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Is Fitness Boxing's 'Teen' ESRB rating justified?

The ESRB has been around for quite some time, and most of us are aware of both the game ratings and their descriptors. While people usually don't bat an eye at what the ESRB does, Fitness Boxing's rating has been causing quite a stir.

For those who don't know, Fitness Boxing is a Switch game that focuses on providing a dance/exercise experience in order to help the user get a bit more active in a fun way. The game provides you with male/female trainer options, and your trainer choice will accompany you during your routines for instruction and encouragement. Sounds like a game that would be rated E for Everyone, right? According to the ESRB, Fitness Boxing deserved a Teen rating.

If you read through the ESRB rating, you see the game marked as having 'suggestive themes.' Go a bit further into the rating and you see where that descriptor comes from.

All of the female characters have breast physics incorporated into their movements; their breasts frequently jiggle/bounce in a noticeable manner during stretching and boxing routines.

There have certainly been games that feature breast physics before. We most often see it in fighting games, where it's pretty obvious that the breast movement has been over-exaggerated. Our understanding is that things are different in Fitness Boxing. The breast movement you see in-game is realistic, and not designed in a sexually suggestive manner. This sentiment has been echoed by other female gamers, including DualShockers Community Manager, Audrey Lips.

“I don’t believe the game should be rated ‘T’ for the jiggle physics alone. Having jiggle physics, while not entirely necessary in my opinion, also isn’t anything that is too overtly sexual. It’s how a woman’s body would naturally respond if they were to be boxing like that in real life and in the game.”

It's certainly an interesting discussion. The development team decided to include female trainers that bustlines of a certain size, and animated them realistically. When something like this is done for realism's sake, and attention isn't drawn to the bustline to purposefully titillate, does it warrant a suggestive themes tag?

Categories: Top Stories, Consoles
Tags: eshop, switch

Comments

Top Rated Comment
miles--prower
Fri Jan 11 19 03:25pm
Rating: 10

So does that mean real life is rated T for Teen?

wiired
Fri Jan 11 19 03:24pm
Rating: 1

Free the jiggle, ESRB, free the jiggle

miles--prower
Fri Jan 11 19 03:25pm
Rating: 10

So does that mean real life is rated T for Teen?

Yepp. You have to be a teenager to go outside now.

Physics enabled, NSFW.

This is what happens when you have guidelines and treat them as indisputable law instead of considering the context and judging the content based on that. They have a rule that jiggling breasts make for a T rating at minimum, so any breast jiggling now causes a T rating without question.

There's something to be said about both sides. On the one hand, it's good to have objective guidelines and stick to them as an absolute law, so that you introduce as little bias as possible and any reviewer (or whatever they're called) can do the same job. However, it also makes for situations like this, where something entirely innocent and realistic is now marked as sexual...

This has gone to a bust... errm must buy

Does it matter that this rated T and not E?

Yes. This sounds like the kind of dance/exercise game parents might want to buy for their kids, but they'll be deterred if they see the T rating.

seansneachta
Sat Jan 12 19 12:46pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

But they’re not deterred by M ratings.....so I doubt this will be of any consequence.

nurio
Sat Jan 12 19 02:03pm
Rating: 1

Plenty of them aren't, but some are. And as long as there is even one parent who cares and wouldn't buy it with a T rating, it matters.

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