The Unending Battle to Ban Video Games: Marcoleta Aims to Ban Minors from Playing ‘Mature-rated’ Games

The Unending Battle to Ban Video Games: Marcoleta Aims to Ban Minors from Playing ‘Mature-rated’ Games

October 14, 2019 Off By Alecsanndra Gonzales

Does this mean no more games that have even the slightest hint of sex, violence, ‘bad’ language, and dark humor?

Video Game Players Age Groups

According to statistics, as of 2018, 40% of video game players come from above the 18 age demographic, 20% from minors and the remaining percentage comes from ages 36 and above.

Age breakdown of video gamers as of 2018 – Statista

Players of younger groups are also found to be attracted to play first-person player games as they get the chance to be someone else and to do things out of the norm. As young gamers age, the degree of intensity they are looking for in a game increases. This is why as most gamers reach their teenage years, the most common genre or type of game they play is first-person shooter games.

‘Mature-Rated’ Video Games

House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta states that teenagers who play “risk-glorifying, character-based video games” are more likely to “act aggressively, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and have unprotected sex” which lead him to file the House Resolution No. 342 which will soon bar minors from accessing mature-rated games.

House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta

As of today, the specific guidelines Solon will use to classify ‘mature-rated’ video games are unknown. But, as the study noted that character-based video games “let people practice being someone else, and practicing at being a character who is antisocial deviant may have broad behavioral consequences for kids”, he is looking into banning minors into playing such games. Some of the most played character-based video games are:

  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Hatred
  • The Last of Us
  • Resident Evil
  • The Witcher
  • God of War
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • Sniper Elite
  • Bulletstorm
  • Conan Exiles
  • Dark Souls
Grand Theft Auto V
Assassin’s Creed Remastered
The Last of Us

Since his description of mature-rated is too broad, any other video games which include even the slightest hint of violence (even the non-character-based games) are candidates to be age-restricted. This includes popular battle royale and shooter games like:

  • Mobile Legends
  • Apex Legends
  • League of Legends
  • Dota
  • PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
  • Counter-Strike
  • Fortnite
  • Overwatch
  • Call of Duty
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)

The said games are most popular with minors in the country as these are playable through phones, laptops, and computers.

A statistical study showed that an average of 90 minutes was consumed by minors up to mid-’20s during the weekends or holidays and an average of 49 minutes during the weekdays.

Video games – Cause of Aggressive Behavior

Image of an aggressive minor gamer

There are a lot of studies done that prove that video games, especially those that promote violence cause the aggressive behavior teenagers acquire. As Marcoleta noted, the study “suggests” that game players may develop the behavior of the deviant game characters which leads them to act “in a host of dangerous ways, not just in specific ways enacted in the games.”

Minor playing a shooter game

According to some studies, as gamers play these genres or types of games, their brain is stimulated in a certain way that causes them to be aggressive in real life. This aggressiveness is then linked to their impulsive response towards other people. It is also noted in one study that video games, in general, cause the anti-social characteristics of a child to arise.

Is it though?

Although these studies are not wrong, they are also not entirely right. As the battle between the banning of these games continues for more than a decade, a lot of studies were also done which gave contradicting results to those stating that video games are harmful to the gamer’s mind.

These studies took note of other factors that may lead to a child’s aggressiveness and anti-social characteristics namely:

  • Environment
  • Education
  • Economic
  • Health
  • Family

The said factors were proven by these studies to have a graver effect on a child’s mind than the average 90-minute stimulation they experience in playing video games.

It is also found that playing these first-person character games – especially those battle royale games enable children to develop their strategic minds as they make the right choices to keep their game characters safe and be the lone survivor.

Although this contradicts the government’s concern regarding these ‘mature-rated’ games, it is still worth noting that everything should be taken in moderation.

What do you think about the government’s plan of action? Do you think this resolution should be a priority? Or they should focus on a graver matter to address?

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Alecsanndra Gonzales