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Whats With All The Red Stuff?

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Ill start this off by telling you a little about my past and why I bothered to begin this topic. When I was around the age of 12 I purchased my first FPS game, Battlefield: Vietnam. I remember playing it for hours on end and I enjoyed it so much. The game was rated M and therefore it was deemed appropriate by my parents for me. After a while I eventually got bored of it and I sought out more FPS games. I then become interested in Call of Duty 2 and when I asked my parents to buy me it they said no because it was rated MA15+, which meant that only people over the age of 15 could play it. I couldn't figure out why it was rated MA15+ and Battlefield was only M. So after some research I figured out why it was given a higher rating, It was because when you shot an enemy a visible amount of blood sprayed from them and this somehow made the game more violent than Battlefield where there was no blood at all. Now, many years later, I still wonder why having blood in a game instantly makes it so much more violent? Gore, now I can understand why that will instantly bump up the rating, but a bit of harmless bodly fluids? I want to hear your opinions on the subject and why you think that the sight of blood makes a game somehow more violent?

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It counts as being more graphical. Same with any other kind of gore (body parts, etc.). I don't happen to agree with how the rating system works at all but it's the way it works - if you add blood, swearing, any sort of drug use (or implied drug use), sex or body parts being torn then you are taking a stroll down rating town towards 15-18+. This can have unfortunate effects when a game have mild use of these elements; resulting in somewhat bizarre review scores.

Also, games are rated based on "some" of the most graphical scenes - so a game that includes one really really badly graphical scene, but is otherwise quite harmless, can end up much higher on the rating scores than a similar game that's more consistently graphical but has no violently propitious scene - thus letting one game off the hook whereas the other gets caught.

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M/MA15+ sounds like the Australian classification scheme -- the only difference when it comes to violence between M and MA+ is that MA+ permits "violence", while M only permits "moderate violence".
The list of considerations given as to whether something is moderate or stronger are:
contains greater detail, including the use of close-ups and slow motion
uses accentuation techniques, such as lighting, perspective and resolution
uses special effects, such as lighting and sound, resolution, colour, size of image, characterisation and tone
is prolonged
is repeated frequently
is realistic, rather than stylised
encourages interactivity.[/quote]So in this particular case, COD chose to emphasise the violence in greater detail, while Vietnam did not, apparently... The review board is very arbitrary though, and if you resubmitted the games at a different time, they might be rated differently.

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Gore, now I can understand why that will instantly bump up the rating, but a bit of harmless bodly fluids? [/quote]
Well, blood is one of the most intensive signs that something violent or atleast bad had occurred.

When you see someone tumbling with his bike and lying down after, how would your reaction change once you see blood flowing from under his head ? The color red occurred quite seldom in nature, but the human eye is really good at seeing red, whereas the human eyes are quite bad at seeing blue, although large areas of nature appears blue (sky). That's the reason that danger is almost always painted in red.

Even if you think that displaying some blood doesn't really matter, it will most probably have an emotional impact to some degree. Maybe not for you, but for someone else.

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Make it green.


thats actually a good idea, maybe you could do what Serius Sam did when you set blood and gore to Hippi
that is, instead of red smears it is flowers and instead of gibs it is fruits :D.

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Interesting note, the original Half-Life received an M rating, despite the fact you could splatter generous amounts of blood all over the walls. I guess games are becoming more realistic, hence they attract more scrutiny and have a greater potential for censorship.

Bit of a rant here, compared to other media, such as film, Australia has a sub-standard classification scheme for games. Our system is well known for it's inconsistency, and worse still, also well known the possibility of games attracting RC (refused classification), because we don't have an appropriate rating for adults.

Be glad you are not living in Germany. Last I heard, game censorship is even more stringent over there. You can not have red blood coming out from human looking characters. You can not portray the swastika in game, and so forth. I can understand the latter, but games such as Wolfenstein kinda look strange without them.

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That's why in my game designs all characters are not humans, but rather are paint-monsters. Many more of them seem to be filled with red paint as opposed to any other colors, but don't ask me to explain it-- I'm not a paint-monsterologist.

I don't know how it's doen in Australia, but in the US the ratings agency has testers play a game and compile a video of all its worst parts, which are then reviewed to give the rating. It's arbitrary and can easily slant against the game since there's nothing to balance those worst parts.

As for blood being just a bit of harmless body fluid splashing about, don't expect that assessment to go very far. It's less like attacking a mannequin when the attack causes blood to spatter everywhere, which certainly ups the violence factor (or at least the visceral feel of violence). Besides, replace "blood" with "semen" and you'll see your "harmless bodily fluid" argument crash and burn despite having your position remain unaltered.

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