I’ve just seen the news that Oblivion has been re-rated by the ESRB to change the rating from its previous T to the more adult M. I’m surprised because although the game does have violence, there’s little in the way of excessive gore and I’ve seen far worse in T-rated games as most enemies in this game just fall down and die. The more interesting factor in the decision to rescind the T rating is this one:
partial nudity in the PC version of the game can be created by modders
Besides the fact that I have no problem with a 15-year-old seeing a “partially nude (topless) female” (how many of them haven’t?), I’d hoped that the ESRB had learnt something after the backlash surrounding Hot Coffee. Apparently not. I think I’m right in saying that almost any game can have its art assets hacked by a modder and made nude (or anything else) but that’s besides the point. As with San Andreas, this content wasn’t intended to be seen. Can you really hold them to blame when someone else modifies their code from its original state?
The assertion that they should is absurd, especially when they took steps to make it inaccessible in the first place. It’s funny to me that many of those who decry mod content and blame the developer for it are often the same ones who bang the drum of not holding gun manufacturers responsible when someone decides to play a “murder simulator” for real. I’m not saying that they should (the ethics of the gun industry is something that I’m not touching here), but that double standards such as that completely undermine the argument.