An Open Letter About Game Ratings

Posted by | April 23, 2012

From time to time, I like to hunt down what the Your Parents demographic thinks about our little hobby. Yes, we’re taking over the world, but there are still people who don’t understand who we are and what we do. It’s good to look in from the outside, gives one some perspective. Here is an open letter to Your Parents about game ratings and what they mean. This is what non-gamers think. Check it out. ExploreCarroll has the story.


2 Comments so far
  1. Nelson Williams
    April 23, 2012 6:04 am

    Ratings are important. They’re not really designed to tell you what’s in a game, that’s arbitrary. What ratings do is act as a shield against government censorship, protecting us from the horrifying spectre of games being sanitized with the same brush as network TV. Think about that for a while, and be afraid.

  2. Helvetica
    April 23, 2012 8:54 pm

    I don’t see video games as even potentially “contain[ing] as much graphic media today as the Internet, television and film … combined.” For example, video games may have echos of Goatse but they don’t have Goatse (and it’s not surprising that film also has that.)

    Video game ratings do really give a fair idea of what’s in a game. They’re a collusion between the industry and developers to provide fair example of what a game might contain.

    The article behind the link is really boring and very tame. It says literally nothing about ratings and tries to make a commentary about parenting instead. In fact, the author is entirely sanguine about ratings, at least more so than parenting.

    I cannot say the parenting advise is that good either. It fails to take into account the culture of gaming or even the underlying predisposition to playing games. It doesn’t seem to account for the capability of teenage children to fully differentiate fantasy and reality. We’ve seen it over and over in these repeated studies and stories that demonstrate the foolish mythology of video games and violence — the best ethnographic data ever is those teens who freak out at actual gunfire (city kids) but enjoy MW3.

    I think part of the reason is gamer kids are common, gamer parents not so much.

    As a result, the cultural context of games is lost between these generations; although that’s rapidly changing.

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