(re: re: Software Ratings) Ratings systems that describe the product, rather than simple symbols (like: G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17) are better. These allow parents to make an informed decision before buying a product. Some parents are ok with nudity in a product, others aren’t. Some are ok with violent content, others aren’t. Some have different feelings about cartoon violence and “real” violence.
I’m generally opposed to everything related to sex or violence when it comes to young children. There were plenty of Disney cartoons that I thought were a little too violent for our kids when they were young. Other parents feel completely differently. There are even parents that don’t have an opinion (these people should rethink their responsabilities as parents).
I still have mixed emotions about having published Half-Life. It seems obvious to me that some percentage of teens who play violent games are going to lose sight of the fact that “it’s just a game”. 99.9% of teens understand the difference between a video game and reality – but not all. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think so. If in a video game, you give someone “real” seeming weapons, and then you have them chase “real” looking bad guys through real looking buildings, and then you give them points each time they “kill” someone – it sends the wrong message.
I’m a VERY anti-censorship kind of guy. But, that’s with respect to adults. There is a time in our lives when opinions are still being formed, and a time when we’ve made our minds up. This is not meant to be a political website – so, I’m not sure I want to comment more on this topic (especially since my opinions ae likely to alienate LOTS of people) – but, I really think that children, and even young teens, should be sheltered from violent content – especially realistic simulations – until they reach a certain age.