Confessions Of An ESRB Employee

In the April edition of EGM, Jerry Bonner, a former ESRB employee who worked for the company over six months, fills us in on the hot gossip of what it's like to work inside the machine. While he dishes plenty of information we already knew—like that the ESRB raters watch clips in lieu of actually playing the games—some of what he said about the ESRB's culture of secrecy is daunting:

The raters were viewed as more of an electoral college, and our ratings were not always the final ones issued. Sometimes, we'd see a full letter rating change (a game we gave an M would be lowered to a T, for example, or a T raised to an M).

But the ESRB didn't take well to the implications that their methods are anything less than chaste, so president Patricia Vance responded:

We highly value our raters' recommendations, and their opinions are always the principal determining factor when assigning a rating. But they cannot be the sole criteria on which a rating is based. To avoid confusing parents, consistency in how age ratings or content descriptors are assigned for similar content must be part of the process.

She also added that Bonner's account included "numerous misleading statements, factual inaccuracies, and misrepresentations..."

For more of the story, hit the links. Or better still, pick up an issue of this month's EGM.

Ex-Game Rater Dishes the Dirt... ESRB Boss Fires Back [GamePolitics via Gamasutra] [image]


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