Do you hate age gates? If you don’t, you should. They don’t really do anything, as any child smart enough to use a computer will be smart enough to lie about their age on an age-gated video.

Luckily, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), has taken notice of this ludicrousness and has relaxed their rules for trailers and demos of M-rated games. According to Joystiq, trailers for M-rated games now don’t need to have an age gate so long as those trailers are designed for “general audiences” and are approved by the ESRB ahead of time. These trailers will have green splash screens, much like movie trailers, as a way to note that they have been approved for all audiences.

In addition, M-rated games can now be promoted through demos included in other games with lesser ratings. So, for example, you might be able to include a demo of Resident Evil 6, an M-Rated game, with Marvel vs. Capcom 3, a T-Rated game, in order to take advantage of Chris Redfield’s appearance in MVC3. This would “require ESRB approval and research suggesting that the two games have the same intended audience,” however. The 4-second ESRB splash logo at the beginning of demos is also no longer required.

Here are some facts about the ESRB: Did you know that if a character bleeds when injured, it can be grounds for an M-rating? However, this only applies if the character is injured by someone else. If the character forces themselves to bleed by, say, blood magic or something, that’s not grounds for an M -ating. Also, if a character bleeds when injured but you tint that blood green and call it “life force” or “energy” it’s suddenly not grounds for an M-rating. The ESRB is weird..

What do you think about the ESRB and ratings in general? Are they good guidelines or do they serve no real purpose? Let us know in the comments!

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