There’s some disquiet about the Windows Vista Games menu, highlighting the fact that use of parental controls will mean any game without an ESRB rating won’t appear. The ratings apparently cost US$2000-3000 to obtain, which means they’re effectively out of the range of independent games developers.
So I guess Snood and the like wouldn’t appear on the Vista games menu.
What I want to know is — are the North American ESRB ratings going to be forced onto every user the world over who wants to use the parental controls?
I’m not going to claim for a moment that the Australian government’s Office of Film and Literature Classification is perfect, but I do want to know if the Vista games menu when used by Australians will be showing Australian ratings (G, G8+, M, MA) rather than the unfamiliar North American ratings (C, E, T, M, A). And likewise for every other country.
We have enough troubles with products constantly defaulting to US English. We don’t need another North American standard rammed down our throats.
I doubt the North American ESRB system will be forced on to us here. If you check out the xbox 360, which in many ways was a base for the Vista Games Explorer, its already customised to the home country’s ratings system, so in our case, it shows the OFLC G, PG, M, MA etc. for respective games.
The issue of obtaining a rating in the first place is interesting though. Maybe they would allow a parental override so parents can rate unrated games themselves, or maybe a social type system, or am I thinking too much about web 2.0…
Just remember that Microsoft’s basic Creed where standards
are concerned is “Embrace, Extend, Extinguish”.
If Australian products defaulted to U.S. English, I would agree that there was a problem. I see nothing sinister in U.S. products defaulting to U.S. English, although I can see that it might be irritating to constantly have to change it. But just how often is “constantly”? Just how many software products do you install in a year and in what percentage does this occur? I think you may be exaggerating, perhaps out of some completely unrelated frustrations with the U.S.A. I promise that as soon as we can rid ourselves of Bush and his crew we’ll get back to being tolerable neighbors.
As for the Games Menu, I was a little disappointed to not see all of my games appear, but it took all of about ten seconds to add Snood to it. Anyone that’s ever put a shortcut on the desktop has the skills to do it. You wind up with an icon, rather than box art, but it’s there.