@kierkegaard: The concept you talk about in your original post is censorship. "Freedom needs to regulation and governance." That line is hard to take any other way. Your second post is better since it explains what you mean and it makes more sense. I wasn't searching for censorship when you blatantly say it.
Eh, I see how the wording can imply that, but regulation and governance don't have to imply government. Glad the second post clarified that I'm talking about what we already have--a working collaboration between artist, consumer, and industry to do the best we can for each other.
This forces one of two things, either warnings that are incredibly generic/non-specific and thus useless (and likely already covered by ESRB stuff) so they don't spoil the story or it forces specific warnings that are likely to spoil the story.
Actually ESRB doesn't have any incredibly generic/non-specific warnings to cover it, and I believe a self-harm warning is vague enough to not spoil the story, and precise enough to warn people about the content of a game.
I don't understand why it is so controversial a warning saying that the game features self-harm. It doesn't state how it equates in the story, nor the degree of it. It would just state to people who are sensitive to it, and even people who isn't that the theme of self-harm is in the game. It is not more spoilerish than say, a sexual content warning, already issued by the ESRB, that states that sexual behaviour is in the game.
What's so problematic about this?
It's not controversial. You're just writing in a world where people can be very defensive about the idea of even acknowledging the needs and pains of others. It takes some maturity to recognize that allowing the needs of others to complement yours is not losing control, but instead sharing it.