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Violence in Video Games

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Violence in video games. The Entertainment Software Rating Board responds. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The ESRB has been under fire from some….for giving a mature rating to Manhunt 2 from Take Two's Rockstar Games. It's a game that Target has pulled from store shelves and regulators in the U.K…have banned from that country because of its graphic violence. At the ESRB, president Patricia Vance says….

"Manhunt 2 carries a very stern warning on every box that's sold and in every ad for the game, which is that the game is suitable for ages 17 and older. It also has content descriptors on the game including content descriptors for intense violence and blood and gore. This is a game that is clearly marked as being unsuitable for anyone under the age of 17."

The initial rating…was adults only…until changes were made by the publisher. But hackers have found a way to uncensor the game…prompting the action by Target. At the GameStop chain, president Steve Morgan says the ratings, in his stores, are being enforced….

"We do not allow a game to enter your house, with your child, that is not considered age appropriate. We have very strict policies at every store up to and then leading to, unfortunately, the termination of any individual that would sell a game that is not age appropriate."

Ironically, some of the biggest trends in games, are away from violence, toward more casual games….and music oriented titles like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.