The AO games rating seem to be the hot topic as of late, thanks to Rockstar’s Manhunt 2 initially netting the rating. The AO rating is terrible for game, because it excludes you from key retail outlets like Walmart.
But I want to bring your attention to something that’s generally being overlooked by these articles. Films in the same genre as the Manhunt game. Hostel and Saw. Torture films basically. Hey look! They’re sold at Walmart. What the hell’s going on?
Hey! Hold on! They cheated!
Gamers know that the “R” rating is the game equivalent of the “M” rating. So sure, we need to educate parents and politicians. But movie producers sneak in some “bad ass” cred by flagging it “Unrated”, i.e. too “bad ass” for the censors.
So here’s my question. How the heck do they get away with that?
The film industry is much much older than the games industry, and thusly they get away with such legislation as the DMCA. Games can’t get away with the Unrated BS having grown up in a world of established censorship, short of the PC via the internet. Follow each storytelling media through the years, the age dictates the censorship. Books have very little, film some, games significant. Yet, they’re all media. So here’s my pain in the ass proposal.
Call Warmart on their bluff. By not accepting AO games, they’re playing hypocrite by accepting “Unrated” movies. Sit the people down in the product approval department with a controller in one hand, and said DVD playing on a side monitor to compare. The movie will look more real, and gruesome. Nice job with the “family friendly” image hypocrite-mart.
Thusly, this should get the MPAA involved. If anyone has the influence to “solve business problems”, it’s them. If the resolution is both don’t get allowed in Walmart, that’s fine. By taking the “extreme” content out, it’ll have to find it’s home in specialty shops Blockbuster, EB, Amazon, and whatnot. They’re business does potentially better because of less content restriction mindset.
Our industry doesn’t have as much to lose by this, it’s really just Rockstar and their 2 titles (GTA:SA, MH2). Film has a lot to lose. So if there’s anyone that can affect change, it’s them. It’s Media’s issue, despite it being currently gaming’s problem.
‘cmon, all or nothing.