“So tell your folks: ‘buy me Bonestorm or GO TO HELL!”
This is exactly the kind of sick twisted evil that the new campaign from ESRB is aiming to end. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has this week announced a series of TV, radio and online ads targeting the parents of young precocious gamers to try and make them a bit more discerning when it comes to buying a new game.
Senator John Thune said “[t]he video game industry makes games for people of all ages, but that doesn’t mean all games are appropriate for everyone.” It’s a message that, unfortunately, some people still don’t seem to grasp.
Over here in good old Blighty, I’m unaffected by the ESRB but instead, all ads for games on TV are now prefaced by a weird voice proclaiming “PEGI 18” (18 being the rating for the new Tomb Raider game for example). I couldn’t even tell you what PEGI stands for. Except that it stands for ruining the fun of teenagers everywhere.
According to an IGN article, 30% of parents surveyed in the States do not ensure that the game they’re allowing their kids to play is appropriate for their age; it’s actually a pretty shocking statistic if you think about it.
Having just read that book about id Software, I can see why developers struggle against these ratings; but the fact is that initial post-Columbine investigations, not satisfied with pointing the finger squarely at Romero, Cormack and probably Marilyn Manson or somebody, asked that the games industry regulated itself for shocking content or else they’d face government regulations.
Whatever the new ads end up being, I hope they’re a hell of a lot more useful than this one:
“Aww mooooom, I wanna fight ninjas and shit!”
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to play Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge.