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Author Topic: Game Ratings?  (Read 4828 times)
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magicbay
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« on: January 31, 2011, 08:17:18 AM »

I was reading the poll of the day on www.gamefaqs.com earlier and this is their poll of the day as of January 31, 2011.

Do you think video games should carry a warning label that they can lead to violent behavior?
  Yes, it's an important warning to parents
  Probably, it seems like a good idea
  It doesn't matter, nobody ever reads warning labels
  Not really, the government should stay out of it
  No, because there's no conclusive proof of that

I don't know what everyone thinks about this poll but I voted for the first one.

I'd love to hear what everyone thinks about this poll so Jon, can ya turn this topic into a poll of some sort please?  If ya don't want to do this, I'll understand if ya don't want to have this as a website poll.

Thanks..
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Revned
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2011, 08:30:45 AM »

4+5
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Will
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2011, 08:53:53 AM »

I was a little concerned about this myself. Certain maps come from games which made contain a lot of violence, blood and gore (like Resident Evil for example). Recently I have done the first Leisure Suit Larry game as per the Sierra games request. I am fully aware that the game contains indecent content, but being just maps, I've taken absolute care not to make it obvious. I'm beginning to wonders if maps of games like those should be accessible for members only, so that younger viewers don't get any funny ideas.
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Peardian
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2011, 09:40:14 AM »

There's a reason games have the ESRB warning. Ratings like T and M and the various content labels they list (fantasy violence, blood, etc) should be enough to warn parents. Those who buy the games for their kids without reading these and then complain about the content have only themself to blame. Also, it's been shown that violent video games do not explicitly cause violent tendencies, but appeal to those who already have them. All in all, it's the parents' responsibility to monitor the games their children play.


And I'm sure that maps should be fine, as long as they don't go into explicit detail or have animated gifs or something. Tongue
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bustin98
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2011, 11:52:59 AM »

Do television and movies display blatant warnings of exposure to violence? Nope. There is no direct corelation between witnessing fantasy violence and having violent tendencies. Those that do display violent actions already were predisposed to that behavior. We all know how the blame of young violence has jumped around from media to media over the years. Its odd though how everyone wants to avoid blaming who should carry it: the parents. Whether its movie serials of the 30s, comics of the 50s, music of the 70s, cartoons of the 80s or video games of now, the only constant has been a lack of parenting skills in keeping the kids in check.
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magicbay
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2011, 03:25:08 PM »

i agree with all points of view.  i hope this topic doesn't offend anyone by posting this poll from gamefaqs.com?

my honest opinion is that we could change the map access to members only but that's just me.
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Peardian
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2011, 04:50:07 PM »

That would be too much of a hassle to solve what is essentially a non-problem. A whole membership database system would have to be set up and integrated into each of the pages, which requires a lot of effort. And yet, we don't have any maps that would be considered "offensive". These are just maps of locations in the game, not sprite sheets or cutscenes. I mean, it's not like there are any dungeons shaped like a giant middle finger or anything. Tongue


If the site does happen to get a map that could be objectionable, Jon could just put a little warning label on the link like The Spriters' Resource does for its thumbnails. (Sprites with any sort of nudity have an "(18+)" label.)
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Trop
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2011, 11:13:28 PM »

I saw that poll too and I could rant on about this for hours.  Without going on forever I do think encountering new things, through media or otherwise, can change a person.  But it's no more a risk in games then it is in any other form of media or just life itself for that matter.  One thing is for sure, I'm not going to censor the content I find in games when I make maps, sprite sheets, or anything else.  After all, if I have the audacity to censor art while I myself create it then I am not an artist at all.
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magicbay
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2011, 03:21:43 PM »

i agree and when the time does come for censership of maps, i'll be there to support the change but for now, i'm happy with the way the maps are on here.   Smiley
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JonLeung
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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2011, 02:17:04 PM »

Sure, I get busy for a few days, and here's a popular topic!

The ESRB came out in 1994, I'm pretty sure, since Super Metroid didn't initially have a rating but Donkey Kong Country in the same year was the first game I bought that did have a rating...  I was 14 then, and few games then were beyond what we would consider "T" anyway.  Sure, there were some violent/gory games like Doom which I'm sure I played when it first came out, but by then I was a preteen and after the initial shock and awe of "ooo, they can put blood in a video game" it didn't bother/traumatize me or incite some kind of bloodlust.  Besides, the violence in Doom and Mortal Kombat were over-the-top and clearly fantastical.  I would say new games like Fight Night Champion where characters actually look and move realistically with brutal violence is worse than cartoony violence...(and to think, boxing's an actual sport.)

I never played much of the first round of Leisure Suit Larry games but from what I had seen, there wasn't a whole lot that was explicit, until the more recent games in the past few years, and from what I've seen of those, the blatant nudity is more tacky than exciting.  Maybe I'm just not a fan of the character designs.  But in this day and age, it's too easy to - excuse the term - "get your rocks off" - on something more accessible on the Internet.  And even if it's supposed to be more amusing than arousing, I'm sure there's still better out there.  I think the first LSL series probably were successful only because "adult" entertainment, however explicit, was probably not as common, at least not on computers.

I thought the ESRB was silly when it first came out, as I was happy with my games and thought it was unnecessary to create what I thought was an "excuse" to create (im)mature content.  But games were going to have this stuff anyway - and whether being gratuitous or contextually relevant - people would need to be informed.

Back to Donkey Kong Country, I remember when the game was new and I saw a woman pick it up at the game store at her son's pleading.  She asked the clerk if it was "a violent game like Street Fighter".  I didn't think Street Fighter II was violent, at least not in the brutal/gory/painful-to-watch sense that some games are now, and I thought it was a ridiculous question.  But the ESRB was new, and she clearly didn't see the label on the box that said "K-A" (originally Kids-Adults, equivalent to "E" now).  One day if/when I'm a parent, I wouldn't want to pick up something that might be like Conker's Bad Fur Day (even if I think I'll still be reading video game web sites every day and would know about such games months beforehand, a reminder wouldn't be a bad thing).

I can no longer say when a revamp of VGMaps.com is coming, if ever (I was going to say to think of it as Duke Nukem Forever, but I guess that's actually coming out >_>), but I think it wouldn't be hard to include ESRB (or CERO or PEGI) ratings.  I don't think I would necessarily want to block or filter them, but for information's sale, there's no harm in mentioning them, and then mapmakers won't have to be concerned about what they want to include.  I expect things to be contextual, of course, just because you make a map for Doom doesn't mean you should go stick in some genitalia on the image.  Or, in a less blatant sense, swear words on maps of games that didn't earn their M-rating for language.  Etc.

As for LSL, geez, that same picture of the woman in the hot tub is freaking everywhere, and it's even on the box; I'm not going to worry if you included stuff like that, Will.

Fun fact: I think my own Beneath A Steel Sky map has bare breasts in it.
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DarkWolf
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2011, 07:01:20 AM »

I think the biggest concern has always been whether or not simulated violence would desensitize someone to actual violence.  Most people with a head on their shoulders know playing a video game isn't going to corrupt most people into actually performing violence.  But what about someone who would be prone to violence before exposure to the medium?

My take on the subject is that if someone is prone to violence, video games aren't going to be the only trigger out there that would make him/her cross the line.  The solution is to offer help to those who have mental health problems or environmental issues that would make them prone to violence in the first place.  But condemning movies, video games, and the like doesn't require elected officials to vote on bills that would cost money, so they're an easy target.

The same thing has happened recently with the Arizona shooting.  The best way to prevent things like that would be for the federal government to help mental health institutions and programs, but everyone is talking about gun control, because it makes for better soundbites.
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