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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?

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:-

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.

MurderOfGoths Fri 28-Dec-12 17:18:10

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

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


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.

MurderOfGoths Fri 28-Dec-12 18:31:54

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.

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