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cmoneyspinner

Are the Age and Content Ratings for Video Games Really Helpful?

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Not sure of the composition of the this forum's membership.  Maybe many of you are not parents, but whether or not you're parents you would probably not want to expose a child or young person to something that could be bad for their mental development.  That being said, I see many games with the ESRB ratings.  (ESRB = Entertainment Software Rating Board).   Let's say a young child  (eh!  7 to 14 years) wants to play with you but you're not familiar with a game.  Do you rely on those ratings as a guide to pick a game suitable for the age of the person playing the game?

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Most people probably rely on it. But the safest thing to do is to play the game yourself. If you feel that it's inappropriate for children or young people, then trust your instinct. Also, it would be nice to keep them away from violent games. Desensitized youth have been negatively affected by such games. 😀

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Well, I don't play games with younger kids. I can't still forget how gaming nearly damaged my future while I was growing up. So, the best thing that I always do at the moment is to make these kids focus on reading their books first while gaming can happen at leisure times.

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5 hours ago, Henrywrites said:

Well, I don't play games with younger kids. I can't still forget how gaming nearly damaged my future while I was growing up. So, the best thing that I always do at the moment is to make these kids focus on reading their books first while gaming can happen at leisure times.

That's very nice. I agree with you. It would be best to let kids focus on reading and learning. Games usually just become distractions. And it's hard now to find games that are good for young children. 🙂

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On 10/8/2018 at 11:37 AM, cmoneyspinner said:

Not sure of the composition of the this forum's membership.  Maybe many of you are not parents, but whether or not you're parents you would probably not want to expose a child or young person to something that could be bad for their mental development.  That being said, I see many games with the ESRB ratings.  (ESRB = Entertainment Software Rating Board).   Let's say a young child  (eh!  7 to 14 years) wants to play with you but you're not familiar with a game.  Do you rely on those ratings as a guide to pick a game suitable for the age of the person playing the game?

Yes and no. I'm not a parent but I'm a firm believer that you need to be an active participant when it comes to screening content for your kids. I wouldn't blindly trust the ESRB to be fair; they give general ratings that apply to a general audience, you've got a specific kid, and what's appropriate for them won't always be the same as what's appropriate for someone else's kid.

That being said, it's a decent first step. It lets you know at a glance the range of content you're likely to find, and you can go from there. E for everybody is generally safe for, well, everybody. Higher ratings you'll have to pick and choose. The ESRB isn't perfect but I honestly don't think it could be much better considering what it is. 

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Those ratings don't matter in my opinion. I've heard of stories making the news about parents buying their children GTA V and then suing Rockstar because of the content. I don't think people take the ratings seriously. It applies for movies as well. I've seen families in the theater go into Deadpool and it's rated R!

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Well I've gone into the store with my youngest and she was wanting to buy certain games.  I agreed but I didn't really know!  Fortunately I have older kids and I can ask them what's OK.  They also monitor my granddaughter when they babysit her.

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I only look at them as a way of measuring how explicit they are willing to show the adult stuff in the game. Rockstar games are well-known for this because their games, especially the Grand Theft Auto series feature a lot of mature and illegal things. I played these types of games as a kid but I don't see any harm in playing them because I'd like to think that I was raised well and I know back then that the things I am doing in the game must not be done in real life.

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On 10/9/2018 at 8:19 PM, Steve5 said:

That's very nice. I agree with you. It would be best to let kids focus on reading and learning. Games usually just become distractions. And it's hard now to find games that are good for young children. 🙂

If my child is not up to the age that I feel that he can play games, I don't think that I will be giving him that space. The thing is that once they can be able to control the addiction of playing games, then I can allow them to go ahead. 

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4 hours ago, Henrywrites said:

If my child is not up to the age that I feel that he can play games, I don't think that I will be giving him that space. The thing is that once they can be able to control the addiction of playing games, then I can allow them to go ahead. 

Yes, I believe so. Children reach a certain age where they can safely immerse with digital content. It really depends on the child's mental growth. But usually around age 7-8 they're smart enough to understand stuff. 🙂

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Well, I am not a parent myself but I do have a nephew who is around 14 years and he does like to play games. I don't think there is anything wrong in letting the children play games which don't have any kind of adult content. However, if the children get addicted to the games then it's better to limit the use of games in such a case.

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No. My father used to play all sorts of game with me. He even playex WWE with me on Playstation 1. Also, as a child, I used to play games that are actually not suited for my age because of gore and violece. Prototype 1 to be specific. My parents just allow me to play whatever I want as long as I know what I am doing. If I were to become a parent in the future (in which I plan to of course), I too will let my children play any video game and I will even play with them so that I could guide them.

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My kids aren't at that age yet where they really understand gaming or want to get involved, but it's only a few years off. I think personally I'd just judge the content of the game myself and make a determination on whether I thought it was age-appropriate. Different kids react to things differently so I think in my house we'd do a case by case basis.

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17 hours ago, jpk0007 said:

Well, I am not a parent myself but I do have a nephew who is around 14 years and he does like to play games. I don't think there is anything wrong in letting the children play games which don't have any kind of adult content. However, if the children get addicted to the games then it's better to limit the use of games in such a case.

I think so too. You can't really avoid it. Even if you prevent them from playing these games, they'll decide to go behind your back. You're just giving them more motivation to go after it. Better to let them play it for themselves along with your supervision. 😄

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I used to rely on the ratings of entertainment like a moron. Now, I look a rating and be like "We'll see".

Using Anime as an example:

Outbreak company is rated MA15+ and at worst has minimal nudity and low level violence.

Ikki Tousen is also rated MA15+ but has high levels of violence, moderate sex scenes, moderate to high nudity, minor levels of gore and a few other things.

We Without Wings is R18 and has moderite to high levels of nudity and sexual content (no sex scenes or references of).

Dragon Ball (insert letter or word here) is, on average rated M/M15+ and has moderate to high levels of violence, depictions of death, dismemberment, gore (rather toned down but it IS there), sexual references and a myriad of other things.

 

See how messed up and wrong the rating system is?

outbreak Company should be no more than M at WORST.

Ikki Tousen is actually in the right spot but they could pretty easily move it to R18.

We Without Wings should be no higher than MA15+ period.

Dragon Ball is just to all over the place to give a solid rating but on average should be no lower than M and no higher than MA15+.

 

A non Anime example (but still not a game) is RoboCop. when the original released, it was classified R18+ but now is no higher than M15+ ( one could attest this change to desensatisation and changes in regulation, but it makes no sense for such a high rating to drop so low).

 

As far as games are concerned, they seem to be about right on average in my experience. There are a few I would lower the rating of (MediEvil being an example. It was M15+ at release but should really be PG at worst as i have seen more messed up stuff in a single muppets movie).

 

Well....anyways, thats my 2 cents worth.

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I guess they're a pretty good standard to go with if you've never really played video games much yourself. However, as someone who's been gaming since the age of 5, it would be a case-by-case deal with me. With my 8 year old, I wouldn't stop him playing a game that's got a bit of gore or violence in it. I'd steer him away from the really gruesome horror games, or hyper-violent games like Mortal Kombat, GTA, etc. It's a bit of a funny one because I remember playing Mortal Kombat on the SNES and Mega Drive back in the day and found it especially thrilling that the Mega Drive version had all the gore in it. But, compare that to MK X and the realism of the graphics now compared to back then, I don't see myself as being a hypocrite. If my little one did want to play the first trilogy, that'd be fine with me though and I'd probably be more than happy to whoop him on 2 player.

 

It's mostly just about common sense. Research whatever you're buying your child, letting them watch, etc. You should know your own child better than anyone so at the end of the day what you feel your child is allowed to play is entirely up to you and your child. If you both feel comfortable with it then go for it.

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