Editorial: How Mature is TOO Mature?

Was the picture choice too much? Are you scarred for life?
Not mature enough.
Hello, my dearest of doves.  Lately I have been playing a lot of mature rated games, and it got me wondering if developers have gone overboard with the amount of sex and violence in their games.  The biggest offender of this is arguably the Grand Theft Auto series, with its insane amount of graphic situations and sexual themes.  Even the Fallout series, one of my favorite franchises, has a character perk called “Bloody Mess” which makes some enemies explode in chunks when defeated.  It has gotten to the point where pretty much all of the good games on the XBox 360 are mature rated games.

So my questions to you, my dear readers, are what you think.  Are there too many mature rated games right now?  Do developers cross the line with some of their more graphic games?  Does it really matter?  Tell me in the comments below!


  1. It is possible to have too much gratuitous mature content to the point that it becomes detrimental to gameplay, or even farcical.

    A good example of this is Splatterhouse–by today’s standards a quite tame game, when it came out it was considered very extreme. However, the game itself is not very good. The advertising campaign made it clear that the development studio focused on pushing the gore envelope more than they focused on making a good game, with predictable results.

  2. Ridiculously violent games have always come across to me as being that way either to market the game (ala controversy and the publicity that comes with it) or because the developers think that people will buy video games solely because of the hyperbolic violence within.

    I don’t get the appeal, personally. The level of violence has never affected my choice of games at all in the past, and probably never will.

  3. Sex and violence are like any other thematic elements. If they are integral to the story, they are necessary. If they are superfluous and in the game for their own sake they’re masturbatory.

  4. Mature games sell better, I think this is just a case of giving people what they want.

  5. @Lane I agree for the most part, but when done to a true extreme, sexuality can lend a comedic quality to the work (see the ridiculousness of games like Agarest War, Ar Tonelico, etc.)

    It’s still (to that extent) technically superfluous, but it does add to the story in its own way. It provides enjoyment in the same way a B movie would.

  6. You increased the article’s maturity by adding the visage of Oliver Motok. Is the maturity ironic?

  7. Ar Tonelico and Agarest War are embarrassments and serve only to reinforce the hurtful stereotype that the only sex gamers get is hentai-based perversity.

  8. No Lane, they serve to reinforce the stereotype that the only sex that Otaku get is with their love pillows. But then a stereotype is only unhelpful if it’s wrong.

  9. @SN: It’s a SORT of maturity!

    I enjoyed Record of Agarest War. The translation was terrible, though.

  10. @Lusi I agree, the dialogue was pretty bad.

    I’m expecting more of the same when I review Hyperdimension Neptunia.

  11. That’s being localised by NISA, I thought they did good translations?

  12. Most of the time they’re pretty good, yeah. But the original story was done by the same company. It’s not like they have high literature to work with. :)

  13. Haha, true. Idea Factory’s catalogue has little of interest to people not possessed of a sausage fetish, I hope it’s OK though, because it’s premise sounds excellent.