Parents: Do you follow the rating labels when buying a game for kids?

Zyni

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I definitely would not buy a game for another parent's child if the rating wasn't appropriate for him or her. I have let my kids play games with questionable ratings. I'm not the one who actually bought them, but I did check out the games or my husband did, first. We also paid attention as they got further into the games to make sure they weren't out of hand, or we played with them.

If you're not a parent, what do you think? Should parents stick to the ratings or is supervision enough?
 
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digitalsatori

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I'm right there with you. For my kids - sure, supervision is fine. My wife and my 8-year-old play CoD together, so we already don't follow the ratings. However, with someone else's kids? I'll err on the side of caution and only let them play E-rated games.

I've explained to my kids the difference between reality and video games and how everything in the game is not real (no matter how real it looks) and that there are things you can do in video games that is not okay to do in real life. There's no guarantee other parents have those conversations, so the kids usually play Minecraft when they have friends over.
 
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Ridge

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In general with my kids I don't follow ratings on much of anything.... I mainly just look at each product individually and decide if it'll be appropriate for my kids based on how mature and/or intelligent they are.
 

Squigly

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I think it's more important to teach kids about what's morally right and wrong from a young age. They will inevitably be exposed to sex and violence at a younger age nowadays with the pervasiveness of all kinds of mass media, not just videogames.
 

Goldie

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I don't have a kid but my 10 year old nephew plays mature rated games all the time. He is very close with his parents though so I'm not too worried since I am confident that he will have guidance and that he knows he can talk to us about anything at any time. I think most games should be okay for kids as long as they grow up in a secure environment.
 
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medievalmama

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My daughter (16 yr old) thinks my rules are fickle and arbitrary. We have the Assassin's Creed series (except the newest ones), LA Noir, CoD, Skyrim, and several other M rated games. She has been playing AC for a couple years and CoD even longer.

At the same time, I will not let her play Grand Theft Auto. I mainly look at adult themes and glorified drinking/drug use when making my decisions. The violence doesn't bother me at all. Her dad (my husband) is in law enforcement, and she knows the difference between game violence and real life. The other themes, I just don't want her exposed to that more than necessary.
 

TommyVercetti

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I follow my own judgement but I certainly take the ratings into account seriously. You can only play several games at a time in your life and I would like my kids to start off with games that don't take away their innocence, make them jaded, or subject them to adult situations and interests. I'll let my kids stay kids for a while longer, thank you very much.
 

Fit Tony

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I don't have a kid. But like Goldie I have a nephew and I recently bought him a copy of GTA5. His only thirteen but I know he can handle those kinds of games. He has a firm grasp of what's right and wrong and his parents are really artsy. He understands that fiction is not meant to be realized.

It really depends on how a kid is brought up. I have cousins older than him that I believe won't be able to handle the gravity of torturing someone to get information.
 

Wiseman05

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I'm like a lot of people. I don't have a child myself, but I do have nieces. I would not feel comfortable buying, or letting a kid, play any games that they are not old enough to play in my house. And I wouldn't buy them a game that they were not old enough to play even in my house. Its a little hypocritical, I know, coming from a guy who once threw a fit as a 12 year old because a video store wouldn't let me rent out Mortal Kombat II, but time has given me wisdom and tempered my ego and that kid can wait a few years before playing games like that.

So thats how I feel in regards to my nieces. My brother might be fine letting his 6 year old girl watch him play Red Dead Redemption, but in my house when I babysit she gets the sesame street kinect games.
 

LemonyPinkness

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I believe parents should respect and acknowledge game ratings just as they would film ratings. Games feature adult content just as R-rated films portray sexual violence, gore, nudity, and explicit language. Many games are created with an adult audience in mind, not as material for children to enjoy.
 

thatnewmommy

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Like others, I'll read the ratings and get appropriate age games if I'm giving as gifts. At the moment our son "plays" kids games but he'll also "play" next to his dad his dad's games. I think it's important to teach them fake from real at a young age but I dont know how other parents are so I'll take the safe route. (and that's IF I'm going to gift a video game).

I used to work at a toy store and they wouldnt allow us to sell kids games out of their categories unless accompanied by an adult. This little kid came up to my register to pay for a GTA game once. He was alone so I was explaining I couldnt sell it to him unless he had an adult. So he comes back and his mom was kind of upset that she had to "bother" to pay for it herself. I explained that it was against store rules and she didnt understand why I couldnt sell him the game. I explained the rating system and she just seemed confused and asked what was the game about. I felt bad for the kid, but I went ahead and explained. She slowly turned her head and stared at him. We're Puertorican, and I don't know if you've seen a Puertorican mom doing that move...scariest thing in the world. Her lips hardly moved. All she said was 'put that game back'. So yeah...I think MORE parents need to read about the ratings, check out the games, and THEN decide what's best for their own kids. LOL
 

Zyni

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I do think the ratings have a purpose, but I also feel that all kids are different. Some are much more mature than others. Games I bought for my older kids, were of course coveted by the younger siblings. I felt that as long as there was proper supervision, some of those games could be enjoyed by all. At the same time, there are games I certainly wouldn't let the younger ones play.
 

skeletal

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My daughter is still too young for games, but I won't blindly follow the ratings when I choose what she can play. Obviously I'll teach her why video games are different than reality, like you can't blow off someone's head and then take their money. She won't play anything like that for a while, anyways. I'll research games, play them myself, and then make a decision on whether or not I want her to be exposed to it.

As for others children, I'd talk to the parent. They'd be sure to know what games the kid wants, and I'd know what games are okay for that kid. Same thing if a kid comes over, I'll have the parent approve anything I'm not sure about.
 
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JoanMcWench

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I'm shocked to hear parents on here actually do heed the rating. When I'm at Gamestop it's ridiculous how many times I see parents buying their kids mature rated content. Blissfully unaware of the type of game the child wants. It seems to be a way of getting them out of their hair for the day.
 

Rowe992

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Well I am not a parent but speaking from being in a position where my parents bought games for me, I can say that the rating of the age was never an issue as long as the content wasn't sexual in nature. I have been playing games rated mature 17+ since I was about 13 years old and it never affected by negatively. Some kids are mature for their age and parents should use that as a guide.
 

bogartdelarama

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I'm not a parent, yet, and probably won't be for some time, but if I had a child, and even though I played violent games as a kid, I still would follow the rating labels, or at least when my kid decides that he wants to start playing violent games.
 

MariusCat

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Growing up, my parents did not care about the ratings on video games. They would buy us whatever game we liked when we got to get a game. I don't really think it was a bad thing. I mean, we grew up fine despite the violent video games. I don't think kids can really be affected by violent video games unless it becomes an obsession. When I become a parent, I probably won't pay a lot of attention to ratings.
 

pwarbi

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To be honest I don't think it would really bother me, what age or rating the game had. If I'm going to buy a game for a child then you obviously just use your own judgement as to what you think is acceptable or not.
 

joshposh

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Parents should pay more attention to the ratings. I played Red Dead Redemption and close to the end they actually had a sex scene with nudity. That is something kids should be seeing.
 

adfnio

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That's shocking. I didn't know they had that kind of explicit scenes in video games. I've heard swearing before but not sex scenes and nudity.

With that being said parents should spend more time looking at video game ratings.
 

ilivetofly

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Yes and no. I play a lot of games myself and while I am not a parent I always get potential games that will be bought for my sister ran past me first. She is 12 years old and wanted to play one GTA V, my mother was going to buy it for her until I mentioned the sex scenes, prostitutes and torture mission.

This being said she was permitted to have and play CoD however she was restricted to only playing the online mode and had to have herself and all the other players mutted at all times. This I think is very reasonable. She does not have to play through any of the questionable story line but gets to play online with her friends and gets experience of playing first person shooters.