Zach P. Asked: Recently, I’ve been wondering about a few classic M rated games and I was wondering if your previous rulings still stood from the old site. The list is as follows, it might also be helpful to know which ones have filters: Call of Duty 4, Call of Duty 5, Gears of War, BioShock, Left 4 Dead, Resistance: Fall of Man, Resistance 2, Assassin’s Creed, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Fallout 3. I know that, lately, your reviews have been a little more liberal so I was just requesting some re-reviews based on your new, liberal perspective.
Good questions Zach. True, I have become more lenient as my kids get older and now that the heat is off the industry. When GamerDad launched games were still blamed by everyone. Journalists, lawyers, psychologists and parents were more scared. But gaming has made great strides since then, so defending them conservatively became – in my opinion – less helpful to parents. Also, by liberal and conservative I’m not talking politics. On the Right we have the culture warriors and the Left we have hand-wringers.
Ok, first off, me: Yes, some would get lower age scores from me. But back then I had a bunch of reviewers and I always let them have their say. Basically what kids oughta do is encourage their parents to let them rent the game – to see if it passes muster at home. Or visit Youtube and watch some game footage. Or visit ESRB.org and read their reasoning for their ratings. They added this feature despite my suggesting it multiple times and them saying “Not a good idea.”
You are 100% right that there should be a site that lists Age Filters and how effective they are. I’ve encouraged Whattheyplay and CommonSense to do this and they haven’t. My other great ignored idea is to give info on age capability. This is tough but CRUCIAL for parents shopping for kids 2-7. Board games do it, why not video games?
Call of Duty 4, Call of Duty 5, – 15 years old
Gears of War, – 17 years old
BioShock, -15 years old
Left 4 Dead, – 15, less if horror movies aren’t a problem
Resistance: Fall of Man, Resistance 2, – 15
Assassin’s Creed, 13- 15
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, - 13 seems more appropriate
Fallout 3, – 15 is probably best, depending on how much sexuality is a problem