And now, a salute to all the various rating system companies that are responsible for tagging warnings onto all of our TV shows, movies and video games!
Why salute them, you ask? Easy – these ratings systems make it possible for these various outlets to get away with producing some of the most vile, disgusting, bloody, hyper-sexed up, profanity-laced entertainment content the world has ever seen!
Ironically, the majority of these ratings come about as a result of outrage from various “parties” who are offended by one or two things in the respective genre that look like they might be “pushing the envelope.” For example: back in the early 1990s, there were two games out that were chastised as being “too violent” and “not a good influence for kids to play”: “Mortal Kombat” and “Doom II.”
When these games arrived in arcades and/or on home consoles, people such as parents and religious groups became VERY upset that these games had such vile content. (Geez, you see one character rip the spine out of another character from their mouth, and suddenly it’s considered “vile.”) In an attempt to prevent kids from being able to purchase such content, congress decided to pass a bill stating that all future video games had to have ratings on them so that parents could make educated decisions about what games to buy their kids.
In theory, it’s an excellent idea… BUT, there was one thing the law makers didn’t anticipate when they passed this bill. By creating a ratings system, it meant that people were going to start making more and more games to fill up the various levels of rated content – INCLUDING MATURE-THEMED GAMES.
The result? Today, there are infinitely more “M” rated games on the market (the “M” stands for “Mature,” as in, “this game is only suitable for players over 17 years old”) than there were back in the early 1990s. And, more importantly, there are more kids playing these “M”-rated games because… well, a parent may not want their kid to play it, but if they’re just going to sneak over to their friend’s house and play it anyway…
So, the next time you think about buying an “M”-rated game, or seeing an “NC-17″/”R”-rated movie, or watching a TV show like “South Park” that’s not “supposed” to be watched by minors, thank your lucky stars for all the various ratings boards. Without them, the people responsible for creating this content wouldn’t have the free pass they’d need to do so!
Ah, TV/movie/video game ratings systems… now THAT’S something to be thankful for!