A bipartisan group of Senators is calling for a review of the video game classification system currently used by the industry.
Senators Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., Sam Brownback, R-Kan., Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and Presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., have complained to the ESRB about its decision to give Rockstar's Manhunt 2 a mature rating. In a letter to the regulatory body, the representatives expressed their concern about the game's Mature rating, claiming that it includes "many graphic torture scenes and murders" and that Manhunt 2 should get an "adults only" rating.
"We ask your consideration of whether it is time to review the robustness, reliability and repeatability of your ratings process, particularly for this genre of 'ultraviolent' video games and the advances in game controllers," the Senators wrote. "We have consistently urged parents to pay attention to the ESRB rating system. We must ensure that parents can rely on the consistency and accuracy of those ratings."
Ah yes, "ultraviolent" seems to be the magic word here, as most lawmakers in question probably vividly remember the uproar created by Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" film back in 1971. People were up in arms and the media started attributing many heinous crimes to copycat criminals who were imitating Alex Burgess, the movie's main protagonist. Eventually, the movie ended up being banned in certain countries, including the U.K.
After things had settled a bit, it pretty much turned out that most of these crimes had nothing to do with the movie itself, as is the case with most crimes initially associated with violent video games and music, and Kubrick withdrew the film because of threats made against him and his family.
It's nice to see that we've learned a lot since 1971.