EA CEO Wants to "Move Beyond the Alphabet Soup of Game Ratings"

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the pegi rating in europe has a big box with a number written on it for age. and every age has their own color. red is for 18 and it really sticks out.

in australia, movies and games have a very huge rating label on the left lower corner of the box. they dont use numbers for lower age group but for mature content there is a number as well. G, PG, M, M15+, R 18+. these are the ratings in australia. each of them have their own color and right next to it, it has descriptions what the game/movie contents. like: strong violence, scary scenes, sex scenes.... and all this stuff.
actually pretty informative. so the parents cant say they dint see it since it really sticks out.

''to help consumers make informed decisions''

you can write in bold the charge for an online pass if not new
&
what DLC is missing from the game and how much it will cost you
&
the average length of a single player campaign

That will really help consumers make informed decisions..

Can't decide if I should add this to my list of examples for 'even mentioning EA makes gamers froth at the mouth'... hum...

Anywho, I don't think this will work out. Its nearly impossible to get every nation to agree on anything and for this to work you'd have to get everyone to voluntarily jump on board.

The world should just adopt the ratings system that Australia uses for everything. (G for all ages, PG for things that it is recommended to have a parent watching if under 15, M for 15+, MA for 15+ (Restricted to ONLY 15+), R for 18+ (Restricted to ONLY 18+ regardless of if a parent or adult guardian is present)). Minus the stupid RC category (Materials refused classification which forces censoring of games in order for them to be sold)

Sylveria:
E, E10+, Teen and Mature are really that complex of terms for parents to understand?

Actually, I'm not sure myself about the E stands for. Early maybe? That sounds silly. I do live in the UK bearing in mind.

Speaking of which, a numerical system is better anyway, it's clearer. A Universal system is a bad idea though, because some countries are more sensitive about certain things.

I really don't the the ESRB ratings in the USA could be made much clearer than they are. There's plenty of documentation describing the ratings, and the whole thing is pretty transparent. Only way I could see making it easy is to move to a numerical age system, but even that is catering to stupid people.

Leon's Hell:
Mr. Riccitiello I don't think you would have noticed this, but a move towards a universal rating system would result in you not having to pay as much to get your games rated. I suppose this is a happy coincidence, because it's obviously for the benefit of others and not for your company.

One can hardly blame the man for wanting to save his company money. After all, they could certainly use a 'little helping hand' right about now.

Still, I can't help but feel as though this is the only reason he's bringing this matter up. Especially when one considers that his statements seem to indicate that he wants the entire world to adopt this rating system.

canadamus_prime:

Sarah LeBoeuf:
...according to Riccitiello, who also serves as Chairman of the Entertainment Software Association board.

Um... doesn't that present a conflict of interest?

The ESA is at heart a lobby group for the interests of the game industry - preferably the large, established publishers.
It can hardly be construed as a conflict of interest if the CEO of EA chairs the association primarily aimed at serving the best interests of companies like EA.

Anyway, the different standards on what constitutes mature or adult content is just one of the many barriers to establishing a universal international ratings system for video games. Another such barrier is coming up with universally recognizable symbolage to identify the different rating levels. The alphabetical system works well for areas that use English as a primary language, but not all areas use English as a primary language or at all.

Countries also tend to have differing perspectives on where the crossover points between certain stages of emotional maturity lie. 16/18/21 are common, but by no means universal.
The whole debate as to whether sex or violence is the more "mature" content would be enough to shipwreck any attempts at a globally standardised rating system - and personally I already dislike the very US influences in the current ratings. (News Flash: women have breasts. People have sex. This is normal.)

Kargathia:

canadamus_prime:

Sarah LeBoeuf:
...according to Riccitiello, who also serves as Chairman of the Entertainment Software Association board.

Um... doesn't that present a conflict of interest?

The ESA is at heart a lobby group for the interests of the game industry - preferably the large, established publishers.
It can hardly be construed as a conflict of interest if the CEO of EA chairs the association primarily aimed at serving the best interests of companies like EA.

Yeah, I know. I got confused between ESA and ESRB. I mistook one for the other.

Kargathia:

Anyway, the different standards on what constitutes mature or adult content is just one of the many barriers to establishing a universal international ratings system for video games. Another such barrier is coming up with universally recognizable symbolage to identify the different rating levels. The alphabetical system works well for areas that use English as a primary language, but not all areas use English as a primary language or at all.

Countries also tend to have differing perspectives on where the crossover points between certain stages of emotional maturity lie. 16/18/21 are common, but by no means universal.
The whole debate as to whether sex or violence is the more "mature" content would be enough to shipwreck any attempts at a globally standardised rating system - and personally I already dislike the very US influences in the current ratings. (News Flash: women have breasts. People have sex. This is normal.)

And that's another thing. I did say there were many barriers to creating such a system.

And incidentally, yes women have breasts and people have sex, but there's an emotional maturity required to understand the implications of that. Some people never achieve that however (NOT looking at you, just speaking in general).

Yep keep blindly throwing darts at that issues dart board EA, you'll eventually hit something that will give you good publicity and doesn't make you look like the antichrist.

Is it a problem if the description on the back of the box is moved to the front instead? Sure, it'll take up a little more space on the cover art but at least it's there at a glance.

Actually, who looks on the back anymore? The last I checked, half of the box is covered with legal jargon.

His argument seems as though it would carry more weight in a world with no rating system whatsoever. Presently, his sort of proposal could fix legislative issues those Australia used to be tied up in with the no 18/M rated titles (though that is pretty much fixed at this point). I am not aware of any other countries in which these issues persist, though.

Captcha: Wild and Wooly

The ratings system now is already pretty clear, not that it stops crappy parents from letting their kids get babysat by games too mature for them.

He has a nice sentiment, but what he's talking about probably isn't feasible to integrate. Different governments, cultures, etc...

CrossLOPER:
How difficult is it to just add a little notification that says something like "this game has tits and blood"? No ratings, no meetings, no boards, none of that. Just "tits and blood".

this.
game industry doesnt have responsibility to create ratings. if anything, it has responsibility to remove the stupidity of rating system.

To be perfectly honest, it's endemic of the entire situation, really. Based on the number of pre-teens who play games like Grand Theft Auto, Halo, Gears of War, God Of War, Call of Duty, et al it would seem that most parents either don't know or don't care about how in-depth the ESRB really treats their rating system. And if that's not worrying, then I don't know what would be.

what would be worrying is if instead of knowing thier children parents woudl blindly follwo a rating from "some website".

A universal, international ratings system will never come to fruition so long as different cultures hold different values. In the US, violence is more acceptable but sex is not, while Europe and Japan are far more likely to give sex the pass over any game that involves shooting things with the intent to kill them. Japan is also likely to give intense religious themes a pass. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne is essentially rated E in Japan (CERO A), and PEGI 12+ in Europe, while virtually all SMT titles in North America are given an M rating

EA wishes it could save money when it comes to ratings boards, but that's pretty much a pipe dream. I prefer the current system where the ratings pertain to the culture.

CardinalPiggles:

Sylveria:
E, E10+, Teen and Mature are really that complex of terms for parents to understand?

Actually, I'm not sure myself about the E stands for. Early maybe? That sounds silly. I do live in the UK bearing in mind.

Speaking of which, a numerical system is better anyway, it's clearer. A Universal system is a bad idea though, because some countries are more sensitive about certain things.

We're having a discussion over what the rating letter means.

Ec - early childhood
E - Everyone
E10 - Everyone 10 and up
T - Teen(13+)
M -Mature(17+)
Ao - Adults only(18+)

Before anyone asks, I cannot explain what magically happens in the 12 months between 17 and 18 to make for the difference between mature and adult audiences. Given the fact that most of the adults I know aren't mature might be a moot point.

I'd like to have Pegi ratings over here, cuz they're numbers, but they sticked the ESRB on us, which is fucking retarded, you can't force an english letter based rating on a spanish speaking country "E for everyone" means nothing here, so nobody gives a damn about ratings, cuz most people just don't get what they mean.

vxicepickxv:

CardinalPiggles:

Sylveria:
E, E10+, Teen and Mature are really that complex of terms for parents to understand?

Actually, I'm not sure myself about the E stands for. Early maybe? That sounds silly. I do live in the UK bearing in mind.

Speaking of which, a numerical system is better anyway, it's clearer. A Universal system is a bad idea though, because some countries are more sensitive about certain things.

We're having a discussion over what the rating letter means.

Ec - early childhood
E - Everyone
E10 - Everyone 10 and up
T - Teen(13+)
M -Mature(17+)
Ao - Adults only(18+)

Before anyone asks, I cannot explain what magically happens in the 12 months between 17 and 18 to make for the difference between mature and adult audiences. Given the fact that most of the adults I know aren't mature might be a moot point.

Ok so if those letters represent words that then represent ages, why not just mark it with the ages? In england all video games start at 3+, then PG, 12+, 15+, 16+, 18+.

In America it could be; All ages, 10+, 13+, 17+, 18+. But no, that's to easy.

I wish parents would stop buying their kids M rated games. Not because I think it is bad, I don't think that at all. No, I want parents to stop buying M rated games for their kids so that everyone on this site who bitches about it will have nothing more to bitch about.

Did it ever occur to whiners that the reason some of these game get huge budgets is because of these parents buying these games for their kids. You are benefiting from it and all you can do is whine. If parents would only buying E rated games then you same people would be bitching because M rated games become rare.

I knew what kind of tired, worn out shit I was going to see before I even began reading the comments.

blackrave:
This is one thing that we do slightly better here in EU
We do not have letters, but [age]+ stickers on media
And that makes things easier that ETMA ratings, because while we know what age is T rating average person have no clue
I previously considered M rating as 15+, later I found out that it was 17+ and it still looks ridiculous. Do you really need additional category just for 17y-olds?
I have seen stickers with 7+, 12+, 16+ and 18+ (in contrast E10+, T13+, M17+ and A18+ in ESRB categories)
I think our categorization is a little better and much more clearer for average parent

Australia's is:

G - General, aka everyone
M - Mature, so 10-12 depending on if the parent decides their ready
MA15+ - rather obviously 15+
R18+ - Once again clearly for adults only.

Heck their even colour coded.
Great idea in theory, but will never work. No-one outside of the US wants their rating 'system'.

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