Video games aren't just for the kids anymore.
No. Really. I missed that. I can think of several games that were made for kids, but honestly, the bulk of the industry is geared toward adult gamers who want good games. I love the assertion that the consoles are being bought by 'Nintendads' for their kids.
We buy the consoles for ourselves. Maybe, just maybe, the kids will be allowed play time. Video gamers aren't interested, for the most part, in introducing others to play. Occasionally, we stumble on a game that somebody we know must play. But not that often. We play video games with other, previously introduced, gamers and leave it at that.
With all the uproar about violence in games, we often forget who buys the games in the first place. While certain retailers are selling games they shouldn't to children, we have to ask why a child (someone under the age of eighteen) might want to play a video game that is not meant for them:
- Control Over Reality - Kids will choose a game that makes them feel, briefly, like they have control over their lives. Kids in bad neighborhoods play Grand Theft Auto. Kids who have underdeveloped social skills play RPGs. Kids who don't do well in math play platforms (where math doesn't seem like such a big deal).
- Media Coverage - ESPN's Pardon the Interruption asked which was worse: Media violence or Grand Theft Auto. After a scathing rant about GTA, my cousin turns to his mother and says, "Can I have that game?" The more you bitch about something being forbidden, the more kids want it. (By the way, my cousin got the game for Christmas.)
- All their friends have it.
- Mom and Dad said NO.
The only thing this article points out is that the video game set is much older than Capitol Hill likes to imagine. With people like Jack Thompson running around, trying to convince the world that video games produce killers, it's no wonder that video games are going to become a platform issue next election. (Rather than important things like taxes, the deficit, or, I don't know, THE WAR.) Even though the statistics show that the ESRB works, and works well, the government still wants it overhauled. Even though the biggest seller of video games (Wal*Mart) has a perfect track record with keeping M-rated games out of the hands of minors, people are still griping.
It's time to step back.
Parents! Parent your kids. Stop letting (or making) someone else do it for you.
Kids! That game is not going to be popular once you're old enough to play it. It just isn't that cool anyway. Get a copy of Rogue Galaxy and shut up.