Who Are Games For?

Gears of War 2Video games, for some of us, are an escape from our daily lives. For others, they’re a battleground to prove who the better gamer is. Almost like a book there’s a game for everyone. Anything from the long RPG where you’re the hero with the weight of the world on your shoulders, or the FPS where you play as the destructive badass. Puzzle games, platformers, racers, survival horror, and sport games, there is truly any type of game for any person. Despite so many types of games being available, who are they truly for? Looking back at the history of games, at one point they were clearly meant for kids. With the bright colors and the basic gameplay, games were barely considered to be more than a toy. Games have now evolved far beyond that with interesting gameplay elements and characters that have a grand amount of depth to them. Of course, they also have more adult themes in games, which deal with serious subject matter and are more graphic in nature. Games are most certainly for adults.

ESRBLooking back on gaming history, the whole reason there even is a distinction now between games being for adults or kids is due to the ESRB (or Mortal Kombat). If not for Mortal Kombat, there wouldn’t be an ESRB system to determine what’s appropriate for which age groups. In theory, games like Gears of War, COD: Modern Warfare, Assassin’s Creed, etc. aren’t games kids should have access to. Games can also be expensive. New games are normally $60, even the ones suited for kids. In this particular situation, kids have their parents purchase their games. One thing I see any time I’m in GameStop or Play N Trade is parents buying M games for their kids. I feel this further reinforces the idea that games are more for adults than for kids.

Rayman OriginsMature themes, blood, and gore are all reasons for games to be considered an adult pastime but one thing I have yet to touch on is online play. I play Counter-Strike: Source for a few reasons: it’s a solid game, I’ve been playing it since I was fifteen, and there are almost no kids. I’ve played Modern Warfare’s multiplayer and the Gears of War multiplayer and anytime a kid that shouldn’t even be able to buy the game entered my server, I would want them to leave. Most kids in online games say the most hateful and ignorant things I’ve ever heard and if a girl is present, God help us all. But this isn’t to say all kids that play games are bad or that kids shouldn’t play video games at all. I have been playing video games since I was four. The first game I played was Mario on the NES however, I had a slow progression from then to now in terms of the games I play. Games in grew along with me, starting off childlike and eventually becoming more adult as I aged. Now there are loads of M rated games everywhere that are more graphic than the ones when I was a kid. I imagine I sound like an old man waving his fist but in many aspects video games are for adults. I don’t truly believe that there will be a time when kids stop playing adult games and have the progression like I did but one can always hope.