Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Taking Fun And Games Back From Kids

Kids' stuff is pretty much what video games are seen as. But many of them are not fit for your 10-year-old, with 'sex and violence' often being their major selling point [*'Major Sellingpoint' HIMYM in-joke reference salute here*]. And I'm not just talking Devil May Cry or Need for Speed here, as popular as they may be; there are far more 'adult' examples out there than that.

However, the ex First Lady, now Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton is kind of heading - along with 3 other 'key lawmakers' - the fight to 'review the robustness, reliability and repeatability' of the games rating process. Which, although I would normally be against, having previously spoken against the classification of any form of entertainment, I have now come to understand, pretty much.

I spent a week at my gran's house during the summer, where my cousin, who was also there, was busy playing God of War II on his PS2. Him being not much older than 16 years old then (he's 17-and-a-couple-of-weeks as I write this), I found it borderline offensive that he would enjoy the game that much - and not only because I think it's a disgusting game that I wouldn't want anyone related to me playing, mind you. Especially after the disgusting release party that was a big thing on worldwide web2 news just shortly before that.

Hmmm, I sound old, don't I? Wanting a strict ratings process, tut tut tut. Still, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense, as it would make things easier for games if the more 'questionable content' ones weren't this easy for kids to get their hands on. I'm still dreadfully against prohibiting any game altogether, but I do support shops checking the age of buyers and whatnot.

At this point in time, shops generally tend to sell any game to pretty much anyone, no matter how old they may be. Which naturally leads to mothers seeing what their kids play and freaking out, asking for the game to be banned in general and maybe even burnt in the fiery depths of over-protective motherhood. Which, I expect, wouldn't be the case if they just saw their manly, rugged husband playing the same game.

Once again, games suffer from their novelty. You see, nobody would call for movies to be banned any more, in the Western world. Not really. They've passed the one hundred year mark of being out there, and have been through their own reception ups and downs, only eventually reaching the point where most people understand that there are different flicks for different people.

Games, however, still have a long way to go. Any game can be played by anyone, and a child, for whose innocent and malleable mind Disney games would perhaps be more suitable, can end up playing God of War. Which, the way I see it, is wrong, branding the whole gaming industry as evil, when there are games out there that can be used as valuable teaching resources or whathaveyou.

Therefore, I call for games to be treated more responsibly, so that we do, eventually, end up being understood by... mothers. Uh-huuh. Because once we all 'get it', not having video games being 'for kids' by default - as games in general would be expected to be - and 'for adults' only provisionally, VGs may avoid being branded as dangerous.

1 comment:

Than Blu said...

*Salutes @ Major Selling point*

We (the gamers)don't mind a strict rating system. It's basically what we ask. Instead of censor or (god forbid) ban games, rate them and let the parents decide. Sure, I speak from a safe place as a mature gamer but, it all comes down to how cool your parents are :P