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Bethesda Responds To Oblivion Re-Rating 341

Posted by Zonk
from the took-it-well-all-things-considered dept.
Gamespot has details on Bethesda's response to the ESRB for their (some would argue) knee-jerk reaction to fan-added elements of Oblivion. From the article: "There is no nudity in Oblivion without a third party modification. In the PC version of the game only - this doesn't apply to the Xbox 360 version - some modders have used a third party tool to hack into and modify an art archive file to make it possible to create a mesh for a partially nude (topless) female that they add into the game. Bethesda didn't create a game with nudity and does not intend that nudity appear in Oblivion." They go on to state they submitted a 60-page document detailing the violence in the game. If anyone is at fault here, I think it's the ESRB.
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Bethesda Responds To Oblivion Re-Rating

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  • You know one day we'll look back on the pre-Bush era in America as a golden age of freedom, where we acted more out of the desire to maintain our freedom than out of fear, paranoia, and ludicrous overreaction. We are now approaching the point where even the POSSIBILITY of an product's use is grounds for censorship or federal legislation, no matter how many might use that product legitimately.

    Don't want the NSA monitoring your phone calls? Sorry, there is the POTENTIAL that terrorists could use it to call

    • by Sven The Space Monke (669560) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:27AM (#15261640)
      2 points:

      1) I'm pretty sure you're referencing the DMCA. This was a product not of the Bush administration, but the Clinton administration.

      2) Considering how most people seem to enjoy the concept of a nanny-state where their government will protect its citizens from "the bad people" (which may be Communists, terrorists, Socialists, homosexuals, hippies, pedophiles, athiests, intellectuals, liberals, etc), I'm pretty sure many people would enjoy living in a totalitarian regime that protects everone from being offended or shocked. Those who would not enjoy such a fate would likely be branded one of "the bad people".
      • I'm pretty sure many people would enjoy living in a totalitarian regime that protects everone from being offended or shocked.

        Except that the step from being the offended person to being the offending person is really small... One always has to keep that in mind when whiching for a nanny state.

      • 2) Considering how most people seem to enjoy the concept of a nanny-state where their government will protect its citizens from "the bad people" (which may be Communists, terrorists, Socialists, homosexuals, hippies, pedophiles, athiests, intellectuals, liberals, etc), I'm pretty sure many people would enjoy living in a totalitarian regime that protects everone from being offended or shocked. Those who would not enjoy such a fate would likely be branded one of "the bad people".

        That's a little one-sided. Let
        • conservatives, neocons, Christians, et cetera.

          My apologies, I should have included them in my list.

          Oh...and pedophiles are bad people.

          So are terrorists, but neither one are lurking on every corner and website waiting to blow up/molest people's children. I would argue that pedophiles, while a much more likely threat than terrorists, have been somewhat overblown by the people who make money and/or power by having the general poplulace afraid of things.

          • I would argue that pedophiles, while a much more likely threat than terrorists, have been somewhat overblown by the people who make money and/or power by having the general poplulace afraid of things.

            "Pedophile" is a favorite of the news media to grab the people's attention and keep them watching through the commercials.

            Just this morning (or maybe last night) I saw yet another report about how pedophiles are using the internet to abuse children. The story: a guy adopted a Russian girl and used her for his p
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Oh...and pedophiles are bad people.

          Fuck you. Pedophiles who give into their urges are committing bad acts, but bad acts do not inherently come from bad people--only wholesale surrender to their urges would. Pedophiles are just sick individuals, frequently under quite a lot of emotional distress from an attraction that they didn't choose, who need help rather than demonization.

          You are part of the problem.
          • by /ASCII (86998) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @10:52AM (#15262397) Homepage
            I have met my fair share of bad people in my life, but I have yet to meet anyone who considered themselves 'bad' or 'evil'. We have an amazing capacity to rationalize our behaviour. Most serial killers, dictators and child molestors consider themselves good people. Aside from a small group of mentally unbalanced, no one considers themselves 'evil'.

            In the end, the _only_ good meassure I've seen of an individual is what they _do_. In other words, it does not matter if a practicing pedophile says he loves children and thinks that what he does is good for the children, it only matters that he molests children and by doing so scars them for life. That makes him a _bad_ person. Even if he thinks that he does what he does to make children happy.

            A pedophile who does _not_ molest children but has the urge to do so is not a bad person. He is a sich person in need of help and with my sympathy.
      • 1) I'm pretty sure you're referencing the DMCA. This was a product not of the Bush administration, but the Clinton administration. No, I'm pretty sure he refers to the P.A.T.R.I.O.T act.
        • "I'm pretty sure you're referencing the DMCA. This was a product not of the Bush administration, but the Clinton administration."

          No, I'm pretty sure he refers to the P.A.T.R.I.O.T act.


          So what, all but one Democratic Senator voted to pass the Patriot Act.

          In case you are unfamiliar with the how laws are enacted in the United States, assuming you are a citizen of another country or a graduate of the US educational system :), the president does not create laws. He signs Bills into law *after* the Hous
    • "Want to mod your videogame? Sorry, there is the POTENTIAL someone could modify it to show more nudity or violence."
      What does the government have to do with the ESRB?
      • by Sven The Space Monke (669560) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:39AM (#15261729)
        At this point, not much. However, there have been attempts at legally enforcing ESRB ratings. To my knowledge, most of them have been unsucessful (at least in the US). There is at least one law that I know for sure is an attempt to legally enforce the ESRB ratings, but it's in Canada. Bill 30 [legassembly.sk.ca] is the province of Saskatchewan's attempt to make it illegal to even advertise or display a game where someone under the ERSB rated age could see it. It doesn't have much opposition at the moment, as the government is playing the lame-assed "you want our children to see PORNOGRAPHIC VIDEO GAMES?!?" card to anyone who speaks up against it. While it isn't shutting me up, it kills almost any support I manage to cull.
      • Hm, lets see. What DOES the government have to do with the ESRB? Well, they have publicly announced in the past that if the industry did not regulate itself, they, the government, would step in and regulate them. This was the impetus for the creation of the ESRB. Later the government said that the ESRB needed to broaden their ratings enforcement or the government would step in and do so. Lately the government has said that they think that games are not being given ratings that are high enough for the a
        • "So, what exactly does the U.S. government have to do with the ESRB? They are the Sword of Damocles hanging over the head of a self regulatory body that was created simply because of threats of legislative regulation of a sector of business in a free country. Pretty simple, see."

          You give a lot of creedance to idle threats made by politicians who have nothing to say so they spit out the easy, anti-free speech line. I don't have such a fear of such people. Any time legislators have tried to take it the next

    • As much as I agree, and many of those statements are true, the "going after video games" trend is a bi-partistan thing. One of the heads of the inquest recently over Hot Coffee was Hillary Clinton. Both sides want to be seen as "making the world safe for our children" and moreover, don't want to be labeled as "wanting to make the world unsafe for our children" in political ads.

      It's sad, but in the end the uninformed, uncaring voters are to blame.

      -Kelt
      • by lbrandy (923907) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:55AM (#15261876)
        As much as I agree, and many of those statements are true, the "going after video games" trend is a bi-partistan thing.

        No, no, no. All crazy government interference started with GWB. Al Gore wasn't a huge supporter of the V-Chip and internet "controls" to "protect the kids". Tipper didn't go after explicit lyrics to "protect the kids". Joe Lieberman didn't start the first major congressional inquiry into violent video Games "for the kids".

        None of this actually occured until Bush. He is destorying the country.
        • I just love how, whenever somebody criticises some politicians, there are replies that say "Yeah? But the opposing party has done X!". Perhaps we just don't fucking care about what the opposing party does or does not? What does Clinton have to do with Bush? Why do people assume everyone that disagrees with them has a specific party association?
    • by lbrandy (923907) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:35AM (#15261702)
      You know one day we'll look back on the pre-Bush era in America as a golden age of freedom

      Kinda like I already look back on the pre-Bush era of Slashdot... where we didn't blame every single thing we could irrationally connect to the President on him, and get modded up for it.
    • Mod Parent Down (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:44AM (#15261784)
      The "security culture" that the parent speaks of isn't a purely Bush-administration thing. Clinton was just as bad (he passed the DMCA, for example, and helped work toward several "think of the children" measures.) Before that, the justification for anti-freedom laws was the threat of Communism. Before that, National Socialism. Before that, thwarting the Great Depression. And so on.

      There has been an anti-freedom faction in American politics ever since the Alien and Sedition Acts. Blindly blaming everything on Bush, despite his horrid presidency, will get you nowhere.

    • by Dr Reducto (665121) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:55AM (#15261879) Journal
      This "golden age of freedom" you reference never existed. Every president for the past 50 years has took away precious rights.

      Clinton had a habit of pandering with the ever-so-popular "think of the children" in order to pass gun legislation in the wake of Columbine.

      Even in the 1970's, Jimmy Carter first authorized the wiretapping many pan Bush (not to mention the countless other presidents who have used it) for employing.

      Face it, the interests of those in power is to gain more power. It's not a left vs right thing.
      • No, but Left vs. Right serves as an excellent distraction for those trying to extend their power base without people noticing. You'll hide a lot of the finer detail and history of an issue if you can polarize it between political extremes.
      • Yes, thank you!

        Unfortunately, our point of view is pretty unpopular as it tends to be pretty hard for people to think back that far. They just want to deal with the little arguments that are fed to them to keep them busy, all the while their precious rights are stolen away in the name of "safety." Safety from whom, I ask?

        It's not an issue of democrats and republicans or libertarians, it's an issue of the powerful wanting more power, the rich wanting more money, and ultimately, greed.

    • "You know one day we'll look back on the pre-Bush era in America as a golden age of freedom"

      What the fuck, this is Hillary/Tipper nanny-stating. I'm as unhappy with Bush as the rest, but this is a different set of cunts at work.
    • The Good Old Days (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shihar (153932) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @10:30AM (#15262200)
      I agree with parent. Remember the good old days of freedom? Can you recall how pleasant this world was when women stayed in the kitchen cooking a man his supper instead of going off to college and getting a job? Remember back when anarchists were jailed during World War I? Remember during the great depression when the federal government sweeped up a massive amount of power? Recall the good old days of World War II when the entire economy was turned to war and everyone of age was drafted? Recall how much more pleasant things were when we rounded up every single Japanese American on the west coast and put them in internment camps? Remember the pleasant days before the civil rights movement when them negros stayed with their own? Remember when we had nice clean segregated schools, buses, and water fountains? Remember the good old days of McCarthy when we hunted down those evil communist? How about the pleasant days of the Korean War where we drafted and killed Americans (to say nothing of Koreans) in the tens of thousands? Or how about the wonderful days of the Vietnam war where we drafted an entire generation and left our soldiers so fucked up that they would line up men, women, and children on the side of a road and shoot them all.

      Get a grip. I'll take today over pretty much any time in 20th century. I am not saying today is a utopia either. I am saying that all eras had their problems. In fact, I would say that this era is far less fucked up, even with Bush drunk at the wheel, then most of the 20th century. 50 years ago I wouldn't have been able to merry my current girlfriend in the south because she isn't white. Up until 30 years ago since the 1900, I would have stood the risk of being drafted and sent off into a meat grinder of a war.

      I am not saying you shouldn't be pissed at how things are, but don't hold up the past like it was some magical fairyland utopia because in a word or four, the past fucking sucked.
      • I have a feeling, judging by your tone, if me and you had a long conversation, we'd end up disagreeing severely and it would probably end in a fistfight... that being said, that was an excellent post. I think, on all sides of every political argument since the the dawn of man, a lack of perspective is a common theme paralyzing the discussion.
        • I have a feeling, judging by your tone, if me and you had a long conversation, we'd end up disagreeing severely and it would probably end in a fistfight

          I would hope not. Nothing disheartens me more then to find people so set in their opinions that they are offended by the opinions of others. I grew up in a family where each family member had radically different political views that swung from godless libertarians and socialist to staunchly religious conservatives. It was never a problem because no one to
    • There are a lot of potential things one could craft in the game's editor, and with Nifscope one can get pretty creative in spite of Bethesda not releasing a mesh exporter. So it is indeed out of their control what people do with the game.

      The trouble here though is that Bethsoft isn't really being honest with the media on this one. The mesh in question does not have to be modified to be nude, it was MADE that way in their studio. What was 'hacked' was the format of the archive file that contains the meshes,
    • Others have mentioned that Clinton passed the DMCA.

      I'll add that Gore was behind a morality crusade to restrict music, forcing the record industry to start a rating system. This system expanded to video games eventually. So technically, Gore has a greater responsibility for this ratings fiasco than Bush.
    • by Dachannien (617929) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @11:54AM (#15262996)
      Want video game developers to be free to work in their craft without the fear of government interference? Well, I hope you don't plan on voting for Hillary [senate.gov] in 2008.

  • This is insane. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by incubuz1980 (450713) *
    People could paste a picture of "a partialy nude female" on their monitor while playing any game?

    All games sould be rated M?

    Hackers could possibly hack the ESRB website and add a picture of "a partialy nude female" on the site.

    Sould the ESRB website be rated M?
    • Heck someone could use their computer to view inappropriate material (I am shocked). Windows should be the next target: it allows you to play games (some M for mature), view pr0n, and even kill people (military systems).

      ESRB cannot protect children from things they see or do in the real world - but at least they can keep them ignorant, of the real world, in the virtual one.
    • To further your questions...

      Is the ESRB even legally binding? Are publishers required to place the label on their games? You'd think that they could just make up their own "suggested age."

      If the ESRB is legally binding, can a game just be rated NR, as some movies still are...think MPAA rating.
    • I think the ESRB's (or really the people pressuring the ESRB's) argument is that if the game comes with the data, it should be rated for that data, even if the default codepath will never show that data. Personally, I think developers should just go along with this, and maybe start offering rated and unrated versions of their games like the movies do. The smart thing to do in general, though, is to be very very strict and compliant when you've made the decision to be compliant. Otherwise you're seen as t
    • This seems as good a place as any for a mention of maddox's "I just wanted a video game, not eternal damnation in hell. [thebestpag...iverse.net]".

      "What pisses me off more than anything is that I paid for a game rated for 17 year olds, or possibly 17 and 1/2 year olds, tops. What I got was a game rated for 18 year olds instead." - Maddox

  • One could apply the same thinking to the original Hot Coffee debacle, that the content was only accessible via a third party hack. They got rerated, but somehow Bethesda wants to be treated differently?

    I'm not saying I'm agreeing with this kind of crap, but it's nobody's fault but their own for including the content inside the game in some capacity and not cleaning it out after GTA suffered the same fate. They should just suck it up, and enjoy the free publicity.
    • if it's not in the game, the game should not be judged on that criteria. in order to see the pornographic content, users had to VIOLATE THEIR TERMS OF USE of the game. those pornographic images weren't in the game that rockstar sold. they were locked away and completely inaccessible, unless users broke the user agreement they agreed to when they installed the game.

      it is the same as rating a movie based on scenes that were cut out, only visible by breaking and entering the studio editing room.
      • if it's not in the game, the game should not be judged on that criteria. in order to see the pornographic content, users had to VIOLATE THEIR TERMS OF USE of the game.

        The horror. The user failed to follow orders from someone who sold a game to you, given after the deal had been made.

        I'm starting to approach the point of equating the word "license" with the word "fraud". The reason is that while you buy the game from a store, you apparently don't own it, just a license to use it, and that license can b

    • Apparently, you are misunderstanding the difference between Oblivion and GTA's "Hot Coffee" content. GTA had the sexually explicit content, a man and women engaged in a graphical depiction of sex, built into the game. This content was released by TakeTwo in all versions (Xbox, Playstation, PC, etc) of the game. Yes it did take a 3rd-party hack to unlock the content, but the content was an actual piece of code included in the game when purchased at retail.

      Oblivion, on the other hand, does not have that c

      • by AnyNoMouse (715074) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:53AM (#15261859)
        Oblivion, on the other hand, does not have that content shipped with the game. It cannot be unlocked because it doesn't exist. What Bethesda did do, was make a tool set available so that players could make their own content for the game. There are dozens of player created mods available with new content that you can add to the PC VERSION ONLY. One of these player created mods happens to be a naked woman model.

        Actually, that's not entirely true, at least in the PC version of the game.

        In the packed BSA files there is a nude female mesh torso with a nude female texture associated to it. This mesh is meant to be used with armor and clothing to allow skin to show (arms, neck, upper chest, stomach, etc). The first nude mod released for Morrowind was simply this nude mesh and texture extraced from the BSA archive, renamed and placed in the proper directory.

        As proof of this, Bethesda has not released a .nif exporter for Oblivion and only recently have people been able to create models for the game purely through the efforts of a few people reverse engineering the format (it's hardly complete and the support for models is limited at the moment).

        Of course, I don't think it will be possible to use this mesh on the 360 version and Bethesda's 1.1 beta patch removes the nipples on the texture. Also, the nude mesh is horribly deformed to make it fit to clothing necklines better.

        Just wanted to point out what the reality of the situation is... I think Bethesda is in the right on this matter (and Rockstar as well, btw).

        -MD
      • That's an interesting point, but again I'm not agreeing with either case to be honest. Both required a third party to intervene in some capacity either through a hack to show content already there, or a mod to introduce the content.

        Personally I don't think either company should be held responsible in their individual cases, but with the legal and regulatory systems so heavily based on precedence there's not much Bethesda can do here.
      • Bingo! Thank you for pointing this out.

        The same ratings re-do could be done for a whole lot of games. I haven't seen "The Sims" or "The Sims2" being re-rated. Those were all rated T for Teen, and it won't take anyone more than a few minutes to Google for mods to have nude characters. This includes males skins with jutting erections.

        The ESRB would have to re-rate literally dozens of games for this. This is a really bad precedent.

        Now, where did I put my copy of NWN with the modded Aribeth model???? Put
      • Dude, I'm totally going to make a mod for Oblivion where Adolf Hitler guns down a hundred Redguards while sodomozing an underage Khajiit as a party of Dunmer in turbans burns the american flag. In the background, thanks to the Distant Lands LOD, you will see an endless sea of nude Imperial wenches singing an a capella version of "Flight of the Valkyries." Bethesda's going to be in so much trouble!

    • Free publicity (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Cyrgo (784568)
      They should just suck it up, and enjoy the free publicity.

      Ah, but isn't Bethesda's response to the ESRB more free publicity?

      I think that Bethesda has done right, publicity-wise, by not sucking it up and continuing the fight on the media.
      As they fight, everyone else listens.
    • The Hot Coffee content was included in the game. The textures, animations - the whole bit. The hack to unlock it was, in fact, almost trivial, and could be done without downloading the 6 kilobyte crack to unlock it.

      The Oblivion nude mod is completely third party. It requires the use of a dowloaded addon and the addition of new texture and model files to the data folder. The simmilar mod for Morrowind weighed in at about 12 megabytes, and if the same people are behind this one, they would have cranked the de
  • by arkham6 (24514) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:31AM (#15261667)
    The ERSB is obviously over reacting to this 'hack'. This isnt blatant nudity, this is a form that has textures applied over it to give the appearance of wearing clothing. If you actualy SAW the 'naked' image, all you see are wierd looking psudo breasts, that are not even complete. There is no nipple, there is no obvious sexuality. And there is certanly no minigame where you get to boink anywhere ALA hot coffee.

    the ERSB is just rying to show they "putting their foot down" against nudity in games. Unfortunately they are doing it the wrong way, but that does not really matter to them. Walmart mom and k-mart dad don't really understand layered modeling and don't really care.
  • by Chaffar (670874) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:33AM (#15261685)
    Won't somebody think of the children !?!?!

    I believe they should also ban US children from travelling to the French Riviera since they'll get to see many more corrupting (and real-live) tits over there.

    • Ever been to New Orleans?

      My first visit there was at the age of 12...let me tell you, walking down Bourbon Street in the middle of the day nowhere near Mardi Gras, a 12 year old still finds plenty of naughty things to look at when the parents aren't looking.
    • Its the hair. Within a few inches of the tits, no matter how glorious they may be, you're almost certain to find a sprouting bush of hair that gives real meaning to the old saying "buckwheat in a headlock".

      No child should have to see that.
  • by Yuioup (452151) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:35AM (#15261704)
    I'm gonna hack Super Mario Brothers DS. I'm gonna make it so that the princess will be topless, and Mario will be running around with his tallywacker swinging all over the place.

    I'm gonna put it on the internet so that people can download it and install it.

    ESRB is going to change the rating of Super Mario Brothers DS to "M" for mature.

    Just you watch.

    Y

    • ESRB is going to change the rating of Super Mario Brothers DS to "M" for mature.
      Just you watch.


      And rightly so! If only you knew what REALLY [vgcats.com] went on in those games. Tsk tsk.
    • Only if said skin was ALREADY in the game!

      Why is it everyone is being ignorent of this very central point.

      The content being rated is everything shipped on the disk whether you can access or not. If you create something that was never on the disk it won't affect the rating.

      Hot coffee was on the disk, but hidden. This was on the disk, but hidden, your topless princess will not be.
      • You need to RTFA. The ESRB nudity complaint WAS NOT based on what was actually in the game or on the disc. It was based on the POTENTIAL for fans to mod the game to include nudity with new "skins."

        -Eric

        • No, it wasn't. Bethesda are claiming that.

          The ESRB said ", as well as the presence of a locked-out art file or 'skin' that, if accessed through a third party modification to the PC version of the game, allows the user to play with topless versions of female characters,' "

          i.e - what's ALREADY on the disk.

    • Modify every game that comes out to have nudity. Heck, replace the the exe with one that plays a porno and then starts the game. Hopefully then all games will be rated M and people will stop paying attention to ratings.
  • by bunions (970377) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:38AM (#15261721)
    I swear, we have more in common with the Islamic fundamentalists we're at war with than we have differences.

    I can snap necks all goddamn day as Sam Fisher, but if there might be a possibility that a child might see OH CHRIST A BREAST HOLY SWEET JESUS FORFEND, everyone immediately jumps up their own butts.
  • Different Ratings? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    So based on the details and the platform difference shouldn't tne ESRB technically let the the Xbox version stay at "Teen" and the PC version be upped to "Mature"?

    Now that's something that would be interesting to explain to parents. =P

  • by Ender Ryan (79406) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:49AM (#15261817) Journal
    To the folks at the ESRB, way to buckle under pressure. Now you're (almost) useless as a ratings board. You can't ever please the people who are using you as a scapegoat, it isn't only futile to try, it's also damaging.

    Fucking figures though... This kind of shit can be really scary in America. Go up against a jury of freedom-hating prudes, and you could be wiped out. But this sort of thing won't help.

  • Windows? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Maljin Jolt (746064) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @10:07AM (#15262000) Journal
    Please, someone make a nudity hack to Solitaire...
    • However, Windows automatic file replacement prevents you from copying over WINDOWS/system32/cards.dll, the resource dll used by solitaire (and the other simple card games on Windows) to draw the cards.

      You can, however, simply copy cards.dll and sol.exe from WINDOWS/system32 to a separate directory on your PC, open cards.dll with a program like ResHacker, and replace all the card images with naked people. This is trivial to do. It took me 3 minutes to create a "Solitaire: Swimsuit Edition" using this metho
  • by lesleymac (954512) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @10:16AM (#15262079) Homepage
    If you've played the game, there's more than enough violence and gore to earn a mature rating. I'm thinking in particular of the final Dark Brotherhood quest, and that daedra quest with the mad wizard...it was pretty "Resident Evil"-esque. Personally, I like the violence and gore. I don't really care that it's rated M, but I'm pretty sure the M rating is appropriate. The real question is how did the ESRB miss all of that gore? Maybe their just making a big deal about the topless mod to smokescreen the fact that the game should never have gotten a Teen rating.
    • Regarding your subject, you can't push nudity aside. Guns yes, boobs no. Make war, not love. How long until we see President Bush's last name pixeled out because it is sexually suggestive? I hereby suggest "George W. Bikinizone".
  • I am sick of people hopping onboard the ethical bandwagon when something obscure, like nipples, could possibly be exposed to our once "breast fed" children. What the ESRB did was wrong. They should have done their homework on the nudity mod before making a re-rating of the game. I have placed a complaint to the ESRB concerning this problem and I ask that anyone else who loves this game do the same.

    You can submit a comment/complaint here [esrb.org].
  • by inflamez (885475) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @10:43AM (#15262312)
    Included in Oblivion without 3rd party plug-ins / add-ons:
    Dismembered corpses; human skulls split apart by an axe; a person with his face crushed and his entrails hanging around; skeletons of babies trapped inside the catacombs of their own mother; and lots of other (very graphical) forms of violence .... Rated TEEN.

    And now we have (through a 3rd party modification of a mesh already in game):
    Nipples ... Rated M. Oh my god! Teh Horror! N I P P L E S . Ban it! O_o
  • Nudity vs. Sex (Score:3, Insightful)

    by beerman2k (521609) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @10:59AM (#15262468) Homepage
    Why do people have such a hard time separating sex and nudity? A topless female figure? That's "Mature"? That makes no sense, even if it was part of the game and not a 3rd party modification.
  • As I understand it, the ESRB exists to warn consumers of potentially offensive material and allow them to make a more informed purchase. This rating is based on the content of said purchase. I assert that this content includes multimedia assets and game code/instructions. I do not believe you can separate the two and rate the game based on one or the other, but instead must judge the product as a whole, as it is available to the end consumer.

    Through modification of the code, nudity is available. This is a

  • As absurd as the decision may initially seem, the ESRB is certainly in an unenviable position here. They're doing their level best to try and apply some sort of consistent standard to a medium that by its nature doesn't lend itself to consistency. AND they have to do this in light of the lessons learned from Hot Coffee controversy, with all the bad press (to say nothing of the litigation) it engendered. Can you really blame them for altering a rating? Free speech activists and anxious parents have this
  • by ChaoticCoyote (195677) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @11:48AM (#15262922) Homepage

    ...that they put breasts on reptiles. Dear god, think of all those kids who play Oblivion and end up looking for tits on a snake.

  • 1. ESRB rates games that have slightly questionable content accessed via modding up to M.

    2. Half the games on the market become M. When Little Johnny shows off some M games to mom and dad they learn the ratings don't mean much.

    3. ???

    4. Pro... err, The Coalition of Nipple strikes another blow at the moral underpinnings of American society. President finally has rallied enough support to officially declare his War on Boobies.
  • If the ESRB flat out lied and implied that the topless skin was already in the game, whereas this response seems to indicate that the skin was added by 3rd party modders, shouldn't they be filing a lawsuit? I mean, this is pretty much the definition of libel and it's going to hurt Bethesda's sales.
  • My thought? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @02:43PM (#15264568)
    Every game maker should add a disclaimer similar to the one used for online play:

    "Game experience may vary when used in conjunction with third-party products which alter game functionality. Third-party content and experience resulting from modification are not rated by the ESRB."

    (Of course, if parents really cared to control what their children were experiencing, they would install the games for them, using privileged accounts to which their children didn't have passwords, on an operating system whose security features weren't easily evaded, and their children wouldn't have the permissions to alter any of the game files in the first place. But since repeated surveys (and not just in the US) show consistently that parents don't actually pay much attention to what their children are playing, and don't effectively limit what they purchase or play by rating anyway, that probably doesn't matter. The ratings and videogame makers are, largely, just something else to blame for the effects of parental neglect.)

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