Rated “M” For “More Censorship Not Needed”

1241 words - 5 pages

Since the moment video games became a commercial success there have been people who have pushed for unfair amounts of censorship to be placed upon the content of the games and its availability to children. These groups push for increased regulations on content but there is already an appointed group to handle this issue, the ESRB. Even though there has been an increase in mature content in the video game industry, increased censorship is not necessary because the current rating system and current censors make it nearly impossible for kids to reach this content without the help of a parent.
A lot of the people who complain about violence and other mature subject matter in video games are ...view middle of the document...

This only further proves the point that the current rating system and censors for video games are during a good job at filtering content.
The group in charge of filtering this content is the ESRB or Entertainment Software Rating Board. The ESRB rating system is stricter then people give it credit for. The ESRB rating system is applied to all video games, whether packaged in a box at retail or directly downloaded to a gaming system, computer or mobile device. Packaged games that are to be sold in stores have to be rated using a “long form” process. The ESRB states that this process involves “ESRB raters evaluate the content of each game in advance of its public release. In these cases the publisher must provide two key forms of content disclosure as their game is being finalized”. The two forms of content disclosure mentioned in the quote include a questionnaire (to be filled out by the publisher) that details the content of the product that may factor into the games overall rating (violence, language, etc.). The questionnaire also covers the context in which this content is used. The second piece of content disclosure that is required is a DVD that shows all pertinent content including but not limited to, cutscenes, missions, and standard gameplay. This DVD must also include the most extreme examples of mature content in the product being rated. After the game has been rated and released the ESRB must also review the packaging to make sure that the proper rating is displayed correctly and follows regulations. This system of rating is very strict and effective and should be paid attention to more often.
Parental awareness is a very important part of keeping mature content out of children’s hands. studies conducted by the Peter D. Hart Research Associates about parents purchasing video games for their children of ages 3-17 shows that in 1999 only 49 percent of parents were aware of the ESRB rating and only 43 percent found the ratings useful, while by 2012, 85 percent of parents were aware of the rating but only 70 percent said the ratings were useful. Even though these numbers have increased drastically over time, it is important for every parent to know what they are purchasing for their child, not just 85 percent of them. Both the studies by the Peter D. Hart Research Associates and Federal Trade Commission agreed that 2007 had the highest rates of parental awareness regarding the ratings of video games. In a report to Congress, the Federal Trade Commission found that “83% of parents are aware of the ESRB ratings, and 74% of parents use them regularly when buying games for their...

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