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  1. Cost of ESRB

    The latest on this subject from Wikipedia: To obtain a rating for a game, a publisher sends the ESRB videotaped footage of the most graphic and extreme content found in the game. The publisher also fills out a questionnaire describing the game's content and pays a fee based on the game's development cost:[sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entertainment_Software_Rating_Board#cite_note-5"][size="2"][6][/size][/url][/sup][list] [*]$800 fee for development costs under $250,000 [*]$4,000 fee for development costs over $250,000 [/list] On its website, the ESRB states that three trained raters, working independently, watch the footage and recommend a rating. If all raters agree on the rating, content descriptors are added and the ESRB notifies the publisher of its decision. If there is no consensus, additional raters review the footage and materials, or the majority opinion rules. After the rating is agreed upon, the ESRB in-house personnel review the footage and all materials to ensure that all information is accurate and a certificate is sent to the publisher. However, that decision is not final. If the publisher wishes, they may edit the game and resubmit the footage and questionnaire in order to achieve a lower rating, or appeal the information to a committee made up of entertainment software industry representatives. If this is the case, the process begins anew. When the game is ready for release, the publisher sends copies of the final version of the game to the ESRB. The game packaging is reviewed, and the ESRB says that its in-house personnel randomly play games to ensure that all the information provided during the rating process was complete and accurate. Penalties may apply to the publisher if it is eventually found, either through the in-house personnel's playing or consumer comments that the game's content is more extreme than the publisher stated in its application. The identities of the ESRB raters are kept confidential and selected randomly from a pool of full-time ESRB employees who live in the [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City"]New York City[/url] area. According to an ESRB introductory brochure from 1994: "The raters represent a wide range of backgrounds, races, and ages and have no ties to the interactive entertainment industry. Raters include retired school principals, parents, professionals, and other individuals from all walks of life." Raters are supposed to review games as if they were the customer and receiving their first glance at the game. They are then required to take testing before becoming ESRB raters.[sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entertainment_Software_Rating_Board#cite_note-6"][size="2"][7][/size][/url][/sup]