Common Sense Media has issued a statement blasting the ESRB for its refusing to disclose details of the re-rating process for Manhunt 2. Adding oil to the already smoking pot, Common Sense Media CEO James Steyer condemned the ratings board for its "bad behavior," going on to say, "By failing to explain their decision and, in turn, provide the transparency that consumers need if they are to trust the ESRB's ratings, the board threatens to undermine [itself]."
Common Sense Media (CSM) was founded in 2003 as a website-based guide designed for parents with regard to children's exposure to entertainment and culture. In May 2007, BestBuy.com began using the website's reviews on its order pages, directly below the ESRB's rating, which BestBuy.com also displays. Last year, CSM partnered with AOL to create a "Family Gaming Guide" to, "help parents determine which games their children should be playing."
The Escapist contacted Steyer on Thursday evening via email, asking if CSM wanted to replace the ESRB as the rating standard for videogames. He issued this statement in response:
If the industry wants to have its own ratings system, this is fine. It is their choice and, in many cases, they do a fine job. We at Common Sense Media believe in sanity not censorship and believe that an informed customer is the best customer. Our goal is to give kids and families an independent, non-partisan ratings system that provides them with the best possible information to make good choices for their families. We represent only the interest of kids and families.