Extra Punctuation: What is Mature Anyway?

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I don't remember if this was a bizarre dream I had or if I just can't recall where I read it but I recall reading something about game age restrictions being replaced with reasons why it would be considered mature or okay for teenagers. I get that reasons are already there, but whether those would cause something to be bad for someone of a certain age differs from opinion to opinion.

And it'd work for films, too. Fight Club would have Holden Caulfield. Death Wish would have Edmond Dantes.

This is a little nitpick but, have you actually read The Count of Monte Cristo?

I completely agree with your thoughts re: how the idea of "maturity" has been diluted by the games industry and the inefficiencies of the rating system, but to be honest your alternative isn't much better. No offense.

"Im gonna make this pencil disappear"

[insert humorous but otherwise horrific bloodless violent scene here]

"TADAA!! It's.... gone"

More power to nipples! They demand equality with these aristocrats called 'violence'.

GrizzlerBorno:

It's really just the United States too. They're the ones who are most Vocal about it, if nothing else.

I think that's a little unfair to say. Most of the Western World is like this, it's not just the USA. The reason the USA seems more vocal is because they control the western media.

I would like to note that Geralt (from Witcher) is immune to venereal diseases. As well as all other ones.

I have to say that I agree. I've played some supposedly "violent" M-rated games that are so laughably silly and juvenile, that if they were a movie, they'd be your normal PG-13 summer action movie aimed at young teens. Similarly, there's some RPGs and others games that deal with some pretty heavy and disturbing themes at times, yet are given an E or E10+ rating at most because the violence is considered "mild" or "fantasy" and the characters only ever say damn.

I'm on board for the first half, slip off board for the second.

In a completely liberal society we'd more like the French or somesuch, starting our kids on wine at 6 and openly engaging multiple parties in romantic reverie. But we base our upbringing on setting hallmarks and this isn't without merit. Kids aren't generally aware of the consequences of some of the things we try to prevent them doing at early ages.

So I'd imagine we need perhaps a double rating. The ESRB is merely a content rating. The terminology can be misconstrued, but the levels are obvious, as noted in the article. This being America we're a little touchier when it comes to skin, and that's another issue entirely.

But if we had a second rating for the mindset of the game it may help some. Then again with all the marketing the big producers do people have a decent idea of what they're getting in to beforehand. Unless, of course, the marketing is bat-shit wrong, which it sometimes is.

I didn't buy Dragon Age Origins until nearly a year after release because all the splattered web adverts had me believing it was a hack n slash gorefest.

-It'd be nice if more developers stopped trying to cash in on the tired 'so gory it's funny' routine and just made mature games actually mature in mindset.

And while were at it bring back the cane! and capital punishment!

RobfromtheGulag:
So I'd imagine we need perhaps a double rating. The ESRB is merely a content rating. The terminology can be misconstrued, but the levels are obvious, as noted in the article. This being America we're a little touchier when it comes to skin, and that's another issue entirely.

The PEGI system is like that. It has the age number and then symbols to explain what kind of content there is (violence, drugs, sex...) so you can base your decision on both, and for instance make a different decision if it says 12 years old and sex or 12 years old and violence.
I think it's not a bad system although the "sex" symbol is a female symbol and a male symbol together, which annoys me by its heteronormativity.

There even is a symbol to say the game as an online mode, presumably so parents can know their kids might end up talking to strangers.

A lot of interesting points made by Yahzee.
In any other media something with 'mature' in the tag line indicates a measured and adult aproch to a subject. Such phrases as 'this is a mature study of modern family life' would be used in the review for such a piece. With video games it seems that, as Yahzee says, the most juvanile aproches to adult matters are considered 'mature'. Or as someone has already said:

Nocta-Aeterna:
OT. I believe the whole "mature" tag only goes for how graphic it is, giving the most immature handling of the subject matter the highest rating. Irony?

In the 'real world', a mature indivudal is someone who has a job, pays his bills, doesn't swear, doesn't make inapropriate jokes, dresses apropriately, has a measured temperment, can hold down relationships and generally knows how to be a human being.
A mature game is almost the oposite. A mature game personified is a person who's on the dole, swears every fourth word, makes inapropriate jokes, wears revieling clothing, losses their temper, solves all problems with violence and only thinks of themselves. (Note I said that is a personification of the game and not a description of the player!)

It's an interesting contrast. Especially when you think that a mature individual isn't actually the sort of person who would usually want to play a 'mature rated' game.

*gets off soap box*

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