Machines take control of ESRB ratings
Video games used to be rated by the people working at the Entertainment Software Rating Board, deciding just how violent, profane, sexy, and all-around kid-unfriendly a video game is, then putting the age-appropriate rating on the corner of the game’s package. Starting this Monday, the job is going to be up to computers. Due to the growing number of games released online every year, a computer program was designed by the ESRB to decide how appropriate a game is due to cultural norms and assign game ratings. Game makers will have to fill out a questionnaire based on different categories, such as violence, sex, and strong language. The computer program will read the answers and draw what seems to be the best rating from the information. For now, the computers will only rate games released on online systems, including XBLA. The games will also go through human review to ensure they were rated correctly, but only shortly after the game is released. Hopefully the new rating system works well, and this better not mean we are one step closer to robot overlords.