What We Want in an “M” Rated Video Game
I want to be able to get the same content from a video game that I can get on TV. Few companies have really tried to make a game that an adult would be satisfied with. The video game industry needs a wake up call.
A video game designed for adults should include the same things as a television series aimed at adults. Thus far, video games have been unafraid to include very graphic violence and even a smattering of profanity. They are still completely missing the mark though. Adults like me want more than extreme violence in our so-called “mature” or “Adults Only” game.
I’ve talked to quite a few adult gamers about this topic and most if not all of them have similar opinions. We all like that the gaming industry is attempting to push the limits of what content can and cannot be put into a video game. We all know that technically any content can be put into a game but we are also aware that an AO rating is the same as stopping production entirely. The boggling little fact is that an M rating is for 17+ and an AO rating is for 18+. try and figure that one out. How much more maturity does an 18 year old have over a 17 year old? I’m a 42 year old gamer who has been playing video games since PONG and I want the content of video games to keep up with the technology.
It’s not like we all want a virtual sex game for our consoles either. I think a well-written RPG aimed at adult gamers would probably fly off the shelves at an alarming rate. Make parents read the ratings and warnings and force them to pay attention to what games they give their 8 year old. Let us decide as your adult consumers what we do and don’t want to see in a game. With my TV I can change the channel, with my computer I can choose to surf whatever sites I please, but with a console I can only have what has been made for it. I want more choice in what I am allowed to purchase, instead of relying on a ratings bureau to decide for me.
So what would a good game aimed at adults contain? Well, violence is already all over games so no need to go on about it in detail. How about the many games that include some mention of prostitution but censor it down to something you can see on daytime TV that’s rated TV14? A few games have tried to include love or sex scenes but almost always go the fade to black route of an old 50’s TV show. Is there something wrong with showing a pre-rendered love scene or two? Don’t give me the warm up and then cut to a shot of a door. If you’re going to bother with the controversy that including a sex scene, a stripper, or a prostitute in your game can bring, then at least have the decency to include the nudity. I’m a grown-up and a bare breast isn’t going to scar me.
I can turn on a premium cable channel and watch a vampire have sex in a brutal and graphic fashion. I can watch a mobster talk to about his mother to a mostly nude stripper. I can also see homosexual love and sex treated in an intelligent and adult manner. These are just examples of what we as adult consumers want in our video games. Video games are bought just as much as DVDs and movie tickets.
Make me a game that includes adult themes but doesn’t dumb them down. Show me the nudity you keep alluding to. Show me what happens when a shotgun is fired at a person’s head. Let me decide whether or not to hire a prostitute. Give me some kind of wasting disease for making rash decisions. Let me deal with the consequences of crime. Hell, I know of at least one game where you went to jail for committing a crime. They just set the clock forward, removed stolen property, fined you and lowered some stats. It’s not impossible to include all these elements, it’s just rare. I tip my hat to companies like Rockstar and Bethesda for having the willingness to try to make games for adults.
Please I beg of you, make a game that has an M rating that actually is meant for a mature audience. Take equal parts Fallout 3 and Grand Theft Auto, mix in a sliding morality scale or a reputation system and sprinkle liberally with sex, nudity, drugs and violence and serve up a gaming blockbuster. Just give me what I can already get from TV, movies, graphic novels, books and the internet. Let us have the interactive adult themed products that we want!
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