According to this article from Kotaku, the ESRB has recently instituted a new summary system that includes brief synopses of games in order to give a small description of the plot and detail any possible violence, sex, or general non-kid-friendly no-nos.
Essentially, it's Your Family Game's "Family Factor" from our reviews, which has been around since about the beginning of 2008.
Now I'm kicking myself because I could have contacted the ESRB back when I had my personal epiphany about videogame content summaries, and pitched this idea to them. Then Your Family Games could be a
Still, it's kind of nice to see an idea you had and agree with implemented on such a public platform.
However, there are a few unknowns about this new summary system:
- The ESRB's ratings (E, T, M, AO, etc.) will most definitely still be on the game boxes but will the summaries make it on there as well?
- Who will end up writing the summaries? (ESRB raters are usually volunteers and don't play through the full game; they view a DVD of the game's "pertinent content." This means it's the game publisher's responsibility to disclose all possible controversial content to the ESRB for the ratings process. Unfortunately, some publishers aren't honest, and this has caused some problems in the past)
- Will there eventually be summaries for older games? (Games before the July 1, 2008 start date) If not, maybe this is something YFG can head that up ^_~