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?

MuddlingMackem Fri 28-Dec-12 01:02:40

YANBU!

StuntGirl Fri 28-Dec-12 01:18:52

Ahh this old chestnut grin

floatyjosmum Fri 28-Dec-12 01:34:51

YANBU

DS is about to turn 12 and until recently i only let him race cars, play football and the disney/lego games.
Have to admit my DH (not dad) plays the xbox and the rules have relaxed but not by much - he can shoot aliens now! tbh its not the shooting etc that worries me the most - its the language. DH got far cry 3 for xmas and he isnt allowed to play it if the kids are in the room and to be honest I want to leave too its that bad!

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 28-Dec-12 01:37:51

Chill out. Games are often graded in relation their difficulty to complete.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Fri 28-Dec-12 01:38:08

My DNephew is 8 and playing CoD. Amazingly, when we sit down to watch family films he has no attention span and asks when the 'good' bit is. He means violence.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Fri 28-Dec-12 01:40:24

Based on what, Alisvolatpropiis? I think it is pretty much always content they are rated on.

VestaCurry Fri 28-Dec-12 01:44:16

My brother likes those type of games but only plays them when dc's (10 and 7) are in bed. He says they are not appropriate for children under 14. I don't know as we just have some tame wii games.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 28-Dec-12 01:48:22

MrsTerrys I think you'll find COD and similarly categorised games are more difficult to complete than Mickey goes to Hollywood. The blurb of the game in question usually gives similar information.

CatchTheFox Fri 28-Dec-12 01:53:59

errrr, games are no more rated on their difficulty to complete than films are rated on the complexity of their plot.
i'm of the opinion that it's very important to censor the games that children play. it's been shown that playing violent video games can have a negative impact on children's behaviour. i am a gamer myself and no way would i let my 8 year old play CoD.

gatheringlilac Fri 28-Dec-12 01:57:18

Call of Duty.

Soft Play centres.

Smoking.

It's mumsnet. <happy smile>

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 28-Dec-12 01:57:40

okay then,whatever obviously Disney games are exactly as easy to complete as games with a higher certificate.

I'm not saying you should let ^your* children COD OP btw.

CatchTheFox Fri 28-Dec-12 02:47:00

From the Games Rating Authority website:

"It should also be noted that the ratings relate to the content of the game and not to how difficult the game is to play. A chess game would probably have a 3 rating but would hardly be recommended for toddlers."

DingDongBelle Fri 28-Dec-12 02:48:19

Games are rated by PEGI based on content. All games are rated by age. This is why shops can't sell COD to anyone under 18.

If games were rated by difficulty, yet often have up to 6 difficulty settings, how would that work, exactly?

This is a popular misconception. DH works in the industry and was amazed when I told him people think this.

floatyjosmum Fri 28-Dec-12 02:49:06

Disney games are often aimed at younger players but isn't this due to their content and therefore they need to be easier!!

StuntGirl Fri 28-Dec-12 02:50:22

Absolutely wrong ali. Game ratings are 100% based on content, they are never based on difficulty. PEGI are the official body who rate video games, you can read their grading criteria here.

ChristmasKnackers Fri 28-Dec-12 02:53:19

alis that is completely wrong and normally what kids tell their parents so they can play COD. 18 rating - not for children!

StuntGirl Fri 28-Dec-12 02:53:53

Disney games are frequntly 7+ or 12+ as they are action adventure games which require the player to 'fight' or 'kill' 'bad guys'. There are some exceptions, Club Penguin or Disney Princess for example, but these tend to be games specifically aimed at the very young.

Disney games aren't neccessarily easy eiher! One of the hardest to complete games I own is Lilo and Stitch on the GBA!

StuntGirl Fri 28-Dec-12 02:59:29

<Notices the plethora of spelling mistakes> Oh ffs, think that's proof its my bed time hmm

ihearsounds Fri 28-Dec-12 02:59:34

there's also a disney game that is an 18. it is not becuase it is difficult, what a niave thing to suggest, but it is becuase it is violent.
I often play games that are 18, and there is no way I will play when younger children are in the same room. Just in the same way I will not watch Saw or any unsuitable film.
It really gets me how some people simply dont understand what ratings are about.

StuntGirl Fri 28-Dec-12 03:01:43

Is there sounds? Which game?

ihearsounds Fri 28-Dec-12 03:12:12

apologies,its not. disney one. its a fairy tale one, probably why i was thinking disney. little red goes on a slashing frenzy.. But sadly, those uneducated about games will think well its totally fine for children to play.

StuntGirl Fri 28-Dec-12 03:24:25

Personally I think PEGI was the absolutely wrong way to go after the Byron report; there should have been a brand new regulatory body set up and a campaign to educate parents/guardians on it. Games are such a different media to film the BBFC could never adequately rate them and PEGI is just a bloody joke, people are mostly unaware of just who/what the fuck PEGI are. Waste of time appointing them.

HoneyMurcott Fri 28-Dec-12 04:17:19

YANBU.

missingperson Fri 28-Dec-12 04:17:59

Can you elaborate StuntGirl?

I'm just a parent who finds computer games pretty dull so hasn't got time or inclination to try out evry game before giving to DC's to play. Hence have to rely on PEGI ratings to decide if suitable or not.

I usually find film ratings pretty OK with a few minor aberations (generally due to films being rated 12+ due to swearing which I think is OK whereas fi,s with sexual content being rated PG which I think is not OK)

missingperson Fri 28-Dec-12 04:19:00

Sorry - meant to say - so if film ratings OK why not PEGI ratings?

StuntGirl Fri 28-Dec-12 08:25:58

Sorry missing I wasn't being very clear at 3am last night!

When PEGI is used as it should be (so, the way you described) its perfect. The problem arises when people ignore, disregard or just plain don't understand the ratings system. They either think the ratings are similar to those in say, board games where similar ratings are used to denote ability or they do see the ratings but for some unfathomable reason think "it's only a game so it can't possibly be bad "even if it has a big, fat, red 18 plastered across it. They don't understand why it has an age rating, what the difference between the age ratings are or what the content of the game is. So imo that means PEGI fails as a ratings system.

When Byron recommended changing the ratings system it was recommended to use PEGI for simplicity, as opposed to the previous system which used a hodge podge of PEGI and BBFC. It was also recommended to have a big push with promoting awareness of PEGI, which hasn't really happened. So what we've ended up with is a system which doesn't have the familiarity of BBFC and which isn't clearly explained or understood.

I work selling video games so I see this every day, granted its not all parents by any stretch but its a sizeable enough group to make it an issue that needs addressing imo.

ChristmasKnackers Fri 28-Dec-12 08:36:32

stuntgirl you are right, the ignorance of some parents is staggering. I teach in a secondary school where a large proportion of our year 7 boys were taking about getting this for Christmas. All of them tell their parents that its 18 because its hard. We are thinking of running some sessions high listing the content of the games, but also the online environment, which is another problem.

bonkersLFDT20 Fri 28-Dec-12 08:42:33

Knackers Shocking that so many parents take the word of their children on this. Or do you think it's a case of turning a blind eye. No way would I let my year 9 boy play COD.

DingDongBelle Fri 28-Dec-12 09:30:00

If you don't want to play the game you can still see content before giving it to your DC's. look the games up on YouTube - there are loads of clips of footage you can watch to help you decide, without having to play. Don't you think an hour or two is a worthwhile investment for you in parenting your DC? Or even simpler: ask the staff in any gaming shop. They are likely to have played the game and will be able to explain it to you.

Then, once you are informed, it's your decision. Talk to your DC's about why its ok/not ok and what they are likely to see - violence etc. and don't forget there is an increasing amount of sex in games too: many games have playable 'romance' story lines now which often end in characters having sex on screen.

A quick google will tell you all this, and a hour on YouTube will show you. It's not hard to be informed.

Stuntgirl- agree that PEGI isn't ideal. There does need to be some consideration of games as a seperate media- and this clearly doesn't work as people do equate videogames to board games and the suitability system.

But parents should think of video games as playable films and seperate to board games: tell me a board game which contains torture, heads and spines being pulled out of bodies, 'kill-cams' which show a bullet going through a victim like an X-ray shattering bones and scattering brain matter, or a massacre in a shopping centre. Parents have a responsibility to educate themselves too.

I came here to say exactly what you said, DingDongBelle.
SO many parents just go "Oh, I'm not interested so cba to find out anything about this game my kids want." FFS. I get bored watching films, but if I just let my child watch any old film without vetting it first, I'd be lynched!

This subject comes up again and again, and it's always bloody CoD. If I was Queen of Video Games, you'd all love me - I would ban all shooters because they're boring and bring out the worst in anyone who plays them grin

HappilyUnhinged Fri 28-Dec-12 10:42:00

I think a lot depends on the nature of the child. My DD at 5 regularly interacts with me playing games, and while I used to keep anything with violent content strictly for when she is asleep, the rules have been relaxed on occasion and she has spent time watching all sorts of stuff which I would initially have thought unsuitable. Now, I still keep anything visceral to post bed time, but I have been known to run around in Arkham City with her watching, or doing the odd kill in Assassin's Creed with her about. I've found that her ability to discern the difference between fantasy violence and real violence is more impressive than mine was as a child and it feels perfectly healthy.

However, with respect to COD (or indeed, Hitman which I started yesterday) there's no way I'd allow her to watch it, purely because they go out of the way to make the violence so... well... violent.

One thing I do believe strongly though, is that parents have a responsibility to understand fully what their children and watching/playing/listening to. You cannot judge on content of something unless you have watched that thing yourself. Unless a film, for example, is definitely aimed at children, a lot of parents will watch that film before deciding whether they will let their children watch it, and may let them see it but get them to close their eyes and cover their ears during the twenty seconds of material they know is coming up which they don't want their child to see. Games should be the same. Parents should play the games, understand their content and then make judgements on them on a case by case basis, not just rely on the rating provided by a total stranger who has no idea on the reactions a specific child may have.

Oh and when DD asks to play a game herself, she always wants to play something aimed at kids, she likes Lego games, puzzle games, Mario and Sonic type stuff etc. Not once has she ever asked to play something "grown up", she sees those as my games which aren't for her.

Also (I could go on for hours but this is long enough) I think that part of the problem is parents who don't promote other types of non-violent games to their children. If the child in question is only aware of COD type stuff, and has never seen the fun and joy in a puzzle adventure like The Unfinished Swan (a masterpiece) then how can they broaden their minds and enjoy what the medium has to offer?

bruffin Fri 28-Dec-12 10:43:58

Slightly off topic but
I got lord of the rings lego for xmas and it has 3 different ratings
Pegi 7 on the box
Pg and usk 12 on the actual disc

BunFagFreddie Fri 28-Dec-12 10:50:05

I know a lot of adults who happily play COD in front of their kids, but wouldn't let the children actually play it.

The other thing I've found, is as a parent of a teenage DS, he was going round to see friends that have older siblings, and playing these 18 rated games anyway. In fact, most of DS's friends have (or their older brothers have) COD and they have not turned into axe wielding maniacs, they're nice kids and they do their homework etc. Some of them are even from very naice families with posh houses we all know that it's ok for naice kids to do it cause their parents have money and good jobs.

I'm not going to get uptight about it, otherwise I would turn into an overprotective, intruding bitch of a mother. Mind you, a teenager playing COD is different to a 6 or 8 year old.

"Games are often graded in relation their difficulty to complete"

Hahahaha, what absolute rubbish.

Can't believe anyone is daft enough to think that!

AmberSocks Fri 28-Dec-12 11:11:31

I have a 5 yr old and the thought of himplaying one of those kind of games where they kill people just does not sit right with me.

TinkerMcJingles Fri 28-Dec-12 11:12:16

Absolutely no way would I let my 9 year old play COD or any other 16/18 Cert games for that matter. He will be 10 in Feb so he is allowed to play up to age 12 games as they aren't violent/sexual IME, just technically more difficult. He is nagging as his friends are allowed but I am not giving in. Any parents that would allow a 6 year old to play COD is an idiot and extremely irresponsible in my opinion.

ComposHat Fri 28-Dec-12 11:20:41

I hadn't really kept up with video games, my knowledge pretty much starts and ends with Pacman and Space Invaders.

I couldn't see what the fuss was about games and violence until I went round to visit my fiancée's sister and her boyfriend. He was playing the Black Ops game on a massive TV with surround sound.(Quite why a man in his late 40s wants to play on a games console is beyond me but still) It was genuinely unsettling and horribly realistic.

Admittedly I am quite sensitive to depictions of violence. but the thought of a child playing that is pretty horrific.

rogersmellyonthetelly Fri 28-Dec-12 11:21:23

If I wouldn't let my kids watch a film rated 18 why would I let them play a game rated 18? Seems silly to me. If you want to do it, fine but I personally won't. Big difference between firing at space invaders or biffing something on the head until it falls down "dead" and the sort of graphic detail you get on cod. Same as the difference between James bond rated 12 where the gun fires and someone drops dead to the age 18 films where the violence is more graphic.

BalthierBunansa Fri 28-Dec-12 12:25:44

I am a big big gamer, and I agree YANBU. I do find (some) gamer parents are more careful about what they let their children play as they understand the ratings and content better. I wasn't allowed to play 18 games until I turned 18 and I am so thankful for that. I feel playing violent video games much younger will cause desensitisation, which no-one wants.

Video games are a wonderful media, and some of which I consider masterpieces. But age ratings are important.

JenaiMathis Fri 28-Dec-12 12:32:54

I let 12yo ds play 15s once I've satisfied myself that they're suitable (for want of a better word), just as I'll let him watch older rated films.

There are 2 big differences between the games and films or TV though.

First, films tend to be shared. Anything outrageously sexist for example, or where a lead character behaves like an utter arse can be discussed there and then. I love gaming, and could (and did, pre-parenthood) play something like Zelda for 12 hours at a time but the kind of crap ds likes to play leaves me cold, so he'll be playing with mates or alone and without my input.

Secondly, as anyone who had spent the day after a session on edge, ready to take on giant, laser-toting alien ants can testify, the interactivity of games makes them that much more immersive - they can properly mess with your head (man).

As such anyone who lets an 8yo play Grand Theft Auto for example is a fucking idiot.

StuntGirl Fri 28-Dec-12 13:05:22

He will be 10 in Feb so he is allowed to play up to age 12 games as they aren't violent/sexual IME, just technically more difficult.

Sorry tinker, thats absolutely incorrect. And further proof to my point that PEGI as a system isn't working.

ChristmasKnackers Fri 28-Dec-12 13:08:03

I I always loe the argument that people see teenagers play it and 'they haven't turned into axe wielding maniacs'... You really are completely missing the point.

BalthierBunansa Fri 28-Dec-12 13:15:07

Just to make it clear, PEGI DOESN'T RATE GAMES ON DIFFICULTY. I have played very easy 18+ games and hard 12+ games or whatever. They rate games on CONTENT.

ChristmasKnackers I agree, no-one sane thinks video games are going to turn teenagers into axe wielding murders. That's NOT the problem. The problem is that violent video games can cause desensitisation, which is a very very real problem.

EasilyBored Fri 28-Dec-12 13:18:14

I don't know why anyone would let their kid play something like CoD, on trying not to teach DS that violence and killing stuff is entertainment.

There's so much violence not dissimilar to games like that, that actually exists. I don't think an 8 year old is old enough to understand that one is someones real life, and the other is a game? It's messed up, and I get very very judgy about it. DH has a relative who's three year old has his own xbox and plays CoD on his own in his room. That's some fucking dire parenting.

EasilyBored Fri 28-Dec-12 13:19:15

I'm *

ratbagcatbag Fri 28-Dec-12 13:28:26

Ok, going to stand in a minority here, my DSS has been allowed the cod games from about aged 9, rules attached are you turn down the level of violence ( asked at the start of the game) and if playing online, you mute everyone who s not a direct friend, I feel that the deaths in it are very cartoony anyway (as an avid gamer myself). That said grand theft auto and saints row are completely banned in this house as the content is far more adult, in particular where you take on roles of pimps and beat up the prostitutes etc for not earning enough. DSS is now 14, we still won't budge on these games but the shoot em ups are fine.

JenaiMathis Fri 28-Dec-12 13:28:57

Some 12s are really violent. Not gory as such, but very aggressive. It's a bit like Power Rangers, the TV series. As daft as fish but I remember it having quite a negative impact on some 5yos who liked to reenact the kick boxing style fighting.

Skyward Sword is a 12 otoh and I'd have had no problem with ds playing it at 8. Had he a more susceptible and fighty sibling, I'd have not allowed them anywhere near.

Parents need to apply commonsense, basically.

frankinsensible Fri 28-Dec-12 13:42:31

YANBU

Bought a playstation second-hand for ds (13) for xmas which had some games with it. Most of the games were rated 3+ or 7+ but they had also chucked in one rated 18 (Red Dead Redemption). Ds was adamant he wanted to play the 18 game because the others were too 'babyish' and that it was set in the Wild West so would only be like a cowboy film with lots of shooting and maybe a bit of blood which he has seen plenty of in Harry Potter, Batman etc.

I insisted on looking up the Content Advisory on imdb, included amongst all the other violence is a hanged body with it's genitals cut off - ds would have been really traumatised to see such an image.

I agree the PEGI ratings aren't nearly clear enough but basically, as with films, the ratings are there for a good reason. There seems to be a big gap in the market for kids around 10 - 14, I managed to find two 12 rated games for ds that were challenging and gritty enough but I can see how parents of this age range might cave in under pester power.

"Chill out. Games are often graded in relation their difficulty to complete".... how naive can you get... Call of Duty is in no way suitable for 6 and 8 year olds. And that's not being judgemental, it's being responsible. My 19 year old DS (who I wouldn't have bought this for a few years ago) agrees, by the way

Cortana Fri 28-Dec-12 14:00:13

YANBU at all.

We're a gaming family and COD is not allowed in this house, same as GTA and Hitman Etc.

DS is 8 ( I'm 28 and DP is 29 grin )

On the other hand I do allow Halo as when playing multiplayer (DP, DS and I with a few friends) it's more like laser tag. You shoot, you hit, the person you hit respawns. No blood or screaming.

DS is currently playing Skyrim. It's a 15 too. DP had a good play through before we let DS play and will keep a few hours ahead of him on the storyline. I'm surprised it was rated 15, the only was "graphic violence" but other than slaying a few dragons with magic shouts I've seen nothing to concern me yet when DP played. This type of game I do make DS play next to me and he's not allowed it alone.

Unless there's something in the story that DP hasn't come across yet, we'll continue to allow DS to play.

Not enough people understand how PEGI works but I something think they can be hit and miss with ratings. I would say this was more of a PG, but then I am not all parents.

I only started gaming to test games before letting my son play, some PG's feel over-certified, I mean the Sega Mega Drive classics game was a PG! I felt I had to play through to check and there was nothing I wouldn't be happy to let a very young child play. It's sonic! But it would have been easy to think it was down to difficultly not content and run with it.

If any parents want to have a go on Xbox and play a few games, set up a live account and PM me, I am happy to add on Xbox Live and we can play some games to see what they're like or chat through security settings for children (which can be much tighter than some children let on!)

theluckiest Fri 28-Dec-12 14:00:26

Oh yay! I have returned to find my thread is one of today's discussions! And I honestly didn't realise I was cracking open a MN hot topic like Parking/MILs/etc...

Some very good points. I agree with many of the replies here...I honestly think having spoken to some parents of kids I teach that they genuinely do not know what the content of these games is. And therein lies a huge problem as an informed decision can't be made. There seems to be an attitude from some that xboxes & consoles are for the kids. (Disclaimer....this is not my thinking! As I said DH is a gamer and has been playing since he had a Sega Megadrive many moons ago...)

We have COD (feel a right hypocrite now blush) and 2 small DSs. However DH knows which games are suitable and which are categorically not. He guffawed with the idea that the rating relates to difficulty...he struggled with Lego Batman as I recall! We would not allow DSs anywhere near an 18 cert for a very, very long time but I suppose that's because we know what it is and that the content is unsuitable.

Easilybored, that's shocking. Is your DHs relative my SIL?!! I was very judgy when she bought her DS a playstation for his room when he was 2. He's now 17 and rarely leaves his bedroom except to forage in the fridge or to disappear to his mate's bedrooms to play the same games he was playing at home. Judge, judge...mutter....mutter. Still. No doubt my boys will do exactly the same in a few years...

ComposHat Fri 28-Dec-12 14:01:54

I wonder if all the idiots people who think that games are rated on their difficulty to complete rather than content also think that films are rated on the complexity of the plot?

If so then surely all pornos should be a U certificate as the plots are normally paper thin. (or so I've heard)

"I honestly think having spoken to some parents of kids I teach that they genuinely do not know what the content of these games is. And therein lies a huge problem as an informed decision can't be made" .... well surely if you can't know what the content is or can't make an informed decision, then you defer to the age on the box? Just can't see how anyone can say "haven't seen it, don't know what content is, can't make informed decision so will let my 6 / 8 year old play an 18+ game? " Maybe I'm boring and old fashioned, but kids have parents for a reason.....

niceguy2 Fri 28-Dec-12 14:29:38

Ultimately I think it's up to each parent. I have banned my 5yr old from playing these sorts of games but not Team Fortress 2 because the latter is more cartoony than out & out violent. However I do let my 11yr old play COD/black ops etc.

In my opinion playing these games in moderation will not hurt my son as he has a good sense of right/wrong. Good parenting is fundamental to any child's upbringing and I think it's a long stretch to pin the blame on computer games for violence. What I mean is if I leave him to play the game on his own for 10 hours a day, never bother with him and teach him right from wrong then that's far more damaging than shooting a few people in a virtual world.

So far my 11 year old hasn't tried to garrote me with the controller cable when I tell him to switch it off, nor does he try to stab me with the bread knife when I tell him it's time for bed.

sweetpea31 Fri 28-Dec-12 14:33:16

I was horrified to learn that children at my school know what 'tea bagging' is as a result of them playing COD. If you feel it is acceptable for 9/10 year olds to know such sexual references then you allow them to play +18 games. If you would be horrified that your children could be exposed to this then you will understand the reasoning for age related guidelines and are sensible to ensure your child does not play these kind of games.

valiumredhead Fri 28-Dec-12 14:35:37

YANBU. My ds 11 has never been allowed to play 18 games but knows what tea bagging is thanks to all the little darlings at school who are allowed to!

niceguy.... agree wtih you, up to a point. If parents know the content of games, and then feel ok for their kids to play, that's one thing... parents not knowing games, and content being beyond the understanding of a younger child, or highly inappropriate for a young child, is a different matter and irresponsible in my mind. Had a conversation with a friend who thought a game was ok for her 12 year old "because he was mature beyond his years".. but she had no idea it contained violence bordering on rape ... I'm no prude, but would draw a line at that

ComposHat Fri 28-Dec-12 14:36:32

I thought Call of Duty was a shooting/war type game. Is there scrotal sucking as well? This seems like one crazy universe they've created!

sweetpea31 Fri 28-Dec-12 14:39:03

when you kill someone you can apparently 'teabag' your victim in a victory kind of dance! It is the craze in this area!

valiumredhead Fri 28-Dec-12 14:42:32

Shooting is the least of my dislike for COD!

Cortana Fri 28-Dec-12 14:43:09

Haha Compos no, you can make the character crouch. When you kill someone you walk over to them a bob up and down into a crouch which looks like teabagging.

Once when playing (without my son!) on Halo some bawbag with an attitude towards female gamers taunted me on chat saying he was going to gank me then teabag me. I got him first and yelled "CLAM-PRINTING". The miserable sod rage-quit.

Pantomimedam Fri 28-Dec-12 14:45:44

The certificates are there for a reason. It's extremely sad if some parents are not paying attention and don't realise an 18-rated game is not suitable for an 11yoo. It's up to parents to consider that rating and decide whether they want their 11yo playing an 18 rated game, of course. But their decision affects other children as well as their own, as their 11yo will talk about the 18-rated game at school and may well play pretend games inspired by it in the playground.

Startail Fri 28-Dec-12 14:52:09

YANBU

I don't give a monkeys about normal sex, nudity or the odd fuck.
Any DC over 9 or 10, who knows the facts of life, can cooe with that.

But, The level of violence and gore in 15 and 18 games and films is not appropriate.

Startail Fri 28-Dec-12 14:53:02

cope,

valiumredhead Fri 28-Dec-12 14:53:16

I agree star

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 28-Dec-12 15:08:14

There are some games rated with in my dc's ages that I won't let them have and there are some rated above there ages that they are allowed.

I judge the games based on my impression of them and on my brothers thoughts on them in combination with the ratings ( he's a gamer I'm not.) some I may feel are rated under or over how I would rate them.

BunFagFreddie Fri 28-Dec-12 15:34:03

I I always loe the argument that people see teenagers play it and 'they haven't turned into axe wielding maniacs'... You really are completely missing the point.

I was actually talking about teenagers who play these games. I pointed out that I then went on to say that teenagers playing such games is very different to children of 6 and 8 playing them. However, if people can actually be bothered to read other people's posts they would know this.

Actually, a lot of yound children do see people playing these games, and it's often their parents.

PlaySchool Fri 28-Dec-12 15:44:17

I was slightly mortified that my Yr2 DS read out in assembly that Black Ops was his favourite Xbox game. [Fblush] His teacher knew what he was going to say. His teacher is young and must have known what the game was. I think teacher must have been having a little laugh. DS has 5 older brothers and started watching them play it and then moved on to playing it himself. He knows the difference between the game and reality. Funnily enough, his teacher says he has great imaginative writing.

BunFagFreddie Fri 28-Dec-12 16:02:28

PlaySchool, older brothers have a lot to answer for when it comes to kids coming into contact with nasty video games!

BalthierBunansa Fri 28-Dec-12 16:08:05

I don't know PlaySchool I don't any 6/7 year old COMPLETELY understands the difference between reality and a game. As in, perceptions about a game might seep into perceptions about reality.

BertieBotts Fri 28-Dec-12 16:15:36

I think PEGI ratings are very good and comprehensive. We had some training to read at work about it because the law changed in July - it's now illegal to sell a game to someone if it has a 12 or higher rating, and you don't think they are that age.

The system seems great to me. You have the overall age rating as a quick guide and then there are symbols on the back which tell you why the game got the rating. Off the top of my head there is language, violence, sexual content, drug use, scary themes/scenes and a symbol to denote that the game can be played online which means that users might come across uncensored content.

The symbols are of course related to the age, too, a game rated 7 might have a "language" marker if aggressive language is used whereas this wouldn't merit a "language" marker in a 15 or 18 game.

The info we read for training in work was about 2 pages long and didn't take long to read and I could now make a rough guess about the suitability of a game for a child.

JenaiMathis Fri 28-Dec-12 16:21:06

My own ds has always made a VERY clear distinction between fantasy and reality, to the point that I actually worried that he lacked imagination and empathy (a few years on, I realise that I had nothing really to worry about).

But Black Ops? Good grief!

Now he's 12, his mates with younger siblings like coming round here because they're allowed to play 12s and the odd 16. Something they are quite rightly not allowed to do at home in front of their younger siblings - it's one of the perks of being an only I suppose.

Festivedidi Fri 28-Dec-12 16:31:54

My friends let their dss play cod and gta, etc. Both boys are 8yo. The majority of the boys in their class are playing on there together. Then my friends get very judgy about the time the other boys are allowed to be playing. I don't understand why they think it's acceptable to play a very violent game at 6pm but not at 9pm.

They really don't understand why I am horrified by the thought of them playing that type of game. The worst is when friend 1 says she has to leave the room because she doesn't like it but her 8yo son is the one playing it. If it's too violent for a grown woman then it's too violent for an 8yo.

Most of the boys in my y7 class at school were talking about various 18 rated games they were going to get for Christmas and thought I was really odd when I told them I didn't think those games were suitable for them, even though their parents would have a fit if they had seen an 18rated film.

soverylucky Fri 28-Dec-12 16:48:30

I get so depressed reading threads like this one. It never ceases to amaze me the vast differences in what people think is acceptable and what isn't. FWIW I think the thought of a primary school child playing some of the games mentioned in this thread is so sad. People complain about kids growing up too quick - well us parents could put a stop to that if we could be arsed and if we could grow up and make the right decisions for our children instead of blaming other people. Too many will let their kids play these games "because all their friends do" or "their older brother/father plays them".
In some ways we need a campaign like the "let girls be girls" - a sort of let kids be kids - but really what is needed is for parents to act like parents and not their dc's best mate.

carocaro Fri 28-Dec-12 16:49:37

DS1 aged 11 has and X-Box and wanted COD. DH liked to game years ago so we bought it and he played it while I looked on, I did not think it was that violent, in terms of some of the things mentioned on here already, I saw none of that, they seem to just shoot each other and they shoot targets, shoot zombies etc etc. No bad language, sex, abuse, drugs etc etc - not sure what games you are playing? As parents we pay full attention.

Which is all quite normal for 11 year old boys, and before anyone takes a sharp in take of judgy breath, you can't unless you have an 11 yo boy and COD. He does not know what tea bagging is (I just asked him) He plays Minecraft, Fifa 13 and WWE Wrestling also online in private matches with friends he knows only face to face. We have an X-Box app on DH's ipad which he looks at every day to see who has been online with DS, messages and interaction etc etc. He enjoys aspects of going on a mission with his friends etc, in fact if any of his friends swear they are booted out!

It's very easy to say they are horrible violent and unacceptable games that will mess the head of anyone under the age rating. I'd be intersted to know what ages OP's children are? 6 & 8 would be way too young, but I am OK with my 11 yo playing it occasionally. I also have 5 yo DS who has never seen it, but played Fifa and Minecraft, something they have fun enjoying together.

You need to base it on your child, your rules and guidelines in the house only. He knows the difference and hates anything mystical like The Hobbit, which he really does not want to see and found Dr Who more scary than COD, I think Dr Who is horribly scary and head fucking and can't understand all the love it gets from young children.

carocaro Fri 28-Dec-12 16:54:36

His Scout group took them to a laser shoot out thing, like paint ball but with lasers where they all got camoflaged up and ran round a forrest - what does this say?

COD Judge for yourself:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cQB6nJ3HKQ

PlaySchool Fri 28-Dec-12 17:08:52

we bought it and he played it while I looked on, I did not think it was that violent, in terms of some of the things mentioned on here already, I saw none of that, they seem to just shoot each other and they shoot targets, shoot zombies etc etc. No bad language, sex, abuse, drugs etc etc - not sure what games you are playing? As parents we pay full attention.

Absolutely. This is exactly my experience. They just run around shooting soldiers/zombies. I also asked my DS what "teabagging" is and he had no idea.

I agree with the Dr Who analogy too - way more sinister.

valiumredhead Fri 28-Dec-12 17:11:35

You really aren't paying attention if you don't know that COD has swearing and extreme violence in it - an I don't mean 'just' shooting.

JenaiMathis Fri 28-Dec-12 17:13:42

There are different CODs, some worse than others.

I have to say I've no idea what version of COD these kids are playing that "isn't that violent"

And I say this as a gamer and horror fan.

ratbagcatbag Fri 28-Dec-12 17:19:05

I play the cods and modern warfares myself online ad I really am struggling to see where the extreme violence and sex is to be fair confused occasionally you get muppets on who swear but I just mute everyone who I'm not friends with and then that's it. Same rule for DSS no making friends with random people, mute strangers online etc. he's played it from around 9-10 years old, he had Xbox in his room around the age of 11. But like I said before no gta or saints row allowed.

ratbagcatbag Fri 28-Dec-12 17:20:42

Sorry meant swearing not sex blush

valiumredhead Fri 28-Dec-12 17:22:29

I use this site to check if games are appropriate along with looking at clips on youtube etc
www.commonsensemedia.org/game-reviews/call-of-duty-black-ops-ii

StuntGirl Fri 28-Dec-12 18:08:13

You probably had the same ARS training I had bertie. My point is one shouldn't need comprehensive training to understand or have awareness of the system, and if you do then the system has failed.

It comes down to two sides; the group who are simply unaware of ratings and the group who don't care about ratings.

StuntGirl Fri 28-Dec-12 18:10:20

Arf at the people who can't see that shooting other people in a simulated war game is extreme violence!

BertieBotts Fri 28-Dec-12 18:18:41

I wouldn't class it as comprehensive training at all, all we had to do was read two sides of A4 (part of which was explaining the detail of the law and the penalties etc) - so probably about half a side of A4 in total explaining the system, I wouldn't say that is difficult to understand.

It makes more sense to me than the American system which is letters (E = everyone, T = teen, M = mature) if you don't know what they stand for it's harder to work out. Even my 4 year old knows that he's only allowed to play games which say 3 on them as the other numbers are bigger than his age.

The symbols slightly complicate things but these are merely "further information" - if you want a quick guide then it's easy to see, 3+, 7+, 12+, 16+, 18+. How could that be clearer? Then if you want to know why rather than a quick glance the symbols tell you more on the back. IIRC there's also a little web address on the back which tells you where you can go to find out what the symbols mean in case you couldn't work out that a fist meant violence, @#$ in a speech bubble means language and the male/female symbol means sex.

StuntGirl Fri 28-Dec-12 18:23:47

And yet I'm sure you, like me, serve people every day who have absolutely no idea about PEGI or what the ratings mean. I'm not saying the structure is wrong, its the application which is flawed.

mx5hairdresser Fri 28-Dec-12 18:29:19

YABU

my two boys were allowed to play games like gta and carmageddon when they were under 10 yrs and they were always well behaved, never got into any trouble. people always commented on how polite they were. they both have decent jobs and families of their own.
it is 100% how you bring up your children, anyone who disagrees is most likely a bad parent.

mx5 I assume as you've said they now have good jobs and families that they are quite significantly older than 10 now. GTA back then is a little different to GTA now. And the violence in carmageddon is now way comparable to modern games

AltinkumATEalltheTurkey Fri 28-Dec-12 18:39:46

My 6 year old ds, and we won't be giving him 18 rated films as we don't think he is mature enough for them, howver i have a 9 year old cousin who does get these games and he isn't fazed by them at all, and is all it's only pretend when his mum closes his eyes, at the squirting blood etc... He knows its all pretend in the same way Halloween films/costumes etc...

BertieBotts Fri 28-Dec-12 18:42:28

True. I don't think any age rating system is going to change that, though. People just assume it's a game, so it must be for children, therefore it must be okay.

I've been caught out before now - not with games, but letting DS watch stuff off youtube, I came across the Cat in the Hat movie which I assumed would be fine. I didn't realise that it had "Son of a B-" (cut off there, but still) in it and also the phrase "Dirty ho" which DS thought was hilarious and kept repeating - was difficult to explain to him that although the cat wasn't being rude because he was talking about a garden hoe which was dirty, it SOUNDED rude when he mimicked the way he said it because it sounded like another word which is rude. I looked it up and although it's a PG there's apparently been a lot of criticism about the rating because it was felt the language and violence were closer to a 12.

JazzyTheSnowman Fri 28-Dec-12 18:53:47

Call Of Duty: Black Ops may be rated an 18, however you can take steps within the game to make sure it's toned down with regard to violence and the communal areas. Even so, I wouldn't even THINK of recommending them to anyone under the age of 14, and even then they'd have to be monitored regularly.

My DP plays it occasionally, and he refuses to go onto the person-versus-person area because he finds it genuinely upsetting to hear kids no older than 9 or 10 (by the sounds) screaming at other players to "get the f* out of my way, you c***! I'll f***ing stick this gun up your a** and pull the trigger! Don't you f* with me, b*****d w****r! I'll blow your c* off..." et cetera et cetera.

With Grand Theft Auto, I've told him if he ever buys it I'm leaving the house and not coming back, and he agreed with me. Beating a prostitute to death so that you can claim back your money is just a step too far in my personal opinion.

StuntGirl Fri 28-Dec-12 19:10:19

Video games do not, have not, and will never turn children into serial killers. hmm Thats a straw man argument.

BalthierBunansa Fri 28-Dec-12 19:21:25

I'm loving you in this thread StuntGirl All this "It's not going to turn them into serial killers!" deflects from the REAL issue of desensitisation to violence.

AmberSocks Fri 28-Dec-12 20:02:23

I dont get how people think that running around killing people isnt violent?

StuntGirl Fri 28-Dec-12 20:03:06

It's a subject I'm wildly nerdy passionate about grin

Inaflap Fri 28-Dec-12 20:08:25

Ds2 has Skyrim which is a 15. He is 12. It is beautifully drawn and the violence is sort of understandable in it, ie, a wolf is going to eat you so you kill it. I won't let him have COD and i am apparantly the only mother in the entire school who has imposed this. However, following a bout of nastiness, name calling and other bits of bullying within his cohort he said to me 'you know you won't let me play cod because of it affecting brain development and stuff, well I reckon that's whats happened with them all, their brains have all gone to mush'. I hate with a vengence that horrible wrestling game. I find it far more violent than Skyrim and mindless. I asked in Game, and two friendly geeks advised me to get Assassins creed 2 which they said was no worse than skyrim. DS has told me there is some swearing in it but he's heard ll that from me whilst driving so no worries there. I shall watch when he plays it and if I don't approve then it goes. He likes the SIMs game i bought him for xmas.

PlaySchool Fri 28-Dec-12 20:33:16

As for swearing, have you listened to what is in the charts these days? Now, that shocks me!!!!!!

EmmaG1986 Fri 28-Dec-12 21:17:39

This has been a thought of myn for ages. Ds occasionally plays 18 games with my husband. I however have never approved of this. Infact I'm not keen on the Xbox atall my son often gets frustrated when he has to come off, I normally allow him 45mins-1 hour a day, however when my husband is around it is longer and my husband classes this as one-one time with our 6 year old son. It has caused arguements between me and my husband particularly when my husband suggested putting an Xbox in my son's room which I strongly disagreed to. I know many children who spend hours a day on their Xboxes, also who play age-restricted games with older brothers.

EmmaG1986 Fri 28-Dec-12 21:22:19

Also I worry about the whole psychological/desensitisation it could have on my son, he is a very pleasant, loving boy though but you still don't know what impact it could be having on their brains.

StuntGirl Fri 28-Dec-12 22:19:48

There are TONS of kiddie appropriate games on the Xbox too, that's the annoying thing. It's not like there's a dearth of content so people are being forced into these unsuitable choices. In fact, some of the best games on the 360 are 'kiddie' games. Mini Ninjas (PEGI 7+) is one of the best and most enjoyable games I've ever played on the 360.

JazzyTheSnowman Fri 28-Dec-12 22:20:24

PlaySchool - you're not the only one.

I was listening to a song the other month and I quite like it! Was .listening to the latenight radio and I was singing along going "I miss that lovin'! That lovin'! Oooooh no!" and then I went quiet. Turns out the edited version is about him missing her love, the explicit version is about missing her vagina.

Lends a whole new meaning to "I know another bee's been in that honey!" because apparantly "ooh, that pussy done changed."

Absolutely disgusting.

I'd just like to add that I'm 22 for crying out loud. The way I go on people wouldn't be blamed for thinking I'm 50!

missingperson Fri 28-Dec-12 23:08:00

Hi Stuntgirl

Thank you for elaboration. I find it a bit depressing the way this thread is going because I too can't understand why people want to let their kids play violent games on Xbox when as you say there are other games out there that are lots more fun.

I said ages ago upthread that I rely on PEGI ratings because I don't want to play the whole games myself - quite frankly I can't and haven't got time to. So my DS has complained a whole lot becuase we have banned seemingly innocuous ganes such as Skate 3 which is a skateboarding game but rated 16+. I think tis because of swaering and horrid things you can do to skate boarders you don't like. But why should I need to watch this stuff to find out - I can look at the rating and know its not suitable.

So poor old DS is restricted to things like FIFA (which he loves), Guitar Hero (which I quite like too & which has had the hideous side effect of him saying he quite likes Dire STraits confused). The most violent thing we have let him try is Il Sturmovik (WW2 fighter planes) but have watched him like hawk when he is playig to make sure nothing too awful happens.

Will have a look at mini Ninjas but if you have any other good recommends for under 12s that would be nice.

BertieBotts Fri 28-Dec-12 23:13:02

The Lego games are quite good. There are of course all of the Sonic games too which are great.

BertieBotts Fri 28-Dec-12 23:13:55

And Minecraft you can get on the xbox now - it's a download only one. Really recommend that though for all ages - it's very addictive and both my DS (4) and DP (24!) get loads out of it.

missingperson Fri 28-Dec-12 23:27:44

Ah yes - we do Minecraft here too - music is v soothing and having watched DS play it is amazing how addictive a weirdly cluncky game can be.

I think part of prob with Xbox is the online game play. DS would love to play with frined online but if they are all playing Halo and he is playing some obscure PEGI 3 rated game selected by his aging parents this is also a cause of friction.

But ho hum - friction with DS ain't half as hard as friction with pre teen DD.

StuntGirl Fri 28-Dec-12 23:38:34

Haven't played Skate 3 but pretty sure its the one that has a section where you can create and customise your own skate park, and then fling yourself off every available surface and get points for the most sickening, bone crushing injuries grin

missingperson Fri 28-Dec-12 23:42:48

StuntGirl - They should include a section about how to explain to your DM why she has got to take time off work to drive you to the fracture clinic YET AGAIN - expect it would be PEGI rated 18 on basis of violence/ foul language & ritual humilitation plus dangerous driving.

Carrie37 Fri 28-Dec-12 23:54:09

Last year DS then 9 had rape explained to him by a boy in class who "did it" in Grand Theft Auto. As I hadn't done the big talk I then had to start with Rape and work backwards. Ds is still traumatised by the whole idea. He is one of only 3 boys out of 13 in his class who don't have COD black ops.

BalthierBunansa Fri 28-Dec-12 23:58:25

Slightly off topic, but I don't get the obsession with COD! It's good, but there are so many better games out there. I will giving my future children copies of all the Final Fantasies and let them get on with it grin

My 13 yo DS is the only boy in his group/his class/his school/the entire world who doesn't have COD

But he does have 'fantasy' like the Assassins Creed or Halo (because they aren't 'real'. Unlike COD which could be all too real)

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 29-Dec-12 00:22:42

I commented on this thread last night. I was a few drinks down so apologise for being a dick. Because I was a bit. At least in how I articulated myself.

StuntGirl Sat 29-Dec-12 00:28:06

missing grin I was a very accident prone child, and that was without video games to influence me! I can attest to the annoyed mother aspect!

Oh please give Mini Ninjas a try, it's fab! There's a demo online if you want to try it out. I also like Viva Pinata (PEGI 3+), Crash Bandicoot (generally about 7+), anything Sonic (generally 7+/12+). Skylanders (7+) is brill, if a bit expensive to keep up with!

If you're online then the arcade has a great selection. I quite recommend 'Splosion Man (7+), Costume Quest (7+), Trials HD (3+). There's also a TON of old retro stuff; Ecco, Sonic, Bomberman, Frogger, etc.

Beautiful Katamari (3+), Boogie Bunnies (3+), Bubble Bobble (3+) and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (7+) are all various kinds of puzzley type games.

Can't quite remember how old you said he was but Plants vs Zombies, Earthworm Jim and Portal are all fantastic and PEGI 12+. And of course Lego ANYTHING is FAB (and all 7+)!

YY to everything balthier said!

StuntGirl Sat 29-Dec-12 00:30:12

You didn't come across as a dick to me ali smile

noblegiraffe Sat 29-Dec-12 07:17:25

As a teacher I don't think I'd want to let my DS (3) to play violent video games when he's a teenager because the kids who do play these video games with each other at home (via headset or whatever) tend (not always) to be vile to each other, and often come across as arrogant, cocky and horrible. I think that the type of banter that these games encourage (and it is much much worse if they have unfiltered access to online communities as some do) really isn't nice.

Of course another problem is the kids who have X-boxes in their bedrooms and no parental control over bedtime who end up as underachieving zombies at school, but that can happen with 'nice' games like Minecraft too.

I third Balthier's suggestion of giving your kids Final Fantasy to play. If you can get them hooked on fantasy RPGs, you're laughing! They'll never look at a shooter again wink

My personal reccommendation would be FF9 for a kid's first FF. It's the easiest to play imo, and would ease them into learning RPG systems nicely, without too much micro-management.
Under no circumstances buy them FFXIII. Ever. It doesn't even deserve the name.

HellesBelles396 Sat 29-Dec-12 09:35:07

I don't allow violent real-world play so I don't allow violent video-games. PEGI ratings rule in this house.

HappilyUnhinged Sat 29-Dec-12 11:05:32

Portal.

It used the same engine as Half Life and thus feels like a shooter for those obsessed with shooters and yet is one of the finest puzzle games (zero violence) out there, it is cerebral, intelligent and has one of the most stunningly beautiful plot lines in any game out there (especially when you move onto Portal 2) to add to the story. Not only is it brilliant for all ages, but it'll make them think too.

Make sure you play Portal 1 first though, or number 2 will make a lot less sense. The one "issue" is that the only way I know of to get Portal 1 on the XBox or PS3 is as part of "The Orange Box" which includes Half Life (a shooter) in the box...

My DD loved both portal games at 4, though I needed to help a lot (I.e. do much of the game for her) to get her through it. smile. It's perfect for any child IMO

mum11970 Sat 29-Dec-12 11:18:30

Ds1 (15) plays all the 18+ games and I'm happy to allow that; ds2 (7) does occasionally go into his room while he's playing but rarely stays long unless FIFA or minecraft is on, he's quite happy with skylanders.

carocaro Sat 29-Dec-12 11:40:30

I also think that as women/mums we have to look at what boys/sons like to do, we may not like it, understand it, see what they enjoy/get out of it, but we are not boys/sons and they are different to us. You have to respect that and balance what you feel is appropriate for YOUR child to play. With my 11 yo DS we have an agreed written contract that we drafted together about all his X-Box play, when, how often, Live rules etc etc and he know he has to stick to that or he can't play. Right now he is not allowed on the X-Box for being grumpy and rude and not getting off when he was told, so no X-Box for 24 hrs which he is totally understands. He does not play it all the time and spent most of yesturday fleecing us all at Monopoly!

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Sat 29-Dec-12 12:37:12

<sigh>

I'm having issues with DS at the moment. He is desperate to have 15/18 games because 'all his friends have them' but I won't allow it.

Last night, I adjusted the family settings on the Xbox but it now seems to have blocked him playing any online games with his friends. confused

I don't want him to think I'm being unfair to him, I want him to understand why I don't want him to play some of these games.

At the moment, the Xbox is causing me much stress and I wish DS had never bought it sad.

It is good to hear game recommendations, stuntgirl. I'll see if I can get any of them on lovefilm for DS to try out.

I second Portal, it is a wonderful game!

"I also think that as women/mums we have to look at what boys/sons like to do, we may not like it, understand it, see what they enjoy/get out of it, but we are not boys/sons and they are different to us."

I'm a gamer, I totally get the appeal in violent video games. I play them myself. And I think it is precisely why I disagree with ignoring the PEGI ratings.

Binkybix Sat 29-Dec-12 13:00:29

Portal was tricky! When I was a teenager we were all obsessed with Mario Kart. How things have changed!

I'm pg now with a gamer husband, and I don't think I'd let them play the violent stuff together. There's not hard evidence of damage caused (that I know of) but with so many great alternatives out there, why do it? (I say before being subjected to arguments that everyone else is allowed to do it!)

YANBU. I always wonder whether those parents who give kids these adult games have played them themselves. I was a gamer before DD and I would never let DD play call of duty until she's an adult.

And yes to noblegiraffe about people being vile over the headset. Get yourselves on xbox live and hear for yourselves.

StuntGirl Sat 29-Dec-12 13:52:29

What utter bollocks are you talking about caro hmm

"I'm pg now with a gamer husband, and I don't think I'd let them play the violent stuff together. There's not hard evidence of damage caused (that I know of) but with so many great alternatives out there, why do it?"

Quite. I'm sure I read that in 2011 out of all the games released only about 20 were rated 18. That leaves a huge amount to choose from.

I agree that it varies a lot from game to game. Both me and DH like playing xbox, not all the time or anything, but if a new game comes out we might complete it over a couple of weeks. Some games like Assassin's Creed are rated as 18 but you can opt to turn off the graphic special effects (like blood) and I'd say with this implemented it's more like a 15. Skyrim, also, as mentioned above by inaflap doesn't have a lot of completely gratuitous violence and I would say it probably is fine for a 12 year old. COD, however, is one my BIL plays and I definitely think it's a bit much for a 7 year year old, but might be ok for a 13 year old.

The guidelines are just that, guidance. Individual games vary significantly in how violent and/or graphic they are. I guess parental supervision is pretty important with younger kids on xbox, just as it would be if they are on the net, watching stuff on youtube.

All that being said, I don't think violent video games are the primary cause of awful things like school shootings or anything, but I don't think it's desirable to have a 7 year old who plays COD online against adults (who, by the way, can be wearing headsets and communicating with your child while they are playing which is a bit dodgy) for hours and then is going into school drawing pictures or writing stories about people being blown up...

YANBU.
My dp is a massive gamer and has a variety of warfare games, however he never plays the games when the children are up (it's an unwritten house rule). Although I'll add that despite my ds (4) never playing/ watching these games he still has an overwhelming urge to destroy and kill everything in his path and when playing everything is some form of weapon whether it is a kitchen towel roll or Lego.

chandellina Sat 29-Dec-12 14:40:46

I think it just shows how desensitised most of us have become to violence that so many parents here can justify the odd "killing" on a game in front of their five year old, or "draw the line" at realistic gore or blood and think they are making appropriate and well-considered decisions.

I wouldn't argue that gaming leads to violence, because the research so far doesn't support that. However it seems pretty obvious that our society has become insanely conditioned to violence, and that many people including children now thrive on the stimulation of virtual shooting and killing.

My solution to violent games is no console, simple really. I can't control what friends have in their homes but at least I can severely limit the time wasted on such rubbish.

HellesBelles396 Sat 29-Dec-12 15:03:19

DS has a PS3, he is allowed games suitable for his age group and I check out reviews and PEGI's of any games he asks for to check their suitability. He mostly plays with hangs out with other children whose parents have similar values to my own. If he goes to a friend's house who is allowed such games, I explain to him that this is a household in which violence -in any form - is not allowed.
If you would be horrified at your child behaving a certain way, why allow them to playact it - in any format?

Asinine Sat 29-Dec-12 16:03:59

We don't have them, I hate violence and swearing, especially misogynistic sexual swearing, virtual or otherwise. I agree they are 18 for a reason, they are unsuitable for children just like 18 films or alcohol.

These games can swallow up a huge amount of childhood. We have limits on screen time generally, which helps our dc to balance how they spend time. They do have consoles, but they play non violent age appropriate games.

Nearly all ds1s friends (12-13 y olds)have CoD, WoW, and ds does play them at friends' houses. Ds went to a party recently where they played for six hours solid. I just find it depressing that people want to spend time pretending to kill people. Ds has never asked for any of these games, but if he did the answer would be no.

Asinine I'd be horrified if my 12yo plays WoW. The game itself isn't violent or overly sexualised. But it's a MMO and Internet brings out the best of sexists behaviours. Rape, whore, bitch and other debasing comments on females are very common occurrence on chat.

StuntGirl Sat 29-Dec-12 19:02:34

Despite how I probably appear here I do believe in parental choice to some degree. Age ratings can never be anything but a guide, so I would allow a year, occasionally two, of leeway if I felt a particular game was suitable for my child's temperament and development. And that would probably mean they wouldn't get to play most games 'til they were of age, but it wouldn't be a blanket ban either. People don't magically mature overnight just because they've turned 12/16/18 and I'm not naive enough to think they do.

chandellina Sat 29-Dec-12 19:06:49

Chat made by men who are someone's sons too - this is what some of us will spawn.

CaHoHoHootz Sat 29-Dec-12 19:30:32

Sorry not read all the posts but this may not have been mentioned.

We are a gaming family. My DC's had nintenos from a very young age. The are now early 20's and older teens. We have Xbox, WII, Cube and N64 still going strong I still refuse to have games like Grand Theft Auto in the house and I didn't allow first person shooters until the DC's more or less reached the age ratings. Grand theft auto is a disgusting game. How anybody allows a child to play a game where you can, for example, pissing on corpses, visit strip clubs and get lap dances and 'kill' innocent passerby's is beyond me. There are so many brilliant games about that I don't see the 'need' for DC's to be playing GTA, COD etc when they are little.
It is not just the violence/swearing/sex or whatever it is also the style of gameplay that is not suitable for younger play. The games are designed for older teens obviously they are too addictive for younger DC's who lack the maturity to deal with the intense gameplay.
I think parents who can't say no to their kids are not doing them a favour in the long run.

DialsMavis Sat 29-Dec-12 20:53:40

I was looking at games in Blockbuster before Christmas and asked the sales assistant if it was worth getting DS (10 last week) FIFA 13, as I wasn't going to be getting the Xbox gold thing and letting him play online. I was told that football games are too childish for most 9/10 year olds and he would prob only be interested in COD etc! Not likely!

DS's best friend is allowed to play those types of games (as are all his other friends it seems), but friends Mum asked DS if he was allowed & he said no (love him).

A family member got DS Harry Potter which is a 12, which I didn't get too worked up about as he has seen all the films. But luckily as we have never had a console before, he is not good enough to be able to play it properly yet anyway grin

Stuntgirl I don't believe you suddenly mature overnight. So yes, I'd allow for a bit of leeway. Like a 16yo might be able to handle a R18 game if he or she is mature. But the thought of 6-8yo playing COD or GTA (like in the OP) is just plain wrong.

foxy6 Sat 29-Dec-12 22:35:08

i haven't read all of this sorry just the opening post and i have 4 ds's 16, 15, 13, and 5, my youngest is good at gears of war and halo, learning from watching his brothers play, but with me thinking its not appropriate games for him i brought him mini ninja's which is age 7 and sonic racing hoping to get him off gears and halo.
as for the effect it has will of had on him i'm yet to see the older ds's didn't play games like that until they were teenagers , but ds1 used to right some very graphic and horrific stories when younger and draw pictures. he had a very vivid imagination, but that's as far as it went he is and has always been a very thoughtful and sensitive boy.

chandellina Sat 29-Dec-12 22:41:34

How can that be okay for a five year old? I'm sure it's hard to protect young ones from what the older ones are doing but that is negligent, IMO.

JenaiMathis Sat 29-Dec-12 22:55:57

I think foxy's post, if genuine, serves as a warning to us all.

TraineeBabyCatcher Sat 29-Dec-12 23:05:31

I have a friend who's partner frequently plays these sorts of games in front of his 6, 4 and 2 year old.
I was horrified when I realised, I think they're completely inappropriate. They're so violent. I can't understand why anyone would think war games are appropriate for children that young.

foxy6 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:05:56

the point i was trying to make is that ds1 didn't have access to these games when younger and he out off all off my ds's wrote and drew some pretty disturbing stuff, if he didn't have the temperament and nature he has i would have been quite worried. so i don't think the games can be blamed for that.
as for ds4 who is 5 i do know these games are not good for him we do limit his time on the xbox but im not here all the time i work and ds2 and ds3 arn't so careful what the let there younger brother see and do, so yes ds4 who is 5 has become quite good at these games not to a level to play on line but in that he figures things out, how to do things on the campaigns and i have got him new games to try and change his interests when on the xbox.

BalthierBunansa Sat 29-Dec-12 23:10:24

carocaro Except, you know, a lot of gamers ARE girls/women/mothers...

notnagging Sat 29-Dec-12 23:19:22

Yanbu. I was shocked when I saw a 5 yr old playing these games. Not suitable at all. I would never let my ds' play an 18. It's called age appropriate for a reason.

StuntGirl Sun 30-Dec-12 01:20:57

I wasn't saying you did terror?

HappyNewSkyebluesapphire Sun 30-Dec-12 02:36:00

When I was in Sainsburys yesterday looking at Wii games, they had a sign up saying from 1 January people would have to show ID to buy video games.... Obviously meaning that you have to be over 18 to buy an 18 game...

DH makes video games. DS1 (12) is allowed to play Portal and Halo. He is not allowed to play online. Thankfully, COD and the like are never brought up, and we've always said they won't get over the threshold until he can buy them himself.

MuddlingMackem Sun 30-Dec-12 14:37:50

HappyNewSkyebluesapphire: I'm not sure this will make much of a difference as most of the under-age gamers seem to have been bought these games by their woefully misguided parents. hmm

We're not super-strict about the age ratings, like films we take them on a case by case basis, but this only applies up to '12' cert films and 12+ games, at least for now. DS got the new Zelda game for the Wii last Christmas when he was 8, even though it's a 12+, but he hasn't been able to play it often because he's not allowed to play it when his, younger by three years, sister is around.

They are both hooked on Minecraft, and also love some motorcycle thing with courses you can build yourself, some very unlikely ones. DS is obsessed with Halo: has the action figures, the mega blocks and the encyclopedia but, as far as the game goes, DH will only let him drive around on Forge and play the shooting aliens bit where you instantly respawn. He has agreed to assess when DS is 13 or 14 so may let him play it properly before he reaches 16, but he hasn't promised anything. smile

FWIW, DH is the one in this house with the consoles, and it has always been the rule that he doesn't play the unsuitable games unless the kids are in bed or out of the house. We both think that letting them watch someone else play those games is just as bad as letting them play; we wouldn't let them watch an 18 certificate film, so why would we let them watch an 18 rated game.

MuddlingMackem Sun 30-Dec-12 14:39:17

Oh, forgot to say DS loves Portal. He even spent some of his savings on a replica gun a few months ago. grin

AllYoursJingleBellbooshka Sun 30-Dec-12 15:41:22

It's just laziness, plain and simple.

These parents either can't be arsed to research games for themselves or would rather buy it than listen to their children moaning "Oh but Larry from school plays it!".

COD is never suitable for a child and everybody knows it, they just choose to ignore it for an easy life.

MuddlingMackem Sun 30-Dec-12 16:05:11

The thing is, I think some parents genuinely don't know it, and I think that's even more worrying than the ones who just let their kids have them for an easy life.

I say this because my cousin and his wife, who are generally definitely in the strict parents category, let their sons have an 18 rated game when they were about 8 and 12. We were really shocked when we realised, but I think that too many parents who aren't and have never been gamers see such things as being for children and think that adults who still play games should really just grow up. It's like those who think something which is animated must be a kids' cartoon and don't look into it any further.

I think that what we really need are public information films educating parents about the content and suitability of games in general, and how the ratings work. There's a whole slew of adults who just really don't care and the only way to get through to them is a drip, drip effect so they don't realise they're learning. If the games industry wanted to show how responsible they really are then they chould probably fund such things, but can't see it happening any time soon. Letting excessively underage children play such games really needs to become one of those socially unacceptable things, such as drink driving, but even if anything is done it will take time to have an effect.

In twenty or thirty years' time, I wonder how many of the kids who are currently being allowed to play wildly unsuitable games will be much stricter with their own children as a result.

Smudging Sun 30-Dec-12 21:13:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cortana Sun 30-Dec-12 21:30:24

Slightly off topic but Tesco currently has the Draw Pad and Game bundle in Tesco for £9.95. Suitable for all ages and has some nice drawing challenges and games from what we've read of the box so far. DS picked it up out of his Christmas money today, seems very reasonably priced for what it promises.

"anecdotally I can think of a number of clients who spent years as children holed up in there bedroom now have Terrible depression"

Anecdotally I have always suffered bad bad depression, and one of the things that helped me most was to hole myself up in my room for a fair while playing computer games. Still helps now. And yes, the depression definitely came first.

Smudging Sun 30-Dec-12 22:24:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GeorgyF Mon 31-Dec-12 00:11:33

Um, difficult one, my son developed a huge interest in history from playing call of duty(albeit sneakily with elder brother) and also from a consequence of same interest, improved his reading skills dramatically by insisting parents bought some astonishingly good non fiction books. Perhaps it is the general family environment rather than the games?

StuntGirl Mon 31-Dec-12 00:36:41

Video games can absolutely be educational, even when they're not intended to be. But if your son has that kind of inquisitive mind he'd have done the same thing at 18, or you could have channelled his questioning nature in other ways. Seriously, are we really endorsing Black Ops for kids as a window to study history?

Droflove Mon 31-Dec-12 00:46:28

Yanbu. People can be so irresponsible. They should be ashamed.

HellesBelles396 Mon 31-Dec-12 09:20:25

I hid in my bedroom and read as a teenager. I think I was socially anxious but shutting myself away allowed that to grow until I developed depression (i have the long-term kind so would have happened anyway- sooner or later).
I probably didn't help myself at the time by reading loads of Stephen king's and one book that I had nightmares about (but still read repeatedly) in which every adult on the planet is killed off by a plague.
my point is, my mum assumed that reading was good so let me get on with it. really should have taken a bit more notice of WHAT I was reading. and noticed I needed medical help tbh.

noblegiraffe Mon 31-Dec-12 10:24:27

I think loads of teenagers read Stephen King without any adverse effects (maybe needing to sleep with the light on) so perhaps a bit unfair to suggest your mother should have spotted it as a sign of mental health issues.

Books don't have age ratings either. King would probably get a 15?

HellesBelles396 Mon 31-Dec-12 10:31:22

I agree noble - I meant shutting myself away.

Noble I think COD and CTA are more fifty shades of gray. I really don't think fifty shades is appropriate for 7 or 8yo is it? That's the age in the OP post.

DH just corrected me saying Stephen king is quite graphic. I honestly can't remember shock but I read them as a teen and I am now late 30s. But he did say he doesn't think a 7yo is capable of reading them. A very fair point.

noblegiraffe Mon 31-Dec-12 12:04:47

I don't think Stephen King is appropriate for a 7 or 8 year old either!

DadDancer Thu 03-Jan-13 14:23:59

I have little respect for this new PEGI rating system, which seems to be completely over the top and now means games which were rated 15 under BBFC are now 18. As others have mentioned Skyrim is now an 18 under PEGI when it should have only been a PG, given the fantasy setting and the context.
Even the Game Rocksmith got a PEGI 12 rating, which happens to be an educational game that teaches you to play real guitar. Madness!

I reckon the age rating system should be ditched and we go for a more informal approach where a brief description of the content is given and it is then the responsibility of the parent to decide, rather than relying on the nanny state to dictate.

TheBigJessie Thu 03-Jan-13 14:54:39

carocaro

I also think that as women/mums we have to look at what boys/sons like to do, we may not like it, understand it, see what they enjoy/get out of it, but we are not boys/sons and they are different to us. You have to respect that and balance what you feel is appropriate for YOUR child to play. With my 11 yo DS we have an agreed written contract that we drafted together about all his X-Box play, when, how often, Live rules etc etc and he know he has to stick to that or he can't play. Right now he is not allowed on the X-Box for being grumpy and rude and not getting off when he was told, so no X-Box for 24 hrs which he is totally understands. He does not play it all the time and spent most of yesturday fleecing us all at Monopoly!

Please do not assume that because you are a female who does not play games, that no other female plays games. It absurdly incorrect.

In the words of MurderOfGoths
I'm a gamer, I totally get the appeal in violent video games. I play them myself. And I think it is precisely why I disagree with ignoring the PEGI ratings.

IMO yanbu with regards to Pre teens. I think the classifications begin to matter less as a teen gets older. I wouldn't be shocked by a 15 year old playing an 18 game but I would an 8 year old. Regardless of gender.

"Even the Game Rocksmith got a PEGI 12 rating, which happens to be an educational game that teaches you to play real guitar. Madness!"

I assume that has to do with lyrics in some songs?

Why should a fantasy be a lower rating than non-fantasy if they contain the same level of violence/sex/bad language/etc?

ShamyFarrahCooper Thu 03-Jan-13 16:58:08

DS is 5 and is fairly new to the world of gaming. I do want him to get involved but no way will get access to COD etc. DH has Far Cry 3, Halo etc but never plays them when DS is around, he just wouldn't.

I love the lego games, DS plays HP lego with me & batman 2 lego also, as it has loads of characters. I say he plays, he tends to go Flash (current fave superhero) and run around a lot. We also have sonic for him and a mario game on a ds.

Time is limited, but he is still very young. He won't be playing violent games at 8 though.

LuluMai Thu 03-Jan-13 17:16:04

Call of a bad mother but I let ds, six, play 16 rated wrestling games. We've been to watch WWE twice live and there are no lower age limits, so it seems illogical to me that my son can watch the real thing legally but not a computer simulation.

I am a gamer, thank you very much carocaro. I used to game while breastfeeding but now DD is too wriggly!

Hilarious that the rating denotes difficulty. I've completed the Mass Effect trilogy on the hardest setting but Lego Harry Potter? I have to search the internet to find out how to do it.

StuntGirl Thu 03-Jan-13 19:41:02

Yeah PEGI isn't great. Skyrim doesn't need to be an 18, and Plants vs Zombies doesn't need to be a 12. Madness.

bruffin Thu 03-Jan-13 21:14:56

Lego lord of the rings is a usk 12 in germany because of the fantasy element, which seems a bit ridiculous.

DadDancer Thu 03-Jan-13 23:13:42

MurderOfGoths

I assume that has to do with lyrics in some songs?

yes having now looked at the back of the box, bad language is stated as the reason for a 12 rating. What a joke! there are no actual swear words as i recall maybe just the odd references. Most of these are rock classics and can be heard played in the daytime on the radio/ tv or could be bought on cd/vinyl by any age person from a record store. PEGI fail again blush

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocksmith

Why should a fantasy be a lower rating than non-fantasy if they contain the same level of violence/sex/bad language/etc?

I don't think it's as emotionally intense when it is fantasy and can be better explained to young kids as not being real, the other cannot. For example i think there is a huge difference between shooting a fantasy dragon in the head with an arrow (skyrim) and blowing a soldiers brains out with a sniper rifle (COD). Also there is no sex or bad language in Skyrim. It's an RPG with a story line, having a lot more depth than just killing people, like exploration, leveling up, trading, crafting items etc.

MurderOfHusbands Thu 03-Jan-13 23:29:04

No sex or bad language in Skyrim?

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

Ha! You strike me as the badger type.

Mushroom mushroom.

DadDancer Thu 03-Jan-13 23:32:38

It is of no surprise that most parents don't care for video game age ratings, as this recent survey shows:

www.digitalspy.co.uk/gaming/news/a445094/video-game-age-ratings-ignored-by-majority-of-parents.html

StuntGirl Thu 03-Jan-13 23:45:56

Bruffin Germany is notoriously strict with video game censorship, it doesn't surprise me.

I was going to disagree over Rocksmith and say it was probably down to sex and drug references in the songs, but a quick look at the track list shows that not to be the case. I imagine it'll be down to just one song perhaps, the way one episode in a boxset can raise the whole rating, in conjunction with PEGI being somewhat heavy handed.

I do however disagree with something being exempt from higher ratings just because it's fantasy. It's not just the realism of games that get taken into consideration for ratings.

It's not a PEGI fail, PEGI has always put games with swearing into a higher category. The games developers will have had ample opportunity to lower the PEGI rating, no one has forced it on them. They've actively made the choice to market at those over the age of 12. Just because other media don't do the same doesn't make PEGI's choice wrong.

It's worth noting that developers get to choose which bits they submit to PEGI/BBFC for rating. So if they really wanted to avoid the higher ratings they could (let's face it, PEGI/BBFC can't have someone play through every single game release and see every single possible scenario) so it is the developer who actually makes the biggest difference to the rating. PEGI aren't some overbearing censorship fiends.

"I don't think it's as emotionally intense when it is fantasy and can be better explained to young kids as not being real"

That's just daft logic, I'm going to assume that all enemies in Skyrim aren't dragons. (NB: Basing this assumption on a love of fantasy RPG's/experience) Some will be humanoid. If not actually human. What is the difference between shooting one human in COD and shooting another in Skyrim? As for levels of violence? Skyrim is no Disney movie

But of course, you are now going to tell me that blowing someone's brains out is actually worse than decapitation?

StuntGirl Thu 03-Jan-13 23:55:47

Murder that video! grin

StuntGirl Fri 04-Jan-13 00:02:17

I think PEGI can be heavy handed, for example I see no reason why Plants vs Zombies can't be a 7 rather than a 12. I can only assume it's because the zombies are 'human-looking characters'. I think the jumps between 3, 7 and 12 are quite ridiculous, there's barely any middle ground between 3 and 7 which is probably why some games are getting shunted into the higher category.

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.

I do dislike this idea that just because something is fantasy it is automatically 'better' or somehow more high brow. It's just as violent, we're just using different weapons.

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

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!

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

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

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

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.

"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.

"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?

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

"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.

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?

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...

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

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.

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'

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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