The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Video Games should not be aged, the parents should decide whether their child should play it.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/10/2014 Category: Games
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 649 times Debate No: 58793
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




As we know, video games have an age rating, whether it is a three or an eighteen. However, there may be things in the game which make it a fifteen for example, causing the parents to be against their child playing that certain game. However, the parents may be OK with the content of the game, and they just don’t know it. Of course, some parents may test the game before they make a decision on whether their child plays it or not, but some may not, and will say that their child may only play twelve and under. This is unfair to the child, as he or she desperately wants to play the game, but their parents won’t let him or her because they don’t understand what exactly makes the game a fifteen.

If instead of age ratings, the game just displayed what content was in the game, for example using the drugs sign or the bad language sign, then parents wouldn’t just go off the age rating, and would consider more what the game had in it, and determine whether their child is OK to play the game or not.

I look forward to reading my opponents reply, and continuing the debate further.



I do not understand your premise.

The title: "Video Games should not be aged, the parents should decide whether their child should play it."

This is exactly what happens today. If a child is too young to buy the game, the parent must then research the game and buy the game for them.

In this excerpt:
"If instead of age ratings, the game just displayed what content was in the game, for example using the drugs sign or the bad language sign, then parents wouldn"t just go off the age rating, and would consider more what the game had in it, and determine whether their child is OK to play the game or not. "

This is exactly what the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) does today. They put an age suggestion (which is followed by sellers if the child is not of age) and the list what is in the game.

The link below states all of the ratings the ESRB gives its games. They also detail what each rating can mean by content descriptors.

I do not fully understand what premise you are making. You are definitely stating that you would like to see change in the rating system. I will be the Con point and state:

No changes need to be made to the current video game rating system by the ESRB.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting the debate.

I agree with you that many parents will investigate what is in the game instead of just going off the age rating, however some parents, particularly of the older age, will not do so, and they will just go off the age on the front. I know this because I know parents who do this.

I have looked at the link connected to ESRB, (I am not used to ESRB because we use PEGI here in the UK) and I can see that they do use age ratings, and do not display what is in the game on the front. (Click the link below to see a picture showing this)

I await my opponents rebuttal.


***I cannot see any link posted. Please be sure to post it in the your following argument, or the comments section ASAP.

Pro has made one point this round, that some parents may not want to test or research video games for their children and thus restrict them from playing them.

Until a parent has been proven unfit, they have the right to raise their child any way they see fit according to the law. If a parent decides they do not want their child to play a certain video game, for any reason, including experts who rate game content who have said a certain age bracket is not ready to play, then they have the right to do so.

The current ESRB and PEGI system have taken the liberty of describing the content in a game with a letter rating (M=Mature E=Everyone) or a picture rating system (Syringe=drugs Fists=violence). This describes the content in the game to a point.

I believe this accurately describes game content enough to anyone willing to look at the picture.

If a parent is unwilling to research the game, what is to prevent the child from researching the game and bringing this to the parents? Why does the entire system need to be changed?
Debate Round No. 2


First of all let me apologise for not posting the link. It was a mistake that I only realised once you brought it to my attention. Please find the link below.

I know that a parent can raise their child anyway they see fit, but there is nothing wrong with changing the rating system so that the parent can easily see what is in the game, and therefore they would be able to raise their child fairly. The parent may be against their 12 year old child playing a 15 year old game. However, the game may just be a 15 due to swearing; the parent may not have a problem with swearing, however they still won't let their child play it because they aren't prepared to investigate the game.

I can guess by your rebuttal that your parents listened to you when you were young. Of course, every parent listens to their child, but sometimes only to a point. If the game has an age rating of 18, or adults only 18+ for ESRB, then the parents may just go off that and not give their child a chance to prove his or her point, simply because the age is above that of the child.

I feel that the system should be changed because if the games did not display an age rating, and just had the fist symbol etc. on the front, then it would remove the problem of the parents going off the age. The parent would quite easily be able to see what was in the game just by looking on the front.



The current PEGI does use those symbols of fists and syringes. They include this as well as a recommended age rating.

On the back of any game rated by the ESRB is a breakdown of the content. "Violence" "Blood & Gore" "Drugs" "Mature content(sex)"

So there is nothing to change here.

The research a parent has to do is minimal. If a parent wants to fully abide by the age recommendation given by experts they have every right to do so.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by iOS 3 years ago
They couldn't care less, they've already been brainwashed by Fox News, when they say violent video games cause you to go commit murder.
Posted by Domr 3 years ago
That indeed is 'friggin hell'. LOL

In your scenario there is no change that can be made, because parents seemingly have to research the game to pass the "quiz" if they intend to buy it for their child.
Posted by iOS 3 years ago
This is dependent on the location and retailer.
Here in Canada they ID you, ask about the person that will receive the game, ID that person, as well as any other younger kids in the household.
Friggin hell.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Samreay 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: S&G sufficient on both sides for a tie, along with conduct. Sources go to Con, as Con provided by far the most useful sources as they explicitly dealt with the current rating systems in place. I find Pro's argument that we should remove the age rating and just have the content type, instead of both, weak as this removes useful information for parental figures. For example, both Street Fighter and the Last of Us games feature violence, but one is far more visceral than the other - something which is elucidated in an age ranking system but not in generic game content labeling. Con presents the stronger argument by showing that there is no benefit in removing the age ratings, and that parents can already by the game for their children if they approve of the content. If the thesis was to have the content type (violence, swearing, etc) mandatory with labeling, the outcome of the debate may have been different, but the thesis was to remove age ratings. Clarification in comments if needed.