Here's an absolute shocker of a story for you: Microsoft discovered that over 75% of parents in Europe are concerned over the content of the videogames they willingly let their children play, while 43% of them were unaware of any kind of rating system. One of the three countries in which the survey was conducted was the UK, which doesn't have an obscure rating label at all. In fact, a massive red circle with "18" printed on it, exactly like our movies, is pretty bloody telling, don't you think? The other countries were Germany and Italy, and I'm sure that Germany's ratings are damn obvious too.
Parents also seem to believe that game playing should be limited to one hour per day, something they seem incapable of enforcing on their own. Thankfully, Microsoft is on the case since the new Xbox 360 dashboard update can impose such restrictions. This is because parents simply can't say "no" to a child, fearing their terrible psychic abilities.
Games writer Margaret Robertson added that the industry should be "giving [people] the information they need." Again, I point to the imposing red circle with a big "18" in it that mirrors the exact same logo used for DVDs. The only thing that needs to change on the industry side is for America to adopt the same kind of logos so stupid parents are less likely to be confused -- though from the looks of this survey, even such a clear and obvious signpost isn't enough for these morons.
When a game has an "18" on it, the same rating that has been on the cases of videotapes since the 1980s, I really don't think a parent claiming "oh I didn't know there was a rating" should be seen as a valid excuse. At all.
[*].disqus.comto your security software's whitelist.