Violent games on the OLPC Activities page

Gordon Hopper g.hopper at computer.org
Fri Jan 18 00:17:53 EST 2008


All games in the PC Doom series were rated M (Mature) by the ESRB [1].
 This Doom is the first one in the series, and thus the least graphic
of the lot.  If we trust the ratings of the ESRB, then M means it is
not appropriate for children ages 5-16, who are the primary target
audience of the laptop [2].

Note that xo-get uses the Activities page as its list of activities.
Although I like having all the activities listed in one place, I don't
want it to be that easy for my children to install Mature content.  I
would suggest to move Doom to an Activities/Mature page, but then
again, I fear that creating such a page would invite much worse
content.

On the other hand, the doom that is on the activities page is not
*exactly* the same doom that was released by ID and rated by the ESRB.
 (The game engine is compatible, but the levels are different.)  I
don't think the ESRB can officially rate open source software.

> I don't see why breaking this up by tags (some of which can
> be things like "PG13") isn't a good enough solution.

A rating tag is a good step.  (Although I suspect there will be
intense arguments about various ratings, and the rating system).  At
least with ratings, children know what to expect before they download
an activity.

Gordon

[1] http://www.esrb.org/ratings/ratings_guide.jsp
[2] http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Target_Audience


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