Rockstar and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Speak your mind, or lack thereof. There may occasionally be on-topic discussions.
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Isuka
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Post by Isuka »

As far as I know, retailers will also refuse to sell any games that either have the "RP Rating Pending" icon or no icon at all, as well as Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft won't license said games. All of them technically obliterate the games that fall under such ratings. They get, pragmatically speaking, banned.

So, they could at least have a little, obscure corner for AO-rated games in stores and stop bitching.

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Post by gr4yJ4Y »

Last I heard, publishers submit their games in to the ESRB to be rated. They do that willingly. I don't think I've ever heard anything about Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft forcing them to. If Manhunt 2 gets banned, other developers in the future might start releasing their games unrated, which likely wouldn't be good at all.

I'm surprised Hitman hasn't been brought up in this thread yet. While I didn't enjoy that series, I do know people who enjoy torturing victims in it. And these are actual gamers, who play the same kinds of games we do. I think this stuff does have a place and an appeal, even without the censorship hype.

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Post by Green Gibbon! »

The topic held no interest for me until you piped up suggesting it was okay for Manhunt 2 to get banned-- and, incidentally, are you saying that, or what? It's never been totally clear
I've been wondering how you got that impression in the first place. I'm pretty sure I said from the start that I think all sides are acting ridiculous which is why I don't take the debate seriously.

Somehow this thread has erupted into a huge crusade against censorship, but that was never my point. I am suggesting that there is a correlation between this tired, recurring drama and the nonsense bloodbath games that inspire them - and yes, I am also saying flat-out that Mortal Kombat and Manhunt and Night Trap are absurd as a matter of fact because not all media is equal (and neither are opinions) - however, it's not up to me or anyone else to dictate what people should be allowed to play. BUT the fact that this sort of debate only ever erupts over sophomoric nonsense (Esrever gave a good example of a more legitimate case and I'd never heard of it before now which is a telling sign) plays right into the politician's hands. This is exactly the impression of the industry they want people to have because it fuels their agendas and that, I think, is at least as big an issue.

It's like I've said over and over, if you want to make a case of censorship, Manhunt and State of Emergency are not going to work. Smart people who might otherwise protest are not going to be moved. I know I'm not.

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Post by Esrever »

Frieza2000 wrote:I was under the impression that [AO] was [used] to prohibit the illegal sale of pornography to minors...

I don't see the AO rating as an evil in and of itself.
You're right on both counts, really. The problem is that the AO rating is not being used the way it was supposed to be.

The ESRB has an agenda, which is to preserve themselves. If they're seen as being too lax in their ratings, the could potentially be shut down and replaced by either another rating organization or (god forbid) an arm of the government.

I don't want to see that happen either. But I don't like the way that, because they think their asses are on the line, the ESRB has started handing out the AO rating -- a rating supposedly reserved for porn -- to games that don't deserve them. (And more frequently, using the threat of an AO rating to force developers into removing content they don't want to deal with.)

That Hot Coffee sex game in GTA was incredibly stupid, but seriously, how does that deserve a pornographic rating? Because you push buttons while you watch it? The sex in Indigo Prophecy was even more subdued, and it had to be removed too. God knows what else developers have had to cut, or have opted to never even pursue simply because they know the ESRB wouldn't let them do it.
gr4yJ4Y wrote:Last I heard, publishers submit their games in to the ESRB to be rated. They do that willingly. I don't think I've ever heard anything about Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft forcing them to.
No one is "forcing" them to submit their games to the ESRB, but none of the big three console companies will allow unrated games to be published for their systems.

It's not like, say, releasing an unrated DVD. Unlike DVDs, console games are not an open format, and Nintendo, MS, and Sony have complete control over what can and can't be released for their systems. PC games can be released without an ESRB rating, though... again, because it's an open format.

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Post by Bo »

Rockstar deserves no sympathy because they're exploiting the anti-censorship brigade to promote their awful game.

If it were the U.S. government threatening to ban the game, it would be worth protesting. But since Rockstar has no natural right to have their game supported by any console maker, I hope ESRB does prevent it from becoming a tool in the hands of Lieberman, Clinton, and company.

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Post by Delphine »

<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6 ... m">Manhunt 2 brings a unique, formerly unheard of cinematic quality to interactive entertainment, and is also a fine piece of art.</a> So <i>there</i>.

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Post by aso »

Delphine wrote:<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6 ... m">Manhunt 2 brings a unique, formerly unheard of cinematic quality to interactive entertainment, and is also a fine piece of art.</a> So <i>there</i>.
I can see how a video game such as, say, Shadow of the Colossus could be considered a 'fine piece of art'. I fail to see how Manhunt 2 could follow along similar lines, even if it does bring a so-called 'unique, formerly unheard of cinematic quality' to the table. (Although, if you want to be technical about it, just about anything could seriously be considered a 'fine piece of art' - up to and including bottled urine.)

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Post by Segaholic2 »

Good for you, you have an opinion regarding art's definition. The point is it's not up to the government or the ESRB or the MPAA to decide what is or isn't art. The ESRB and MPAA are content-rating organizations <i>only</i>, and nothing more. Unfortunately, as has been discussed earlier in this thread, they use the A-O/NC-17 ratings to essentially kill products that they arbitrarily deem to be too controversial.

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Post by aso »

Segaholic2 wrote:Good for you, you have an opinion regarding art's definition. The point is it's not up to the government or the ESRB or the MPAA to decide what is or isn't art. The ESRB and MPAA are content-rating organizations <i>only</i>, and nothing more. Unfortunately, as has been discussed earlier in this thread, they use the A-O/NC-17 ratings to essentially kill products that they arbitrarily deem to be too controversial.
Yes, I am entirely aware of the ongoing discussion, and I also agree that an AO rating is needlessly excessive. The point remains that trying to defend the title by classifying it as a 'cinematic piece of art' is, well, rather silly (especially given that the Manhunt titles themselves have clearly never been referred to or advertised as 'artistic masterpieces').

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Post by Zeta »

Oh lord. Don't let us get into that debate into if art is anything creative produced in any means at all, or only creative things "deemed good enough" by the general public.

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Post by aso »

Zeta wrote:Oh lord. Don't let us get into that debate into if art is anything creative produced in any means at all, or only creative things "deemed good enough" by the general public.
Definitely wasn't trying to open up that old can of worms, so I won't add on anything more in that vein. My bad.

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Post by Oompa Star »

The problem with ESRB ratings is that some parents just don't give a rats hymen. If their brat consistently begs for a game he or she wants, the parent will eventually give in and buy it. This is the pretty much the same form of parental negligence that leads to teen pregnancy and juvenile lock-up.

Bo raises a good point. It is forbidden for the U.S. Government to restrict an individual from expressing himself, But there is no law saying that an independant organization can restrict what a person can say. This is why people can't say or do whatever they want in schools or the workplace. Although I would a happier man if I could cuss my manager out and get away with it.

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Post by gr4yJ4Y »

Maybe they should just port it to PC only. That's probably the only way to keep as many people happy as possible. Sure the developement team will have to scrap a lot and you wouldn't be able to use Wii controls, but it would still be able to be released in its current form.

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Post by Green Gibbon! »

Also, if I felt like this were an actual issue that would have lasting repercussions on my right to free speech, I would find a more constructive outlet than throwing a tantrum on an internet message board.

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Post by Delphine »

Get off the internet? For heaven's sake, man! You speak madness!

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Bo
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Post by Bo »

Yeah, writing your senator or congressperson is so much more effective.

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Isuka
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Post by Isuka »

That, or blowing up the living shit of ESRB's offices. But seriously, who'd even dare, it's hot out there! And *gasp* SUNLIGHT!

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One Classy Bloke
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Post by One Classy Bloke »

It'll be possible during a cool winter's night.

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Post by Psxphile »

You've thought about this.

Regrets on your tenure at Sega?

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Delphine
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Post by Delphine »

Bo wrote:Yeah, writing your senator or congressperson is so much more effective.
It can make a difference if you can manage to get enough people to do the same thing. Getting enough people together who believe in the same thing and are willing to put actions behind their ideas is the ONLY way to get anything done.

But let's just sit here and be cynical on the internet, that way we won't have to challenge ourselves.

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Bo
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Post by Bo »

I was being sarcastic in anticipation of some ill-conceived idea for a petition to congress, which I'm sure exists on the Internets already.

Writing representatives, I think, is largely a waste of effort, but there are positive things one can do to defend free speech. Joining the ACLU or EFF and actually defending those on the margins of tolerability is actually useful.

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Delphine
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Post by Delphine »

Well then I retract my sarcasm and carefully reload it to be used elsewhere.

We did manage to get one of our Senators here in NH to stop being an asshole about the attempted gay marriage ban, so writing them isn't completely useless.

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Post by gr4yJ4Y »

http://wii.ign.com/articles/798/798779p1.html

This might just be fuel for the fire, but apartently NIMF - a "family friendly media watchdog" - didn't really seem to know much about Manhunt and even appears to be in support of banning less offensive games.

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Post by Owen Axel »

If anything is art, then everything is art. Good thing that stuff defined as art can still suck outright and be worth avoiding. I don't like censorship, but I very much like it when people who try to test the limits of common sense end up getting their arses chewed off. Good riddance to a crappy video game.

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Post by Oompa Star »

"Hopefully Take-Two has learned from its Manhunt 2 experience and will undertake preventive measures to ensure its future games, including Grand Theft Auto IV, are appropriate for families and gamers."
That is just too funny.

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