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Lair dev calls ESRB 'bizarre', urges 'push the sex!'


Factor 5 president Julian Eggebrecht delivered a scathing critique of the ESRB's rating system during his keynote at the GCDC developer conference in Leipzig, Germany. The Lair developer devoted much of his address to the topic of censorship in games and called the ESRB's standards and practices a "bizarre system," describing the process of Lair's certification as a "charade." To be approved for a 'Teen' rating, Factor 5 had to cut much of the gore (read: blood) originally coded in the game, but was permitted to allow burning bodies -- screaming burning bodies.

Eggebrecht questioned the ESRB's understanding of teen-appropriate content, claiming that the MPAA's equivalent rating for movies (PG-13) permitted a greater spectrum of violence. He also lamented the censorship authority's taboo against sex in games, especially homosexual content, and urged fellow developers to challenge the ESRB's rating system, along with the notion that games are kids' toys: "Push the violence! Push the sex! But push it in an artistic way! Show that games are art!"

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