A great piece which takes aim at the hysteria surrounding video games. The article notes how many of the games cited aren’t games intended for children, but rather adult games.
A 2011 study called The Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry notes the average gamer today is 37 years old, 82 percent of gamers are adults, and 72 percent of American households now play video games. It also states that 42 percent of gamers are women, with women 18 and older making up a third of the gaming population. What does this all mean? The kids who grew up on the games of the ’80s are still playing today, more than the kids.
Distinctions between games for adults and those for kids are fairly clear these days, thanks to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB). Formed in 1994, the ESRB rates all video games as a guide for parents similar to the way movies are rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Games are rated ranging from E for Everyone and T for Teen to M for Mature, 17+.
There is a fundamental misunderstanding that games are only for children. This needs to change for the ‘violence in games’ dialogue to advance.
Observing and enforcing the differences between games for children and games for adults is at the core of the issue. This is a part of the social contract we enter when we choose to recognize the distinctions between media for kids and media for adults.