Smarter Living: Paying attention to video game ratings - WFLA News Channel 8

WNCN News

Smarter Living: Paying attention to video game ratings

Posted: Updated:
Children may find it easy to acquire games like GTA V depending on where they shop. Children may find it easy to acquire games like GTA V depending on where they shop.
CARY, N.C. -

With the holidays upon us, the latest gaming devices and games are about to be released. With that in mind, it's important to make sure you pay close attention to video game ratings, the subject of this week's "Smarter Living."

It's no secret that video games are popular and they're only becoming more popular every year.

John O'Neill, president of Spark Plug Games based in Cary, says there's a very good reason why.
  
"Gaming has always been very popular because it's an escape from reality," he says. "There's a tremendous amount of content that's designed for adults or for mature children, teenagers and not for kids."

That's why it's important parents monitor which games their children play. Even though there's a rating system, there's no law that says a child can't play an adult video game.

O'Neill says it's up to parents to understand that what they're buying could potentially be disturbing for their child.

The Entertainment Software Ratings Board has a rating system that ranges from "EC" (early childhood) to "AO" (adults only).

There are few games that are rated "AO," but there are plenty that are rated "M" for mature. 

"[Mature is] more of an R rating," O'Neill says. "You're seeing potential nudity, you're seeing more violence, more language."

O'Neill says that although many video game-specific stores won't sell mature games to younger kids, big box department stores have cashiers who don't necessarily know what the ratings mean and it's much easier for a young child to get their hands on a game not recommended for their age group.

There are certain potential dangers that come with allowing a young child or teenager to play a game meant for a mature audience.

"Adults and teenagers should understand the separation between right and wrong, understand the separation between what you're doing in real life [and] what's acceptable and what you're doing in a game and [that] it's play," O'Neill says.
 
Watch Thursday's "Smarter Living" to learn more about video games and the rating system.

  • Smarter LivingMore>>

  • Smarter Living: Keeping your home healthy

    Smarter Living: Keeping your home healthy

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:00 AM EDT2014-04-24 09:00:27 GMT
    In this installment of 'Smarter Living,' we'll look at ways to keep your home healthy.

    In this installment of ‘Smarter Living,’ we’ll look at ways to keep your home healthy.


  • Smarter Living: Keeping your wedding costs down

    Smarter Living: Keeping your wedding costs down

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:00 AM EDT2014-04-17 09:00:28 GMT
    The dress, cake, flowers and invitations; when you add it all up, including the honeymoon, the average wedding costs almost $30,000.In this installment of 'Smarter Living' we will look at how to pull off your big day without breaking the bank.
    The dress, cake, flowers and invitations; when you add it all up, including the honeymoon, the average wedding costs almost $30,000.In this installment of 'Smarter Living' we will look at how to pull off your big day without breaking the bank.
  • Smarter Living: Tips for keeping your valuable jewelry safe

    Smarter Living: Tips for keeping your valuable jewelry safe

    Thursday, March 27 2014 9:07 AM EDT2014-03-27 13:07:38 GMT
    We insure our cars and our homes, but what about your jewelry? In this edition of “Smarter Living” we’ll look at why you should protect your investment and how jewelry appraisals work.
    We insure our cars and our homes, but what about your jewelry? In this edition of “Smarter Living” we’ll look at why you should protect your investment and how jewelry appraisals work.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • NC judge to rule against teacher tenure state law

    NC judge to rule against teacher tenure state law

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:18 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:18:26 GMT
    A Guilford County judge is backing two school districts fighting a North Carolina law that phases out job protections for public school teachers in favor of employment contracts.
    A Guilford County judge is backing two school districts fighting a North Carolina law that phases out job protections for public school teachers in favor of employment contracts.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.