Rating and selling video games

By Douglas Schweitzer
April 23, 2008 7:33 AM EDT

The US isn't the only country where kids are playing what are sometimes age-inappropriate video games. According to this IDG News Service article I read in PC World, European children are now being protected by the European Commission as far as their access to violent and explicit video games.

Right now most of the nations in the EU are still using the pan-European games information (PEGI) rating system for labeling video game boxes, but the commission hopes to develop a better system without delay. While they've been looking to update PEGI and have a more standardized system, only in the past few months have they been particularly motivated and that's because of November's school massacre in Finland after it came to light that the killer was an 18 year old devoted video gamer.

I'm certainly no expert on child psychology, and whether we can say that exposure to violent video games makes kids more violent is I think still uncertain. I do know that there are plenty of kids playing violent games - and yes, many of them are dysfunctional adolescents, but most of them aren't violent in the real world.

That said, I can't say that I disagree with a new and improved rating system and quite frankly, I'd like to see our rating system better enforced here in the US. Just because violent games don't necessarily produce violence in kids, doesn't mean children of any age should be allowed to experience them. While these may seem like mutually exclusive beliefs, I'm just simply convinced that younger (and less mature) children can save violent, explicit video games for when they're older.