I don’t think the ESRB is a failed system. It isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough at conveying what it needs to. And if the content desctiptors aren’t enough, the ESRB provides a description for everything it rates.
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While the whole number ranking concept seems novel, I don’t think it really helps the player in deciding if they should play a game. If I told you that some game had a score of 39, could you make a judgment off of that alone? The content descriptors are a good idea though.
I'm glad you're finally doing this!
I think you missed a few content descriptors, like:
- Alcohol/Tobacco reference/usage (kinda fits in with drug reference/usage)
- Blood/gore (kinda separate from violence?)
- Horror themes (for scary games)
It might also be a good idea to have users come up with their own content descriptors and explain their content in depth. E.G: if the creator selects "Alcohol Usage," they could write "contains a scene with two adults responsibly consuming alcohol."
Also, alcohol should be separate from drugs, since those two have different connotations .
Those are my thoughts. I'd like to know what you all think!