ESRB seeks to rate game trailers [update]

Ross Miller
R. Miller|06.25.07

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ESRB seeks to rate game trailers [update]
The Entertainment Software Rating Board is looking to rate gameplay trailers, according to information obtained by Gamasutra.

Footage for D3 Publisher's Dark Sector was requested to be pulled because it contained "excessive or offensive content," even though it was behind an age gate. 2K Games told Gamasutra that they had to receive a separate rating for The Darkness trailer and that "game publishers that do not comply with the age gate requirement are subject to enforcement actions by the ESRB," though what those actions entail is not made clear.

If the ESRB is indeed moving to rate trailers, many questions are left unanswered. Our biggest concern would be with user-created footage and machinima. Would the ESRB see that as falling under their sphere of influence? Much like the Oblivion "skin-cident", could publishers be punished for content made by the community? And does the organization have the manpower to enforce such a policy change?

Update: Game Politics has provided some historical context to this news, noting that the ESRB's actions are not without precedent.
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