Controversial opinion alert! Age ratings are there for a reason.
Let’s face it, some games require a certain deal of maturity before they can be properly appreciated or understood.
While I don’t believe violence in games will turn you into a brutal rage-filled monster nor will watching some lewd activities make you a sexual demon, I do think introducing a child to behaviour they cannot comprehend is going to have some effect. I say this as a person whose first introduction to games was sitting on my dad’s lap as he blasted his way through hell in Doom.
As gamers, most of us can say that there were certain games we played as kids that, now we’re adults, we can agree probably weren’t all that age-appropriate. Here are five games a lot of us (probably) played when we were too young.
1. Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat caused a massive uproar in the 90s with court cases and media retaliation to the wonderfully graphic ‘fatalities’. But we all know that Mortal Kombat would be nothing without its lovingly gory death sequences. Every part of the body was wonderfully dismembered in front of our eyes. However, at a young age, this senseless violence that was displayed was hard to comprehend and was - to use 90’s slang - too radical for our little brains to come to terms with.
This didn’t really do any long term damage to us, but there is a very practical reason for us not to have played Mortal Kombat: school detention. The sheer replicability of the fatalities means they were easily acted out in the playgrounds and therefore stomped out by teachers across the UK and beyond. The biggest fatality was to my free time as I spent playtime in the school hall with my friends after pretending to be Scorpion.
Did I say bloody gore and untamed aggression? Enter Doom. A masterpiece of game design, Doom knew how to sate our bloody desires in a way no game really has come close to since. Crawling through hell armed with a fully-stocked arsenal seems like a simple idea now, but it was revolutionary at the time.
Anything with this amount of gore in is best kept away from young eyes, but there’s also the argument that it dispels any understanding of empathy or diplomacy and instead teaches us that all our problems can be solved with a shotgun. More importantly though, it made us into entitled little brats. It was so good at scratching that violent itch in our brain that we grew impatient when we had to wait on anything. Like when I was five and wanted sweeties. Essentially Doom was the perfect tool to making us all like into spoilt little kids that you see terrorising their parents at the shops.