Mom says no to rated "M" games!!

Nancy - posted on 11/09/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )




We got our now 11 yr old son an XBox last year for Christmas. We have a Gamecube, two Wii's, and 3 Nintendo DS games. We knew the games for the XBox are more mature but had no idea we would be in contest every month when a new "shoot 'em up game" comes out. He has played "Halo" " Call of Duty" and "Modern Warfare" at his other people's houses. We bought him the "teen" versions for the WIi and xbox. I have seen and heard these games. Some of the language is harsh and frequent (but admittedly, sadly enough not the first time He has heard those words) But anyway, he is trying to convince me that these games you shoot bad guys or aliens. That there is not much blood, bc it is green and he will not say the words he is bombarded with. He is kind of immature and I just don't know how lenient to be with these games. I know on some of the games you can turn the game where you actually shoot American soldiers or the more civialians you gun down at the mall the more points you get. I know on one of the racing games you can get money or points by picking up prostitutes and have sex in the back seat, they only show the car rocking and some racket but still.
I know that games are getting more advanced but I feel compelled to police them still. I am afraid that if we "allow" even one rated "mature"game in the house, this will be a flood gate for others that he is not ready for. One side of the family has an "anything goes" mentality and would not bother to screen bc they want to be the faves and us to be the bad guys. Do I care too much? Am I making a big deal? Should I just let some of the war games only in? Your advice would be much appreciated.


Laura - posted on 11/09/2010




First of all, you are the parent and you have every right to set the rules for your kids and household. Don't worry what others think, they don't live at your house or take care of your child.

I personally don't think you can make a big enough deal out of these games! To clarify, my husband and I have played many of these games on the computer (Call of Duty is my hubby's fav!) but we chose not to let our 12 year old daughter play the 1st person shooter games! We allow her to play the strategy war games though as it does utilize strategy processes (economy constructs to create armies and deployment strategies for groups of soldiers).

The constant bombardment of the violence and adult language in the first-person shooter games DOES de-sensitize kids to it, making violence and language in reality seem less horrible. That doesn't mean young kids will run out and commit violent crimes or start swearing, it means that they lose the ability to care about the impact these things have on others. These games are rated M for a reason! Ultimately, it is up to the parents to use the rating system and to make those decisions about what their kids see and play. Do what you think works for your family based on the values you wish to exemplify. Good luck!

[deleted account]

The racing game you are talking about is Grand Theft Auto... and is probably one of the worst games on the market.

I have played Halo all of them in fact... there is swearing, and being a shooter you have to expect violence but I find it less violent then some T rated. I liked the story behind Halo... but I wouldn't expect a teenager to understand the story in it's full depth.

I hate shooters. But also love things like Oblivion which is just as violent.

At 11 I wouldn't allow any shooters he can wait on that. Really M rated games are meant for young adults, but even some T rated aren't really appropriate for teens.

Xbox is more geared towards the young adults those who grew up playing the original systems. So they are going to be more adult. We have 3 games that aren't rated M for Xbox... but we also don't plan on letting our daughter play those games until she's at least 16.

[deleted account]

I don't think you're making a big deal, and there's no such thing as caring too much on a topic like this. In my opinion, kids have no business playing mature games. If he gets any of those games from anyone, I would confiscate them or send them back to teh family and ask for something a little more age appropriate.

Iysha - posted on 11/09/2010




Well, I think that most kids, even as young as 11 know what is right and wrong when it comes to real life stuff. I'd be more worried about language than shooting and killing people in video games. For one, the language on the video games and the language heard from friends and just out in public isnt much different. you had said that he isnt a stranger to curse words. killing people, killing aliens, it isnt a big deal. The whole picking up prostitutes (I assume that's a Grand Theft Auto one) is just dumb anyway. lol...I can see that being held off for a couple years. he isnt going to become a criminal because he played the video game...he isnt going to steal some guns and shoot up a mall, you know?

Jodi - posted on 11/09/2010




In Australia, we have an M rating and an MA15+ rating, so they have kind of segregated the more violent games into the MA15+. I am not sure what your rating system is, but my rule for our boys (ages 13 and 11) is that they may play M games and watch M movies, but only when their younger sister isn't around, but MA15+ is off the cards until they are 15. Just to let you know, a lot of those games you mentioned are rated MA15+ here, so they don't play them. Halo is an M though, so they are allowed to play that :)

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Amanda - posted on 11/20/2011




I dont censor my 12 year old boys video games, but I will admit even grand theft auto is not allowed in this house.

Just remember video games dont make bad kids, nor criminals. Your child is old enough to tell the difference between reality and video games. I agree with Kate on the game by game basis.

It doesnt matter what rating a game is if your son has xbox live, hes going to hear all the swearing he can take.

Kelly - posted on 11/20/2011




I can already tell by your post that you feel uncomfortable with them and rightly so. I would even hesitate with some T rated games and at that age there would be NO rated M games. They are violent, filled with language and some sexual images or innuendoes. As parent you have the responsibility to protect your child and train him in the way he should go. I don't care if he hears language at school or elsewhere it is still something you want to avoid and not allow him frequent exposure to it. These days we have to be even more diligent with the kids access to electronics, Internet and a Hollywood culture that just wants to bombard our kids with sex, violence and is corrupt and lacking in morals. You are the parent. Set boundaries, be firm and protect your child no matter if it is popular or not. My husband and 17 year old are the only rated M gamers here. There are even some rated M games even my 17 year old will not be able to play.

User - posted on 11/10/2010




First of all they are rated "teen" for a reason, and an 11 year old is NOT a teenager. So that by itself should be enough. You even said it yourself, he can be somewhat immature, meaning that yes these games that are obviously too old for him will have an affect. If you are having any doubt at all, then why bring them into the house. Just because the other side of the family feels that anything goes, doesnt mean you should. Show him that there are boundaries now, because then when he is 16 he wont feel as though he can do whatever he wants. Just say NO to those types of games.

Nancy - posted on 11/10/2010




Wow, thanks for the feedback. I have no problem being the enemy and doing what is best. My husband is leaning towards just the military games only. I just know though, my son is sneaky enough to ask EVERYone else for it bc he knows we say no. Trust me, it wouldn't be the first game to go back. So for me, the fact he would be manipulative to get it shows he isn't mature enough in ways or doesn't respect our word and wishes. He is not violent and knows right from wrong, wouldn't hurt anyone unless they were harming him or family...I think he can handle having Halo and alien shoot up games and military games but would have to investigate the others. I am so glad we have this forum.

Carrie - posted on 11/09/2010




With my 12 year old and 10 year old I only allow Teen rated games! If they ask for a game that seems bad, I rent it before we buy it and I play along or watch to see how bad it really is. My oldest just isn't mature enough! And I have younger ones too!!

Alecia - posted on 11/09/2010




you are def doing the right thing IMHO. i think parents need to supervise their children. I am not big on censoring television (to a pt), or banning books in libraries because i think it makes it too easy for parents to not parent their children. if there is something u do no want ur kids watching/doing, then set the rules and make sure they are followed wherever ur kid is (or just have ppl come to ur house...though that can really go on for so long). i will gauge what my child can handle when. i was able to watch the south park movie when it came out and i was in the 6th grade. some ppl might not agree with it, but i was mature enough to handle it and still love south park to this day. it all depends on the maturity of the child and the beliefs and morals of the parents.

Linda - posted on 11/09/2010




Dear Nancy, I find it soooo refreshing that there are other moms out there who feel the same way I do. Actually all my children are grown and I am now raising 2 of my 14 grandchildren (boys aged 8 and 10). I bought them an xbox last year at tax time and I REFUSE to buy, rent or allow to be borrowed any game with M rating! I moniter closely their tv viewing also. Stick to your guns girl about games etc. You may be the bad guys for now but eventually your kids will thank you for your care and discipline in their game playing. I agree some of those games are just.... well that is why they have the rating system isn't it to help us make good choices for our chidren. Kids today grow up WAY to fast we as their parents should not be pushing these adult games, ideas etc on ther young minds. Hope it helps to know that there is at least one person who agrees with you 100%. KUDOS to you. Linda

Angela - posted on 11/09/2010




I think the key to this is research, take an interest in the games he's playing and wants to play. Look up any game that he asks for on the internet and find out about it's content there. It is your house and your rules and you have every right to say no, also make sure you check what relatives are buying him for birthdays and christmas. It's all very well for him to say he won't copy it but of course he will be affected without realising it. Some of your family might think you're over reacting but at least you'll be safe in the knowledge that you know what games he's playing and what their content is like.

Jocelyn - posted on 11/09/2010




I agree with Kate. Maybe don't ban every M game, but make your decisions based on the individual game (and the maturity level of your son). For instance, James Bond is higher rated, but there's not a lot of swearing, it's a lot of sneaking around (as opposed to randomly shooting everyone).

Kate CP - posted on 11/09/2010




Personally, I would go by a game-by-game basis. And make sure he knows that it has nothing to do with the ratings, but the content of the game. If *YOU* think a game is okay, the rating on the label shouldn't matter.

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