that games are an 18 certificate for a reason?

(207 Posts)
theluckiest Fri 28-Dec-12 01:01:02

Friend on FB has posted a pic of his nephews glued to their xbox. Headsets on, big gamer chairs, not moving for hours. This is actually not the issue but I admit to cracking out the large (super stretchy thanks to Xmas) judgy pants when I saw the conversation under the pic. Kids are 6 and 8. They were playing Call of Duty, Black Ops which is an 18 certificate game. Quite a few replies from other people with witty comments about 'starting them early' and that they will be beating their dad soon enough.

I admit I huffed and tutted. Asked dh what he thinks as he is an occasional gamer and he was horrified as he plays this and it is very graphic. Do people not realise that games have certificates? Or not give a shit as it keeps the kids quiet?

And yes I am prob BU and my judgy pants are straining with the effort but I am a teacher so get judgy about stuff! Last year one of the kids in my class used to include some horrific stuff in his writing about heads exploding, people on fire, shootings. He spent hours playing COD, Grand Theft Auto, etc. with older brothers (he was 7).

Maybe I have finally become an old fuddy duddy stuffed shirt.....I remember watching 18 cert horror movies but am sure I was a young teen then (not 6!!) and games seem far more insidious as you become involved iyswim?

DadDancer Tue 08-Jan-13 14:18:40

I don't really know what you're so het up about. Bar the physical buying the game in the shop the law is entirely on your side. Buy whatever games you want, let you children play them. No one is stopping you.

I am not getting het up about it, just debating why I feel the current system is flawed. Whether it affects me personally is besides the point.

edit: Mass Effect was originally a 12 rating by the BBFC

TroublesomeEx Tue 08-Jan-13 14:01:54

My son is 14.

I don't let him play any 18 rated games. And he doesn't play them at his friends' houses either because his friends aren't allowed to have 18 rated games.

StuntGirl Tue 08-Jan-13 13:09:22

I have never said video games influence children's behaviour. In fact I said quite the opposite further upthread.

You lost my interest as soon as you brought up the Daily Mail as an antithesis against reason and your viewpoint.

I don't really know what you're so het up about. Bar the physical buying the game in the shop the law is entirely on your side. Buy whatever games you want, let you children play them. No one is stopping you.

DadDancer Tue 08-Jan-13 13:01:36

I had a look at the PEGI web site and it seems that even they have to concede the following in their FAQ's section:

Do games have an influence on children?
The research on the impact of videogames has been focused primarily on violence. Numerous studies have been published, but until today there is no evidence that playing violent video games causes any long-term or lasting increase in aggressiveness or violence among players.
Sources:
- Jonathan L. Freedman , Evaluating the Research on Violent Video Games
- Guy Cumberbatch, Video Violence Villain or victim?
- Raymond Boyle and Matthew Hibberd, Review of Research on the Impact of Violent Computer Games on Young People.

and

How long may a child play games?
As every child is different there is no fixed rule. Gaming as such does not entail specific health risks. It is a leisure activity, just like reading books or watching television. As it involves the use of your eyesight we generally advise these guidelines:

- Always play in a well lit room
- Take regular breaks
- Don’t play a game for hours on end, no matter how compelling it may be.
- Keep a minimum distance from the screen.

DadDancer Tue 08-Jan-13 12:48:56

And who do you think elected the government

Only 39% of the adult population voted for this coalition and i would say a fair few of them are a little disgruntled, especially the Lib Dem supporters. I think it’s fair to say that the government are becoming less and less representative of society at the moment. Seems all 3 of the main parties favour the nanny state these days too.

You are coming across as a bit fanboy-ish for Skyrim!

If you must insist on calling me a fan boy of a game then it would be for Mass Effect. Funnily enough it's another game that was rated 15 by BBFC and 18 by PEGI. Again i would have given it a PG rating and will indeed let my daughter play it with my supervision. Saying that she is only 2 and a half so is long way off mastering the xbox controller and a game like mass effect, although she can play Mario kart with the wheel!

I also wouldn't let my kids watch Bond either, for a variety of reasons

So fair enough you have decided it’s not suitable for your kids despite the censor saying it is. But doesn't this prove my point about age ratings being a waste of time and that it should be down to the parents to decide for themselves?

I think although people didn't directly elect a regulatory body there'd be a bloody outcry if it was removed.

Yeah there would be the usual outcry from a vocal minority of do-gooders and the Daily Mail no doubt, but I reckon most people wouldn't be bothered as that survey above proved. Also it would probably result in parents having to spend a bit more time vetting these games rather than lazily relying on the state to do so, which has got to be a good thing.

There are lots of regulatory bodies we haven't directly voted for, but they still exist and serve a purpose.

This is very true but it doesn't mean we shouldn't be questioning/ challenging these things.

StuntGirl Sun 06-Jan-13 20:10:31

And who do you think elected the government grin

You are coming across as a bit fanboy-ish for Skyrim! I also wouldn't let my kids watch Bond either, for a variety of reasons - the sex being one of them. But again - no one's stopping you letting your kids play these games, and it's not affecting you if other parents make a different decision.

I think although people didn't directly elect a regulatory body there'd be a bloody outcry if it was removed. There are lots of regulatory bodies we haven't directly voted for, but they still exist and serve a purpose.

DadDancer Fri 04-Jan-13 14:25:27

Dragon Age definitely has sex in it.

it does but it is of the clothed dry humping variety. There are more raunchier scenes in your average PG rated Bond movie.

I think it boils down to this: no one thinks the games they play are that bad and are better than the games other people play. I'm as guilty as the next.

hey I liked Skyrim but i am not the fanboy type, i just used it as an example of how it was rated originally a 15 by BBFC and is now an 18 by PEGI.

But the thing is two different regulatory bodies, the BBFC and then later PEGI -who we as a society have placed to make these decisions on our behalf - both decided that Skyrim is not suitable for children and young teens. To argue against that is probably pissing in the wind.

No it was this so called elected government who have appointed them, not society, I don't recall being asked to vote on this matter, do you? When the majority of people are completely ignoring the ratings system, i don't see how arguing against it is pissing in the wind. If anything it is PEGI who are pissing in the wind, given that anyone can post the worst bits of a game on unrestricted youtube, which can be accessed by all ages. How many parents would actually ban their kids from youtube? Not many i imagine.

DadDancer Fri 04-Jan-13 12:39:54

No, it's not. They choose which scenes to submit. They could quite easily only submit tame stuff. PEGI wouldn't have any way of knowing (until the inevitable outcry anyway) They choose what they want PEGI to rate, knowing full well what things will earn them what ratings.

Apologies, you are indeed correct with this, but naturally one would think that a developer would try and get away with the lowest rating possible as to increase it's range of customers and hence sales. But thinking about it some more, with games such as COD or GTA I imagine they probably want an 18 rating as a sort of badge of honor, as if to say this is the 'real deal'. I expect fans (kids especially) would be put off if say COD only received a 12 rating for example, thinking it has been watered down or was 'kiddie'

StuntGirl Fri 04-Jan-13 12:31:50

Dragon Age definitely has sex in it.

I love Skyrim but it's definitely more violent than I would like a child to play. I don't know about you Dancer, but in an open ended game don't you sometimes do shit just to see what happens? That's how children can come across inappropriate content in a game.

I think it boils down to this: no one thinks the games they play are that bad and are better than the games other people play. I'm as guilty as the next. When you enjoy a game it can be easy to try and justify it for X reason. But the thing is two different regulatory bodies, the BBFC and then later PEGI -who we as a society have placed to make these decisions on our behalf - both decided that Skyrim is not suitable for children and young teens. To argue against that is probably pissing in the wind.

And lucky for you the law is on your side anyway. You can buy all these age rated games on your kids behalf and then let them play them at home. It's what everyone else is doing.

PS) Also love Final Fantasy! My DH would be so excited if my DS grows into wanting to play that...or Fifa lol

tbf, games aren't exactly cheap so it's usually parents buying them for their kids and most parents are fully aware that COD etc are rated as 18+ but they still buy them.

I already said further up the thread that I think some games which are rated 18 are not particularly offensively violent or graphic imho and I wouldn't have much of an issue with 13/14 year olds playing them. There are others which I think the 18 rating is entirely appropriate for.

However, I do think that teenagers will inevitably listen to 'inappropriate' music, watch scary, gory and nasty movies (and probably, unfortunately, a lot of nasty porn), drink the occasional alcopop, try smoking cigarettes and play these kinds of games. You might be able to keep a lid on it in your own house but a lot of parents are going to be a lot more lax and it's hard to control what's going on when they are with friends, and it's pretty hard to socially exclude your child from hanging out with friends outside of school because you're concerned that other parents might not share your views.

So I think that on the whole it's better to be open - if your 14 year old really wants COD (for example), discuss it with them, what your reservations are, and then, if you are so inclined, let them have it but with restrictions - no headset to talk to other players, internet is switched off at night so they can't sit up til 4am playing against people on the other side of the world or their friends from school, if the console is in their bedroom they play it with the door open so you can monitor what they're up to from time to time etc.

I know a lot of mums will disagree with me on this, as they are perfectly entitled to, but that's the kind of route I would take with kids 14 plus. Under tens is a whole other story though...

DadDancer Fri 04-Jan-13 01:34:49

Some people keep mentioning 15 rated games, I thought PEGI was 3,7,12,16,18? No 15 as far as I'm aware?

the 15 is a BBFC rating for films which did apply to games before PEGI which makes it even more daft that now between the two we have a U, PG, 3, 7, 12 ,15 ,16 ,18 to contend with.
Why not just have a U, PG and X (which I would rate at a 15+) and be done with it?

"I think it is the parents responsibility to judge this not the nanny states as kids mature at different ages."

I'd agree with this if there weren't so many idiots out there who believe that video games are only for kids and never for adults. Far too many of them just don't bother looking into the content of games. Let's face it, a huge amount of them are/were totally unaware of PEGI. So I'm happy that 18 rated games are no longer allowed to be sold to under 18's.

In one DA storyline there is a rape. Definitely sex in the one I played. Oh and my character made enemies explode into a cloud of blood. Which was amusing to me, but not suitable for kids.

It's been a while since I've bought CD's, but when I was growing up any song with swearing on had that sticker.

DadDancer Fri 04-Jan-13 01:18:13

You've never seen these then? Or noticed that you can't have swearing on TV pre-watershed. It's not like PEGI are the only ones saying that swearing isn't suitable for children.

yep and i can assure you none of those songs on Rock smith would warrant such a sticker and are played pre-watershed on tv and radio uncensored. Also i am all for warning parents about the content of a game/film/song as i stated in my fist post on this thread, it's the age rating i'd like to see dropped or reduced to a more sensible level. I think it is the parents responsibility to judge this not the nanny states as kids mature at different ages.

The Witcher and Dragon Age. Definitely 100% not child friendly.

yeah the Witcher 2 is pretty full on but didn't think Dragon Age was that bad at all. Also thought DA 2 was pretty disappointing, seemed too repetitive but loved the first one.

Lulu You're right

Back on the subject of Skyrim, have you read PEGI's explanation of why it's 18 rated
"Extreme violence - Violence towards defenceless people"

Back to the Skyrim/COD comparison, COD=killing armed soldiers before they kill you. Skyrim=killing defenceless people. So much better for kids than COD right?

LuluMai Fri 04-Jan-13 00:52:52

Some people keep mentioning 15 rated games, I thought PEGI was 3,7,12,16,18? No 15 as far as I'm aware?

Also in terms of fantasy not needing the same ratings, you might want to look at other fantasy games, eg. The Witcher and Dragon Age. Definitely 100% not child friendly.

"It would be a different matter if the game instructed them to do the youtube clip above as a side mission but it doesn't."

So despite giving them the means to decapitate characters without explicitly telling them to do it means it's child friendly?

"That doesn't seem like much of choice to me, more like blatant censorship. Either make the cuts before or we will make them for you or give you a higher rating is what you are saying?"

No, it's not. They choose which scenes to submit. They could quite easily only submit tame stuff. PEGI wouldn't have any way of knowing (until the inevitable outcry anyway) They choose what they want PEGI to rate, knowing full well what things will earn them what ratings.

"Like all those songs that people have been listening to for decades. Now all of a sudden these PEGI peeps deem them unsuitable for people under 12."

You've never seen these then? Or noticed that you can't have swearing on TV pre-watershed. It's not like PEGI are the only ones saying that swearing isn't suitable for children.

DadDancer Fri 04-Jan-13 00:44:06

The games developers will have had ample opportunity to lower the PEGI rating, no one has forced it on them.

That doesn't seem like much of choice to me, more like blatant censorship. Either make the cuts before or we will make them for you or give you a higher rating is what you are saying?

Just because other media don't do the same doesn't make PEGI's choice wrong.

Well it is wrong as it is inconsistent and doesn't fit in with what people are used to. Like all those songs that people have been listening to for decades. Now all of a sudden these PEGI peeps deem them unsuitable for people under 12. And they wonder why parents don't care for their new system. They are completely out of touch.

Skyrim however, and in fact any open world game like it, should always err on the side of caution due to the absolute open nature of the game, Sure the developers didn't create Skyrim so someone could kill people, strip them naked and arrange them in degrading positions after death, but if the possibility is in there it must be taken into account.

But are young kids actually going to do these things in the game? where would they get the knowledge from? It would be a different matter if the game instructed them to do the youtube clip above as a side mission but it doesn't.

Stunt Have to say, after watching that video I suddenly want Skyrim! Have to finish Dragon Age 2 first though!

"that's about the equivalent of barbie doll porn "

So barbie doll porn would be ok for children then? hmm

StuntGirl Fri 04-Jan-13 00:25:45

And if my children were 'killing' their dolls in a gory manner, stripping them naked and simulating oral sex I'd find that a cause for concern to be honest!

DadDancer Fri 04-Jan-13 00:11:59

^No sex or bad language in Skyrim?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwLTEKyiwhQ ^

that's about the equivalent of barbie doll porn smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now