Submitted by GabeSA 676d ago | opinion piece

Are age restrictions even relevant today?

MWEB GameZone writer, James Wernich writes about whether age restrictions are relevant today when the youth are already so exposed to violence and sex in games and movies. (Industry)

HanCilliers  +   676d ago
Age restrictions are not only relevant today, IMHO it is a crucial requirement. For example, mys is doesn't know a thing abt gaming, the ONLY guide she goes on for her fanatic gamer kid, is the parental guidance.

Also just cause we see violence & sex everywhere doesn't mean we now have to throw the baby out with the bathwater and call free season to all explicit material, right.
GabeSA  +   676d ago
I agree, we should take back the idea that sex and violence is the norm, and be responsible when we have kids that can become exposed to it. I am not saying lets restrict sex and violence, but rather manage who sees it - and that being our kids not having access to it.
plut0nash  +   676d ago
TBH it's the devaluation of sex and violence. As adults we always want to put value on sexual relations, which defines the difference between love making and sex. As for violence, it can be necessary but rarely so. When we start taking it for granted then something wrong.
HanCilliers  +   676d ago
The problem comes when parents ignore those restrictions (as you've explained), then they dare blame the industry!
iamnsuperman  +   676d ago
I don't think we should go back on sex and violence being the norm (I do have an issue though with over sexualising children) but these age restrictions need to stay. I met a child whose parents had bought him COD (he was 9). Now it didn't do any harm to him except make him a creternus social hermit. He didn't go to the school disco with his classmates (everyone else did) he instead told me he was going to go and play COD all night. I was shocked.

This highlights bad parenting when it comes to videogames which makes the argument to get rid of the age restrictions. However, this child shouldn't be able to go into a shop and get it himself. It should be the parents responsibility and if the child does turn out weird the blame is solely on the parents and not anything else for not teaching him proper values and social norms.
plut0nash  +   676d ago
Agree with this, but I have to say that people ignore age restrictions because they choose not to be informed. Not all parents know enough about what their kids play in order to make accurate assessments on this. I've seen my little nephews playing God of War and getting excessively aggressive (perhaps more because they're boys) but also calming down after not playing it. So it's a tough one to call.
GabeSA  +   676d ago
That's why I say we cant blame parents only - but in the same token - ignorance is NOT bliss
plut0nash  +   676d ago
Heh, trouble is we have to take responsibility for own ignorance. Not how many people are comfortable with that :)
schmoe  +   676d ago
nah sorry, I am ALL for adult content in games, but being a father, i also think that those restrictions on CERTAIN games are there for a VERY valid reason. Granted on some titles the lines get blurry but lets not just chuck the baby out with the bathwater mkay
HanCilliers  +   676d ago
So where do you draw the line and WHO decides that?
plut0nash  +   676d ago
It's the parent who decides not the publisher. Ultimately parents show their kids what they want to show them. I remember being naughty as a kid and watching the late night adult movies on MNet, and doing that myself out of curiousity. So both kid and parent need to be aware :)
Choc_Salties  +   676d ago
Age restriction is one thing, having it contextualized by a parent or other suitable guardian is crucial. Not only that, it makes it more of a bonding experience between parent and child. Extra Credits over at Penny Arcade TV did a great piece on this a couple of weeks back, and i would really encourage people to watch it, as it does give some great tips on how to make this a fun and enjoyable experience, regardless of the content of the game itself.

Linky to the extra credits episode - http://youtu.be/ddZfCMRx47Q
plut0nash  +   676d ago
I love the ideas here. I'll be teaching my son forza then :D
Choc_Salties  +   676d ago
lol, love the part where the schoolteacher plays GTA with his kid to teach him colours and about cars, while obeying normal traffic conditions :)
GabeSA  +   676d ago
Like I say, it comes down to responsible adults inherently taking the said responsibility and teaching kids about the good and bad of what they watch or play. I am not talking censorship, I am talking restrictions so what you stated here makes a boat load of sense, and the video is great in outlining how gaming and videos can be positive.
lord zaid  +   676d ago
Age restrictions are informative, if not vital. Even putting aside the whole parental angle, being able to get a general idea of what type of content is in a game is very useful for any purchaser. There are adult gamers who also aren't interested in violence, sex, whatever.
GabeSA  +   676d ago
Very well put, and I agree. However, where content is inappropriate for the youth of today, I think we should consider them being vital rather than just informative. I don't think there is a grey area, but rather a clear one - we either use age restrictions to "prevent" exposure, or we ignore them. But yes, there are games that don't have sex and violence, but there aren't that many.
Choc_Salties  +   676d ago
What, there ARE?? NO WAAI!!!
Likalota  +   676d ago
The topic is wide open for debate, but here are a few thoughts.

It's important to split sex and violence. They are not the same - we live in a society far more accepting of violence than sex. By and large most games involve violence in some form or another but very few games involve sex. The same could be said of movies.

If we are looking at it from a parenting perspective, it's also about childhood development. As the child gets older the ability to reason and rationalize comes online. Concepts which are missed at a younger age now get understood more easily.

Like many things in our society - take traffic lights for example - rules seem more about guidelines than actual things to be stuck to. Being a parent means taking responsibility for all aspects of the child - both it's inner and outer world. Ultimately (hopefully) making decisions in the best interest of the child and using the ratings as a means to making an informed choice.
GabeSA  +   676d ago
Yes, true - your last comment especially - but WE as adults need to make the informed choices.
Choc_Salties  +   676d ago
The violence vs sex thing isn't quite true - continental European countries are generally more open about sex than violence, whereas with the yankees, the reverse applies.

Making a straight assumption, one would have to look at basic societal backgrounds to get an idea of why this happened. The Yankees haven't experienced war on their home territory, and I'm not counting 9-11, as it isn't as pervasive as the first and second World Wars were on the Europeans. On the sex side of things, looking at the immigrants to the US from an original point of view, with your various religious groups that made up those first groups, there you have a reasonable supposition as to why they are more uptight about sex.

With those assumptions above, that's a very broad set of assumptions, so I'm disclaiming that with YMMV, IANAL - but it's worth looking into at some point...
CaptainPunch  +   676d ago
Playing Call of Duty online has proved that gaming has no age restrictions.
PandaMcBearface  +   675d ago
Age recommendation > Age restriction.

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