ESRB Becomes Automated

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.



  1. “and they will get round to playing digital download titles shortly after release”
    So, if you are a day one adopter of PSN titles you could end up with some very rare smut then? Sweet.

  2. Anyone who didn’t even remotely smirk at the phrase Klunge-A-Tron doesn’t have a sense of humour imo!

  3. well being serious this is ridiculous, but not being serious Klunge-a-tron had me in fits.

    • what makes this ridiculous? surely the only difference to how it has always been done is there wont be delays in waiting for ESRB to play and rate games, if there were even delays caused by this in the first place

      • Publicty sells – Bulletstorm courted controversy. The ESRB says there will be ‘penalities’ for non discolosure of game elemnts that may be offensive but there’s nothing to stop Flange Software releasing “Mr Wibble Goes To Market”, a colourful entertaining game for pre-schoolers and then ‘forgetting’ to include the section where Mr Wibble snorts coke off a hooker. Fox News picks up the story, “OMG kids game has hookers!” Flange software reap the profits.

  4. At least the people rating the games get to cut straight to the smut.

  5. I really hope they quicken the rating process, IMO I doubt ratings even work

  6. Hmmm… technology used to monitor technology, with little oversight… what could possibly go wrong?? lol

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