The USA's game-rating and certification board, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) has blown a hole big enough for anti-gaming senators to walk through by admitting that it doesn't play some of the games that it rates.
Speaking to IGN
, ESRB representative Eliot Mizrachi stated that, "Although it seems logical that one would play a game to rate it, there are lots of reasons why we don't. For one, when games are submitted to ESRB for rating they may not have been finalized or fully tested yet. As a consequence, these games may still be buggy, making it difficult, if not impossible, for a rater to play the game from start to finish. Secondly, we assign over a thousand ratings each year and many games can take 50+ hours to play through. So it'd be extremely time-consuming."
Bear in mind that the ESRB is a ' self-regulatory' body. This means that it is basically run by publishers.