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Bonner Responds To ESRB Board Interference Dispute

In the comments section of Gamasutra's original story on the issue, former ESRB employee Jerry Bonner has offered further comments regarding his article in Ziff Davis' EGM Magazine
In the comments section of Gamasutra's original story on the issue, former ESRB employee Jerry Bonner posted further comments regarding his article in Ziff Davis' EGM Magazine, in which he alleged internal issues at the ratings board. In the original article, Bonner expressed a litany of perceived issues, from his perspective, on his 6-month stay as an anonymous game rater at the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. The ESRB is an industry-funded independent ratings organization, much like the MPAA for the film industry. Though Bonner said non-disclosure and non-disparagement legal agreements limit what he is able to say, he did stress that he was not fired by the ESRB, as suggested by ESRB president Patricia Vance in her response to the EGM article. "I left of my own accord and on good terms," he wrote. He also wrote he has no plans to formally speak out further against the ESRB, stating, "Recent events in my life have shown me that all of this matters little in the grand scheme of things. Don't get me wrong, I love video games and the 'gaming lifestyle' with a sincere passion and hope to write about other video game related topics everywhere and anywhere I'm asked to (if I’m ever asked to...) again." Bonner also says he doubts the response attributed to Vance was actually written by her, suggesting it was instead penned by a marketing person or attorney. Notably, he clarified, "I do not consider myself 'disgruntled' or 'angry' in any way. Things just didn’t work out at the ESRB. So it goes. I would suggest that you read the entire article (not just the synopsis that is posted in [GamePolitics]), which is exceptionally fair and balanced, before throwing words like that around." He also suggested that the ESRB's characterization of his response -- "misleading, inaccurate and misrepresentative" -- would have led the ratings board to sue Bonner for libel or breach of contract if they were in fact untruthful. Concluded Bonner, "I truly appreciate all of the thoughtful comments and the intelligent debate this article has sparked. I was never a big fan of the 'X-Files' but I’m going to borrow that show’s mantra here: the truth is out there. This article is just the first step on a much larger journey to obtaining that truth. For various reasons, I can only take this first step…but I do wish a hearty 'Godspeed' to those who decide to take up where I leave off."

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