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Famicom Dojo Podcast: Video Game Ratings Are Useless

Famicom Dojo Podcast 88: Video Game Ratings Are Useless

Does anyone of the generation who grew up with video games have an excuse to not understand how much (or rather, how little) video games affect people? So many buy Rated M games for their kids, completely ignoring the rating altogether. Which begs the question: just who are these ratings for? Vinnk and Sean go over a completely non-linear history of video game ratings, how Night Trap for Sega CD helped start the ratings firestorm, and they have evolved more into advertisements than effective parental warnings.

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Maximum Letdown: Manhunt 2 (PS2, PSP, Wii)

Let it be said that one of my favorite games of the previous console generation was the original Manhunt. It was one of those games that people either loved or hated. While critics of the game decried its slow pace and repetitiveness, I enjoyed the tense stealth action gameplay, the 8mm-style atmosphere, and the lunatics that made up the game’s adversaries. So, when I heard that Rockstar was developing a Wii-based sequel that utilized the Wiimote for motion-controlled killing, I was ecstatic. Then the controversy came. You see, the game received an AO (Adults Only) rating from the ESRB, and both Sony and Nintendo would refuse to allow an AO-rated product to be released for their consoles (and just for good measure, Microsoft also would not allow an AO-rated product to be released on its console, although there were no plans to bring the game to Xbox 360). I was worried that I would never get to see Rockstar’s vision. Then miraculously, the game was green-lighted for release after some censoring. Sadly, to finally play the game after the controversy was akin to dying, going to heaven, and finding Jesus strung out on heroin. Yes, the game was that bad.
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