ESRB Rating and something weird...

It's true: Bloober Team is remaking Silent Hill 2. Talk about it in here to keep Remake talk separate from the original!

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jdnation
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ESRB Rating and something weird...

Post by jdnation »

The Remake has been rated by the ESRB.

M, of course.

https://www.esrb.org/ratings/39762/silent-hill-2/

But... there is this odd thing in the description...
The game contains some suggestive/sexual material: characters pole-dancing in strip-club settings; posters of women in revealing outfits (e.g., bra and thong, deep cleavage); dialogue alluding to sexuality and/or sexual abuse/misconduct (e.g., “Remember that time in the hotel? You said you took everything. But you forgot that videotape we made”; “Don't touch me...You're only after one thing…Or you could just force me, like he always did.”). The word “sh*t” appears in the game.
The latter one is Angela's quote... but the former is Maria. However, the quote, in the context of the original about the videotape, isn't related to anything sexual, at least not to me. Did the raters think it was a sex tape? Did they misinterpret the scene, or is Maria's portrayal and delivery in the remake more sexualized?
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Droo
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Re: ESRB Rating and something weird...

Post by Droo »

The way the line is originally written there is an easy to misinterpret sexual innuendo in asking about a videotape a married couple made at a hotel. I don't think anything will have changed, just misinterpreted by the ESRB.
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The Adversary
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Re: ESRB Rating and something weird...

Post by The Adversary »

That's basically it. Maria finds ways to make innocent comments sexual. Just like at Rosewater Park when James first meets her. He tells her, "I got a letter from [Mary]. She said she was waiting in our 'special place.'" To which she says, "So, the hotel was your 'special place', huh? I'll bet it was."

>is Maria's portrayal and delivery in the remake more sexualized?<
I'll bet it is, though, honestly. That same ESRB rating indicates there will be "characters pole-dancing in strip-club settings; posters of women in revealing outfits (e.g., bra and thong, deep cleavage)." The original has no pole-dancing — only a strip club visited briefly — and one poster of a scantily dressed woman in a Brookhaven Hospital locker that the audience can barely see without a cam-hack.
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jdnation
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Re: ESRB Rating and something weird...

Post by jdnation »

I never felt the line was innuendo. It's an uncomfortable unnerving scene across from each other in a jail cell. While Maria does hit on James after to come release her, the videotape reference drop just sounded like a vacation video, which I believe was already foreshadowed before, but I don't remember... But James never sounded as if Maria knew something scandalous concerning it, just a minor detail she couldn't possibly have known about unless she personally knew James or Mary.
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Re: ESRB Rating and something weird...

Post by Droo »

jdnation wrote: 03 Apr 2024 I never felt the line was innuendo. It's an uncomfortable unnerving scene across from each other in a jail cell. While Maria does hit on James after to come release her, the videotape reference drop just sounded like a vacation video, which I believe was already foreshadowed before, but I don't remember... But James never sounded as if Maria knew something scandalous concerning it, just a minor detail she couldn't possibly have known about unless she personally knew James or Mary.
Yes, we know that as SH fans who have dissected the game for 20 years.

Imagine instead you're an ESRB rating suit. You are seeing a woman dressed like THAT asking James if he remembers the videotape "we" made in the hotel. Boom. Sexual innuendo!
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Re: ESRB Rating and something weird...

Post by Burning Man »

ESRB probably took this from a copy of the script. I made a thread some time ago about "sh*t" appearing in the script resource file from the original Silent Hill 2.
https://silenthillforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=26852

James nor any of the other characters actually says that in-game nor is it part of an interactive monologue.
The Adversary wrote:The original has no pole-dancing — only a strip club visited briefly
I'm reminded of that one cutscene in the intro where Maria is lying down on the stage floor. It seems to be one of few scenes that uses in-game instead of pre-render.
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jdnation
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Re: ESRB Rating and something weird...

Post by jdnation »

I can see new cutscenes being shot where Maria is more overtly teasing James sexually. Including her playing around on a pole. We know from the trailer that scenes will be different and more dramatized. Just like James is displaying more emotion, Maria will also likely be leaning more into suggestive territory, so the Remake's delivery of the line could more likely be deliberately different.

If the ESRB just read the script, it'd be possible to misinterpret. But I find it unlikely. The rating is coming closer to release, and now studios just allow rating boards to watch the cutscenes, even if not final. And the ESRB would know the whole story. And in cases where studios self report, they send the ESRB the precise content regarding guidelines. I suspect the ESRB didn't misinterpret Maria's delivery.

I don't believe the content of the videotape itself has changed. Just Maria's delivery, intended more to mislead the audience than James. But it makes no sense to leverage that to mislead James, he'd KNOW it wasn't a sex tape, and if he was into that, he'd certainly be less inclined to leave it at the hotel, much less never go back for it for several years after realizing he'd left something that scandalous about his and Mary's personal life there for some employee or random guest to find.

I think that's the case here.
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Re: ESRB Rating and something weird...

Post by CaLviN_BR »

I'm thinking that it might be that the developers think there's a sexual innuendo in that.

I was curious about ESRB's rating process, so I dug a little bit. As expected, they don't actually play the games, because that would be insane. This is from their website (https://www.esrb.org/faqs/#do-esrb-rate ... -they-rate):
Do ESRB raters play the games they rate?
ESRB raters do not play through games during the rating process for a variety of reasons. First, many games can have upwards of 50 hours of gameplay, so requiring a minimum of three raters to play through hundreds of physical (boxed) games rated annually would be impractical. Additionally, games are player-controlled and enable many different permutations of gameplay depending upon how the player decides to approach a situation. We do, however, play-test many games after release to help ensure all pertinent content was disclosed during the rating process.
In another section, they go in further detail about what they actually use for the ratings (https://www.esrb.org/ratings/ratings-process/). There seems to be two different processes, one for physical games, and another for digital games, which I find odd, because most games are released in both mediums, but for the physical games, this is the gist of it:
1. A completed questionnaire detailing any relevant content (violence, sex, language, gambling, etc.), and other factors such as context, reward systems and player control.

2. A video showing typical gameplay, missions, and cutscenes, including the most “extreme” content. Unplayable content (i.e., “locked out”), if it is pertinent to a rating, must also be disclosed.
So, they only have access to a video containing "the most extreme content", and whatever was answered by the developers in that questionnaire. I can see that ESRB would just read the line “Remember that time in the hotel? You said you took everything. But you forgot that videotape we made” and assume some sexual connotation, but the thing is, they wouldn't even know about this particular line during the rating process, unless the developers themselves included it in the questionnaire as something relevant on that matter, which might indicate that the developers see it that way.

Or maybe it was just included for context, as something relevant to the plot, and ESRB just assumed the line is about a sex tape, I don't know how detailed exactly this questionnaire is, but in that case, the file must be quite long.
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