Personally, I'm starting to believe in keeping violence-glorifying media (not just games) out of people's hands until they've proven the ability to process it.
That's a catch-22, though. How are they going to prove they can process it without having any access to it?
Another side of the rating argument is one I've encountered countless times as a parent, trying to buy games for my son (who is 8 now). The age rating concerns the "harmfulness" of the content only
. It does not indicate that a game is suitable
for that age group in any way, just that it is "safe". I've bought quite a few games for him that he basically hasn't played, because the game was much too difficult.
It seems slightly misleading that a game rated 3+, featuring cartoon characters, requires the child to be able to read loads of text, conversations, mission descriptions, etc., and has complicated features that you really need to be about 12 to fully understand. This is compounded by the fact that very few games are translated into Danish, so the text the child needs to be able to read is usually in English too.
As a parent, I'm naturally interested in whether a game contains things that might be harmful to my kid, and having a guideline is certainly useful (although I may not agree with or abide by it), but I am also very interested in whether my kid will actually be able to play the game I'm about to buy, or whether I'll find out I've just wasted $80.