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Are Games Growing Up?


steven_poole
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I still think that Silent Hill 2 is possibly the most "grown up" game I have ever played.

The plot alone is way above almost any I have come across in games and even film in terms of dealing with shame, regret, jealousy and all that kind of thing. It really is a deeply psychological game.

Oh and that Deus Ex thing with the ladies toilet is very well scripted. If tou wait a bit you get reprimanded by Manderley, and get an email about not going into ladies toilets.

I'm still waiting for a Mulholland Drive themed game. Some sort of dual story, loads of freaks, earily scary, haven't got a clue what's going on but who needs to know with all that style going on, the girls get to 'like' each other eventually and at the end you have to play it through several more times to get a possible slant on what its all about! Loads of replayability.

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Thanks all for the very interesting and thoughtful responses.

Really "mature" games may not yet exist (or have already existed for x years, depending on your point of view), but it seems interesting that "mature gaming" is at least becoming a real marketing category. (News that EA is going to develop an 18-rated Godfather game, etc). Maybe that needs to happen first so that publishers can prove to themselves there is an audience, or maybe its just the newest desperate strategy to hold on to an ageing market. We will see...

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News that EA is going to develop an 18-rated Godfather game

I'm sorry but the only people that an 18 certificate on the pack specifically attracts is under 18's! This is reverse psychology being played overtly by the publishers/ developers - be seen to be sensible to non-gaming parents and the Daily Mail etc (who perhaps compare gaming certification to being in some way equal to film certification) but know the real affect.

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I'm sorry but the only people that an 18 certificate on the pack specifically attracts is under 18's! This is reverse psychology being played overtly by the publishers/ developers - be seen to be sensible to non-gaming parents and the Daily Mail etc (who perhaps compare gaming certification to being in some way equal to film certification) but know the real affect.

sorry - what are you saying here? It doesn't seem to make any sense.

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but it seems interesting that "mature gaming" is at least becoming a real marketing category.

This is the real issue. In the current climate, publishers are desperate to reduce risk, and to guarantee a certain level of sales.

The term "mature" game is really often a marketing label for a grab-bag of features which attract a solid audience. Whether that audience is actually made up of adults is irrelevant, and is where much of this discussion has ended up orbiting.

It's only with the current crop of consoles and PCs that the tailoring of the game scenarios at the behest of marketing has been *effective*; game worlds are now rich enough to represent all those "lifestyle" factors that make a game appealing to one market or another -- you can lay different skins over your gameplay. More to the point, the budgets are now big enough to accommodate the effort required to do so.

Yes, it's always happened; just not as much, or as effectively as now.

I mean, if gore is going to be a selling factor, it needs to be realistic gore. Ditto nudity -- BMX XXX has to be more appealing to casual gamers looking for titillation than Sam Fox Strip Poker was.

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sorry - what are you saying here? It doesn't seem to make any sense.

An 18 certificate will become the teenager game to have. My elder daughter is 14 and everyone of the boys in the group she hangs out with has GTA. Heck, a work colleague of mine bought GTAIII for his 9 year oid son - now he wouldn't let him watch an 18 certificate film and probably not a 15 either but had no qualms in getting GTA.

So certification for games doesn't put people off it acts as a magnate.

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An 18 certificate will become the teenager game to have. My elder daughter is 14 and everyone of the boys in the group she hangs out with has GTA. Heck, a work colleague of mine bought GTAIII for his 9 year oid son - now he wouldn't let him watch an 18 certificate film and probably not a 15 either but had no qualms in getting GTA.

So certification for games doesn't put people off it acts as a magnate.

hmmm. Are you saying that the evil publishers are deliberatly producing 18 certificate games knowing that children will buy them? Kids have always wanted what they can't have, but that's no reason make them. I remember as a kid wanting to see Robocop, and I did eventually but I'm not going to start implying that Paul Verhovan was making a film for kids.

I thought we'd got past the point of "Think about the children!" Seeing that these games are officially rated, it's surely not the fault of the publishers if anyone were to sell the game to an underage child, or a parent were to indirectly condone their child playing games not rated for them by not checking up with what they're doing, or taking the stance that, 'well, it's only a game'

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Yes, I've always had an inexplicable ability to remember the experiences of forumites in my age bracket.

(You are approximately 17, right? Or have I again possibly made an arse of myself? :P)

19, but don't sweat it :(

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I don't think they're necessarily including content specifically to bump it up with an 18 BBFC rating, but that they know that they are free to put in whatever they want and still have it bought by anyone. Young males are fascinated by gore, swearing, sex, etc.

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Greetings everyone,

I'm writing another games feature for the Sunday Times, and I promise not to mention The Matrix this time. :(

The issue is: Are Games (Finally) Growing Up? Japanese postmodern horror in Forbidden Siren, an apparently non-sniggering approach to romance and sex in Flirt Up Your Life, appealing to the 80s-retro demographic in Vice City, a game named after a book by Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil) (well, okay...). It might seem that games increasingly have content that doesn't assume we are children only interested in cartoon furry animals. Do you welcome this? Have you often felt patronised by games that assume you are 12? (Assuming you are not actually 12.) Would you welcome more maturity of theme or do you not really care so long as the game is good?

My masters want the voices of "real gamers" proffering their opinions in this piece, so reply here with your thoughts and you might be quoted.

Well Steven, I think the term "growing up" is a misleading one.

Different people make different games. I wouldn't call Barbie's Horse Adventures especially "grown up", for instance.

However, it makes perfect sense that as time progresses, those inclined to make more realistic or powerful games will do so - simply because the tools are now there to allow them this luxury.

I'd say the old text adventures were pretty "grown up" games. Yes, many were reduced to fantasy book style cliche - but those who coded them often wanted you to explore a world and interact with it. Now, of course, we can do so much more - because technology allows it. At last designers and artists and coders can express themselves almost as vividly as that which is locked inside their imagination.

And so, a number of these people will look to the more serious side of media expression. Where as others will still make the Marios and Sonics...a good thing too, our industry deserves as many genres as possible!

I think, simply, that the industry is evolving. From the grass roots of a dev house, to the shop shelves, it's changed a hell of a lot in five years. You can call it growing up if you like, but it's simply following a path that it was destined to walk since the first sprite flickered into life...

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It's ok disciple - you can put your fancy words away - he's finished the article.

:wub:

I was busy and never saw the thread until now, what can i say :P

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