It's not 1987 anymore.

posted December 5, 2007 by Jenn

JennViolent video games want to destroy your children!! PANIC!!, according to MediaWise, a watchdog group who recently released their latest grades on the video game industry from makers to retailers. It would seem they think the big box and game rental industries aren't doing enough to make the decisions for the parents as to what their kid is mature enough to handle. Shame on you!

You can educate and inform parents all you want. That's not going to stop them from buying it if they still see fit, whether or not they're going to be the principal players. It's something that each family has to deal with separately. The Smith's kid might be able to handle it while the Jones' kid next door may not, but it'll be the Jones' kid who gets all the press. It's no fun when everyone has to get out because one kid crapped in the pool.

And on a related note:
" 'There's an endless stream of new games that will never be suitable for children,' said Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn..." And that's fine because these new games were never meant for children.

Video games haven't been just for kids since the early 90s. That's around the time that the Nintendo generation turned 18 and became adults. Here's a generation of kids who grew up with video games and continue to play them through adulthood. Now, we're in our 20s and 30s. And I'm not counting all of the people who picked up gaming after they had become adults. We're an entire market segment. Now, they claim to know and understand this on the Mediawise website, but they also seem to be skipping over the fact that people of this age group can handle the more violent video games and that's why that genre is so strong in the industry.

I really don't think the target audience for these games is kids under 17 in the same way the most violent and graphic horror movies aren't. Kids of that age may be fans, and you can thank parents for that, but they aren't the intended audience. For example, the movie Se7en (Seven) is quite popular, I'm told, in some Vienna-area high schools and if you've seen it you KNOW it's not intended for children.

Face it, watchdogs. The Nintendo generation has grown up, has gotten jobs and can buy their own systems and games now. Game companies don't have to satisfy the parents anymore to get the games to the players. Mario is still awesome fun but don't coddle us.

In case you're curious and don't feel like subjecting yourself to that website, here's the MediaWise list of Games To Avoid and Games To Play:

Video Games to Avoid for Your Children and Teens

Recommended Games for Children and Teens