I’ve heard much about Skyrim, and as I’m going to get an X-Box for Christmas, I’m taking a look at various games to see what might be of interest. I have 3 kids, ages 8-12, and I’m wondering about the appropriateness of this game for younger kids.
The first thing you should do when trying to assess the suitability of a game for minors is look at the rating on the box, or if you haven’t already bought it, seek out those rating on-line.
Whenever looking at video game ratings though, you need to consider them in the context of the agency producing the rating. The same goes for film as well as video games.
In Europe, we appear generally much less concerned about sex & drugs, while much more concerned about violence, whereas that situation appears reversed in the U.S. Elsewhere in the world you will find other priorities.
While the overall ratings are a good indication, you often have to drill down into the detail to find the real reason for a given rating:
- The BBFC‘s 15 rating appears to be based solely on the games violence.
- The 18+ rating from PEGi also concentrates solely on the violence, but is obviously much less tolerant of it.
- The Mature rating from the ESRB obviously covers these topics of gore and violence, but also covers the issues of sex and drugs (nothing about rock & roll though *8′).
As someone from the UK I think it is unsurprising that I share the opinion of BBFC. I wouldn’t be comfortable with under 15’s playing this game, but ultimately it is the decision of a parent to decide whether the themes presented are suitable for their children.