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What's your oppinion on movie and video game ratings regarding apropriateness for children?


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Would you allow your (hypothetical) kids to watch/play content rated higher than their age?  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you allow your (hypothetical) kids to watch/play content rated higher than their age?

    • Yes, ratings are generally non-sense.
    • Yes, but only if I consumed the content beforehand and found the rating to be non-sense.
    • Yes, but only if the gap between rating and the age of my child is not too high, e.g., 2 years.
    • No.
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On social media, I often find myself surprised how many people let their kids consume content not really appropriate for their age. A very recent example was news of a five year old having beaten Bloodborne, which is rated 16 years and older. While that is admittedly an impressive feat, I can't help but wonder what kind of parents let their five year old spend hours upon hours in front of a console playing a horror game? Or might this just be a cultural thing? Socio-economic?

I think the users of our forum are very adult and intelligent, so I would like to know your opinion on this topic.

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I have chosen the "gap should not be too high" option, but would like to specify: I am a little torn about this topic. At first, I wanted to say that the example you gave is quite terrible, but then I remembered, that I was also exposed to games that were definitely not appropriate for my age. This was largely due to my brother (four years older), who played games that were also not really age appropriate for him and let me watch and/or play them myself. So, for example I got in contact Mortal Kombat (with all the blood and decpitation etc.), Doom and Wolfenstin, while I was in elementary school, but still I don't think that it was too damaging for my development. Of course, one could argue that the pixelated graphics made it easier to distinguish between game and reality, but when I think back on any game, the graphics I remember they had are always way better than they actually were. This lets me believe that it was still realistic enough for me at that time. Anyway, in my parents' defence I would like to say, these were games that my brother got from a friend on a disc, so they most likely did not know what these games were about or if they had any age recommendations and they usually did not bother watching us play. I am not sure if they even knew that there were such violent games at that time, so I believe for them, it was "just playing". I think your case is similar in this regard: Most likely the parents simply don't know and/or care, what their children are playing. Today, video games are much more common than then (in my case I am talking about gaming in the late 80s / early 90s) and it is more likely that parents know about violence in games, but still these parents may not have any connection to gaming and have no idea what the game is about. For me personally this would be even more reason to heed the age recommendations, but it is their choice.

I want to believe that, when/if I have children, I am more involved in what they are interested in and can make an informed decision about what is appropriate for my child. I think the recommendations have their value, but if I think that my child can handle the contents of a game, I would allow it, regardless. On the other hand, if I would think that my child cannot handle a certain game even though it should be old enough, I would forbid it (or rather try to talk him/her out of it).

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Following the recommended age limits strictly is imo only useful when parents don't care about what the kids consume and don't have good judgement themselves. The age rating is a useful guideline for sure, especially for people who don't have the option to check everything their kids play, but that's all it is for me.

One thing that I'm missing a rating of how serious, realistic and gritty something is - I believe grotesque violence or sex to be a much smaller problem than adult topics which do not even have to be super explicit visually, but are just too heavy. Prostitution, slavery, rape, gang stuff, topics like that.

I'm answering as someone who doesn't have kids yet, but I'm in my early 30s and believe I have enough perspective regarding my own childhood gaming. When I was a kid I played a lot of violent games, I enjoyed them then and I still enjoy them now (Brutal Doom is some of the best fun I've had with video games). I never had a problem distinguishing between games and reality, I've always been a peaceful person. My dad made me go return Carmageddon when I was like 11 years old and looking back at it honestly, I don't think playing it would have any negative influence on me.

But I realize that most of the games weren't super realistic or super heavy, and those that did feature more adult topics were typically RPGs with a lot text, which, at the age when they would be inappropriate, I found boring (don't know why, I read a lot of books, but in games I wanted easier interactivity). Nowadays, with the trend of adult gritty TV series, and with story and dialogs presented in more realistic graphics with voice acting (although not nearly as realistic as in TV series, yet), we may get games that are too adult and realistic due to topics shown and the way they're pictured. That I would actually consider a problem for kids.

I think that videogames are still a juvenile medium, you rarely get games that truly seem like they're aimed just at adults and feature difficult topics. But we will probably get those in the future. I don't think kids playing Doom Eternal or even Postal 4 is necessarily a problem, but a kid playing a gaming equivalent of Breaking Bad, Narcos or The Wire definitely can be one.

 

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It depends on the aptitude of the kid.

 

A reasonably developed 8yr old can easily distinguish violence in a game from what should be done in the real world

and will have some basic ethical framework about what level of aggression is proportional to what type of transgression.

Playing Doom Eternal (etc) should not suddenly incline your kid to think that accidentally knocking over their action figures

is punishable by crowbar-to-head or flame-thrower. You could easily find 6yr old or younger kids who would understand and agree to this

but lower than 7yr old or so and only the top 0.1% of children will be cogent enough to properly navigate this concept.

 

I can remember seeing violent Looney Tunes cartoons and R-Rated films like Robocop as a youngster, none of this exposure changed my

outlook on how we should treat each other as humans.

 

That said, a more intelligent kid will also workout the horrors of violence when abstracted to the real world and may develop more anxieties

than one who was not made aware of these things. That is par for the course for bright people though. They quickly imagine all sorts of horrible

outcomes due to the range of their imagination.

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I think it's the same as with the age censorship on music and motion pictures. Arguably the kids that grew up in the last century were often left to be educated by TV, even though any kind of media in excess doesn't do good. People need to go outside and stuff. Doesn't necessarily mean that they're guaranteed to make themselves best friends with someone but no media is a substitute for education.

That being said we still have to find a place for media in education. Especially as we all know today, schools can easily close during pandemics and/or other situations like that. 

For me, the bottom line is that parents should still monitor if the child distinguishes between good and bad. But that doesn't mean that children should be seen all the time in a patronizing way, as if they don't understand death, sex, violence etc. Children learn quickly. Child innocence and the infamous "think of the children" are simply knee jerk reactions rather than calls to do something serious about children's rights. Empty words. None of that means that parents should take their responsibilities lightly. At the same time it doesn't mean that there should be draconian restrictions. The fruit of the forbidden tree is the most desirable. Balance is always tricky. But doing things in moderation is the only healthy, reasonable thing to do.

Edited by Anderson
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"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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Of course, I also played some games I wasn't old enough for, when I was younger, but just like in @Destined's case, that was more due to the fact that my parents didn't really know the medium, while they actually payed close attention to ratings of movies and such. I was around 10 and not 5, 'though, and I was only allowed to play an hour a day, which I think is a healthy limit even today. I remember that my step dad let me play the first episode of Doom one sunday afternoon, and when my mum saw that game and learned about its age restriction, she was furious with my step dad. 😄 I also lied to my cousin that I was allowed to play Duke3D, so he would let me play it on his PC. 😄 

Anyway, even though we personally might not have had negative experiences with violent media, that doesn't necessarily mean that other children aren't affected by it. In fact, there is overwhelming evidence that consumption of violent media in the childhood is harmful to the psychological development of children. The same probably goes for too much screen time.

7 hours ago, nbohr1more said:

That said, a more intelligent kid will also workout the horrors of violence when abstracted to the real world and may develop more anxieties

than one who was not made aware of these things. That is par for the course for bright people though. They quickly imagine all sorts of horrible

outcomes due to the range of their imagination.

That's a pretty intersting theory. I wonder if any research has been done on it.

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1 hour ago, STiFU said:

Of course, I also played some games I wasn't old enough for, when I was younger, but just like in @Destined's case, that was more due to the fact that my parents didn't really know the medium, while they actually payed close attention to ratings of movies and such. I was around 10 and not 5, 'though, and I was only allowed to play an hour a day, which I think is a healthy limit even today. I remember that my step dad let me play the first episode of Doom one sunday afternoon, and when my mum saw that game and learned about its age restriction, she was furious with my step dad. 😄 I also lied to my cousin that I was allowed to play Duke3D, so he would let me play it on his PC. 😄 

Anyway, even though we personally might not have had negative experiences with violent media, that doesn't necessarily mean that other children aren't affected by it. In fact, there is overwhelming evidence that consumption of violent media in the childhood is harmful to the psychological development of children. The same probably goes for too much screen time.

That's a pretty intersting theory. I wonder if any research has been done on it.

Yes, I have seen at least a few papers claim that intelligent people are more likely to have a larger "collection of dooms".

For example, if you know astrophysics you then will become aware of gamma ray bursts, roaming black holes, supernovas, etc as possible issues facing life on earth.

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Age ratings are a joke.

Every time I go to the Elder Scrolls Online website (or its store page on Steam) I have to enter my age into a combo box. It's not a horror game, there's no porn involved, but some Think Of The Children bureaucrat has nevertheless decided that a standard fantasy MMO is somehow too dangerous for the children, and further decided that children are too stupid to enter a fake age on a website, so we all have to jump through this ridiculous hoop just to read some patch notes.

The developers of Elite Dangerous, on the other hand, don't even respect their customers enough to offer an opt-out from the kid-friendly censorship. Ship names are silently censored (visible only to other people — you have no idea if your own ship name has been changed), starring out not only obvious swear words but even foreign language words that appear in the middle of other words, as well as totally harmless words like "hell" which are only considered offensive by Bible-thumping rednecks. Presumably this embarrassingly broken automated censorship is imposed to comply with some age ratings agency, because I'm pretty sure not a single player has asked for it.

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On 5/5/2021 at 6:50 PM, STiFU said:

 I can't help but wonder what kind of parents let their five year old spend hours upon hours in front of a console playing a horror game? Or might this just be a cultural thing? Socio-economic?

NYC, 1987:

My brother was there and went into a cinema to watch the first "Predator"  with Arnie. There were fathers carrying their little ones on their shoulders to watch the movie...

Not sure, if they still do so in the states.

However, with that in mind, I think: yes,  it is a cultural thing depending on regions...ergo: a cultural-regional thing.

 

 

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Not sure i can comment as im to old to have been hit by games that might have been inappropriate at that age, i would say though that most of the time i would not agree with an age limit unless it was something using extreme graphics violence. As for games using ahem (sex scenes...) if it was otherwise true to what lovemaking is really about,

i would not put a blocker on it, a kid might get scared if they catch mom and dad making the dirty and not having a discussion about the heh sound effects :P so in some sense it can teach them that it is a perfectly natural thing and the sounds are not because it hurts any of the parents but quite the opposite.

Some would probably think that would be going to far but think about this at some point they are going to find out for themself anyway, would you rather that the kid was

stunted by it ? or allow him / her to have a plesurable first love affair :).

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I also think that the ban on Video Games should be limited to specific cases where there is really excessive violence or questionable content (Postal 2 is obviously not suitable for young children).
But the main problem is not this, but the excessive hours in front of a game that can be observed in many minors, which can lead to serious disorders and social exclusion, even with Mario Kart.

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I've selected the first option but I want to add that I would do that with a kid that's able to distinguish fiction from reality and that's it's more a 50/50 option between the first and second. As a kid I've seen and played a lot of stuff that wasn't for my age and it never affected me. I think the biggest problem is the time you're allowed to play as that does a lot more damage than the content itself. 

In my time there was a cartoon called Alfred J. Kwak and one of the antagonists was called Dolf and was a perfect reflection of Hitler. Pure propaganda. In today's age such a cartoon wouldn't be allowed anymore, just like there were so many cartoons that today wouldn't be allowed anymore. None of these have affected me or anyone I know, but addiction certainly has (not me as my parents were strict in time allowance, but some friends had big problems).

Edited by Carnage
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Btw the question should probably include the elephant in the room - if social media is a problem i.e. Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram etc.

Face that off against the principle of taking a balanced approach. Don't crack a nut with a sledgehammer. I don't know how do we take out informational trash apart. Spotting fake news is usually too politicized in this regard. Not individualized enough.

Edited by Anderson
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"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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7 hours ago, Carnage said:

I've selected the first option but I want to add that I would do that with a kid that's able to distinguish fiction from reality and that's it's more a 50/50 option between the first and second. As a kid I've seen and played a lot of stuff that wasn't for my age and it never affected me. I think the biggest problem is the time you're allowed to play as that does a lot more damage than the content itself. 

In my time there was a cartoon called Alfred J. Kwak and one of the antagonists was called Dolf and was a perfect reflection of Hitler. Pure propaganda. In today's age such a cartoon wouldn't be allowed anymore, just like there were so many cartoons that today wouldn't be allowed anymore. None of these have affected me or anyone I know, but addiction certainly has (not me as my parents were strict in time allowance, but some friends had big problems).

Agree, well Doom III isn't for a 3 years old child, but there are worse content in the TV and in some social networks in content and real risk. Also the time in frot of the screen, that must be controlled by the parents- 

(By the way, my granddaughter (10) loves TDM and I don't denote any negative effects)

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I also agree: limiting screen time in general is at least as improtant as chekcing contents. I can see how easily children would spend their time in front of one, if they had a chance. I myself spent a lot of time with friends who had consoles in front of them (I never had one as a child; my parents did not like them and even at the computer we were not allow to plug in a joystick as my father had the opinion that a computer is no toy). But we also spent a lot of time outsiede, if the weather allowed it, so I believe that it was sufficiently balanced.

I also agree about social media. For this I could not really give an appropriate age. There are even adults that fall into the trap of misinformation, so how should a child distinguish between "good" and "bad" content. Here, I think, a more or less constant supervision and proper education of children is very important. Not only about things they consume, but also about things they share. But this is really difficult.

8 hours ago, Zerg Rush said:

(By the way, my granddaughter (10) loves TDM and I don't denote any negative effects)

I would consider TDM as one of the less critical games regarding age. It contains some violence (even if you only knock out guards, in real life this would likely kill or at least properly hurt them, if you use a blackjack), but in general the goal is to avoid confrontations and find non-violent ways through the game. Playing a thief may also be considered critical, but most children know that stealing is wrong and should be able to tell that they are only allowed to do so in the game and not in the real world.

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I think that childs know the difference between fiction and reallity. Worse some films in TV where they glorify the violence in some police series ore action films. 

As I said, the only risk is that parents do not monitor the hours that the child is in front of the screen, the game itself is irrelevant for this (exceptions aside). Too many hours with a video game can be quite harmful for the child, it does not matter if it is Mario Kart or Paranoid.

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Hmm i can see where this might be on point though as i said im to old to really comment on screen time :P but im noticing a trend where the younger generation tends to live with there heads burried in one screen or the other so it does make sense to limit it even if they will probably not thank us (atleast not untill they get older and understand that you cannot live your life vicariously).

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  • 1 year later...
On 11/9/2022 at 8:54 PM, Prosmosweeky said:

 If someone is interested in the boosting service in which I worked, then

Nevermind

Edited by SeriousToni
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"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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2 hours ago, Oktokolo said:

Now that is some nice SPAM you are preventing from spoiling in your quote...

Wait it IS spam? I just wrote that. But then checked the website. I also checked his account and he made a legit post in the past.

 

Edit - removed the URL in the quote. Sorry for the trouble. Wasn't my intention

Edited by SeriousToni

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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3 hours ago, SeriousToni said:

Wait it IS spam? I just wrote that. But then checked the website. I also checked his account and he made a legit post in the past.

No problem, was just amused about stumbling upon what had to be a post quoting SPAM which had since been removed. I assumed that you posted something angry targeted at the spamer and then edited the angry part out after the original post vanished by moderator magic. Leaving the quote with the actual SPAM in was pure irony gold...

Btw, it is a common tactic to do some low-effort legit posts before starting to spam. I don't look at previous posts for SPAM detection. I most often don't even follow the links. After all, advertising a service in this thread is as obvious as it gets. That is bot-style bluntness...

Edited by Oktokolo
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I saw totally unrated movies as kid, in national TV, even porn movies and didn't turned into a sexual deviant or a murderer, with such restricted age rating and censorship that we have today, we still have as many sexual deviants and murder cases today, perhaps even more (thou I think that is because they get reported more now) then we add when I was a kid. Just my opinion. 

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6 hours ago, SeriousToni said:

@OktokoloOkay thanks for taking the time to clarify that. I guess I learned something today. Thank you :)

Replying to a spambot is useless, the only thing you have to do as a user is to report the message (clicking in the three points and select Report), with this the mods receive a notice even by mail to delete it if they haven't seen it or are in the Forum in this moment.

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1 hour ago, Zerg Rush said:

Replying to a spambot is useless, the only thing you have to do as a user is to report the message (clicking in the three points and select Report), with this the mods receive a notice even by mail to delete it if they haven't seen it or are in the Forum in this moment.

I've already done that in the past. However this time I was mislead sadly

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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