Should I let my 12 year old son play Teen rated games


I need to know. Or should I wait until he is 13? Why?


it depends on the game to be honest. But I would say that 95% of all teen rated games would be ok for a 12 year old.


I watched 18/15/12 rated movies (we have an age system in the UK) from the age of about 4 and I can’t say that they were particularly detrimental - I have found that it is not the content of movies or games that has an effect on us but those around us so a teen rated game is unlikely to be a problem for your child because I am sure you have brought him up correctly!


I think, judging from these two replies, that perhaps it is individual to the child.

My insinctive reaction is a resounding ‘NO!’, because I have watched a very good child - my baby brother, who convinced another man on a fishing expedition to throw his catch back because the little boy couldn’t stand to see the poor fish die - was recently allowed to play teen-rated, and then adlut-rated, video games - and watch my mother’s current hubby playing them as well.

From watching and playing these games often enough, this child has changed - and it is scary to witness. He has become violent, short tempered and even cruel, particularly towards his younger siblings - whom he used to protect at all costs and treat with respect.

He has begun to show signs of enjoying violence and honestly, I don’t like the changes I see.

I would not even allow the games in the same house as my children (if I ever have any), and I would go even further and not allow them to visit friends if those games were going to be a part of the entertainment, or played by an adult while the children were around.

Children witness enough cruelty in the school-yard to learn how to stand up for their beliefs, for what is right over what is wrong - the difference between witnessing societal cruelty, school-yard cruelty, and video-games violence, is that you can see real-life consequences - that don’t go away with a simple “end game” - you can see pain and suffering that result - in the real world.

Children need to be equipped with that understanding of consequence, which video games and movies do not neccessarily achieve effectively.



I wouldn’t make the decision on age alone. I’d consider what is in the video game that gives it a teen rating, and wether or not you want your son exposed to that. Some are fine, some probably aren’t really appropriate for anyone.


I enjoy video games myself occasionally and was quite a gamer as a teenager, so I have some experience with the stuff.

I would be reluctant to allow my child to play a game that I had not personally played myself. I would want to at least make myself familiar enough with the game to be able to converse with my child about the content.

It might be helpful to regard media as persons who will be watching over (and possibly influencing) your child. How well would you want to know someone personally before sending your child over to play at that person’s house for 10 hours a week?


I agree with this whole-heartedly. Some are rated Teen for violence; that would make me a little more nervous. Others are rated Teen for more intricate game-play, and depending on your child, that might be okay.

If you have a Blockbuster (or similar place) near you, you could rent it first, play it yourself, and see why there is a Teen rating.

I read the posts from people who grew up playing any game they wanted, listening to any music they wanted, watching any movie they wanted, etc. My parents had this same attitude with me. I’d hate to say, “Wow, I didn’t turn out so good.” But … wow, I didn’t turn out so good. :rolleyes: What I mean is, it has taken me A LOT of years to figure out some pretty simple lessons of life. (I’m 36) Are the music, games and movies to blame? Maybe, and maybe not. But that’s a chance that, personally, I am unwilling to take with my kids now.

God bless!



only if you want to send him the message that you embrace and promote the values underlying the themes and action of those games.


IMO, it is similar to the movie rating system. Some movies that younger children could watch are rated PG-13 becasue of brief swearing. As long as the child knows that swearing is wrong I never saw a reason that they couldn’t see the film. With that in mind, I would let him get some teen rated games as long as you have the final say on each game. This way it gives him the ability to get the teen games that most of the children his age are playing and it doesn’t allow him to get games you find innapriopriate for him and he can’t hide behind the “but, you said I could have teen rated games” defense.


What is the teen rating for? is it violence, sexual content, language??? And do you think this child is mature enough?


I think this has been said, but my 2c:

  1. make sure whatever the values are that the game portrays, that it is in line with your values you want to pass to your child.

  2. try and rent it or downlaod a Demo and see for yourself.

  3. Maybe another thing to keep in mind is discipline. It might be better to set a firm boundary to show the child that you do not waver on rules.
    Not that I have any experience with this myself yet, my first one is only 1 year old.
    Maybe if you are flexible on this, the child may tend to push the boundaries on the next request?

Just some thoughts.

In Christ,


There’s 40 year old adolecents, and 10 year old adults.

It’s just a guideline… or just wait until the tick of midnight on his 13th birthday.

Depends on the kid.


Unfortunately, the ratings only say so much. You know best where your child is developmentally, so you are best qualified to make the decision. Of course, this should be an informed one. Read a review of the game online, download a demo, try it out in the store, read the back of the box, or talk to another parent who’s child has the same game. If you think about movie ratings, I’m sure you can point out movies rated PG-13 that you would have let your 12 year old watch when he was 10, and others that you hope he doesn’t ever watch. Game ratings- while generally more accurate and better described, are merely guidelines to help parents make decisions.

(It really frustrates me to see parents simply tossing media -that they have not looked into at all other than glancing at the rating letter- to their children, and then later being puzzled as to why their child exhibits undesirable trait A, B, or C.)


I agree with those that say it depends on your child’s personality, amount of time he’ll be playing, etc. It also depends very much on the game and why it is rated what it is.

That said, I always take the ratings of movies, games, etc with a grain or 10 of salt. The people rating the games are likely to be MUCH more lenient than you are. What they consider acceptable in terms of violence or sexiness, is probably not at all the same as your cut-offs.

My son is a bit younger than yours, but I have no plans now to allow him teen games at 12.


Take this for example, I am 16, and I have a brother at 11. We’re Nintendo guys, and we’ve played Super Smash Bros. Melee from around the time the Gamecube came out. My parents had no problem with this game. If was a fighting game, but the point was not to cause injury, it was to force them off screen for the KO. Rated T. Soon, Super Smash Bros. Brawl will arrive. It will have sexual content in the form of one of the fighters, such that I am considering whether I will get the game. It will also be rated T. It totally depends.


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