Definition of Adult Games and Rating Games for Different Ages
Indonesian parents think there is no such thing as adult games because video games are meant for children. However, their views turned out to be wrong, adults actually needed entertainment such as video games. Video games offer a lot of imagination that can be channeled by gamers, adults and children. Therefore, there is a need for age restrictions or labeling for a game.
Many people think that adult games are porn-themed games, although it’s true, pornography-themed games are not always considered adult games. In fact, many games on the market are included in the adult game category. To find out whether a game is intended for adult gamers or not, there is a video game regulatory organization called the Entertainment Software Rating Board, also known as the ESRB. You will often see the ESRB rating in the lower corner on the cover of a game. For those of you who want to know what an adult game really is. Let’s follow this article to the end.
The ESRB, which stands for Entertainment Software Rating Board, is an organization that regulates video games based on age and content. The organization was founded in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association, formerly the Interactive Digital Software Association, to respond to criticism of controversial games, which usually contain violent and sexual content. This may be the answer to the regulation of the wildness of the human imagination that can be transformed into video games.
Actually the forerunner of adult games began in 1976 through an arcade game called Death Race where gamers had to run over gremlins with a vehicle. Although the graphics still don’t seem to be able to represent the idea of the game, the theme taken is so “cruel”. Then a developer named Mystique released a game with sexually explicit content called Custer’s Revenge which was released for the Atari 2600 console in 1982. Adult games not only contain sexual and violent elements such as rape, but also racism. Additionally, in 1987, an association called the Software Pulisher Association gave a warning to an adult game called Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards.
The development of video games increased drastically in the 90s. A video game is now capable of displaying FMV or full-motion video. In this era, a fighting game with violent visuals, Mortal Kombat, appeared. This game is full of blood and cruelty. One of the most recognizable features of Mortal Kombat is Fatality where when your opponent staggers, you can issue a cruel move to kill him. Sega implements this rating system on games released for their consoles, one of which is the Mortal Kombat game.
In 1994, finally, a federal regulation threatened game developers and publishers to form a political group called the Interactive Digital Software Association whose aim was to make regulations for video games. Then an organization that is not stronghold called the Entertainment Software Rating Board or known as the ESRB appeared on September 16, 1994. The ESRB provides ratings based on age, including Kids to Adults (which was finally named Everyone in 1998, Teen, Mature, to Adults Only). .
To get a rating, a publisher must fill out a questionnaire and DVD footage of the game content they release to the ESRB including story plots, reward systems, hidden content, and others. They must also send a copy of the song lyrics contained in their game. If a publisher does not agree with the rating given by the ESRB, they can change the game and submit a revised edition for the latest rating. One example of this game is the Punisher game which is given an Adults Only (AO) rating due to extreme violence. The publisher finally sent him a cut version and put it in the Mature (M) rating.
For those of you who are still confused about the rating given by the ESRB to a game, here is a list of ESRB ratings that you should know:
- RP (Rating Pending): This rating is used when a game is in promotion for which the ESRB has not yet provided a final rating.
- eC (Early Childhood): Games that get this rating are aimed at users who are still not in school. Usually these games contain very safe content so parents don’t have to worry when their child is not under supervision.
- E (Everyone): As the name suggests, this game is for all ages. Content on games with this rating usually uses soft language and also mild violence or cartoonists. Initially this rating was called Kids to Adults (KA) which was finally renamed in 1998.
- E 10+ (Everyone 10+): Because according to the ESRB, games with the Everyone category need to be specified again, and don’t deserve to be included in the Teen category, finally the ESRB made an E 10+ rating.
- T (Teen): Games that fall into this category are specifically for gamers aged 13 and over because they contain more violence (even less blood), use harsher language, and have less sexual content.
- M (Mature): Games that fall into this category are specifically for gamers aged 17 years and over. Of course this game shows more extreme violence such as blood that is clearly visible, mutilation, and depictions of death. In addition, the sexual content is more obvious, such as showing nudity. The use of harsh words is also often found in Mature rated games.
- Adults Only: As the name suggests, this game is exclusively for adult gamers. Games with this rating show pornography as well as gambling.
As we all know, recently there has been news that explains some game bans in some areas. One of them is the ban on PUBG in a province. We think this is a PR for the government to deal with problems like this. Some underage gamers also still play games that are not appropriate for their age. What we hope is that there will be a follow-up to this game’s policy so that the regulation is more regular. Also, we don’t think restraint is the answer because it won’t provide a solution.