Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How The Witcher 2 defines "mature"

No surprise here, but The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has received a Mature rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Among its sins (or virtues, depending on your point of view), the ESRB lists:
Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs
I'm not sure what else there is, really. With all those warnings from the ESRB, it's a wonder there's any room on the box for promotional artwork. If you're interested in exactly what got TW2 its Mature rating, the ESRB page linked above also includes a hilariously detailed list of moments that informed its decision (warning: possible lewd spoilers).

But is it mature? Or is the word just a euphemism, as it usually is in the context of ratings? In other words, does TW2 offer entertainment for grownups, or just titillation for the unwashed masses of nerdlingers out there?

According to an article on Giant Bomb, CD Projekt RED says it's more of the former. To wit, they've ditched the infamous sex cards, which recently made my list of 6 mortifying moments that make you wonder about RPG developers. Apparently there will still be plenty of sex, but it's going to be depicted in a more - dare I say - tasteful way. From one of the game's senior producers: "It’s about story and emotions, rather than a 15-year-old who wants to see nipples."

He's talkin' to you, nerdlingers.

Somehow I doubt TW2 is going to completely avoid controversy, though. Based on its predecessor and everything else I've heard, TW2 is a game designed primarily for (straight) men and therefore is loaded with (straight) male fantasies. That's not gonna sit right with some people.


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