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July 15, 2020
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New Noclip vid offers devs an inside look at how the ESRB works

November 11, 2019 | By Alex Wawro

"We have never seen an example of someone trying to hide something...we don't think anybody's trying to game the system...there's a character page and someone says they like wine...and that's the thing that they missed." - ESRB SVP Bill Garrity, speaking to Noclip about how rarely game devs try to subvert the ESRB's content ratings.

Curious about what goes on inside the offices of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board?

Danny O'Dwyer and the team at Noclip published a short documentary today about how the ESRB team works, and it offers a grab bag of insights into how games are evaluated and marketed.

For game developers, it offers a humanizing look at the work that goes into trying to maintain a trustworthy content rating system in an industry that sees hundreds of new games debut every week.

While Noclip wasn't allowed to film the actual testing process, a number of ESRB staffers chat on camera about the game-rating procedure and how the ESRB designs, refines, and enforces its game content standards.

They also open up a bit about what it was like to try and modernize the process, touching on everything from the death of VHS tapes to dealing with the debut of loot boxes and the ESRB's subsequent decision to add microtransaction warnings to physical copies of games sold at retail. 

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