VGL Classic: Breaking the M-Rated Barrier

This article is from the original batch of Video Game Librarian articles I wrote for Gaming Target between 2005 and 2007. It was originally written on April 13, 2006.

Grand Theft Auto… The Suffering… Manhunt… State of Emergency… Postal… Mortal Kombat…

The number of games that are considered “unacceptable” due to their content grows all the time. Every day some misinformed politician will trot out the latest “murder simulator” and cry out “Won’t someone please think of the children.”

Meanwhile we gamers sit back and shake our heads at people who get all worked up over games that are not designed for children. They are not meant for children, they are not advertised to children and they are not purchased for children by anyone with half a brain.

But sadly, video gaming is still seen as a children’s toy by many. Its this reasoning that has caused the ban of Mature rated games at my library and many other libraries across the country. But eventually, there will come a time when you want to cross that line. When the people in charge realize that their friends and neighbors are playing these M-rated games because they’re adults and because they think the premise is exciting.

So with the recent release of 24: The Game, I started thinking about what games would be best to make the break from the limits of E, E10+ and T. Obviously, Jack Bauer’s digital adventures is near the top, but as I combed through the list of PS2 games, many more popped up as well. Through their connections to other bits of pop culture (and in one case, a piece of Literature with a capital L), these games would be seen as more acceptable than most. And maybe that’s all we can ask for as a first step. Continue reading