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Is the ESBR Biased?

Ganondork

goo
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
I know this sounds like a silly topic, but I'm kinda noticing it more and more. They gave Halo: Reach an M rating for blood and violence, not even language or anything. Whereas they gave The Conduit a T for blood, violence, and language. I know the ESBR has really gotten more strict as time has gone by, but Halo: Reach doesn't deserve an M rating.

And it's not just giving them a higher rating, they also seem to give a lower rating, too. I've glanced through some Wii games at Gamestop, and there was a T game for blood, intense violence, language and sexual themes. Did they simply lower it because it's a Wii game? Cause it seems like they make everything except Kinect games M on the XBOX 360.

So what do you think? Tell me in your comments.
 

ChargewithSword

Zelda Dungeon's Critic
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Location
I don't want to say.
Well, the ESRB can vary to degrees depending on whats on the cover or who writes the story. For franchises they often refuse to bat an eye at times before delivering their rating. Other times they just look at the cover and are done (Braindead 13 is an example of a game that should've gotten a T rating, not an E.)
 

athenian200

Circumspect
Joined
Jan 31, 2010
Location
a place of settlement, activity, or residence.
Well, probably to some extent. I mean, think about it... the reviewers are people, and they review tons of games. They probably develop a vague sense of what to expect on certain consoles or from certain franchises, and just go with their hunch in order to hurry things along.

That's why I think that their rating shouldn't be considered absolute. It should only be a guideline, and people should make their own decisions about what games their kids play.
 

Jedizora

:right:
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Well, they probley took the other games in consideration when reviewing games. They had already rated the other halo games M, so they assumed that Reach woould also be M. So, on some extent, they are bias.
 

Dr3W21

shoegaze girl
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Location
New Albany, Indiana
I know this sounds like a silly topic, but I'm kinda noticing it more and more. They gave Halo: Reach an M rating for blood and violence, not even language or anything. Whereas they gave The Conduit a T for blood, violence, and language. I know the ESBR has really gotten more strict as time has gone by, but Halo: Reach doesn't deserve an M rating.
Dude, none of the Halos deserved an M.
 

Zelda64

The Knight of the Wind
Joined
Jul 3, 2010
Location
Somewhere.
Halo was originally rated M because of one level in Halo: Combat Evolved, or Halo One. I can't remeber what it was called, but being around Ganondork's age, I wasn't really scared when I played that level, like, a year ago? But almost everyone else was. Even some guy older than me was. I have noticed that Halo characters usually say the d word and the h word, like when you whack Jun in Halo Reach he might say "What the h***?!" Another time when someone has sweared in Halo was in either in 3 or Reach when a Marine or Jorge said "D***! Covenant!" I could probably list some other times if I played through the other Halo games again, but it usually tends to happen around the enemy. But Halo keeps it to a minium to my experince, so I guess it since there are no scary levels anymore or major swearing, Halo could count as a T game.
 

425

Hero of…. #s, I guess
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Location
Skyloft
The ESRB is pretty messed up. Like: Why is Super Smash Bros. Brawl "T"? Blood? No. Sex? No. Language? No.

Though the MPAA is far worse....
 

Zelda64

The Knight of the Wind
Joined
Jul 3, 2010
Location
Somewhere.
I asked my parents why Smash Bros might be T a long time ago and they said because of the fighting. Then I told that some of the E games had fighting like that. Then they didn't know why. It will always be a question. Maybe Nintendo told them to put that rating? I don't know.
 
C

Caleb, Of Asui

Guest
I think they don't necessarily even look at the game sometimes. They gave Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops an M rating because it was a Metal Gear game, and the previous three had all been rated M, but this one was much more tame, showing almost no blood and with far less suggestive themes. Then they gave Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker a T rating, even though there was slightly more blood and suggestive themes than in Portable Ops.

If you look at the list of descriptors on each game, though, you can see a more proper correlation. That's what I usually look at, because I usually want to avoid seeing certain things in a game. The whole label of a rating seems to imply that the entire game, every single moment of it, is inappropriate, which isn't usually the case.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Before I get into this post any further, I want to point something out. The ESRB is made up of human beings. There is no magical combination of traits that make a game appropriate for certain ages. Different themes can be considered more mature than others, but then you have to take into account the intensity of each theme; mild or strong, and you also have to consider the COMBINATION of the themes and what effect they produce together.

There is no exact science to rating a game, ESPECIALLY since people may individually agree. Every single rating ever slapped on a game is a judgment call. Thus, by definition, there will be inconsistencies and perhaps bad calls. This only increases when you take into account that it probably is not the same panel of people who review each and every game. I also know for a fact (I've seen a show about the ESR:cool: that they do not play each and every game in-depth and weed out every single mature theme. It's not perfect.

I happen to think the ESRB is the single best rating system on the planet. Well, with the advent of the E10+ rating; before that, there were far too many E games that should have been T and vise-versa. But as it is now, it's a better and more informative system than even the movie rating industry here in the US. I hold the ESRB in pretty high regard and have never seen a game rating (except for pre-E10+ rating) that I disagreed with.


I know this sounds like a silly topic, but I'm kinda noticing it more and more. They gave Halo: Reach an M rating for blood and violence, not even language or anything. Whereas they gave The Conduit a T for blood, violence, and language. I know the ESBR has really gotten more strict as time has gone by, but Halo: Reach doesn't deserve an M rating.
Are the blood, violence and language of The Conduit as intense as the blood and violence of Halo: Reach? A bunch of little things can still be not as bad as one big thing. Furthermore, note that The Conduit has far worse graphics than Reach, so there's a chance the violence that is there is just not as graphic because of technical reasons. For the record, I've played Halo and Halo 2, and I fully agree with both of them being rated M. I don't know if the other Halo games to follow tones it down, but if they're anything like the first two or worse, then the M is well warranted.


And it's not just giving them a higher rating, they also seem to give a lower rating, too. I've glanced through some Wii games at Gamestop, and there was a T game for blood, intense violence, language and sexual themes. Did they simply lower it because it's a Wii game? Cause it seems like they make everything except Kinect games M on the XBOX 360.
Did you just read the game's rating and not actually play the game? If so, you have no idea how mild those things might be, even if there is all 4 of them in the game. And most of the 360 games are hyper-realistic shooters, so, yes, most of them will be rated M. Many Wii games do not come close to that. That's basic logic that a console with more mature games will get rated M games more often.


That's why I think that their rating shouldn't be considered absolute. It should only be a guideline, and people should make their own decisions about what games their kids play.
100% agreed, because even if the ESRB was fricken' perfect, who's to say that they have the same policy on what is appropriate for which ages as the parents do? BE RESPONSIBLE.


The ESRB is pretty messed up. Like: Why is Super Smash Bros. Brawl "T"? Blood? No. Sex? No. Language? No.
That's one game. Also, see above. But aside from that, Smash Bros. Brawl is a game entirely based on bashing people like crazy. They have many characters who are very physically mature and attractive, a few of them even sexualized, like Zero Suit Samus (WHO DOES NOT BELONG IN AN E-RATED GAME). You can even see up Zelda or Peach's skirts. Then let's take into account that Samus mostly comes from T-rated games, as does Captain Falcon, and Snake comes from an M-rated game. Then there's the more dramatic and/or frightening themes of Subspace Emissary. A lot of ROBs die, and while they're robots it's still treated emotionally like the loss of a real person. Things like this happen constantly in Subspace Emissary.

Teen might be a little harsh for Brawl, but at the same time E10+ might not be quite high enough, so it's a bit of a tricky case and they had to make a call.
 

425

Hero of…. #s, I guess
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Location
Skyloft
That's one game. Also, see above. But aside from that, Smash Bros. Brawl is a game entirely based on bashing people like crazy. They have many characters who are very physically mature and attractive, a few of them even sexualized, like Zero Suit Samus (WHO DOES NOT BELONG IN AN E-RATED GAME). You can even see up Zelda or Peach's skirts. Then let's take into account that Samus mostly comes from T-rated games, as does Captain Falcon, and Snake comes from an M-rated game. Then there's the more dramatic and/or frightening themes of Subspace Emissary. A lot of ROBs die, and while they're robots it's still treated emotionally like the loss of a real person. Things like this happen constantly in Subspace Emissary.

Teen might be a little harsh for Brawl, but at the same time E10+ might not be quite high enough, so it's a bit of a tricky case and they had to make a call.
I'll accept ZSS being sexualized, but Zelda and Peach upskirts, it's like, you see white. I can see Snake pushing up the rating, and SSE, but CF and Samus, not really.

Smash Bros. Melee, then. No Snake, no ZSS, no SSE. I would say E10 for that. But yet it's T.
 

Jedizora

:right:
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
I suppose that halo 1,2,3 could be considered M, mostley because of the Flood and how they would scare the youger players. Although thats leaves me questing why reach and ODSt Were rated M without the flood(Well, more so reach), but that doesn't matter. I suppose it could be that the ESBe are sencitve about what a younger player might consider 'Scary', and give it a higher rating beause of that. The flood were basicly superpowered Zombies, and only one of there spores could kill a species. not exactley something that You would want to go to bed with in your mind.
 

Ganondork

goo
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Before I get into this post any further, I want to point something out. The ESRB is made up of human beings. There is no magical combination of traits that make a game appropriate for certain ages. Different themes can be considered more mature than others, but then you have to take into account the intensity of each theme; mild or strong, and you also have to consider the COMBINATION of the themes and what effect they produce together.

There is no exact science to rating a game, ESPECIALLY since people may individually agree. Every single rating ever slapped on a game is a judgment call. Thus, by definition, there will be inconsistencies and perhaps bad calls. This only increases when you take into account that it probably is not the same panel of people who review each and every game. I also know for a fact (I've seen a show about the ESR:cool: that they do not play each and every game in-depth and weed out every single mature theme. It's not perfect.

I happen to think the ESRB is the single best rating system on the planet. Well, with the advent of the E10+ rating; before that, there were far too many E games that should have been T and vise-versa. But as it is now, it's a better and more informative system than even the movie rating industry here in the US. I hold the ESRB in pretty high regard and have never seen a game rating (except for pre-E10+ rating) that I disagreed with.



Originally Posted by Ganondork
I know this sounds like a silly topic, but I'm kinda noticing it more and more. They gave Halo: Reach an M rating for blood and violence, not even language or anything. Whereas they gave The Conduit a T for blood, violence, and language. I know the ESBR has really gotten more strict as time has gone by, but Halo: Reach doesn't deserve an M rating.



Are the blood, violence and language of The Conduit as intense as the blood and violence of Halo: Reach? A bunch of little things can still be not as bad as one big thing. Furthermore, note that The Conduit has far worse graphics than Reach, so there's a chance the violence that is there is just not as graphic because of technical reasons. For the record, I've played Halo and Halo 2, and I fully agree with both of them being rated M. I don't know if the other Halo games to follow tones it down, but if they're anything like the first two or worse, then the M is well warranted.



Originally Posted by Ganondork
And it's not just giving them a higher rating, they also seem to give a lower rating, too. I've glanced through some Wii games at Gamestop, and there was a T game for blood, intense violence, language and sexual themes. Did they simply lower it because it's a Wii game? Cause it seems like they make everything except Kinect games M on the XBOX 360.



Did you just read the game's rating and not actually play the game? If so, you have no idea how mild those things might be, even if there is all 4 of them in the game. And most of the 360 games are hyper-realistic shooters, so, yes, most of them will be rated M. Many Wii games do not come close to that. That's basic logic that a console with more mature games will get rated M games more often.



Originally Posted by athenian200
That's why I think that their rating shouldn't be considered absolute. It should only be a guideline, and people should make their own decisions about what games their kids play.



100% agreed, because even if the ESRB was fricken' perfect, who's to say that they have the same policy on what is appropriate for which ages as the parents do? BE RESPONSIBLE.



Originally Posted by 425
The ESRB is pretty messed up. Like: Why is Super Smash Bros. Brawl "T"? Blood? No. Sex? No. Language? No.



That's one game. Also, see above. But aside from that, Smash Bros. Brawl is a game entirely based on bashing people like crazy. They have many characters who are very physically mature and attractive, a few of them even sexualized, like Zero Suit Samus (WHO DOES NOT BELONG IN AN E-RATED GAME). You can even see up Zelda or Peach's skirts. Then let's take into account that Samus mostly comes from T-rated games, as does Captain Falcon, and Snake comes from an M-rated game. Then there's the more dramatic and/or frightening themes of Subspace Emissary. A lot of ROBs die, and while they're robots it's still treated emotionally like the loss of a real person. Things like this happen constantly in Subspace Emissary.

Teen might be a little harsh for Brawl, but at the same time E10+ might not be quite high enough, so it's a bit of a tricky case and they had to make a call.​
This actually makes very good sense. As for the conduit, when I was playing (I got bored and stopped midway through) once you shot an alien, they did a OoT tektite-like death where they dismember and their fluid comes out, but it was a large mass of blood. And it was a shooter, close to that of Halo, but not as detailed. In fact, I just read an article yesterday bashing how bad the game's mechanics were. But shooting people was a similar trek to a regular shooter game; hit 'em, where you hit them turns red and when they die, there's a small puddle of blood.

No, I didn't play the T-rated game that had sexual content, since my dad didn't approve of that stuff until I got my 360. (And the only reason he let me was because I watched him play games like that and he knew I was old enough to know what people look like naked) But Assassin's creed only averages one sex scene (that shows nothing, just un-clothing the girl and getting on the bed) and that got an M-rating for that. And the only different mechanic in that is slightly more blood than The Conduit.
 

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