A press release by the ESRB has revealed that videogames caught depicting a controversial theme from their prohibited list will be refused classification.
“We've received a lot of complaints over the past decade about videogames unfairly representing particular themes, causing not only offence, outrage but even harm in some cases.” Roger Thompson, President at ESRB commented. “We originally tried to wait it out, hoping the new medium would learn good ways to represent sensitive topics, but it has become clear videogames are simply unable to. As videogames are unable to show artistic merit or to learn from their mistakes, we have had to step in to safeguard audiences.”
As such, Thompson told us that if a theme is seen as either being in excessive quantity or fundamental in any scene the game would be refused classification for “prohibited theme usage”.
We at Yellow News were shown the prohibited list before formal release, and as promised a lot of the banned topics are sensitive themes. These sensitive themes included “suicide”, “mental illness” and “cancer”. Although we asked Thompson about one particular banned theme: Homosexuality. “We had felt that homosexuality is a highly controversial issue in America, one that causes outrage within certain demographics. In addition, the poor depictions of homosexual themes has led to offence, including within the LGBT community. So we are banning depiction of both homosexuality, but also characters who are either homosexual or bisexual.”.
We spoke with local woman Margot Greening, a LGBT activist, about ESRB's decision to ban homosexuality in games. “We feel this is a victory for LGBT rights, as too long children were taught gay people acted in ways they simply don't. For instance, I've never met a lesbian nor have I ever said the word “hella”. That's simply not what we do. Yet Life is Strange felt the need to depict us as such. It is just simply offensive and ridiculous.”
The new ESRB rules will be implemented from the 1st of August onwards.
Yellow News is a satirical series, involving not only making fun of videogames and their culture but also making observations/points about it. I'm sorry if the above satire piece caused any offense.