Wednesday, October 11, 2006

US Senator Wants Full Playthroughs from ESRB

US Senator Sam Brownback wants the ESRB to manually unlock all content in a game before rating it.

Anyone who's played Final Fantasy X-2 knows how many gruelling playthroughs it could take to unlock all of that single-player game's content. Anyone who who's played any MMOG knows it is simply impossible to predict all possible user-created content that could appear in a massively multiplayer online game.

This bill is just stupid. It reflects an outdated mentality that equates nonlinear games with linear movies. Raters don't need to see all a game can offer; the only need to see the worst a game can offer. Even then, they simply cannot predict the worst players can offer.

Just give raters confidential instant access to the all the developer-created content in a game, and be done with it. If this bill passes, we'll only get games so simple that all their content can be unlocked on a deadline. Scary thought, isn't it?

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