The age ratings on games cause an endless stream of debate. People often disagree about the ratings of certain games, and many want to outlaw more violent games completely. As a parent, you’re unsure what to think. Do you go with your gut instinct or obey the ratings unquestionably?
What is an Age Rating?
An age rating is the legal age requirement for a gamer playing a game. If there’s a rating of M for Mature, it means a game is designed for someone aged 17 and over. Some parents believe this is too young, whereas others think it’s too old.
These ratings are more for the games developers than anyone else. They can’t implement any content which breaches their rating or they’ll face legal action. As for a gamer playing a game underage, this might be breaking the rules, but nobody has actually been prosecuted for this.
The responsibility mainly lies with the developers and the retailers.
Should I Obey?
It’s important to remember these are only guidelines. They’re designed for developers and retailers. There are many children who’re mature enough to experience more adult content. You know your child better than anyone else.
If they’ve been in contact with adult material before and handled it with maturity, why shouldn’t they play a game designed for older people?
It’s like when a child skips a grade. This flexibility is built into the system to allow children who mature faster than others to skip forward. You shouldn’t feel like a bad parent for not paying attention to the ratings.
This is your child and you know what they can handle. Obviously, there are limits. You wouldn’t introduce an eight-year-old to a game designed for someone who’s 18, but there’s some flexibility within the system.
Remember the Influences
If you’re against the concept of many video games completely, such as those with violent and graphic sexual scenes, you should bear in mind the world of today. The 21st century is filled with unsuitable media for children.
It’s forced our kids to mature faster. We can debate over whether this is right or wrong all we want. It doesn’t matter. It’s already here and it’s here to stay. Look at how many prepubescent teens have seen Internet pornography.
Furthermore, you have celebrities dressing up in outfits which would constitute softcore porn. The latest issue over Miley Cyrus and her antics has further enflamed passions and the debate.
The point is you shouldn’t underestimate your child. They’re more mature than you think. They have dealt with more extreme material than you would have at their age. We shouldn’t keep applying what happened when we grew up to them. They grow up differently. The world has changed.
You’re free to raise your children as you please, but the best option when it comes to video games is an open mind. Forcibly depriving them of content isn’t going to stop them viewing it. All it does is lead to a culture of secrecy within your family.
Tom Taylor is the brain behind this delightful post. He is a pro blogger and a gaming enthusiast. He shares his views and ideas through his articles. You can check out Juegos Friv for some spectacular board and adventure games.