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Re: OpenRating system for games

2008/2/15, Paul Wise <pabs@debian.org>:

Thanks for the feedback, Paul!

> I'm a bit skeptical about rating:theme::breaks-social-values, there
>  are so many cultures around the world that almost every game could add
>  this. For example in some Australian Aboriginal societies, you cannot
>  show images of the recently (I think) deceased, nor use their names.
>  In the wider Australian society, these things are generally OK. Also,
>  taboos are different for men, women and children in many (all?)
>  Australian Aboriginal societies. So, it would have to have specifiers
>  for which social values are broken:
>  rating:theme::breaks-social-values:western
>  rating:theme::breaks-social-values:asian
>  rating:theme::breaks-social-values:spanish
>  rating:theme::breaks-social-values:australian-aboriginal
>  rating:theme::breaks-social-values:nyungar
>  rating:theme::breaks-social-values:nyungar:male
>  rating:theme::breaks-social-values:nyungar:female
>  I tend to think this tag is just too subjective to work though.
>  rating:language::bad-words is similarly culturally loaded, not sure
>  how best to specify these though.
>  I've a similar issue with the description of
>  rating:theme::health:drugs, the definition of "illegal drugs" varies
>  around the world.
>  I think maybe the drugs categories should be like this:
>  rating:theme::health:drugs:caffeine
>  rating:theme::health:drugs:alcohol
>  rating:theme::health:drugs:nicotine
>  rating:theme::health:drugs:other

Well, that's indeed true. I've come to the conclussion that it would
be impossible not to have some subjectivity in the ratings, otherwise
it wouldn't have to be a separate package. If there could be a purely
objective classification, I'd ask Enrico for adding them to the main
debtags set. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be achievable, so we'd
have to live with a certain level of subjectivity.

The idea of openrating is not to have a totally automatic
classification system that can replace parents and educators. A parent
must definitely supervise and know what their children are playing, so
some rating system is not a substitute for testing the game. What I
want to achieve is some classification system that makes parents task

My idea is that parents can have a configurable red-yellow-green way
of classifying the games, so that they know if a game is likely to be
OK (green light), if it's probably going to be rejected (red light),
or if I should have to pay attention to that game, as it's not clear
whether they would like it or not (yellow light, warning).

The themes part of the rating system is indeed controversial and
subjected to cultural subjectiveness, and that's quite impossible to
solve, apart than from not doing anything, which is not an option.

My first impulse was to have quite detailed theme tags, as you say,
specifying the kind of drugs that appeares, or which religion was
involved in the religion tag, and so on. I found that that paradigm
was impossible to maintain, so I'm making more general ones. It is the
parents task to find out more about it, the system cannot do
everything. In any case, the themes tags do not imply the exceptional
involvement of something related to it, as it might be with those drug
molecules in xscreensaver, but it says that the mentioned theme takes
some relevant part in the game itself. If a priest appears briefly
sometime in a graphical adventure, I wouldn't say that the religion
plays an important role in the game. If, for example, smoking or
gambling take a relevant part of the game, they should be tagged as
such. Of course, You'd have to read the game description to find out
which religion it is about, or which gambling game we're talking
about. Tags are not a replacement for the game description, it's just
a quick way to overview the list and it just provides a preliminary

>  I'm beginning to feel that we need some anthropologists/psychologists
>  to check this over :)

Definitely, that would help a lot.

>  I also think OpenRating is more useful than just for restricting what
>  your kids get to see, some may want to prevent themselves from
>  installing wargames or sex or whatever.

I totally agree.

>  >  The idea is not to add this tags to the debtags basic system, but to
>  >  have an extension package so that whoever wants to use them has them
>  >  available. GoPlay! already supports (in a very primitive stage yet)
>  >  these new tags.
> Once the system is ready, it would be good to get them added to
>  packages.debian.org.

Yup, the plan is to create a package from it sometime, when the tag
list is at least quite stable.

>  I also wonder if aptitude/synaptic/PackageKit/etc also support adding
>  new vocabularies?

I have no clue, but I expect so :)

Greetings and thanks,

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