Originally Posted by Valkyrist
It's a perfect system (as far as I'm concerned) so long as it keeps the government out of controll. This was something we talked about at great length when I worked at Software Etc. For any minor faults the ERSB may have/do, it would be catastrophicly worse under federal controll.
I don't think it makes a difference, the current rating boards like the MPAA and ESRB are essentially government control by proxy.
While it's a positive that there's much less censorship of video games in America than in, say, Germany or Australia, there are lots of films that get released uncut in Europe but need to be edited (usually for sex) for release in the U.S... films like A History of Violence, Eyes Wide Shut, and American Psycho.
There's a really good documentary "This Film is Not Yet Rated", where some film directors were saying that it was sometimes easier to deal with government censor boards since you could challenge the law in court, but you can't do it with MPAA since everything is voluntary and your "free" to release films without a rating but most theaters "voluntarily" won't show unrated (or NC17) films and many newspapers "voluntarily" won't carry ads for unrated (or NC17) films.