almost always be the biggest sellers.
Like an unrated, unedited movie. There is a reason why those don't get national releases.
There wasn't "compliance." The ESRB is the front line for this battle, where the two sides meet. The ESRB comes under the political and legal heat for a choice...obviously they have to bump up the rating otherwise they would have been sued straight to hell by Thompson and his regime on grounds of biased rating. The ESRB is created and agreed to unilaterally by the commercial games industry but it was designed to appease Senator Joe "King ****head" Lieberman's pre-eminent attempts at the GOVERNMENT rating the games. The industry picked up this rating system and designed it in such a way to not really directly affect itself, but rather to give parents the information they need right on the box, so that there would be no more excuses and they could continue to produce content at their leisure while allowing the public to filter it on a family-to-family level.
Of course giving King ****head what he wanted did not appease him because he has no control over it. They have been attacking the ESRB constantly since shortly after its creation, constantly citing these kinds of "misratings." They want to take it over, change the rules, and control the industry to funnel out the "bad" to their preference, making themselves look like heroes in the process. If they were to succeed, before long they
The point is, it is only "compliance" on a surface level. The ESRB did what it had to in order to avoid all out legal pandemonium; Rockstar has to listen to the ESRB, as does Take Two. It was NOT a choice. Do you think that the same people who made and published a game about a black thug going buck wild all over a city suspiciously reminiscent of mid-90s L.A. with gang bangers and rocket launchers, honestly, would agree to willingly cripple the public sales of one of the biggest selling console games in the last 5 years, if given the choice? It is a daisy chain sort of thing, the ESRB has to alter the rating or the legal bloodhounds have grounds to dislodge it as an effective rating agency (after having previously agreed to allow the games to impose its own rating system rather than a federally controlled one...thankfully the powers that be ruled the ESRB an acceptable and effective compromise...if we had the wrong reps for that decision GTA might have never even been published).
Even though this choice was not decided in a courtroom it is nonetheless a legal precedent. They can now pressure the ESRB to change the rating of any game that features even censored nudity or violence on grounds that SA's rating was changed. Now, no one will ever be able to even bother going to court because they are going to point to this landmark decision and it will unfortunately, as I said before, become the favorable course. After enough time on this, some politician will put forth a bill that hardlines it into the Constitution once and for all.
And at that point, you'll see games get denied publishing rights, mass game censorship, companies rapidly going out of business, a giant price increase, and my personal favorite...a game rack at at after hours porno stores.
They screwed themselves and now they are trying to turn a **** up into a shortcut, is all. Either way I guarandamntee he is going to try and go buck wild on at least three more major games before next month is half over. Watch. My next guess is a first person shooter, probably Halo. Either that or God of War for the nudity parts. Those are my bets as of right now. But maybe he'll surprise us and go after Pikmin. Or maybe the original Mario Bros. I can see it now: "Upon finding the Princess, both coitus and drug use are implied."
I can barely stomach talking about this without wanting to go on an anti-politician shooting spree. GTA is one thing, but when you consider the goals of the regime and the longterm implications of the industry's state...this is so wrong and so unfair it's not even funny. It's on a whole other level of Retarded American Suburban Heroics.
I really want to do something about this...I just can't stay quiet about it anymore.