Game People Calling: Start Playing the Right Games

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Game People Calling: Start Playing the Right Games

Should censors should focus on recommendation rather than prohibition?

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Which group would you put yourself in?

Workers. According to the description, definitely workers. Ironic considering I'm unemployed at the moment.

I was about to say. You've missed off one huge group - the unemployed. University students are a large group of people who fall into this gap.

DeadMG:
I was about to say. You've missed off one huge group - the unemployed. University students are a large group of people who fall into this gap.

If you're unemployed, you don't typically have that much disposable income to spend on games.

For Grandparents, games that help improve memory are extremely valuable. I'd add some of those to that category.

Game People:
Game People Calling: Start Playing the Right Games

Should sensors should focus on recommendation rather than prohibition?

Read Full Article

Don't you mean "Censors"?

I might be a bit old fashioned, but I think that the essence of age restrictions is sound and the way the ESRB does it, by further adding notices about what kind of 'offensive' content can be found in the game is quite practical. This is not to say it is perfect obviously.

Perhaps there should be even more of those on the game cases? Just not telling you what is offensive, but what kind of experiences can be had in the game? Things like "Good Reflexes", "Hard Puzzles", "Platforming", "Exploration" and "Moral Choices" could all be put on the boxes in some kind of standard code. Sure, it would take up a lot of space but as a customer it could also help you discern what games might be fun for you.

Instead of having to pidgeonholed into a specific category, I would just have to check on the box if this game contains "Exploration" and "Role Playing". I just thought of this and it would probably take a lot of ironing out, but it would allow us to keep the parental advisory that the ESRB (and similar rating systems) offer while also giving some heads up to customers about what kind of game they are about to buy.

AvsJoe:

Which group would you put yourself in?

Workers. According to the description, definitely workers. Ironic considering I'm unemployed at the moment.

Same here... dammit.

Definitely hard to classify some games, something like Borderlands can be taken at any pace you want which would make it suitable for parents and seniors, although the graphics are more clearly aimed at the worker or even student categories.

But the article makes a great point - we should be evaluating games based on interactive content, not just on the intensity of graphic images. Some games, like Halo, may feature M-rated violence but are clearly targeted at the 11-17 demographic.

Gethsemani:

Perhaps there should be even more of those on the game cases? Just not telling you what is offensive, but what kind of experiences can be had in the game? Things like "Good Reflexes", "Hard Puzzles", "Platforming", "Exploration" and "Moral Choices" could all be put on the boxes in some kind of standard code. Sure, it would take up a lot of space but as a customer it could also help you discern what games might be fun for you.

Instead of having to pidgeonholed into a specific category, I would just have to check on the box if this game contains "Exploration" and "Role Playing". I just thought of this and it would probably take a lot of ironing out, but it would allow us to keep the parental advisory that the ESRB (and similar rating systems) offer while also giving some heads up to customers about what kind of game they are about to buy.

That's a great idea! Interactivity ratings!

no... no, telling certain people what kind of games they are supposed to like is stupid...
it's just as bad as a caste system. "you are a worker, this is the kinda game you like." sounds stupid don't it?

I agree with the person above.

I'm definitely getting the feeling that you believe you can put people in a box according to what game they play ^^. But you can't put me in a box ( I won't know whether I'm dead or not ^^) If people are really as easy to categorise as you think they are, there are no reasons for politicians to ever fail or advertisements not to work.

I'm not sure which side of the line I fall on this. On the one hand, despite being a student, there are very few "loud brash" games that really interest me (unless it happens to be fun as well, I've never been particularly confined to a genre or a style)

But then, I could say, class myself in the "grandparents" category if that style of game was more suited to me and then the ratings might still be useful.

(Or not, if the games I'm obsessed with at the moment are Final Fantasty VII, XII, Raw Vs Smackdown, Uncharted, PixelJunk Eden, Lego Indiana Jones and Valkyria Chronicles, yet I dislike Modern Warfare, Shadow Hearts: Covenant and Soul Caliber aren't I defying each category you would lump games into?)

In the end, it comes down to it being ridiculous to replace the rating system with this. The rating system is to help parents protect their children from content they want to avoid and this system doesn't help that.

I've noticed rating schemes have already gone down the "frikkin' awesome exploding eyeballs" route, but I think we're overthinking this. I want to see a number on a box and to be able to turn the box over and find out why.

If I want to find a game I like, I listen to reviews, watch trailers and talk to friends. Why would a rating system be better than that?

AvsJoe:

Which group would you put yourself in?

Workers. According to the description, definitely workers. Ironic considering I'm unemployed at the moment.

Funny that's exactly what went through my head when I read it.

Hmmm some good ratings, but will it stop the fanatical Austrailian government from going middle ages on their unsuspecting game fans? Probably not.
Still, good start and with good intentions. Keep up the good work.
(I would probably still play student rated games, no rating tells me what to play, pre-conceptualized or otherwise) But for the sole purpose of keeping retarded parents and governments at bay, it's really not a bad idea.

... So what happens when a toddler game is actually really freakin' fun?

yes, you're a freakin' loser, that's what happens. made fun of by all.

AN dit's kind of insulting to people.

Though today's ratings don't do the job quite well, this idea does the job even less.

Charli:

AvsJoe:

Which group would you put yourself in?

Workers. According to the description, definitely workers. Ironic considering I'm unemployed at the moment.

Funny that's exactly what went through my head when I read it.

Hmmm some good ratings, but will it stop the fanatical Austrailian government from going middle ages on their unsuspecting game fans? Probably not.
Still, good start and with good intentions. Keep up the good work.
(I would probably still play student rated games, no rating tells me what to play, pre-conceptualized or otherwise) But for the sole purpose of keeping retarded parents and governments at bay, it's really not a bad idea.

Indeed. It could help "non gamers" to see that it isn't just violence in games, so when people are looking through the shelves at their local game store they won't just see the "bad parts"(I don't really think they are bad) such as violent content and so on....
After all, retarded parents and politicians are one of the gaming world largest problems.

I think the groups are far too generalized, and you're going to leave out a lot of people who won't identify explicitly with any of them. The problem with breaking things into groups like this, is that it will always insult someone (that's what happens in an era of political correctness). The thing with the rating system now is that while it doesn't work perfectly (if at all), it's designed primarily to prevent mature content from getting into the hands of the underage. I for one wouldn't want my 5 year old nephew playing GTA IV, for instance. If you tried to start rating games based on who they'd be most appropriate for...hey, why do you want the ESRB or the government deciding that anyway? Because they've shown such a clear head about games in the past? Let reviews recommend the types of people who would enjoy the games, and let ratings continue to limp along doing their job as best as they can.

I don't see it making much of a difference. What's wrong with the rating system now? The same people will still bypass it, and the same people will still get upset about people bypassing it.

The right games are the ones you like DUH!
Artificial divisionary profiling like that should be frowned upon.
edit:
It's technically telling people what they should like depending on what they do. Can anyone say "social programming"?

You can't really put 11-17 year olds in the same category. There is a big difference between the maturity of an 11 year old than the maturity of a 17 year old. Not to mention that different people have different levels of maturity, within each age itself.

No matter how you put it, it's truly up to the parents to know their kids. Or, as you get older, for the person to know themselves.

Gethsemani:
I might be a bit old fashioned, but I think that the essence of age restrictions is sound and the way the ESRB does it, by further adding notices about what kind of 'offensive' content can be found in the game is quite practical. This is not to say it is perfect obviously.

Perhaps there should be even more of those on the game cases? Just not telling you what is offensive, but what kind of experiences can be had in the game? Things like "Good Reflexes", "Hard Puzzles", "Platforming", "Exploration" and "Moral Choices" could all be put on the boxes in some kind of standard code. Sure, it would take up a lot of space but as a customer it could also help you discern what games might be fun for you.

Instead of having to pidgeonholed into a specific category, I would just have to check on the box if this game contains "Exploration" and "Role Playing". I just thought of this and it would probably take a lot of ironing out, but it would allow us to keep the parental advisory that the ESRB (and similar rating systems) offer while also giving some heads up to customers about what kind of game they are about to buy.

Oh, man, that's a really cool idea. If that ever got implemented, I'd be full of glee.

I think the categories above student are nonsense. Why? Well because people have different tastes and preferences. I am a parent and that does not stop me from killing zombies in L4D, after I put my daughter to bed.

I think the task of ESRB and friends is to categorize content that is "harmful" for a certain age group. And that task they doe quite well.

The problem is that, just because something is rated all ages, it is not for children. A good example from films (I don't know one from games) is Wall-E, great move, rated G and a bore for my daughter.

It is true though that you need a "target audience" label. This is more specific and should use something that spans age and skill set. (75% of what Gethsemani said.)

You are trying to go in the right direction. I think the labels tick me off tough. Oh I play a game for Grandparents, ey?

While I agree that the ESRB ratings are stupid I don't think that just putting in some other rating system or recommendation system is any better. You still wont know if you like a game until you play it.
The whole ESRB rating system isn't really to prevent kids from accessing mature content as they will undoubtedly have already experienced, it's to be able to deny blame when a incident occurs.

lodo_bear:
For Grandparents, games that help improve memory are extremely valuable. I'd add some of those to that category.

I know my grandparents couldnt do any worse!

thenumberthirteen:

Game People:
Game People Calling: Start Playing the Right Games

Should sensors should focus on recommendation rather than prohibition?

Read Full Article

Don't you mean "Censors"?

Seconded.... Somewhere, an editor is asleep at the wheel and one slipped by them.

Censors will never do such a thing. The whole point of censorship is for those in power to impose their morals and world-views on the masses.

Those in power don't care if the masses are happy, they just care about making sure they stay "in line".

As the people above say, sorting games by some sort of expected audience is going to be very difficult, controversial, and will probably drive down sales.

Giving some standardized package information about control complexity might be possible; perhaps a split rating indicating the typical number of degrees of freedom used simultaneously and number of important buttons. IE, Guitar #### at 1/5, Gears of War at 2.5/8, your typical FPS at maybe 3.8/8, and Decent at 5.3/4.
Doesn't mean it'd be a good idea, just that it's possible...

I don't really find myself in any of the categories.

I am currently in college, and I tend to go for games that truly offer something new on the medium. You could call me an "artsy" gamer.

Perhaps a suggestion?

Whispering Death:
Censors will never do such a thing. The whole point of censorship is for those in power to impose their morals and world-views on the masses.

Those in power don't care if the masses are happy, they just care about making sure they stay "in line".

I agree, but all the same, what if censors got smart? What if they played nice and tried to encourage rather than impose?

I have conservative tastes myself and I encourage others to seek out milder entertainment, but I know better than to try and force my views on anyone. Forcible censorship always, always backfires horribly. If you want people to make the right choice, you have to do it yourself and advocate it as an option, and that's about all you should do. If you restrict people from doing wrong, you do wrong yourself. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, and as Chinese philosophers said before her, it's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, and for me, encouraging good games is akin to candle-lighting, while restricting bad games is just darkness-cursing.

"You are a grandparent, therefore you should play this type of game"?? Yeah, a cute idea, but ultimately meaningless. I'm a worker; I don't enjoy the type of games you suggested.

Game People:

Should sensors should focus on recommendation rather than prohibition?

The two errors aside, I have major problems with this. The word "censor" is rather inflammatory. I have my problems with the ESRB, including their possession and occasional use of the killer AO rating like the MPAA's NC17. But I can't recall AO being used as a chilling effect (which would make the ESRB a de facto censor), beyond a few media-frenzy moral-panic situations. But then, I admit to not keeping up with gaming trends as well as many of this site's members.

But whatever the word, I have my misgivings about the system proposed - it marries a rating and a review system, two notoriously subjective things that pull in different directions. For instance, some gory over-the-top games are juvenile tripe, the kind of thing preteen boys giggle at once they tire of fart jokes, but that conventional wisdom says they shouldn't be seeing. What segment does that fit into?

Even if we leave the "ratings" idea out entirely and just look at this as an age recommendation system from a centralized authority it still falls short. It's a review system, and one game will garner a LOT of different ratings. While five out of six people might agree that a guy ripping spleens out isn't something kids should see, it'd be hard to get those same six people to come to an agreement on whether a long game with deep characterization and PG-13 content levels is best for teenagers or adults. Some might even say it's neither, that characterization in a game is a waste of time and that's what novels are for.

You can't really pigeonhole people into such neat boxes, true. But you often can't pigeonhole GAMES into such neat boxes either. And remember, a central authority doesn't have the virtue of being able to choose what games to pigeonhole. It has to pigeonhole every game that comes its way, or the volume of "Maturity Recommendation Not Provided" labels will make a farce of it. To pull a few names from history, what categories do Doom, Planescape: Torment, Zork, and Custer's Revenge fit into?

gee i doubt it would work , the ratings used now don't work , kids still play mw2 type games and the game companies won't go for it either

I don't think that people should be rated by age- rather, by resilience to violence and sexual content. I do agree with you otherwise.

Complimentary anti-mod response aside, can please talk about the giant elephant in the room?

Your spelling? Oh yeah, your grammar too. Seriously, it takes one (1) proofread to prevent this. Plain unprofessional.

See now I'm in the Student category, but I would really put myself in Worker/Parent categories, because I looked at the suggestions on that Game People website, and well the Student section just feels so ..... bland and boring, maybe it's because it doesn't focus that much on us hardcore gamers

Whereas Workers/Parents had:
Shadow Complex
Uncharted 2
Red Faction
Fable 2

Those are more appealing to people in the upper bound of the Student category really, so maybe a little revision should be done to make them more accepting for younger hardcore gamers

Someone needs a new sub-editor.

I don't think replacing the rating system entirely with the one suggested would work for everyone, but having some sort of general, age-related recommendation would help more casual videogame buyers. Not everyone who walks into a game shop reads websites, reviews features and the like - it might also flag up games that unsuspecting parents buy for their kids more than the current rating system. A system that everybody pretty much ignores anyway.

Some where in this thread of comments (sorry for not quoting) somebody made the point censors is an inflammatory term. Indeed it is. In truth the only censoring that is done is by companies trying to get their games within a certain rating, or stores/countries who refuse to allow higher rated games. If we were to think of these 'censors' more as guides to content then there seems to be a place for a recommendation of social group who would be attracted and appropriate content within a classification system.

Bullet points could say something like - violent content, gore, short play time rewarded, no need for huge time investment.

While the suggested categories would run into trouble with particular age groups and social overlaps the idea behind the groups is sound. We just may have to break those ideas out of these example. I for one would at times be happy to know if the experience I am picking up will require an investment of time to get something get the most out of rather than being 'pick up and play' (which is why I visit gaming sites but lets face it many people don't).

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