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Topic: Gaming Essay Help!

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A_BabyRed_Yoshi

Hey all! I'm writing a persuasive essay for my speech class about whether people under 18 should be able to play mature rated games or not. I need a number of sources, and I was hoping everyone at Px could be one! Just post your thoughts and opinions on the subject here, and let's see what we can come up with!

Guinea pig owner, Xbox gamer.

Xbox Gamertag: A BabyRed Yoshi

sorethumbed

Hate to be a damp squib but in general, I would say no. Without levity.
As you grow older, the ability to differentiate between reality and fiction improves (children think movies and tv's are real)
If you lower the age, five years later thumb suckers will want it lowered further
Game designers will start to accommodate the fact that younger people are playing their games
Children need to stay children for as long as possible. They already become immune to violence and are sexualised far too early
There will be more online thumb suckers in games than there are already
Kids have enough fun, adults need some too.

Ancient, Angry, Armed and Inbound.

Xbox Gamertag: Sorethumbed

crippyd

I would whole heartedly agree with @sorethumbed. Mature games are for a mature audience and it should stay that way. I've heard of parents letting their young children play things like GTA V which is rated 18 for very good reasons.

crippyd

Xbox Gamertag: Crippy D

A_BabyRed_Yoshi

@crippyd:
@sorethumbed:
I agree too, but the ESRB system is a bunch of garbage at determining content. GTAV for example is rated 18 but so is most of the Halo games. They aren't even sort of on the same adult content level, but are the same age rating. Why should we base what games younguns play on such a stupid system?

Guinea pig owner, Xbox gamer.

Xbox Gamertag: A BabyRed Yoshi

Utena-mobile

@A_BabyRed_Yoshi: sometimes? I don't know. I think it depends on the game and the maturity level of the child (which is something only a mom can really judge). For example, if I had kids (although I don't want any kids anytime soon), I would be ok with letting my daughter or son play the first Resident Evil at... I don't know, maybe 13 years of age. However I would be much more hesitant about letting them play Resident Evil 5 until they were maybe 16 or so. Halo would also be another game I would be ok with, but Call of Duty's glorification of "realistic" violence and hyper-masculine values would be a game I would probably not be ok with.

Oh, and don't even get me started on Grand Theft Auto. Its misogyny and emphasis on illegal activities would all but guarantee it would be banned in my house.

But there's something about being able to bond with an older sibling over an m rated game that has become part of the cultural landscape. I think it has replaced the "sneaking into R-rated movies" rite of passage, and I think all kids need to be able to experience some sort of perceived risk taking that has minimal harm as a way to grow some self-dependence.

And, if we're being honest here, I myself have tried to get M rated games as a minor (managed to get Silent Hill 1-4 underage) and I turned out "mostly" ok. If anything, Manga and Anime have done more harm (poor self-image, weird expectations, strange fantasies etc) than games have. lol. btw, don't add this last part into your essay, or I'll hunt you down in Dark Souls when you're vulnerable and walking around with 170,000 souls yet to be used.

Valkyrie 2, standing by.

Red620Ti

Largely I'd agree with Mr Sore and Mr D, but the personality/maturity of the child needs to be taken into account. My son is five, and he knows the difference between games and real life. He loves watching me play Destiny, or The Division, but he isn't allowed to play them. I'd never play GTA when he was there (Mainly because its boring, but also because of the language and violence), but games that are obviously fantasy I think can be made an exception of. Hes allowed to play Disney Infinity/Skylanders/Splatoon and he loves those (Even though Skylanders is rated 7, which is bonkers in my eyes, but lets not get sidetracked.)

Long story short, my son can tell the difference between games and reality, and shooting games are so far outside the everyday life of a child in England as to be ridiculous. In America, where guns are more available, it may be a different situation, but I can't comment on that. 18 rated games vary so much, thats also a bit strange...Comparing Halo (shooting aliens, easy to tell its not real) to The Evil Within (which is gory and violent for its own sake, seemingly) is also a bit odd, in my opinion. The 18 rating seems a bit of a blunt instrument, and I think it could do with some "shades of grey" being introduced.

Dunno if that makes any sense, its not 8 am yet and I haven't had any coffee...

"Justin Bieber looks like a lesbian i'd like to ****..." - Megakillscreen,out of frickin' nowhere!

Xbox Gamertag: Red620Ti

sorethumbed

Old arguments I'm afraid that have been used before when it comes to films. You cannot base an overall system on individual's maturity level. That means leaving the decision to parents and in my experience, many parents have the common sense of a toilet brush, they see the word 'game' and think it's ok.

Ancient, Angry, Armed and Inbound.

Xbox Gamertag: Sorethumbed

Red620Ti

@sorethumbed: In large part again, I agree, but I'm not one of those parents, I have a rough idea what these games are about...

"Justin Bieber looks like a lesbian i'd like to ****..." - Megakillscreen,out of frickin' nowhere!

Xbox Gamertag: Red620Ti

sorethumbed

@Red620Ti: but I'm talking about the system, not individuals. Individuals are always free to make choices (as you do) and you are obviously intelligent enough to make good ones. Others are not as fortunate and the system is there for the protection of their children. Unfortunately, it is often the case that they are the very people who allow their children free rein with games, watch what they like and do pretty much what they like. Sad world we live in.

Ancient, Angry, Armed and Inbound.

Xbox Gamertag: Sorethumbed

BAMozzy

Personally I feel that the ratings on games are a lot more harsh than other media - movies being a classic case. A 12 or 15 year old is able to see things that are far more graphic, explicit, violent, abusive etc than in many (if not all) 18 rated games. Its not just violence but Sex and Nudity is also far more explicit in some movies too that are rated 15. Compare the Witcher 3 (which has sex and nudity) to some of the 15 rated movies.

Its not that I disagree with age ratings per se, but I do struggle to see why certain games get rated as high as they are. As far as 'violence' goes, Call of Duty - an 18 rated game, tends to have less graphic violence in general to some 15 rayed movies - a lot of horror movies are 15 these days. I certainly wouldn't let a 10yr old for example play games like CoD or the Witcher 3 (or similar games with similar content).

I do think though that parents need a better understanding of the games content and what that entails. Being a gamer myself, I can assess a games content myself by actually playing these. I also know where my child is at in terms of developmental age, what they are watching and how that impacts on them. If they can watch films like Saving Private Ryan, Braveheart, American Pie (and other movies with nudity/sex) etc at 15, then I really struggle to see how they can't play most 18 rated games. 15yr olds can access far more graphic and explicit content than is portrayed in the majority of video games.

With my child, anything that was rated above their physical age was forbidden - at least until I had played it and aware of what its content entailed. I am also aware of what level they are at in terms of what they can and do watch on TV/DVD etc. For example if my son is watching things like Saving Private Ryan, then I see no reason why they can't play CoD. The first few times I allow a 'child' to play a game that is rated above their age, I do not allow them to play it alone. They have to play it with me around watching. As time goes on, I withdraw my presence slowly and periodically check in to see how things are going and until I am fully satisfied that they are capable of handling the game, its contents and, in the case of online, the others they are playing with, they will never be left alone.

My child isn't yet 18 but is more mature than many 18+yr olds online. There maybe a few 18rated games that I wouldn't let him play if he showed an interest in these but overall I am more than happy with him playing a lot of games that are rated above his physical age.

I see the age rating more of a guide. I think its great that retailers don't (or shouldn't) sell these games to under-age children. I want to know that I can determine which are 'suitable' and which may not be. It also gives me a bit more control over what my child plays. I could easily say that they can't have or can't play 'x' game because of its rating and/or I haven't played it to determine if they can - something my child respected. I also know that children can mature at different levels so some 15yr olds are certainly not mature enough to cope with some 15 rated movies but its difficult to deny them access - especially if they go to the cinema with friends. By using the 'age rating' as a guide, I can asses its suitability and know that my child cannot go and buy these games without my knowledge either but I do think overall, a lot of games are harshly assessed by the ESRB

Edited on by BAMozzy

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

Xbox Gamertag: bamozzy

Utena-mobile

@BAMozzy: I think you've got a very good system going on. The only thing that concerns me about using across the board metrics is the agency factor in video games. I think it's one thing to watch a movie about a person shooting someone else, and a completely different experience to be the one pulling the trigger in a game. But then again, not all shooting games force the same experience. Halo vs Call of Duty to use an example. But it sounds like your kid has a pretty good understanding of fiction vs reality, so good job. ( ^_^)b

@A_BabyRed_Yoshi: But this hasn't been the first time the public has proclaimed the loss of innocence based on a popular media. Look up the U.S. comic book burning period during the 50's. It's kind of eerie how similar they are to Nazi and KKK book burnings, and all to save the minds of our dear children.

Edited on by Utena-mobile

Valkyrie 2, standing by.

BAMozzy

@Utena-mobile: In most TV/film though, its far more graphic, far more real looking and a certainty to death. In things like CoD, Halo, death isn't the end - its just another respawn and away you go. Pulling the trigger so to speak is not significant, we have 'kids' games that do that too. Whether that's something like lego or PvZ (basically CoD in its game play) or some of the arcade/indie shooters that are available. Its almost 'cartoon' level of violence in most video games and rarely does it seem permanent like it does in movies, rarely do you get the feeling of loss or devastation like you do in movies. I don't know about you but I know a lot of movies can have a big impact on you emotionally. A lot of horror movies for example can make you feel scared and vulnerable - even though you are not the one in the situation. Movies can make you cry for similar reasons or even feel 'sick'. They can 'essentially' put you in that world. You don't have to be the one pulling the trigger to see the impact of that on those around. Its not your heart broken in these so why do you cry when theirs are? Those actors aren't really dead but you can still feel the 'loss' of that character.

In the majority of games, its the age old battle of good over evil, the fight for you survival. Whether that's against Aliens, Zombies or human based enemies. Shooting games are available for pretty much any age and I would argue that these have far less impact than the 'reality' portrayed in movies. I doubt something like Duck Hunt made people feel like rushing out and shoot ducks despite the fact that put a 'gun' actually in your hands - young kids could actually play that too.

As I said, I do think that age ratings have a place but I do think its a bit harsher on Video games than it is with movies. Its not as if 'Shooting' games are not available for younger children and a lot of gamers grow up with this 'mechanic'. The only difference in my eyes is the visual presentation - whether its graphic with 'bits' being blown off or just a fall down dead, disappear and respawn. If a person can cope with this in something like Saving Private Ryan - which is far more 'emotional' and graphic, then surely they can cope with that in a game using mechanics they have used for years.

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

Xbox Gamertag: bamozzy

stylon

I agree with Sorethumbed and Crippy... young children shouldn't be playing mature games (or watching mature films). Period. Once they've reached early teens then it's a different matter.

As for Games v Films the difference is with a film you are a passive spectator... in a game you actively participate and control the action. You effectively become the protagonist, you decide if you are going to shoot someone in the back, blow their head off, slit their throat or torture them with pliers, waterboard them etc etc.

Hell would freeze over before I knowingly let my kids be exposed to that before they're ready. People seem to think it's a childs god given right to get and do everything they want... it isn't. Being a bad parent is easy... but being a good one means making some unpopular decisions from time to time and saying 'no'.

stylon

Xbox Gamertag: stylon

Captain_Chao5

I'm a parent (although he's now in his 20's) but I always tried to keep games/films at an appropriate level for his age. Whilst I don't always agree with the rating system (these days many 15 rated films should be 18 IMO), I try to employ common sense. There are certainly games that warrant the 18 rating due to the nature of the content and the control that the player has.
I also know people that will allow their young teens to play 18-rated games such as GTA, etc mainly as they just don't know what the game is. I'm fairly sure there will be an element of "<insert name here> plays it" and the parents just go with the flow.
Personally I think kids grow up FAR too quickly these days. They all want/expect mobile phones, ipads, game consoles and access to content beyond their age group at such an early age. In some ways, I'm glad my lad is old enough to make his own decisions now and I hope that some of the values I enforced will be remembered when he has his own family.

You don't stop gaming because you get old, you get old because you stop gaming.

Xbox Gamertag: Captain Chao5

Utena-mobile

@Captain_Chao5: "these days many 15 rated films should be 18 IMO"

The rating system is all messed up. I think that's what makes it so hard to make a blanket statement like "people under 18 should not be allowed to play M rated games." Halo is M rated but is it any worse than Star Wars? And I would be willing to bet most of us have seen a Star Wars movie before we were 13. Star Wars episode 7 even has 3 planets blow up. That's like 12 billion people or something.

And then we have a game like Batman Arkham City. I was initially excited to play that game because (as far as I know) it's the only game that lets you play as Catwoman. But when I played her missions I got so disgusted with the developers because everything was "b****" this, "b****" that. Being called that over and over again wears on you emotionally. I mean, sure, Catwoman was objectified like crazy, and I'm not too thrilled about that either, but hey, that's video games, and there are some costumes that aren't as bad as others. But I've never heard the word "b****" used without a lot of malice and misogyny behind those words, even when it comes from an actor. And that game is only rated T. (o_O )

Edited on by Utena-mobile

Valkyrie 2, standing by.

sorethumbed

@Utena-mobile: This. I'd doesn't have to be violence, it's that behaviour that is abnormal becomes normalised. Children need to remain children for as long as possible, they will be adults soon enough.

This reminds me of the Michael Jackson's Thriller debate that occurred in my house a loonnngggg time ago.

Ancient, Angry, Armed and Inbound.

Xbox Gamertag: Sorethumbed

Captain_Chao5

Utena-mobile wrote:

@Captain_Chao5: "these days many 15 rated films should be 18 IMO"

The rating system is all messed up. I think that's what makes it so hard to make a blanket statement like "people under 18 should not be allowed to play M rated games." Halo is M rated but is it any worse than Star Wars? And I would be willing to bet most of us have seen a Star Wars movie before we were 13. Star Wars episode 7 even has 3 planets blow up. That's like 12 billion people or something.

And then we have a game like Batman Arkham City. I was initially excited to play that game because (as far as I know) it's the only game that lets you play as Catwoman. But when I played her missions I got so disgusted with the developers because everything was "b****" this, "b****" that. Being called that over and over again wears on you emotionally. I mean, sure, Catwoman was objectified like crazy, and I'm not too thrilled about that either, but hey, that's video games, and there are some costumes that aren't as bad as others. But I've never heard the word "b****" used without a lot of malice and misogyny behind those words, even when it comes from an actor. And that game is only rated T. (o_O )

I think you are comparing movies to games, which may share a rating system but I do not agree can be compared. In a movie the viewer is merely that...a non-interactive viewer. When you take control of a game and control the violence, that (IMO) is a different thing altogether. I'm not saying it's okay to watch films that are rated higher than the age of the person either. To give an example, in GTA it is possible to control the character to pick up a prostitute and then watch some 'explicit' acts (even control the viewing angle!). if this was in a film it would be classed as pornography, would it not? The spoken part of this scene certainly doesn't leave anything to the imagination.

It's also interesting that you would take offence at the word b**** (which I'm guessing is the term for a female dog). I'm guessing you are from the US maybe? I often am puzzled by US TV shows that will openly use the word "pissed" when someone is annoyed, whereas in the UK this would not be allowed in a lower age rated show.

It seems it's not only inconsistency within the rating system, but also perception that is a factor. What one person may find offensive, another may not see a problem with.

You don't stop gaming because you get old, you get old because you stop gaming.

Xbox Gamertag: Captain Chao5

sorethumbed

@Captain_Chao5: Yes the Us/uk divide can lead to this convo

Me: God I'm pissed
Bar person:Have another drink
Me: I'm going out for a fag. No comment.
Policeman: Do not walk on the pavement.
Me: I'm not, I'm walking on the road.

Ancient, Angry, Armed and Inbound.

Xbox Gamertag: Sorethumbed

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