Game Ratings and Content Warnings

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!
Despite the backlog of games that we have, we’re always on the lookout for new (to us) and interesting games. One such game that we’ve recently found was a bit confusing with its rating…
There’s a newer game available on the Nintendo Switch called Cinders, a visual novel that was originally published in 2012, then put on Steam in 2014. It’s a retelling of the popular Cinderella fairy tale, one that was rated M on the Nintendo eShop.
I’ve never heard of this game before. We enjoy point-and-click visual novel games, especially ones with multiple endings such as Cinders, but we generally are not interested in games rated M, mostly due to gore and sensitive topics. I’m interested in this game, but wasn’t able to find the reason as to why it’s rated M.
Since I started this post, apparently Nintendo corrected the rating of the game to T, which makes more sense to me.
Due to trying to figure out the game’s rating, I have spoiled a little bit of the story and possible choices for myself. It’s pretty much on par for whenever Rachel and I get our curiosities piqued by a game that’s rated higher than what we usually go for. Generally, our games are rated for everyone or teen, and we don’t have too many games rated higher than that.
It reminds me of a time that Rachel and I started watching a play through of Doki Doki Literature Club from one of our favorite YouTubers, ProJared. Like the game itself, the play through started out lighthearted enough, and Rachel and I figured that the game couldn’t be too bad. However, on the third or so episode of the play through series, ProJared took the time to reiterate that the game was supposed to have some strange, possibly disturbing themes — he was doing a blind play through, so he wasn’t positive what the exact themes would be — which prompted us to pause the video and spoil it for ourselves.
We’re glad we did, as the themes were disturbing and potentially triggering. While we’re not fond of too much gore when it comes to rated M games, we do our research to ensure that any other content wouldn’t bother us as well. It’s something that we want to be conscious of when we do games for reviews and on our Twitch channel.
I can admire horror games and psychological thrillers for their writing and setting the scene, if you will, but with how important mental health is nowadays, having the correct ratings and content warnings is a must.

How important are game ratings and content warnings to you? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. Having played Mortal Kombat before I turned 10, I consider myself to be a pioneer in modern gaming ratings, as the government tried to stop kids like me playing gory/violent/mature games like that. I turned out okay in the end though, right?
    I guess partially because I was years into gaming before ratings even came into play, along with my general taste for action games that skewed mature over time, ratings haven’t been something I’ve put much stock into with regards to what I play.
    That said, in a world where someday Steff and I get to be parents, I will be a lot more mindful for our kids. The mature games of 1993 are way lower on the intensity scale compared to the games now. Every kid is different and it’s up to the parents to decide what they’re ready for, but the mature themes in games like Grand Theft Auto, or Telltale’s The Walking Dead, or Life is Strange seem like content that would be better suited for more mature gamers. At this point, there are probably T-rated games that even have subjects I wouldn’t be comfortable with older kids playing until they’re actually teenagers.
    One of the many things I’ve come to admire about you two (#neversappy) is this commitment you have to playing games within certain ratings/content warning boundaries. You’re the first adult gamers I’ve come across who have such rigid guidelines around M-rated content for themselves. While it’s not necessarily something I myself would ascribe to, I greatly respect you two for knowing what you’re comfortable with and knowing when to draw the line for yourselves. Will try and be more mindful of the games I recommend to you, as I’m pretty sure I’ve suggested games that probably wouldn’t fly, even though I’ve known of your preferences against M-rated content for quite some time now. Oops.
    #ratedmformario #onlybadfriendsrecommend50centbloodonthesand

  2. This is a tricky topic, as something like Doki Doki Literature Club kind of relies on that shock to carry the game forward after all the cute stuff. Knowing that ahead of time would very much take away from it. However, considering how significant the event in question is, it’s important for some people to be prepared for or warned of it. I think it handled it reasonably well thanks to its disturbing content warning at the start. It warns without giving anything away. If someone wants to look it up then they can.

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