Despite what your parents might think, the ESRB says that a mere 5% of all games released during 2010 were rated "M" for Mature.
It's a constant refrain that you're probably all too familiar with if you play videogames: Oh, videogames are so violent! They're all about shooting helpless people in the face / running people over with cars / beating up prostitutes / all of the above! For many non-gamers, gaming is seen as a thoroughly bloodsoaked hobby.
Yet that view isn't necessarily one supported by facts. According to the ESRB, the industry organization in charge of rating games in the US, it classified a mere 5% of releases as "Mature" in 2010 - about 82 titles out of 1,638. This was the second-smallest category, with EC (Early Childhood) accounting for a mere 1% of releases.
As expected, E (Everyone) took the lion's share with 55% of all games released in 2010, followed by T (Teen) with 21% and E10+ (Everyone 10+) with 18%.
So why do M-rated games get the spotlight?
They tend to sell better than their lower-rated counterparts, for one. Compare this breakdown with the top ten best-selling games of 2010 (in the US, according to NPD):
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Rated M)
2. Madden NFL 11 (Rated E)
3. Halo: Reach (Rated M)
4. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Rated E)
5. Red Dead Redemption (Rated M)
6. Wii Fit Plus (Rated E)
7. Just Dance 2 (Rated E10+)
8. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Rated M)
9. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (Rated M)
10. NBA 2K11 (Rated E)
Ignoring that NPD recently declared Black Ops the best-selling game ever (in the United States), five of the top ten games on this list are rated M, four are rated E, and one is rated E10+. That's massively disproportionate compared to the percentage of M-rated games in the total release schedule.
There may not be more M-rated games, but it sure seems like more people are playing them.