The Entertainment Software Ratings Board used to manually assess the content of the games it was awarding a classification to. Now, computers do most of the work. Which must be a bummer to anyone hoping to get a job there.
A story appearing on Slate yesterday, written by Jacob Rubin, outlines his time in a previous life when he worked at the ESRB doing little but playing video games.
Specifically, his role was to play through old games and pick out their questionable content so they could be used for "historical parity". As in, comparing them to contemporary games for context.
Unlike a tester working for a publisher, who must plough through the same sections for days on end in a form of digital salt mining, Rubin just had to play through games and record his progress, occasionally pausing to jot down when and where he saw a panty flash or blood fountain.
That was, until they found out he wasn't actually very good at video games.
The good news for anyone who thinks this is an awesome job is that while the ESRB's new computer system will assist human testers, it won't entirely replace them. Human eyes will always be needed to tell a pastie from a nipple. It's what we do best.