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ESRB Changes Oblivion's Rating to 'Mature' 282

kukyfrope writes "Perhaps reacting based on the debacle that was the 'Hot Coffee' scandal, the ESRB today changed the rating on The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion from Teen to Mature. From the article: 'The content causing the ESRB to change the rating involves more detailed depictions of blood and gore than were considered in the original rating, 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,' said the ESRB in a release."
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ESRB Changes Oblivion's Rating to 'Mature'

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  • by Blackwulf ( 34848 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:01PM (#15257220) Homepage
    There are several comments here wondering what's so different in this case, and rather than spam reply to all I'd just put my thoughts here.

    The difference here is that the 3D model of the nude avatar is actually included on the disc. It's the same crap as Hot Coffee - it was created by the developer and shipped on the disc, but nothing was pointing to it. So a modder can go in and point to it.

    Not saying I agree with this at all, just pointing out that this isn't your typical "nude patch" where someone creates a 3D Model of a nude Lara Croft and replaces the game model with the nude one. The modder would just replace the 3D Model in the game with another 3D Model in the game that just happens to be topless.
  • by Al Oser ( 950774 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:02PM (#15257236) Homepage
    From the article..."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 think the problem is that the content in question is actually included in the game itself, though locked out. I'm not exactly sure what the developers were thinking, including those skins. After the whole Hot Coffee fiasco, you think they'd have learned.
  • Game Physics (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Brent Spiner ( 919505 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:10PM (#15257330) Homepage
    I bet it has less to do with blood and more to do with game physics. In Morrowind if you attacked something it pretty much just bled and died, there didn't seem to be much of a problem with that. Now when you kill something and wack it's body with your +2 club of Enfeebling it will flail about in a most humorous manner.

    So in other words the stationary boobies aren't the problem, it's the jiggly ones.
  • Re:Finally. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Azarael ( 896715 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:29PM (#15257493) Homepage
    There are certainly some aspects of the game that aren't suitable for younger audiences, which is the case with a lot of games. What really bothers me is that it wasn't any of the violence that prompted the rating, but something stupid like this. No wonder people don't have much faith in the ratings system.
  • Re:Any game? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Babbster ( 107076 ) <> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:37PM (#15258059) Homepage
    The source of the data is the critical point. While the ESRB can't base their ratings on third-party content, they have every right to rate the content that actually ships on the disc. So, for a slightly more off-the-wall example, if a T-rated game shipped with a password-protected archive of Playboy photo shoots on the disc - completely unaccessible from, and unrelated to, the game itself - the ESRB would still jack the rating up because the material is being shipped.

    I personally don't think bare breasts are that big of a deal (though they can be a lot of fun in RL), but the ESRB isn't there to either protect me (age 34) or to represent me (childless). They exist to keep f***ing legislatures out of the gaming business, and they've succeeded to a large extent. Since they know that politicians and many parents would care a lot about bare breasts, they've got to rate games accordingly.

    In other words, I think some people here need to learn to love the ESRB...and the bomb...
  • Re:Adult Quests (Score:2, Interesting)

    by webmistressrachel ( 903577 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:09PM (#15258276) Journal
    I have no problems with porn, adult content, and hardcore sex, which I download gratuitously. I have problems with rape (which I have experienced) and encouragement of vice. Your view is typical of the far-right, anybody who expresses the truth should be deliberately misrepresented.

    Just to make it clear again, I like Oblivion, Hardcore, and eMule. I don't like rape and the encouragement or incitement to do so, and hope Oblivion is not associated with Hot Coffee and other last-minute changes. Clear enough for you ? RTF POST!

  • Re:Any game? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by x_codingmonkey_x ( 839141 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @08:19PM (#15258752)
    Uh, you could technically mod any PC game into toplessness. Therefore all PC games should be Mature? Do I smell a console conspiracy?

    Personally I don't really see what the big deal with toplessness and/or nudity is. It's a nudity is a perfectly nature aspect of human life. Now, going around and hacking people and seeing peoples heads impaled on sticks, isn't.

    I'm pretty shocked to hear the Oblivion was rated Teen (13+) before, and now that there is a way to show breasts it all the sudden becomes Mature (17+)? After playing Oblivion for a while and especially going into some of the Oblivion gates I have no idea why this was rated for 13+ in the first place?

    Is it better that people see rotting corpses with their ribs hanging out, go around smashing people with a giant hammer and so forth, or that they, god forbid, see a pair of breasts. People need to realize witnessing violence and committing it in a game is more for mature people than seeing nudity.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @08:48PM (#15258930)
    Interesting idea. The altered model has to be installed in the "oblivion/data/meshes/characters/_male/" tree.
  • by Floydius ( 811220 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @10:17PM (#15259388) Homepage
    Have you ever been to America? Or read a /. response? Surely you're aware that the porn industry is not lacking for customers.

    No, the U.S. does not have a problem with nudity, though I think we would be better off if more of our population did. (I assume you mean public or publicized nudity, since I've never heard of anyone who had a problem with nudity in and of itself.)

    As far as religious fundamentalism goes, examine the book of Genesis. In the early chapters Adam & Eve started out nude, and would have remained that way had they not taken the steps that compelled them to leave the garden.

    Seriously, though, inhibitions are not always bad. It is certainly unfair to say that inhibitions are a symptom of a barbaric culture. If you really examine your history, you will observe that cultures become more barbaric as they do away with their inhibitions. (Rome, for example.)

    Inhibitions keep us from doing things that would otherwise get us killed, like jumping off of a building without a parachute just because the ride down will be fun. Even if you believe there is no spoon, gravity will get you if you try that little experiment. Besides the health risk of constantly exposing your privates to the elements, vulnerability to disease, etc., there are social ramifications if we normalize and accept public nudity. (That holds true for Europeans, too.) I have lived in Europe (Greece), and while there is certainly more nudity at the beaches (not to mention proudly displayed postcards and magazines), I do not know many Greek women who would be happy to walk down the street au natural.

    The trend is certainly to view the human body as less special, and less private. However, (though it be from my unenlightened, barbaric viewpoint) I think this is not a change for the good. If the media be representative of the entire population, then any attempt at regulating morals is a complete hypocritical joke. Nonetheless, there are some of us who don't want to pass on to future generations that sex should be casual or that self-control is a weakness. For those of us who claim to follow the God of the bible (and the even fewer who act like it), this is a minority stance (especially on any internet forum). I don't expect everyone to adopt it. Still, it is unfair to completely reject an idea just because someone with religious values agrees with it.

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde