Sad news: The ESRB (Entertainment Software Ratings Board) is to start using computers to rate games. Starting this week any game that is released digitally in the U.S. will no longer be played by ESRB staff and instead will be rated using data supplied by the publishers.
A program will use questionnaire data to assign each game a ratings category and ERSB staff will view a DVD of the sauciest sections of the game rather than playing the title.
So what does this mean? Well not much apart from we will be denied the often hilarious ERSB descriptions of games but there is a chance that the ‘dvd highlights’ provided by publishers may miss out an aspect of the game. Players may be shocked to find their latest platform combat adventure features a new character called Muphdiver who is armed with Klunge-A-Tron.*
Any boxed product will still receive a vigorous probing by the ESRB and they will get round to playing digital download titles shortly after release.
Source: NY Times
*This is not true, but it should be.