News Article

Reaction: Age Ratings and Video Games

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

PEGI takes over and makes under-age selling illegal

It may come as a surprise to those who assumed it was the case, but until 30th July there was no unified, legally binding age rating system for video games in the UK. Unlike so many other products available to buy, the guidelines and ratings in place did not automatically lead to prosecution for under-age selling. This lack of definitive law has contributed to the rampant practise of young gamers playing titles that are age restricted, though we’re not naïve enough to say that it was the primary cause.

To get the boring legal bit out of the way first, as helpfully explained by all games released in the UK will now be classified by PEGI, and it will be illegal to sell games rated 12 and above to consumers under the appropriate age. Similar to items such as DVDs and knives, retailers or shop workers found negligently selling games to underage gamers could face a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a £5,000 fine. Retailers who fail to sell games with the relevant PEGI age certificates, meanwhile, face a two-year jail sentence and an unlimited fine.

Those are serious punishments, and it’s already been said that retailers will be worked with closely to ensure that standards are met and to help with a smooth transition to the new system. Yet this news raises issues that not only matter in the context of the UK, but worldwide. While it’s a positive step that retailers now have to show diligence when selling games, the biggest problem for rating agencies is ultimately out of their control: parents.

You don’t need to look far in any gaming store before being bombarded with dozens of age-restriction labels. Although we can go back to older console generations and find mature games, the improvements in gaming technology have increased the variety of experiences, including more that represent violence and adult themes. Gradually becoming more common in the last generation, it’s been this current batch of consoles that have really taken the mature gaming market to new levels. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have what some like to call a ‘hardcore’ audience, and in many cases this means adult gamers who enjoy entertainment suited to their age-group, while many no doubt also enjoy plenty of universal and light-hearted games too.

While it’s a positive step that retailers now have to show diligence when selling games, the biggest problem for rating agencies is ultimately out of their control: parents.

It’s little secret what kind of franchises we’re talking about either: Call of Duty, Battlefield, Dead Space and Assassin’s Creed are just four cross-platform franchises that have multiple titles. That’s barely touching the surface, on top of various console exclusives, and we must also consider that Nintendo systems have their own share of mature games, albeit in much lower numbers: two examples are Madworld, which was one of the crudest and most outrageous video games we’ve played on Wii, while Resident Evil Revelations brought a decent amount of gore and occasional swearing to 3DS. Mature games exist on every platform and are often fantastic and thoroughly entertaining, but there’s a reason they’re rated as games for adults; yet gamers who are yet to learn to drive are often found playing them.

If you want to experience what we mean, log into a random online game of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3 on a rival system or PC, plug in a headset and guess how old your competitors and team-mates are. There are a lot of teenagers, some particularly young, gunning for headshots and flinging abuse over the online ether. You can check the age restriction on the box all you like as you’re not playing a mature game with other adults, but often with school children. In many respects games like these are the same as 18-rated films, with violence and sexual themes considered inappropriate, yet while most theatres would stop a 12 year old walking into one of those films, that same demographic can play a violent FPS for hours on end and for it to be considered the norm.

Perhaps this is an area where the video game industry, evolving so rapidly and with an ever-expanding audience, needs to re-evaluate the importance of age-restricted games. The main group that should consider the issue is parents, as anyone with experience in game retail will have seen parents buy an 18-rated title and then hand it right over to their child. It depends on the individual parent, but perhaps they should ask themselves the following: is it healthy for a young teenager to be carrying out virtual violence for hours on end? Alternatively, would you allow your child to watch an explicit grindhouse horror movie? If any parent answers no to the second question but yes to the first, then that typifies the problem.

We’re aware, thanks to the numbers of you that answered our site survey a while back, that many of our readers are in the 13-18 year old demographic, and we know that we have a number of parents in the Nintendo Life community as well. We’ve set up some polls to gauge your opinions on this issue, and we’d love to hear what you think about age-rated games, whether they should be rated as they are and who should play them, in the comments below.

Do you agree with age restrictions in video games? (247 votes)

Yeah, it makes sense


Sometimes it can be appropriate


Not really


Please login to vote in this poll.

How often do you play age restricted games, under age? (215 votes)

Very often


Quite often


Now and then




Please login to vote in this poll.

What age should a gamer be before they play the most mature titles? (222 votes)











No Restrictions


Please login to vote in this poll.

How often have you bought age restricted games for an under-age gamer? (220 votes)

Quite often


Now and than




Please login to vote in this poll.

From the web

User Comments (89)



Savino said:

I dont care! Its all about education! My kids play and watch me playing any game, GTA, RE, CoD. They know it is a game and they know that rules are diferents in game and on real life!

Age restriction?! Just for lazy parents!



moomoo said:

I like it. Making it illegal doesn't change anything, it just enforces an already established rule. Under age gamers can still play games with a higher rating, as long as the parent/gaurdian sees it appropriate. Ultimately, it's up to the parent.
My dad actually played video games when I was a kid, so it worked out pretty nicely.



19Robb92 said:

It's a good thing. There's LOADS of parents out there that have never even touched a game or console. Having that "warning" right there on the box can be more helpful than what we who play a lot of games might think.

But when it comes down to it, it'll always be up to the parents to decide. Making it illegal won't change that.



WingedSnagret said:

And this is why Nintendo is, and always will be, my favorite gaming company. I don't care what most people think about Mario, I'd prefer clean fun platforming over the murderous M rated games that completely swamp Sony and Microsoft any day.




I specifically like the rating systems (ESRB) because it warns parents of what kinds of content is portrayed, but that's not what concerns me.

My worry is about the future parents and current young parents: I wonder if they have a solid foundation that they can teach in their kids. In other words, have the parents influenced moral and cultural practices in a consistent manner in their children? This seems to be very hard to grasp in families of lower socio-economic status in the United States, especially when there are a considerable amount of them going to the same school in a given neighborhood.

The question of whether there are enough parents being good parents leads to another issue: globalization of culture in due part to telecommunications and mass media. I don't think it's a good idea for a child to be raised solely on mass media (i.e. television, Internet, ads, video games, etc.) because the messages a child receives from an ad or TV show (for example) may contradict a parent and local community's belief (this applies to more than merely religious beliefs) and ideologies, not to mention how reliant they may be on the medias to have 'fun.'

Now one of the latest forms of entertainment in the mass media is video games, where you can spend anywhere from 5 hours to over 100+ to have fun. If a parent hasn't grasped consistent core foundations from their own parents, I'd think they rely on video games to let children have fun. However, since video games is relatively still young compared to other forms of entertainment, I fear that parents use video games as a virtual babysitter, rather than family fun.

Essentially, if a family dives into the world of gaming, they should do so responsibly, but that's hard to do if they aren't open to new stuff and aren't raised with consistent ideologies :3



steamhare said:

I agree with the age rating system as much because it helps inform blundering parents as I know that the alternative is much worse. Australia has only recently gotten a mature rating and before that, anything that would normally fall under that category was banned for everyone.

Having a ratings system is incredibly preferable to being stuck with a video games are only for children mentality.



IAmNotWill said:

How often do you play age restricted games, under age?

Lol aren't most people on this site full grown adults?



zezhyrule said:

Things like this should be left to the parents' discretion. Unless they're ignorant or just don't care, but...



Chris720 said:

@IAmNotWill There's still a few minors sitting around these places. :3

I've never had a problem with age restrictions, but surely it should be down to the parent as to whether the child is mature enough to play the game or not, but then again most parents these days are far too lazy to care...

Yes, this stops minors from buying an age restricted game, but it doesn't stop them from playing it...



Sean_Aaron said:

I've known of at least one family that let their kid play 18-rated games (he was nine or ten) and he basically spent all his time in his room with his PS3. The parents really couldn't have cared less what he was doing.I honestly think there has to be something wrong with you if you think it's okay for a kid like that to be playing the first Call of Duty, let alone one of the newer one with more questionable content.



HugoSmits said:


I played 18+ games during my youth and so did all my friends. We all turned out okay. My favorite game since I was 7 has been Mortal Kombat.

Honestly I get more scared from the tv news shows like CNN then I do from videogames or movies.



armoredghor said:

I think kids at 14 should be able to play pegi 18(or M rated over here) games under supervision. I saw 300 when I was underaged with my father (which is legal) at the theater. The misconception of games nowadays is that they're for kids or they're evil. neither is true and this needs to be cleared up.



theblackdragon said:

i'm not sure how this law comes into play exactly; would parents be fined for purchasing M-rated games for their kids? If this is only restricting sales to children, it doesn't bother me a bit. if my parents felt i was ready for a game they'd buy it for me, same as if they felt i could handle an R-rated movie or M-rated TV show.



rayword45 said:

My choices:
Sometimes it can be appropriate
13-15 (15 in this case)
Now and Then

Certain games, like Grand Theft Auto, I completely agree with being age-restricted for obvious reasons. Contrastly, games which are varied in terms of ratings in areas, like Rumble Roses and Original War I don't agree with so much.

Similar to Australia, I agree with the inclusion of a 15 rating for titles which are rather mature. I don't agree with banning the most mature titles, instead we have M/AO for that.

And yes, I play M games at 14 occasionally, but not that often.



ThomasBW84 said:

@theblackdragon The law as I understand it strictly applies to retailers, in that they'll be punished if they sell to underage gamers. If parents buy these games and pass them on, this won't stop that. That was my jist really, that parents have the power, and in my view need to think of games in the same ways as movies etc.



Mayhem said:

And that's the majority issue. Clueless, ignorant parents will still buy 18 rated games for their underage kids regardless of any rating enforcement. And we'll still get to hear their prepubescent whining over Xbox Live...



theblackdragon said:

@Tom: makes sense; like i said, if parents are still allowed to make the choices they feel are appropriate for their children, the law doesn't bother me. I do feel bad for the sales clerks that will inevitably be chewed out by parents who didn't want to be dragged down to a store that day and sent their kid along with the money instead, though, lol :3



JohnDoe123 said:

I always thought the ESRB needed a 15 rating for games in between 13 and 17, because 4 years changes a lot in a teenager, it's much too broad. Also, I find it really is up to the parent to decide what content is appropriate for their child. The backs of game boxes should have the paragraph descriptions from the ESRB's website printed on them, so parents can read and decide wether that content is suitable for their child. The E, T and M don't really represent the content of the game. Then again, most teenagers don't even go to the game store with their parents.



PuzzleMaster7 said:

It doesn't apply to me anyways. I'm 14 and I don't even own a single teen rated video game, let alone a mature rated game. Nintendo has always been the great family-friendly company. To me, Professor Layton (gentleman, helps others, etc.) is more mature than all of the FPS games combined, but that's just my opinion.



evildevil97 said:

I cant speak for the PEGI system, as I'm bound to ESRB. But I wish that video game ratings, at least in North America, stuck closer to the movie equivelent. A MA video game can easily end up with little to no difference in content as a PG-13 movie.



TheN64Dude said:

JUSTICE AT LAST! Why is this law not enforced in america. I'm sick of 4-year olds playing games like Grand Theft Auto. It's about time we took action!



CerealKiller528 said:

My 4/5 year old cousin plays CoD and is already cursing. Same with my 9 year old cousin. For example, "Your nose looks like a p****" or " This food is ****".



FonistofCruxis said:

I agree with the posters saying that it should be left for the parents to judge as long as their being reasonable. I don't think anyone that isn't in their teens should play any 15, 16 or 18 rated games with a few exceptions like Metroid: Other M and The last story. Before this, it varied on whether you would get asked for ID or not. I'm 17 now but when I was 15, I was able to buy No more heroes (which is rated 16) without being asked for ID but I was asked for ID that same year when buying Resident evil 0 (which is rated 15) from the same store. Then again, there is only a gap of 1 year between those games ratings.



Gridatttack said:

Really, I think at some extent the rating system is unnecessary at some point. They are little kids playing call of duty which sometimes is annoying
And honestly, pretty much I don't care about the rating system.
IMO, if you're like 15, you can play most of the game.



rayword45 said:

I'm all for banning younger kids from online chat, at the very least segregating them in this case (coming from a person who always complains of "ageism")



Super-Mario-Fan said:

This makes perfect sense to me. But Its really is about the parents that buy the games for the kids. My parents wouldn't notice the age warnings but I don't have any interest in mature games anyway. Seeing kids playing mature games and swearing and watching stupid videos on YouTube really annoys me.



tripunktoj said:

It all comes down to teaching kids which events happen in real life and which dont, and that unlike video games, actions and its consecuences are irreversible and most of them unavoidable in real life. This restrictions are a dumb faulty patch not a solution.



real_football said:

They ID me more for M games at gamestop then they do for cigars and we don't have actual "Laws" enfocing the ESRB ratings



Rocketship said:

The last poll totalled 123% after I answered...
Edit: all of the polls are over 100%!



LegendaryQ said:

@Rocketship I think they are tallies for how many people voted a certain way instead of percentages. They all seem to be slightly more than 100%, around 120%, which would correctly reflect the number of votes.



SkywardLink98 said:

The "What age should a gamer be before they play the most mature titles?" question is kinda hard to answer. I'd say it depends on the game, and most are rated highly for a reason but if it's something like Resident Evil: Revelations where it's mainly minor cursing and seems to me to have gotten the rating solely for the sake of the franchise I'd say maybe 13+ depending on the maturity of the child the game is bought for. If it's something like Call of Duty, that is violent, has tons of cursing, etc then I'd imagine it should be Mature players only.



Phle said:

This makes me feel super old. I didn't even start playing games at all before I was past 20. My parents wouldn't allow me to play video games when I was a kid as it was a bad way to be entertained. I had to watch the news with them every night. So I lived though childhood with horror nightmares about starving african kids and bloody wars. I never watch the news anymore, ever. Maybe my parents were wrong.



WingedSnagret said:

@Phle I didn't exactly grow up on video games either. Instead I was raised with educational PC games. Mostly I played games with construction and planning, such as the Zoo Tycoon and Roller Coaster Tycoon series. The only truly violent games I played back then was the Age of Empires, and even then the games were really tame compared to others, and you also had to use your brain, not just shoot wildly. To this day I still stay away from the M rated stuff, even if I'm 16.



Jumpman said:

I've been playing GTA games since I was 8 years old and I don't have any murderous tendencies when I'm around other people but then again I was always a mature kid.




I take it that the goal of the law is to keep a majority of youth away from video games? That could be hard to achieve if parents have even a single gram of identity-crisis. If the major gaming countries are de-sensitized to violence and sexual content, then achieving the goal may be very difficult: the game ratings are likely to be negligent to a parent.



WaxxyOne said:

I agree with having restrictions, to a point. Most kids have developed enough by the age of 14-16 to where even the most violent series such as GTA is probably not going to change them into a murderous monster. Younger children can be more susceptible to mature themes that they can't understand yet. It has been shown that small children raised in an environment where violence is present are more likely to become violent themselves. To a lesser extent, that could apply to young kids who play violent video games for hours on end, or watch violent movies, or whatever.

It really should be up to the parents to police this, which sadly some don't. Kids young enough to really be negatively affected by mature games probably aren't old enough to be carrying cash to a games store and picking up a mature title. I don't think it's fair to put the pressure on the game stores to regulate who is purchasing games and having to ID their customers, etc. I would oppose any such regulation in the states.

The bottom line is any environment where mature entertainment is available for adult consumption, some of those adults are going to let underage kids experience it and there's nothing you can do about that. Creating a law aimed at punishing retailers isn't really the answer, IMO.



Bankai said:

Now if only these age ratings were actually enforced us adults could play an adult game online without having 13 year-olds calling us a wide range of homophobic slurs.

That would be nice.

On a more serious note why are there so many delinquents in youth gaming culture?

"It really should be up to the parents to police this, which sadly some don't."

Right. So what solution do you propose? Other than "do nothing," I mean. Because doing nothing, believe it or not, achieves nothing.

So, if you're going to oppose this measure, come up with a solution.



BenAV said:

I've always been mainly a Nintendo gamer so age restrictions were never an issue with me growing up.I think the only time I had to get someone else to buy a game for me was with Resident Evil 4, considering it's MA15+ and I was only 14 at the time.

If I ever become a parent I don't think I'd stop my children from playing games over the age rating entirely, but I believe it is something that needs to be controlled.
I certainly wouldn't allow them to be doing that whole online voice chat thing and some games seem more inappropriate than others.



Chunky_Droid said:

I'm a huge advocate for ratings systems, going so far as to join any pro-R18+ movements in Australia.

We finally got an R18+ in Australia, becoming the last developed country in the world to receive it.

I often speak out in university lectures about this issue, as a lot of our lecturers see video games as CoD, GTA etc being the absolute norm for everyone to play, and that they should be banned altogether.

It's an issue for each individual family, I like that PEGI have stepped in and made it illegal for children to buy games made for older audiences, if the parents are ok with it, there's nothing stopping them from buying it for the child.

As for my family, I don't like my children playing games based around graphic violence (GTA or Mortal Kombat for example) or set in realistic war settings (like Call of Duty or Battlefield). I do however let my kids play games like Skyward Sword (which is rated M15+ here) and Monster Hunter Tri, as there's no real connection to our actual surrounds, and in my opinion, come across reasonably tame actually.



BenAV said:

@ChunkyDroid M isn't actually age restricted at all, just recommended for mature audience.
It's only MA games that are restricted to 15+.
I bought quite a few M rated games when I was younger, such as Twilight Princess.



TrueWiiMaster said:

I wish this would happen in America, but I kind of doubt it. There's too much money involved over here. People have tried to do stuff like this before, and they immediately come under fire by companies like EA and Activision, who of course say they're defending the rights of minors and not just their own bottom line. It would be nice though.



Chunky_Droid said:

@BenAV: I know M isn't age restricted in Australia, and no outlet I am aware of bothers restricting MA15+ from children either, making it rather redundant.

I didn't actually say it was age restricted though just that certain M15+ games I let my kids play because I personally don't find them to be all that bad.

Skyward Sword isn't even in the same maturity league as CoD, which is why I'm thankful for the R18



BenAV said:

@ChunkyDroid I've had times where EB Games have asked me for ID before purchasing MA15+ games, so I guess some try to enforce it at least some of the time.

Mainly what I was trying to say, is as far as I'm aware, it's actually just called 'M' and not 'M15+' at all (unless there's something I'm missing).



Chunky_Droid said:

Hmm, perhaps it was changed at some point, mustn't have paid too much attention over the years, I used to borrow Mortal Kombat on the SNES from the video shop when I was little, and only last week I saw an 8 year old pre-order Black Ops II from my local EB.

But yeah, I'm gonna have to look at my games when I get home, I always thought it was called M15+, then the separate MA15+, but I'm probably wrong!



Chunky_Droid said:

@BenAV: Untitled

This is the old one that I was thinking of, didn't realise they took the 15+ off when they went to the colourful scheme!



Chunky_Droid said:

@BenAV: It was used for video games too, this was the standard on just about anything pre-Wii, the colourful scheme was only introduced in 2006, when the OFLC was dissolved and all responsibilities transferred to the Attorney-General's office and the Classification Board of Australia



C7_ said:

I thought they enforced that already, Gamestop never let me buy an M game without having me whip out my ID.
But yeah, I think this is a good thing; I'm sick of little 10-year-olds with stupid, bad parents that bought them the game just as an easy babysitter thinking they're entitled to play a game specifically NOT for them and whining about it over the microphone.



BenAV said:

@ChunkyDroid That makes sense.I got my Wii for Christmas in 2006 and that's also when I started buying my own games so it's what I'm used to.
And all my Gamecube games seem to be rated G8+ or just G.



supermonkey117 said:

it could be a good thing because im old anough to get them all ha ha. no but to be hounest games now are very detailed and have an explicit nature i think that its a very good thing that there is a restriction plus thats why nintendo is so great games for everyone and they've never tried to suck people in by violent games always been family fun or our favourite plumber has been nintendos stong point.



supermonkey117 said:

very true codey like im browsing on my 3ds now when im finished zelda time the sleep never want nintendo to change.



WiiLovePeace said:

Cool poll NL Glad to see an easy way to have our collective voices heard. But you should kinda remove the "%" symbol from the results as the bars show how many votes each option got, not an actual percentage of the total votes.



Wheels2050 said:

I've played plenty of games online on PC (including Battlefield and CoD), and I can't remember ever hearing anybody shouting and screaming and swearing. I don't know if it's just an Xbox Live thing, or a USA thing, but it's not something I've ever really come across. Maybe that's an advantage of dedicated servers and me just having picked good ones.

Anyway, as a 26 year old non-parent, I agree with the enforcement of age rankings. There's some grey area with parental supervision (i.e. some kids can certainly play 18+ games at, say, 16, but it's up to the parents to gauge whether their kids should be playing them) but those ratings are there for a reason. As others have mentioned, in the end I feel it simply comes down to keeping an eye on what your kids are doing, and making sure they're using computers/consoles appropriately for their age.



SomeBitTripFan said:

I wish I could see this in the US. The main problem is that this law might would be useless.So many parents buy games for their kids without even thinking about the rating and how their children might be impacted by the content in that game. I find it sad to know how many 5 year old children are playing M rated games in the city I live in. One thing I find funny about all this is that the people who are playing such games tend to be the most immature of the majority of people. It has been good to see some people share similar beliefs on this topic.



Chunky_Droid said:

@SomeBitTripFan: In all honesty, laws like this are in place so that lazy parents have noone else to blame but themselves when it comes to children playing mature content that they probably shouldn't be doing.

The amount of parents I heard talk about how bad the South Park movie was for kids kind of exemplifies the point that there are many parents not screening what their children are watching (considering the movie blatantly targets those very same lazy parents!)



Rekiotsu said:

Sometimes it makes sense sometimes it doesn't. For example Skyrim: Skyrim doesn't have anything what would make it 18+, but it still is. I just bought it from finnish retailer trough internet using my parents info (I asked permission for that), because my parents don't really care, but my friend bought it from UK because his parents cares and in UK it was rated 16+. We were 16 when the game was released by the way.



AntiGuy said:

I should thank these annoying kids playing COD... they make it so unbearable I'm not addicted to it.



SaSoBe said:

Well, I used to buy mature games while I was too young, but now I'm 18 so that's no longer a problem of mine. But I've never been denied buying a game, even when I bought San Andreas by the age of 13. They just smiled and told me to have a good time.



xinoeph said:

I'm 18 in a month, and I've been playing games rated too old for me since I was about 14. Tbh I really don't think its affected me that much. I prefer Nintendo games which are 90% aimed at younger kids over 'mature' titles anyways. I really dont think this will make a difference anyways



Pyotr said:

I think you are missing an important question in the survey. "You ask How often do you play age restricted games, under age?". As an adult, my answer to that quest has to be 'never'. You don't ask whether I let my children play age restricted games, under age. My answer to that would be 'Sometimes, under supervision'.



antdickens said:

Looks like we had a bug in the poll calculations, that's all solved now, thanks for testing!



matgr said:

i watching my brother played the game it's 18+ i was 4 years now i 20 years old can't wait 21st birthday . 4 months left on dec 9 21 years old come on guys i was under age when i played 18+ games & movies whos cares how old are u. it didn't brainwash on me when i was a kid.



SwimyGreen said:

IMO, teens playing Mature/18+ games really depends on mature they are. I'm 15 and I can understand Assasin's Creed or GTA and not get very effected by it... but there are other people my age who act like complete idiots (read: don't care about their future at all) and play it all day long. In the end it's up to the parents, but that ends up as a mess all the time. Some parents buy M games without so much as a glance at the label and others are overly strict about it.

I'm lucky in which I'm allowed to get most games except ones I myself wouldn't be comfortable with. The only game I have that's rated M is Metal Gear Solid and I'm thinking of getting Persona 4, which is about borderline.

I think the M/18 restriction is appropriate, but it still goes down to a parents descision which isn't always right, whether too generous or too restricting.



CommanderAudio said:

It's going to be a dark day when kids burn down their local Gamestation when they realize that they're not allowed to play CoD anymore



seronja said:

thank god i ain't under-age anymore xD but i would not be strict of what i would buy to my children i would give to my child a fine dose of conker's bad fur day first and if i would see he doesen't know how to behave i will never buy him another m rated game... that's what my big brothers did to me they gave me duke nukem 64, mortal kombat 4 and conker's bad fur day to see if i would behave and i did, it had no bad effects on me so they bought even more M rated titles and allowed me to play those games but at that same time my cousin who is 1 year older then me he didn't know how to behave anymore after duke nukem... he is still saying "balls of steel" when he plays modern shooters xD



EvilLink said:

As far as today's culture goes with there being ever more violence, sex, swearing and drug use in games and films, and I for one think an age rating system should be enforced. This being done mostly by parents to hopefully protect their children from some of it. Lots of these 'mature' games for the 'hardcore' audience, being mainly teenagers, are played by foul mouthed people with no respect for others. Kids are always swearing thinking it's cool or normal, but it isn't. When I was younger this wasn't much of a problem as games were generally happy, fun and concentrated on game play, but these days all you see is shooters (certainly this genre is more advertised than any other). Why should games be any different to films?



ueI said:

This is why there should be fewer mature games! If age ratings are not enforced, kids end up buying a bunch of games they are not ready for. If age rating are enforced, kids end up missing out on so many great games. I understand that actual adults may want these games, and some games rely on mature content for atmosphere. I just think it's weird that virtually every top rated bestseller for the PS360 has the same exclusive rating.



Araknie said:

I don't want to be anonymous, i have answered: Yeah, it makes sense, now and then, 16+ and Never.

I'm perfecly fine with this if it help to shut the germans mouth.



KromCompany said:

I am a mature 15 year old, knowing what is appropriate in all situations in life. A video game label for rating is for those who aren't mature enough to play a game and be able to separate what different games make you do, and what accepted socially and what is legal. I'd say that the rating system is for those who are not mature enough to handle what is thrown at them.

EDIT: Im just going to throw this in, I finished a few GTA's and many Mature audience games but I never had ended up in jail, detention or any places where criminals end up. I think I should work for the ESRB.



MarkyVigoroth said:

I am rather hypocritical here. I mean, though I fully support this ban (and even so far to go to actually wish that California put those warning labels or outright bans on violent video games), I played Persona 3 when I was 16. (Even so, to this day, I still do that Evoker movement when others would say 'This is just so full of fail... just shoot me.')

The reason why I am so strict is due to GIGO applying to humans, no matter what their maturity level. (I am evidence to that.)



lonlon-milker said:

when you talk about this subject you really have to view the certain games that you consider thier ratings. For instence I just bought the original mortal combat for the sega genisis and i was lucky to find that since it was a version that didnt have an esrb rating i could let my younger brother play it (its just cause my mom didnt want us to play mature games until we are at least fouteen or older depending on the game) Anyway when i played it with him and saw the whole blood thing and fatalities I wasnt so urky so to speak about my brother playing it. It was practicly now like a T rated game. So what im trying to get to here is that if its an aged (with exeptions of stuff like duke nukem) is rated like M and your thinking of not buying it because of the rating its not going to be that bad to buy for a kid thats like 12. However if your looking at games like Fallout 3 you should definatly let only older audiences play those type of games.



Squirtodile said:

My parents dont let me play M games, and i get why, i just disagree. I'm a very calm person when i need to be, im not gonna be Mr. Shoot people at Batman movie, i could handle it. I feel not playing M rated games restricts my ability to experience some of the best games. I cant play games that are said to be the best of my favorite genres, (I.E. Diablo III, Skyrim)



scrubbyscum999 said:

They definitely need to enforce these ratings, they serve a purpose. I have seen to many immature young kids who minds are poisoned by M rated games. A lot of these kids just are not mature enough and it really screws up there mind. We already have people who are immature and are 18+. These kids will stay immature for life a lot of times if they are screwed up. Some kids are ready for mature games but most aren't. I remember I was a little scared of Mortal Kombat for Playstation 1 when I was like 6 or something.

Sadly, most of this is due to bad parents. Sadly, if the parents are not very smart it often negatively affects the kids. I never had much interest in M rated games, even though I am 17 now and can play them. I am not saying M rated games are inherently bad, but they are rated M for a reason.



Shock_Tart said:

i honestly belive that video game companies shouldnt be the ones being bashed for kids playing games rated M or T 18+ the parents that are the ones who are dumb enough to buy these games for children and let them play it only later to be appauled to find out that it has excessive violence. they should be responsable and do the parent thing and actually take the time to look up the rating. it says why its rated M under the friggin rating anyhow.



BulbasaurusRex said:

Good for them. It won't stop the parents from buying them for their kids, but at least it stops kids from buying them without their parents' permission.

This actually surpasses U.S. law, as the United States only prohibits Mature rated games from being sold to those younger than 17, while Teen rated games have no restrictions. Also, enforcement is pretty lax, as you don't have to look that hard to find a cashier somewhere who just ignores the law.

By the way, your poll question about what age you should be to play mature games didn't have my choice (never), so I had to go with 21+ instead.

@KromCompany It's more than just understanding the difference between reality and fantasy. Inappropriate games also increase aggressiveness and desensitize the mind to those mature issues. There are plenty of people out there who have never done anything illegal but are complete jerks.

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