I haven’t really talked about this, but I certainly think it is worth mentioning here. I love open world games and that is certainly my favorite type of game to play, but there are a good chunk of them out there that have ratings making them not really suitable for kids. I think it is really important to be aware of each of the video game ratings and what they mean as there is a video game ratings system for a reason. Let’s take a closer look.
Who came up with the Ratings System?
That is actually a pretty good question. The ratings system came from the ESRB which is the Entertainment Software Rating Board. The ESRB ratings has three different parts which are known as Ratings Categories which suggest age appropriateness, Content Descriptors that indicate content that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern, and Interactive Elements which inform about interactive aspects of a product, including users’ ability to interact, the sharing of users’ location with other users’, or the fact that personal information may be shared with third parties. All this can be found here which is the ESRB’s official website.
Just like movies and tv shows, games have ratings too and it is important that they do since they are interacted with. Since video games are interactive, it is pretty easy for kids to pick up what is said in a game or what they see. You always tend to hear stories of people working at video game stores such as GameStop where employees have to tell a customer which is usually a parent, about the type of game they are actually purchasing for their child. A lot of times they get appalled of the type of content that is actually in the game and then won’t buy it for them (this is not always the case though). We’ll definitely take a look at some of the different ratings.
Rated E 10+
What the E 10+ means is that it is a game more suitable for anyone who is age 10 or above. As you can see from the picture above, that particular game has a rating of E 10+. The violence in these types of games is not usually strong, but mild and some caution should be used if anyone younger than 10 is playing these types of games. I for one have the game Need For Speed Rivals which has this rating and is definitely the lowest rated of all the games I have thus far for the PS4.
Rated T for Teen
These types of games are meant for teenagers and above. These types of games to feature stronger language, mild blood, mildly suggestive themes and violence. These types of games are certainly not meant for kids, but if an adult does let them play a game with this rating, supervision should be there are extreme caution should be used.
I only have one game with this rating and that is The Crew. It is a very large open world game, but in terms of content, it does have some dialogue through its story that is certainly meant for a little older crowd. Some stuff through out the map is destructible as well, but one thing you do have to be careful of since this is a major multiplayer game is other players that have a microphone because they tend to use strong language as well that really isn’t meant for anyone younger than a teen. There are a number of games out there with this rating.
M for Mature
The rating M is the equivalent of being rated R for a movie. These types of games are generally only suited for those 21 and older. Some places will definitely card you if you try to buy a game with this rating on it. Years ago when I had gone to buy a game at Wal Mart for the PS2, I was asked to show my id for it because of the very strong themes and violence in it. The game in question at the time was a Twisted Metal game that was very popular.
Today, games such as Grand Theft Auto V, The Last of Us, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, Watch Dogs and some others, carry the M rating for intense violence, blood and gore, nudity, mature humor, strong language, strong sexual content, and use of drugs and alcohol as an example. The Grand Theft Auto series has always had controversy because of its very strong violence and sexual themes as well as strong language. Numerous lawsuits and challenges to try to have these types of games banned from being sold to minors have been attempted, but mostly struck down.
A lot of people who have committed crimes over the years have also blamed their violent behavior on these types of games especially the Grand Theft Auto series. Numerous studies have also been done to try and show a link between violent behavior and these types of games as a reason why they shouldn’t be made or made available to buy or play to those younger than adults. They also fail to mention though the many millions of gamers out there who play these games with no criminal intent or violent tendencies.
I for one think it is very important for younger people and kids to understand at an early age that these games are for entertainment purposes only and never should be imitated in real life. They should already have a good concept of right and wrong and what the consequences are if they attempt to do what they see in games. I’ve played many games that have been chastised throughout the years such as the Mortal Combat series, Street Fighter series, etc. and have never committed any sort of crime or had the temptation to do it. A parent should always use their best judgment of what they want their kids or teenagers to play and be exposed to, that is why this rating system definitely helps with that. There are certainly some other ratings out there, but these tend to be some of the most abundant ones in games being sold. Check out the rest of the ratings here.