Parents Ignore Game Ratings


Whenever the issue of violence and sex in videogames arises, the majority of us say that it's the parents' responsibility to monitor what their children are playing and their job to check and understand the ratings system. But do they? Do parents care about ratings and is it influential to them when they buy games? A study was conducted across the pond, commissioned by the Entertainment & Leisure Software Publisher Association (ELSPA) to find out those answers.

"Parents perceive age ratings as a guide but not as a definite prohibition," he commented, going on to mention that while many parents weren't entirely happy with the content of the games being played by their children, few would take action to prevent it. ... "The research is on the money," he told this morning, "but anyone working in a games store has known this for a long time. The number of copies of Grand Theft Auto I've had to sell to parents accompanied by their ten year old kids, who I had refused to sell a copy to just a few minutes before, is absolutely sickening."
Now obviously the social mentality of many European nations is more liberal than that found here in the US, but it reinforces the notion that ratings don't matter to many parents. If something is to be done about youngsters acquiring mature titles, the stores now need to actively card the children and inform parents of the content of each game sold.

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