20th Nov, 2007
Duck and cover people, it’s happening again… In a move likely to incite gamers to either rally to vocal outcry or roll their eyes and yawn, a group of US senators is still campaigning against Rockstar’s Manhunt 2, nearly a month after the game was passed and released.
The group of four, consisting of Joe Lieberman, Sam Brownback, Evan Bayh and Hillary Clinton (surprise!) is now gunning for the game’s rating to be upgraded to the effective banning of an AO, even after its previous censorship has seen the ESRB happily pass it with an M. The form of their action? Erm, a letter
Says they to the ESRB:
‘We ask your consideration of whether it is time to review the robustness, reliability and repeatability of your ratings process, particularly for this genre of 'ultraviolent' video games and the advances in game controllers. We have consistently urged parents to pay attention to the ESRB rating system. We must ensure that parents can rely on the consistency and accuracy of those ratings’
While this reaction may seem a bit too late/desperate/heavy-handed/out of touch/all of the above, it does of course set alarm bells ringing when you consider Clinton’s presidential aspirations and preoccupation with media ratings. Is the ESRB set to have to deal with this sort of thing a lot more should she be successful? The wording of the above letter extract could certainly be interpreted as having a threatening tone.
But while this is all well and good, is it not time that we had some evidence to back up the idea of violent games as a corrupting influence? You know, that evidence we've been waiting for since Mortal Kombat...