Computer games & age ratings

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  • Computer games & age ratings
  • Legoman
    Member

    Interested to hear other people’s thoughts on this, as we’ve always taken a pretty hard line with my son, not allowing any games rated over his age (he’s currently 13).

    It seems we’re in the minority, most of his friends are 12 and playing Call of Duty or GTA on PS4 together online. In his immediate circle of around 8 friends, I only know of one whose parents take the same view as us. The problem is he’s obviously left out unless they’re playing FIFA or similar & it’s becoming an issue.

    Anyway I’m still pretty comfortable with our stance, but it’s good to keep an open mind, so I’m wondering if we’re worrying unnecessarily about these games. On the one hand he’s a mature sensible lad & I’m confident he understands that these are ‘just’ games, but on the other I guess they’re 18 rated for good reason.

    you’ve done well to keep it up.. the kids around here are on it are year 5 / 6. Its the themes in COD that I find a bit disturbing. The multiplayer co op / bot battles arent so bad. ( black ops 1 /2 ) or Plants v zombies.
    Depends on the maturity of the kids I suppose.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Call of Duty has some violent scenes in single player games but multiplayer not much really other than you shoot the chracters. GTA 5 is extremely violent, full of swearing, you can take drugs, sleep with prostitutes and rob shops. A lot of that is also in the multiplayer.

    I let my 12 year old play COD she has since she was 11, she asked about GTA again the other day and I’m still saying no.

    P-Jay
    Member

    I’m with you – my Son’s (10) friends, if you believe what you’re told, are all allowed to play GTA, COD and any other adult game they fancy – I wonder if their parents have taken the time to check them themselves – or is it a case that they haven’t played since they owned a mega drive and assume it’s all like it used to be back then.

    Junkyard
    Member

    kids in primary school play the 18’s

    I am with you on this but may start to relax the stance around that age – i guess sometime between 14- 16 it will be ok??- by picking the least violent

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    We let our eldest, 11, can play some 16 games that we’ve approved eg Star Wars battle front. No GTA or COD, but I can’t guarantee what he’s not playing at pals’ houses.

    Legoman
    Member

    Thanks for replies so far.
    I’ve never played GTA but Drac’s comment above has reinforced my fears & I don’t think we’ll be relaxing our views on this any time soon.

    Interesting comment from cheekymonkey about the multiplayer battles on cod, will have to find out more about that.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Subscriber

    My 7 year old is playing Battlefront and I can’t for the life of me work out why it’s a 16 rating. There’s no blood or gore, it’s a straight forward goodies vs baddies shooter, no warped objectives etc. Only thing I can think of is the online content but as we don’t use headsets that’s not an issue. I think Halo is similarly over rated. GTA and COD can wait though, totally different proposition. Trouble is parents get confused with the ratings.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    The whole point of GTA is that it’s black satire. They make it as depraved as they can get away with for this reason. I would worry that younger kids might think that the stuff in the game is funny for the wrong reasons. In other words, that it’s fun stuff to, rather than funny to watch the characters do because of how bad it is.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Ah the edinburgh defence for computer games…well played

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Just because you give it a derogatory name doesn’t make it wrong, you understand that right?

    And GTA is a joke, has always been a joke, that is the whole.point of eight or however many games there have been.

    Who’s defending GTA? Molgrips is just telling it like it is. Or is it only satire if it’s Binners saying it?

    As said GTA is satirical but I seriously doubt a 12 year old would understand where the lines are drawn, its not like the old days where you were an asexual blob running about making Duke Nukem look graphic. And no way would I be letting a kid that age play COD, not after the Russian Airport mission I watched where you mow down an entire terminals worth of civilians with an LMG. Dont get me wrong, I’m all for exercising common sense where ratings are concerned but only having experienced it first hand.

    As far as multiplayer shooters go Planetside 2 is pretty safe- no gore and 13 rated IIRC, its also free unless you subscribe to member benefits so worth a look.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Just because you give it a derogatory name doesn’t make it wrong, you understand that right?

    /Dives in front of reply screaming Noooooooo!

    I think Multiplayer is a different kettle of fish in a lot of these games. My lad (nearly 13) is allowed Battlefront, Battlefield (which seems pretty OK in multiplayer battles), but not COD or GTA. On the PC he gets stuff like TF2, which is fine, apart from getting beheaded by a rampaging Scotsman.

    He doesn’t particularly seem interested in the story modes.

    The main problem with a lot of games seems to be the chat, which needs turning off to avoid being called a faggot every now and again by some resentful US teen.

    Premier Icon alibongo001
    Subscriber

    I started a similar thread this time last year.

    The most difficult part is not sinking to the lowest common denominator. As a parent you dont want to exclude your child from activities (s)he enjoys with friends, but the age rating of some of the games compared to their age is worrying.

    I’ve ended up allowing games for my son (14) that I would have liked to withhold for another couple of years.

    One of the problems here is that I play games so know what is in them, many parents are clueless!

    Premier Icon aracer
    Member

    molgrips wrote:

    And GTA is a joke, has always been a joke, that is the whole.point of eight or however many games there have been.

    It’s awfully real feeling for a joke (yep, as discussed on that thread it’s fiction, but a 12yo probably won’t be able to discriminate).

    I’m not quite sure what point you’re trying to make here – you’re not actually suggesting that it’s suitable for kids because it’s a joke are you?

    I think most of us on here understand what is in these games as we’ve played them (or similar) ourselves, but presumably that doesn’t apply to a lot of parents. Not suggesting irresponsibility here, just lack of awareness.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Just because you give it a derogatory name doesn’t make it wrong, you understand that right?

    Just because you play the defence does not make it true either and as a defence [of GTA] its somewhere between species and plausible deniability for the makers.

    By all means enjoy ironically murdering prostitutes ,killing cops and being a bad ass gangster.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    How many of the GTA games have you played all the way through Junkyard?

    I’m not quite sure what point you’re trying to make here – you’re not actually suggesting that it’s suitable for kids because it’s a joke are you?

    No, I’m saying that you have to be old enough to get that it’s a joke – hence not suitable for kids. I don’t think Junkyard is old enough 😉

    ^^ that’s a joke, just to make it clear.

    Question for Junkyard – do you think the makers of GTA think killing prostitutes is funny?

    tpbiker
    Member

    I’m not quite sure what point you’re trying to make here – you’re not actually suggesting that it’s suitable for kids because it’s a joke are you?

    How did you ever come to that conclusion based on his post?

    as an aside..what exactly is the edinburgh defence…

    Premier Icon aracer
    Member

    What conclusion did you think I’d come to? I was asking a rhetorical question – I assumed he wasn’t suggesting that.

    FWIW I’ve played through several GTAs and not sure it being satire is particularly relevant to it’s age suitability – either way you have to maintain that it’s not real unless you’re a psychopath, and TBH one of the reasons I’ve not got very far through GTA5 (had it a year and only played a few hours) is that it’s become too real feeling.

    Junkyard
    Member

    How many of the GTA games have you played all the way through Junkyard?

    I have a wee rule in life where as when I think somethign is bad I try to not to do. You?

    Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement.

    Its pretty hard to argue that this is what they are doing though of course they won’t say no we do it because its popular and it makes money even though we know its rather distasteful.

    do you think the makers of GTA think killing prostitutes is funny?

    As above I think they give the market what it wants and certainly lots of folk find it fun to do this though I am sure they are all just satirising modern life and not really enjoying the action beyond the joke aspect.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I have a wee rule in life where as when I think somethign is bad I try to not to do. You?

    My aim is to learn and understand. I have a rule about not commenting on things I don’t understand. If you haven’t played them to any degree then you really don’t know what you are talking about. You have to accept this. If you’d played it you’d know how ludicrously satirical it is. Everything and everyone in the game is soundly ridiculed.

    You seem to think the game is actually about killing prostitutes for starters.

    luke
    Member

    My lads almost 13 any games he wants are approved by myself then the wife.
    No GTA although he keeps begging to get it.
    He does play COD with his mates online.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    My 12 year old seems perfectly happy not having access to higher rated games or films. Think we have been lucky.

    Though given what complete knobs his mates sound like when they brag about what they play/watch/do, I can see why he has kept away from that peer pressure – and I suspect a lot are bluffing anyway.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    do you think the makers of GTA think killing prostitutes is funny?

    It should probably be noted that GTA doesn’t require you to kill prostitutes.

    It doesn’t prevent you from doing so, but the decision is all yours.

    I think that raises a more interesting general question on the “morality” in free-play sandbox type games – especially as technology allows them to become more realistic and immersive.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Yes. You can kill as many bystanders as you want. Some of whom may be prostitutes. You do not get points for it, nor is it part of any of the missions.

    GTAV is a story about youth and growing old.

    cubist
    Member

    There are kids in my 9 yr old sons class who have been playing gta and cod for several years. These kids are always the ones in trouble. I know correlation <> causation but it can’t help.

    I don’t think the not understanding how far computer games have progressed argument stands. Have the parents really relaxed their responsibilities so far they don’t ever enter the room when their kids are playing?

    What also confuses me is the number of parents I know whose kids play an 18 game but wouldn’t be allowed to watch a 15 film. Seems strange to me.

    Junkyard
    Member

    I have a rule about not commenting on things I don’t understand.

    Firstly I read what you post on here so you dont always succeed with this aim 😉 Secondly the suggestion that is dont understand is a little weak.

    If you haven’t played them to any degree then you really don’t know what you are talking about.

    Presumably I cannot talk about murder or robbery or common assault as I have never given them a go either.

    You seem to think the game is actually about killing prostitutes for starters

    i Seem to think you can do this in the game and I seem to recognise a straw man.

    I think the problem might be that many parents don’t link “game” with violence, sex, drugs etc.

    My little brother was allowed to play GTA from about 10 years old. My parents just couldn’t get their heads round a “game” having an age certificate. I tried explaining it was the same as films. Would they let him watch Hellraiser at 10. They just responded that it was a game and therefore fine.

    I’m hoping my kids have the same view as me – too many friends and too many bikes to waste time playing Xbox. Except Street Fighter 2. I kick arse at Street Fighter….

    gobuchul
    Member

    FWIW I think that GTA is far more harmful than THAT calendar.

    JY – I disappoint. It took you 5 posts on this thread to spot a strawman.

    Junkyard
    Member

    i can only work with what i am given perhaps you should prise the forum for self restraint 😉

    jimjam
    Member

    I was really into online FPS shooters in the late 90’s early 00’s, I was very good at them, compelled to be the best (for some reason). I had memorised maps and strategies and movements. I became obsessed. It took a real toll on my sleep and my mood. At one point I became aware that it was affecting my ability or desire to interact with people and I had to go cold turkey.

    Those games look pretty innocuous now by today’s standards, but it’s odd how people equate online multiplayer war games as okay because there’s no sexual content, drug references or limited violence.

    I’ve played and completed every GTA game (except 4) and I’ve found the games to be much more entertaining and engaging without the zombifying effect some FPS games have.

    The fact that you can kill prostitutes in GTA is about as relevant as the fact that you can teabag the corpses of dead soldiers in COD.

    cubist
    Member

    The point I realised I needed to cut back was when I was tea bagging a dead hooker outside of a computer game…

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    The main problem with a lot of games seems to be the chat, which needs turning off to avoid being called a faggot every now and again by some resentful US teen.

    Playing private games with friends should avoid that (or at least, will be no worse than they hear at school on a daily basis, which will almost certainly be worse than ‘faggot’).

    I know correlation <> causation but it can’t help.

    I doubt it’s causation but rather two symptoms of the same problem; parents who don’t give a shite about their kids.

    What also confuses me is the number of parents I know whose kids play an 18 game but wouldn’t be allowed to watch a 15 film. Seems strange to me.

    My parents just couldn’t get their heads round a “game” having an age certificate. I tried explaining it was the same as films. Would they let him watch Hellraiser at 10. They just responded that it was a game and therefore fine.

    Cartoons are for kids too. I suggest you sit them down to a fun family evening watching Urotsukidoji.

    Really though, even if they naively think “games are for kids,” don’t they ever check on what junior is up to?

    More likely that they know exactly what junior is up to, but are enjoying the sedative effect too much to risk rocking that particular boat.

    Premier Icon allfankledup
    Subscriber

    My lad (age 11) gets to play online on CoD and battlefield. The online setup means that he can only talk to people that he knows, and we get those routinely.

    I watch him playing on a regular basis – the online matches tend to be routine, the campaign has more structured violence in it. We discuss the behaviours, and where our boundaries are.

    No GTa

    mikewsmith
    Member

    Currently sharing a house with a couple of guys who are glued to CoD, the multiplayer is just a normal shooting match, nothing more than that. I much prefer the story based single player stuff myself even after the Russian airport thing, as part of a story it made sense and the moral dimension could be assessed as an adult. Not for kids though

    Completely agree, it’s all about context and knowing how equipped your kids are to process and understand what they are consuming.

    Wish people could apply that to what they criticise as well.

    I told my kids no. Simples.

    My son is now at med school and plays it.

    The kids I teach at school (11-18) all pkay it and the addicted ones perform the worst in school.

    Don’t blame anyone except yourself – if you’re kids are messed up or tolerant to violence.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Blimey every single child plays it?

    Of course they do and it’s all down to playing these that some perform worse.

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