Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rated R? No problem. Rated Mature? No chance.

March 27, 2009

Why oh why do video games continually get the shaft? A debate as old as time (or at least as old as video games with more depth than a wheel of cheese eating dots), why are video games held to different standards than, say, movies? If a movie is rated R, it has a list of details explaining that rating. If a game is rated Mature, it also has a list explaining that rating. Yet a Mature rated game is judged more harshly than an R rated film.

Why? Because games are, quote unquote, "for children"? Look at today's gaming community and you'll see the demographic is across the board. But, apparently, that's besides the point. It's a game and it's interactive and, whether it's meant for adults or not, children can still get a hold of them and play them.

Yeah, 'cause kids have such a hard time seeing R rated films without an adult.

I'll admit that there are a lot of games that are rated "Mature" but are quite the opposite, but that's not what the rating is saying. It's telling the consumer, whether the person making the purchase is a kid, an adult, or a parent, that the game is for a mature audience. That means that it is recommended for people who can handle the type of situations placed in the game. Much the same way as an R rated film is telling the audience that there are mature situations in the film and only mature people should view it. So seriously, what's the deal?

Grand Theft Auto lets you murder and steal and blah blah blah. It's rated Mature, the consumer is made aware of the graphic nature of the content, and yet it still gets ripped apart by the media. Mass Effect has a sex scene, a tastefully done sex scene between two consenting adults, and it's the talk of the nation. Why? How many movies have murder in them? You can see a PG-13 movie and have people getting murdered (granted, the result is pretty shitty when it comes to entertainment standards, but I digress)! Jeez, freakin' Titanic had Kate Winslet's chesticles out there for a PG-13 audience to ogle.

So I ask again: If a video game is given a Mature rating, why should it be judged any differently than an R rated movie? The ESRB applies the rating and what in the game is responsible for that rating. We, as consumers, should be aware of this. If you're not, well, it's you're own fault. Read the labels. They're there for a reason.

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