Thursday, July 21, 2005

Rating Games and Rating Parents

The Associated Press has an article today on video games that have content similar to Grand Theft Auto. The article includes a breakdown of the percentage of games that get the different ratings available. Of course, not all content that a Christian would consider objectionable is included in the ratings evaluation, and, as the Associated Press notes, it's sometimes questionable why a game is given one rating rather than another. I think the problem is worse than the Associated Press' breakdown of percentages suggests.

The New York Times has an article on the latest explanation being given by Rockstar Games (the producer of Grand Theft Auto), as well as the response of retailers such as Wal-Mart. The Associated Press article describes the content of Grand Theft Auto as "blood and gore, intense violence, nudity, strong language, strong sexual content and use of drugs". The New York Times reports that Wal-Mart will no longer carry the old version of the game, but will carry the new version with the sex segments removed. Apparently, Wal-Mart doesn't want to be associated with interactive sex scenes, but they are willing to sell the "blood and gore, intense violence, strong language, strong sexual content and use of drugs". Best Buy, Target, and other retailers seem to be taking a similar approach. I'm glad that these retailers are refusing to stock some games, but their standards aren't particularly high. Neither are the standards of many of their shoppers, including parents.