Some people just aren’t happy. Gamespot reports that the recently rerated Manhunt 2 has come under fire, specifically ESRB, who are now asked to reveal details as to what has changed since the game got the AO (Adults Only) rating. California senator Leland Yee has asked the advisory board to explain why the game has received a new rating of M (Mature); similar calls have been made by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.
ESRB president Patricia Vance has responded. She said, “Publishers submit game content to the ESRB on a confidential basis. It is simply not our place to reveal specific details about the content we have reviewed, particularly when it involves a product yet to be released. What can be said is that the changes that were made to the game, including the depictions themselves and the context in which those depictions were presented, were sufficient to warrant the assignment of an M (Mature 17+) rating by our raters.”
She also suggested that instead of making such complaints, one should work with parents to educate them about the ratings system and ask them to buy games accordingly for their children. She added, “It is a parent’s rightful place to make choices for their own children. The ESRB and console manufacturers provide families with the tools and information to help them do so.”
Politicians are tough people to please though. When contacted by Gamespot, Senator Lee responded with “What are they trying to hide?” He went on to say that the ESRB cannot be trusted for their “culture of secrecy” and blames the board for not “protecting children” from ultra-violent games.