Well, hard to believe? But it's true. You could be reported to the police by your children's school if you allow your children to play adult video games.
But what games can be regarded as adult video games that kids should not play? Since some grand video games like Grand Theft Auto V have become more and more kid-friendly thanks to the awesome GTA V mod created by legendary modders, such as Family Friendly Free Roaming Mod, which aims for making roaming/exploring in GTA V a smoother experience, with less interrupting elements and no violence.
However, video games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto always get their share of flak for violent or sexual content. Every year we hear someone shouting out in the conservative media about how these games are responsible for real-life criminal behavior.
As a consequence, a video game rating system appeared. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), a member of the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC), specialized in rating games. Both Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto are rated M for Mature. According to the ESRB website, that means, “Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.”
The trend of schools reporting parents if they overhear children talking about playing mature video games seems to have originated in the UK, though it’s quickly spreading around the globe. It all started when the Nantwich Education Partnership issued a letter stating the following:
"Several children have reported playing or watching adults play games which are inappropriate for their age … Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Dogs of War [did they mean God of War?] and other similar games are all inappropriate for children and they should not have access to them. If your child is allowed to have inappropriate access to any game or associated product that is designated 18-plus, we are advised to contact the police and children’s social care as it is neglectful."
So is this fair enough? Despite the unilateral idea that video games such as GTA only have bad influences on children, there are so many things wrong with this, and it’s impossible to know where to begin. First of all, M for Mature is an ages 17 and up rating, not 18 and up. Secondly, it is the equivalent to an R rating for a film, not an NC-17 rating. Parents can legally bring mature children to an R-rated film, and they can legally buy their children an M for Mature video game. The ESRB rating which is equivalent to NC-17 is A for Adults Only. None of these games fall under the “A” rating.
Finally, in terms of maturity, who is on earth being immature here? Since the whole purpose of the ESRB is to help parents educate their kids better -- not to give immature and paranoid school officials a groundless cause to persecute said parents. What would you do if you are a responsible parent after reading these kind warnings? Perhaps you just want to remind your kid to save the Grand Theft Auto talk after school, rather than not allow them to play the games.
Do you think it is of any meaning to do this? Please feel free to share your opinions to us in the comment section below.