A new video game called “Detroit: Become Human” to be released this year for Playstation 4 is causing quite an outrage, as you can see by this article I’ve linked to. This new game contains scenes involving murder and violent abuse of a child. In a movie, those scenes would be disturbing enough, but in a very realistic interactive eGame it may have an even greater more severe effect on young minds.
Warning The Video Trailer Shown At The Link Below May Disturb Some Viewers.
Some child phycologists are calling for this game to be banned due to what they see as glorification of child abuse, and because of the risk that children may play this game. We don’t know as yet what the game will be rated in Australia. It maybe due to the content that it will be banned here in Australia or the very least rated R18+ adults only, meaning that it is illegal for a child to play or buy this game. A rating of MA15+ would also mean that it would be unsuitable for a child under 15 years of age without a parent buying the game, or without supervision.
What About The Children Who Might Play This Game?
Some psychologists are very concerned that children will also play this game, and be traumatised by it. An adult video game absolutely shouldn’t be played by a child, but unfortunately so many are, and often with their parents permission. I think there is certainly a disconnect with some parents who don’t check the ratings on video games for their children, and some who don’t see the ratings the same as they do ratings for movies or videos. They see video games as entertainment for children or teens. Some parents also simply don’t believe that adult content is harmful for children. They don’t read the research or if they have they don’t believe it applies to their child. I have had parents actually tell me that they equate todays adult media with the type of content they were exposed to as children and feel that it “didn’t do them any harm” so it will be fine for their child.
It is for parents to take an active role in protecting their children from disturbing content within popular eGames. Just because it says “Game” doesn’t mean it’s for kids. More adults play eGames than children, so of course many eGames are developed only for the adult market, and are highly disturbing.
What Parents Can Do
- Check the age ratings for any digital games your child wants to play, and equate the ratings with film ratings.
- Video games bought in disc form have the ratings on the cover of the game.
- Online game stores have them usually in the description of the game.
- The online game store Steam sometimes doesn’t have age ratings on games, and they may differ from your countries ratings so you may have to dig a little further.
- www.commonsensemedia.org has reviews and age recommendations for eGames, review them if you are in any doubt.
- Search YouTube for videos of the game play
The eSafety Commissioner has more information on Film and eGame ratings. https://www.esafety.gov.au/education-resources/iparent/multimedia-reviews/movies-and-games/movie-and-game-classifications