Games rated "Mature" or "M" by the esrb should NOT be sold to children

January 16, 2013
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When video games hit the shelves in 1978, nobody could have predicted the amount of violence that games would perform in the future. After all, graphics were limited to single colored square assortments and the most advanced sound effect was a series of beeps. It wasn’t until Mortal Kombat was released on Sega Genesis that people started to even grow concerned about video games, and when the game became a hit no company wanted to be left out. Now that 2013 is here a lot has changed. Graphical power is through the roof and the current consoles can perform around three trillion calculations a second, so what is there to stop a developer from programming the ultimate virtual murder that kids can perform without having to even get off the couch?

The answer should be the non-profit rating board, ESRB. Founded in the mid-1990s, every game got a small stamp on the packaging with a little letter standing for the content. The labels go from E (standing for everyone) all the way to a dreaded M, which stands for mature. It sounds like an easy, cheap, and foolproof way to tell parents what they are buying their kids, but it is not. Most parents lack a basic understanding of video games to understand and most kids do not have any sort of morals or limits, so it is not ironic when the tiny stamp gets ignored and the violent rounds of Halo and Modern Warfare are started. Have the little kids got any idea of what they are getting into? Do the parents realize that real murders could only be a step away from the virtual ones? Along with the ESRB rating these things, most game consoles come with rocket-science level parental controls, which are worse than stamping microscopic letters onto a box. Normally parental controls are placed in the complicated settings menu, and if they are set up by a technological savvy person, a smart kid can crack the password pretty easily. Better prevention and warning have got to occur if these aren’t to be banned.

The effect of when the ESRB fails and children get to be a virtual killer or terrorist is quite obvious. Instead of discovering art, passion, feelings and the beauty of humanity they are learning to destroy and kill. At the age of 7-10 children are naturally curious, and that is the time when you do not expose them to war and mindless violence. Wouldn’t a parent want their children to discover something new that could impact the world rather than becoming public enemy #1? The market has plenty of other appropriate games that kids can play that encourages problem solving and creativity, like the ever growing My Sims, Mario Bros, Little Big Planet, and Animal Crossing franchises.

The problem wouldn’t be out of hand if developers would actually censor what they make. Nintendo used to have strict regulations on the games produced for their famous NES console. If a building was labeled bar, it would get changed to café. If a cross was put on Dracula’s grave, it was changed immediately. So what happened? Games rated M make up a quarter of the sales. Even though only %5 percent of all video games have the rating, they are the most popular and sale the most. It is quite sad that developers don’t seem to mind that their devious creations wreck the minds of thousands of children as long as they make a profit. We wonder why there is so much evil in the young people in America, but when you see them eagerly mashing the button to send the lady to their doom it is really not a mystery. It is not like non-violent games don’t sell, either. Look at how many copies of Mario 3 sold, and it didn’t have a drop of blood in it.

In conclusion, there are not enough regulations or limitations on video games. They corrupt the children of the world, and nobody is giving it a second thought. It is one thing to see a criminal in the cinema, but another to become one in a high definition fantasy world. Curiosity is crushed and replaced by an urge to destroy, which is normally brought on by the latest Xbox 360 game. We were founded on Christianity, yet if we don’t stop we’ll be a country made of killers and criminals.

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