Dean Takahashi of the San Jose Mercury News has his take on the comments of ESRB president Patricia Vance made yesterday in regards to the Manhunt 2 hacks and rating, which our fearless leader reported on yesterday. I'm in Takahashi's camp, in that I don't really get the technical differences between this and the Hot Coffee fiasco (beyond the fact that the content was disclosed in this case). Then again, it's the sort of thing that's never going to affect my game play, since Manhunt 2 will not be gracing any console of mine. But Takahashi raises some interesting questions on the sheer vagueness of the ESRB's press conference/release.
She noted that there are a lot of people reporting on the matter who are not technically up to speed on how this is different from the Hot Coffee situation. I guess that includes me. Rockstar is clearly getting a pass from the ESRB today. I don't really understand the technical difference that explains why they didn't get a pass last time and they are getting a pass this time. For instance, did Rockstar say to the ESRB: "Oh, yeah, we have the original execution scenes here and we blurred them. We don't think anyone can unblur them and we have done our best to make sure that doesn't happen." If it did something like that, I can see why they get a pass. But if they stopped short of that, then it's a little foggy to me.
I realise the difference between AO and M is a line that doesn't mean much in terms of who the game is geared towards, but a question of game sales. Still, a little more transparency to the whys and wherefores of these decisions wouldn't hurt.
Patricia Vance explains ESRB's latest decision to keep the M-rating on Manhunt 2 despite hacks [Mercury News A + E Interactive, thanks Eric!]