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Video Game Rating Variance



Cordova, TN; August 22, in the year of our Lord 2016--Family Friendly Gaming, the industry leader in covering the family friendly video games is bringing up the issue of variances in the video game ratings. It will never be perfect. The ESRB has been accused of being completely corrupt, disengaged, and utterly clueless in the past. PEGI has its critics as well. The Australian Classification Board is one that seems to be on the right track. They do both movies and video games. Each different region has different standards, likes, dislikes, etc. It is still shocking to see a sixteen and older only rating game by PEGI get the much lower thirteen and older only rating by the ESRB. Then to see the same game get a seventeen and older only rating in Australia. Who is closer on the ratings there? Obviously Europe and Australia are closer. Don’t believe me? Look up the ratings of Valkyria Chronicles Remastered (take off the Remastered in your PEGI search).

What can be done about these wide variances? I am doing my part by educating the public. We have been seeing this more and more here at Family Friendly Gaming. Since we are a worldwide gaming media outlet we are also hearing about it from readers. The more I look at it the more it dismays that the ESRB lets more garbage through. I don’t know what the problem is over there. It is reaching alarming levels though. Is the ESRB lazy? Are they bought off by large donors? Are they purposely trying to deceive the public? These are hard questions the ESRB needs to answer. Somehow I doubt they will step up to the plate and make full disclosure. In my lifetime I have never seen the ESRB be completely open and transparent. They are great at spewing propaganda. Just not so great at answering the tough questions. In fact they dodge the tough questions.

America is more conservative and reserved when it comes to sex. Europe and Australia are more conservative and reserved when it comes to violence. That means video games promoting enticement to lust will be looked down upon in America, and more allowed in Europe and Australia. The opposite is what happens with violence in video games. I cannot deny that Valkyria Chronicles Remastered fits under the violent banner. Yet to me Valkyria Chronicles Remastered should be an ‘M’ rated video game. There is so much other bad content that I cannot understand the ESRB’s thinking in the thirteen and older ‘T’ rating. Maybe that is part of the problem. They ESRB acts like they are God, and do not need to answer to any of us. We are all humans. We can all make mistakes. That includes me, you, and the ESRB. I would like to see the ESRB explain their ratings. When they are discovered to be wrong, I would like to see them change the ratings. Families should be permitted an appeal process to the ESRB ratings. It would help the ESRB become more engaged with families again. Right now families I talk to, do not trust the ESRB.

God bless,
Paul Bury
Family Friendly Gaming


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