This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff. Video games today are much different from the way they were when my parents were growing up. Long gone are the days of Pong and Super Mario Bros.
"Mature" games that are actually mature
Game Rating Information - ESRB | Xbox
CHICAGO — Most video games rated "M" for mature audiences fail to disclose violent content on their labels and can easily fall into the hands of children, according to a study released on Monday. Researchers observed more than 6, character deaths, or an hour, when they played 36 computer games randomly selected from rated for players aged 17 or older. In the last five years, 8- to year-olds have nearly doubled the average amount of time spent playing such games from 26 to 49 minutes a day. The study found around 80 percent of M-rated games included sex, violence, profanity, gambling or drug and alcohol use, none of which was described on the labels. For example, the Federal Trade Commission reported in that 40 percent of M-rated games were purchased for children younger than 17, while 69 percent of unaccompanied children aged 13 to 16 were able to buy games intended for adults. Activity diaries kept by caregivers recording two days in the lives of 3, children aged 6 to 12 found that for each hour of violent TV watched, the children spent 20 to 25 fewer minutes with friends. Researcher David Bickham of Harvard School of Public Health described the phenomenon as "a downward spiral from violent television viewing to aggressive behavior to social isolation to viewing more violent television.
10 Most Controversial Video Games Rated 'Adults Only' In America
What is adult? According to ratings boards and hand-wringing politicians, the only qualifications necessary are a bucket of blood, a stream of foul profanity and a parade of naughty lady parts. Ironically, the very things that are included to win over immature teenage boys. The following games, however, define adult in a different way. They tackle challenging themes, explore intellectual ideas and deal with complex characters in complicated relationships.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board ESRB ratings are designed to provide information about video and computer game content so parents can make informed purchasing decisions. ESRB ratings have two parts: rating symbols suggest age appropriateness for the game and content descriptors indicate elements in a game that may have triggered a particular rating or concern. To take full advantage of the ESRB rating system, it's important to check both the rating symbol on the front of the game box and the content descriptors on the back of the game box.