Dark Souls and the ESRB


I have an XBOX 360. I’ve probably had it for about two years now. It’s the COD: Modern Warfare 2 edition with a fancy Halo 4 controller it lights up blue instead of Microsoft-green. It’s got a Kinect and a 60GB hard drive. It’s basically used for two things: Minecraft (I don’t play) and Fruit Ninja (I rarely play). I have a library of about ten games that never get played. It spends most of its existence as a glorified Minecraft machine. I’m more of an RPG, platformer, strategy & racing gamer. I prefer the PS3 for its superior gaming performance and features. Any fanboys who claim the 360 is superior in any way are delusional. They may like the 360 better, but in every single way, the PS3 is superior. (Shut up about the kinect.)

Anthony wants to play Dark Souls. For those of you still here and not in the know, Dark Souls is the successor to Demon Souls and the predecessor to Dark Souls II. I’ve never played it. It’s not my forte, but Anthony wants to play. So, I check out the ESRB rating: Mature for blood, gore and partial nudity. Partial Nudity? I had to look that one up. Apparently, one of the monsters in the game is half spider & half woman. The ESRB says her hair “barely” covers her breasts. Everyone else on the planet says you can’t see anything. Also, the ESRB warns me that some bird-like humanoids have exposed buttocks. GASP!

Now, Skyrim is a game I’ve let him play and I’ve played it myself. The ESRB cautions against blood and gore, intense violence and sexual themes. They must have played a different Skyrim than I did, because the violence was no worse than the many many many crime show procedurals on TV. Sexual Themes? Apparently they haven’t seen anything on daytime TV either.

So, I am to conclude that “intense violence” is far worse than just plain old “violence.” Originally, I was going to use this post to ask if anyone out there had played the game or if they let their 14-year-old play it, but now this post is a middle-finger to the ESRB and condemnation on censorship. What censorship you ask? Well hopefully the comments will fill up with examples.

About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

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