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Lawmakers address videogame ratings

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Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) sent a letter this week to the Entertainment Software Board, calling for a review of the videogame ratings process. The letter comes on the heels of the Board’s decision to change the rating for the Rockstar Games title Manhunt 2 from ”Adult Only” down to ”Mature.” The lawmakers wrote, ”In sum, 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’ videogames and the advances in game controllers,” they wrote. Manhunt 2 was originally banned in three European countries, because of its violence, and given an ”AO” rating by the Board in the U.S. The company made changes to the game, but they were not sufficient for the European countries, which upheld their ban. The Board, however, reduced the rating down to ”M”, which is far more conducive to sales. The move prompted the senators to write the letter asking for a review of the ratings system. ”We have received the letter and we will be responding to it accordingly,” said Entertainment Software Ratings Board spokesman Eliot Mizrachi. (Variety)

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