In order to prevent games from being delayed due to the lack of a video game rating by the ESRB, it looks like those problems are going to be a thing of the past. The ESRB has announced that they will be making use of computers to give video games their ratings in the future. Though the computer is going to help theme to ease the burden of their workload, it’s not really what it sounds like.
It won’t be a scripted computer program that runs the game and asses the content with artificial intelligence, though that would be pretty cool. Instead, it’ll be game publishers filling up a questionnaire that are then submitted to the computer. The computer then analyzes the readings and awards the game a rating based on the answers that were given. At the moment, only games on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network will be scrutinized by the computer. The system is designed to have no human beings to help out with the rating process.
Though this method of rating will put a lot of power into the hands of developers and publishers, anyone caught lying to cheat the system will be punished. It makes you wonder how accurate such a system can be. Then again, I haven’t seen the questionnaire that ESRB will be providing, so it could turn out to be a very effective process. Though this will become another case of machines taking over the jobs of human beings. What do you think of games in the future being rated by machines instead of people?