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Alynn



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10th August, 2006 at 16:51:38 -

Greetings Daily Click forums. I know it is usually bad form to come onto a new forum and instantly start blabbing about your own website. However, this is a slightly different circumstance I believe.

I am here representing a venture that I thought of after contacting the ESRB and PEGI in reference to rating amateur games. PEGI was the only one of the two that emailed me back, clearly stating that PEGI is a pay service, and they only do professional developed games. ESRB has not returned any of my emails, and after a month I believe they are most likely the same.

The Ethical Amateur Game Making Association consists of individuals, groups, and websites that voluntarily choose to truthfully depict the possibly offensive content and display this with easily readable/recognizeable icons that will be used universially throughout the Association.

Again, this system does not say who the game is suitable for, the system assumes those downloading the game are old enough to know if the content of the game is suitable for them. The system does not preclude any content from being in the game. The system only tells any prospective player that the game contains possibly offensive content.

If you would, please visit http://www.eagma.org and read the documentation on the rules and charter, and the icons.

They are in rough draft stages, I wanted to get opinions from multiple game making communities that use different makers and engines to get any ideas or correct any details that I may have missed with my initial drafts. I want to make a system that is comprehensive, but easy to understand that will appeal to as widespread an audience as possible, so the more feedback I get from those that may use such a system, the better the system will be.

My vision is to have a widespread rating system so that any game consumer that is aware of the system can easily go and by viewing a few icons near the download link of the game will have a good idea of the content of that game, and make an educated choice.

Thank you for your time.
Alynn

 
Please visit http://www.eagma.org

Nova Soft



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10th August, 2006 at 17:11:55 -

Hi there Alynn,

Not to slander you or put your idea down, but isn't what you're describing already covered by game reviews?

Reviews (as you know) often give screenshots and detailed gameplay / content information and usually, most gamers can judge from the review alone whether or not they think the game is suitable for them?

Granted, not all websites which host amateur games contain reviews or even player comments, which is where I suppose universally recognised symbols could have their advantages, especially on larger download sites, such as Winsite and Cnet, sites which are used by a large and presumably varied audience.

There's currently no universally accepted rating system in place for amateur games, and this doesn't seem to have caused too many problems, except maybe the occassional gamer wasting a few minutes downloading a game which didn't meet their expectations quality wise...

What exactly prompted your idea? It's interesting, and after saying all of the above, I'm in no way implying that I'd be against such a system, there's always room for improvement

However, I can imagine you'll encounter some difficulty along the way... The amateur gaming 'circle' on the internet is pretty damn big, almost incomprehensible, the best hope you have of implementing your idea is by ALOT of word of mouth!

Good luck!

 
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Alynn



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10th August, 2006 at 17:32:45 -

Actually it stemmed from just curiosity if the ESRB and the PEGI orginizations would rate amateur games. The reply from PEGI was, we charge you, and we only do professionally developed games. ESRB hasn't returned any emails.

Yes, as I already stated in another board, I don't believe that I will ever cover all of the internet, nor will I run from place to place screaming USE THIS SYSTEM or DIE. But if I get 5-10 people or organizations that like and use this system, then I feel I have contributed to a small part of the internet community. If it goes farther than that, even better. The absolute worst case scenerio, I developed a nice ratings system for my own game developments.

Many game sites have the game title, and a synopsis, but these are sometimes not enough to depict the actual content. Sure a game called Gun Battle at the OK Coral will give you a good idea that there is gun violence, but it doesn't give you any idea that people chests explode on a regular basis.

Basically this is for Joe Surfer who likes games, but doesn't like some aspects, and doesn't bother to look for reviews across the internet on a game that he found on some remote website, because that is too much work for some game he just found on the net. The four little icons by the download link should be enough to give him a good idea if there is any content within that he would not want to experience.

I'm trying to be as open with this idea as I can. It is not censorship, and it is not some way for me to control others games. If you read the documents, the games are rated by those that make games, those that host games, and those that review games and are part of the association.

Sometimes I don't get my point across, or I don't make it very clearly, but I'm hoping to bring this to a multitude of people, even if just a handfull use it, I will consider it a success.

 
Please visit http://www.eagma.org

Knudde (Shab)

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10th August, 2006 at 17:35:47 -

Anyone remember the old PC games rating system with the thermometers for Sex, Violence, Drugs (that rated 1-5)?

That system totally pwned the fuck out of any of these new god awful rating systems.

The ESRB needs to go away and be replaced by someone who knows what the fuck they're doing.

 
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10th August, 2006 at 23:43:39 -

You know what's really awful? Institutionalized self-censorship. And I've never downloaded a freeware title with potentially objectionable content (the incidence of which is low enough already) that hasn't indicated as such. Making this idea completely unecessary.

 
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11th August, 2006 at 12:00:29 -

I don't think this idea would work. Surely giving a game a more adult rating will encourage the child to download it and see what the fuss is about?

 
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Alynn



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11th August, 2006 at 12:15:20 -

First, this is not censorship, this is stating the content of the game in a clear readable way so that those of multiple languages can easily understand what it means. It doesn't preclude any sort of content a producer would like to create.

The EAGMA content advisory system does not state "not for children" "only for adults" "13+" or what have you. It states clearly the possibly objectionable material within. The consumer can then make an educated choice. The EAGMA believes that anyone that is using the internet knows what they can handle content wise. This simple system will give them a good idea of what content is in it, and judge for themselves.

 
Please visit http://www.eagma.org

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11th August, 2006 at 14:51:41 -

Even if the system suggests that there may be inappropriate content, children won't care. They love blood. They love violence. They love hardcore pr0n or the chance to look at it. Kids have a rebellious streak in them.

Regarding adults, they can often be as immature as children - especially when on the internet. Let's say someone made a game that was labelled "the goriest game ever". Who do you reckon is more likely to download? Kids or adults? Chances are that both ages wish to experiment.

This idea will seriously not work. You mean well but it's probably best that you give it up. One individual very rarely invents a whole new system for things like this anyway.

 
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Alynn



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11th August, 2006 at 17:48:56 -

Actually I never intended to do it by myself. Which is why I have posted on various sites based in amateur game making. Changes that have happened to the charter and icons have happened because of input from amateur game makers. I came up with the origional idea, I took the time to try to write a concise vision statement, charter, and content advisory system, and then went to those that may wish to use this system and said, "This is the foundation that I built. I would like for you to help me build a house on this foundation for us all to live in."

Part of the EAGMA charter states that we believe that people that are on the internet are capable of deciding for themselves what content is appropriate for them. Some may argue about a 10 year old using the internet and downloading a game clearly labeled as having sexual content, and that is wrong. I happen to think, if his parents aren't keeping tabs on him, then they believe that he can handle himself unsupervised on the world wide web. And who are we to disagree with the parents of that child.

At this point, it is has already surpassed any expectations I had for it. To give up now would actually be counterproductive as I have at least 2 dozen people interested and giving me advice. Yes in the great scheme of things 24 people out of millions isn't anything, but when you walked in expecting to get 1 or 2, twenty four people is a big success.

I'm not here to convince you of anything, I am not going to beat the EAGMA war drum. This system, by all accounts, is voluntary, just like anything and everything on the internet should be. I am trying to do nothing more than present my idea, ask for advice, and see if it interests others.

Thank you for your time.


EDIT: I am pleased to announce that the EAGMA forums are up and running and can be reached at http://www.eagma.org/forums. Thanks to the moderators and community members of The Daily Click for allowing this thread to remain until I was able to get the EAGMA forums up and running.

Image Edited by the Author.

 
Please visit http://www.eagma.org

Radix

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13th August, 2006 at 22:06:13 -

First, this is not censorship, this is stating the content of the game in a clear readable way so that those of multiple languages can easily understand what it means. It doesn't preclude any sort of content a producer would like to create.
In practice this kind of rating scheme has WITHOUT EXCEPTION resulted in a self-censorship culture. Fortunately this idea won't take off because there's no demand or need for it.

 
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darius



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14th August, 2006 at 13:02:24 -

Boy, I come here to do this, and Alynn's already been here.

 
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Pixelthief

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14th August, 2006 at 17:09:29 -

Aside from self-censorship, it can also lead to artifical objectivity, where people put in content merely to get a larger list of those little ratings, in order the make their title seem like the "WTFGORIESTBLOODBATHEVAR1!!one!1!"

In reality, the *good* developers are not affected either way, as sane people tend to have the will power to be AWARE of self-censorship and simply build a game the way they want to and not into the mold of an Objective-Content-Icon culture.

Frankly, its not a great idea.
But once I release a game, I'll make sure to put my *own* little warning about how its not appropriate for people under "Brain Age 10"

 
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