UK Survey Finds 86% Of Parents Ignore Game Age Ratings
Video games have been criticised by politicians and activists for years, especially ones that contain violence. To tackle this, most countries have an age restriction policy in place to make sure that children don’t get their hands on something inappropriate. However, it turns out that many parents simply don’t pay attention to these age ratings.
Age ratings imposed on games, movies, TV shows, and other forms of entertainment has always sparked interesting discussions between game developers, rating authorities, parents, and gamers. While some titles get restricted to a limited audience by these ratings due to their sexual themes and/or violence, others get banned outright.
Childcare.co.uk surveyed over 2,000 parents in the UK, out of which 72% were mothers. All parents had children aged between five to 16 years, 53% of which were boys and 47% were girls. Here are some interesting findings by the authority:
- 86% of parents don’t follow age ratings in video games.
- 23% don’t follow age restrictions for movies.
- 43% have noticed negative behavioral changes in their kids since they started playing games aimed at adults.
- Nearly 25% say that their kids now understand and use offensive language.
- 18% let their 10-14-year-olds watch 18+ movies.
- 34% claim that their children spend over four hours playing video games.
Childcare.co.uk founder Richard Conway went on to say that:
t’s difficult in this day and age to govern what your child is exposed to, because if your 10-year-old has friends who are playing Fortnite, which is rated 12, you want them to be included in the fun. However, it’s always worth looking into the game to see if it’s suitable rather than leaving them to their own devices.
What’s interesting is that the majority of parents follow film age ratings, but when it comes to video games they maybe aren’t as strict. It’s important to remember how impressionable children are; if they see behaviour or language in a video game or movie, they may mimic it.
All in all, the results are rather interesting, especially due to the contrast they show between age ratings for video games when compared to movies.
This age rating argument has risen again in large part due to the popularity of Fortnite across all age groups. The issue seems to be that while playing an online game, children can be subjected to various unfriendly experiences.