#1 Edited by SunBroZak (1350 posts) -

Take a drink for every use of the word "mature".

When I say "mature", I don't mean mature as in the ESRB rating. It seems that the word "mature" can be thrown around to refer to content (be it story-telling, imagery and so on) that is adult. In the case of violence, take Mortal Kombat as an example. While it's gore and violence give it the appearance of a "mature" game, it's not really seen as one. It's over-the-top violence has been called childish in the past. Which isn't necessarily a knock against it. It's just not "mature".

So I ask the Giant Bomb community, what is a "mature" video-game? When I try to think of an example, Spec Ops: The Line comes to mind. That game tries to criticize you for expecting it to be a power fantasy. Explaining that the horrors of war is something that has been dealt with in a juvenile way in most games, creating a expectation when going into that sort of game. But what makes it mature? Is it the dark, grimace tone? The "real" depiction of violent actions?

Perhaps the word mature is too easily thrown around as a quip when talking about violent games.

"Call of Duty isn't mature".

"This game that I like is much more mature, and therefor cooler"

"Stop playing your kids games. I'm an adult because I play mature games".

#2 Posted by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

Nintendo- 10 and under

Sony - 13-16

Microsoft - 18+.

Problem solved.

#3 Posted by CaptainObvious (3000 posts) -

@jdh5153 said:

Nintendo- 10 and under

Sony - 13-16

Microsoft - 18+.

Problem solved.

Hwat.

#4 Edited by Vermisean (154 posts) -

@sunbrozak: I second Spec Ops: The Line on the mature front as well.

But I would also classify something like Dear Esther as a "mature" title. I don't think violence is a defining factor necessarily, at least not as much as tone. To me, Dear Esther requires a "mature" mindset. It isn't frenetic or action-packed, but the feeling of isolation and the interesting narrative paths it takes mean that an "immature" person might not enjoy or get it.

#5 Edited by ArbitraryWater (12110 posts) -

Mature is classified as being for ages 17 and up with descriptors such as "Strong Language", "Sexual Content", or "Strong Violence and Gore".

#6 Edited by GERALTITUDE (3504 posts) -

Words are cheap, they all get thrown around too easily.

Mature games?

Easier, I think, to make a list of not immature games rather than necessarily "mature" games. But Ok.

The Witcher is a series which tends to have relatively adolescent ways of depicting woman, but also has an incredibly, incredibly grey world. There is very little binary good and evil and most folks you meet tend to be poor, racist, drunk and sad. You might say this is a more mature fantasy RPG world than we are used to. Other RPGs have attempted similar settings (DA2) but tend to me more bluster than bust.

Metal Gear Solid. Probably the first game to tackle issues like demilitarization lies, America's constant hunt for power, nanotechnology, gene splicing & cloning, PTSD, privatized war, child soldiers, people who love and thrive on violence (like you, the player - at least a decade before Hotline Miami and Spec Ops had the same idea) and of course, love blooming on a battlefield. It also challenged players to deal with giving up during a torture sequence, failing being a hero, and letting your love die.

As you said in your post, defining maturity can't be easily done, but those are two examples I think fit the bill.

#7 Posted by hans_maulwurf (128 posts) -

It's kinda hard to define, though I'd say the path to maturity is probably to be found in the middle between the extremes of glorification of violence in aaa games and the self-enamored pretentiousness of artsy games.

Personally I would name Alan Wake as a mature game, because while on first sight it seems to adhere to all the conventions of a typical (action) game, beyond that IMO lies a much more personal reflection of Sam Lake about stuff he loves, about his work etc. That's how I see it anyway. It's entirely possible that I read way too much into it.

#8 Edited by TheHBK (5563 posts) -

A woman who is 35 years or older. Yeah, I want some of that.

#9 Posted by believer258 (12186 posts) -

I guess it depends on the context of its use. You can talk about it in the ESRB sense (are you mature enough to handle media that has gore and sex in it?), or you can think about it in the "does it bring up and successfully deal with complex and adult themes?"

A mature person, as far as media consumption is concerned, is someone who seeks out the sorts of media that he or she wants to and buys it and enjoys it, especially without regard to its intended audience. Yes, Rayman Origins and Mario games look like they were for made for kids. But they weren't. They were made for people. I am in no way referring to another poster in this thread.

#10 Edited by Icemael (6364 posts) -

A mature game would be a game with content that is enjoyable, comprehensible and/or appropriate mainly, if not exclusively, for those who are adults.

The main problem I see with the use of the word is that it's common to define anything that is enjoyable for adults as well as children or adolescents, and consequently not "mature", as "immature" (for instance, many like to categorize all action power fantasies as "immature" because of how attractive they are to young boys, while completely ignoring that action, power and fantasies of it is something that has massive appeal to men of all ages for completely natural reasons -- it's not a coincidence that that kind of material is prevalent in the mythologies, philosophies and art of practically all cultures). Not everything has to be labeled as either one or the other. Asking whether games like Metal Slug, Gears of War or Bayonetta are mature or immature is as nonsensical as asking whether Lucky Luke comics, or the original Star Wars trilogy, or the stories in One Thousand and One Nights are mature or immature. The answer is the same: they're neither -- they're just excellent.

#11 Posted by President_Barackbar (3474 posts) -

The Witcher is a series which tends to have relatively adolescent ways of depicting woman, but also has an incredibly, incredibly grey world. There is very little binary good and evil and most folks you meet tend to be poor, racist, drunk and sad. You might say this is a more mature fantasy RPG world than we are used to. Other RPGs have attempted similar settings (DA2) but tend to me more bluster than bust.

The Witcher doesn't have an adolescent way of depicting women. It depicts women in a way which is consistent with old attitudes about them. I expect and old medieval fantasy world to also have old medieval ideas about race and gender.

#12 Edited by GERALTITUDE (3504 posts) -

@president_barackbar: Okay adolescent was bad word choice but still... the Witcher series is one of my favourite of all time, but the there could be some normal women in the game too. Variety is always better for a fictional world (and real world too, I guess). The race issues in the Wicher aren't really old-style though. There are far more sympathetic people in the Witcher than their probably were in 1133 or whenever it was things were that bad Europe.

#13 Edited by Ravenlight (8011 posts) -

Any woman over 25. Porn is weird.

#14 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@jdh5153 said:

Nintendo- 10 and under

Sony - 13-16

Microsoft - 18+.

Problem solved.

Maturity is the exact opposite of the above response.

#15 Edited by Gruebacca (570 posts) -

When a parent is buying a game for their kid, the Mature rating on the box is meant to remind the parents that immature kids should probably not play this game. It is then hoped that the parent will think along the lines of, "Is my kid mature enough to handle such a game without losing his composure?"

The Mature rating itself does not attempt to discern if the game in question is a "mature" game in the sense that the game explores themes that an immature person is not likely to understand. Sure, games like Doom and Duke Nukem may be immature in that sense, but they require a mature person to understand that they are immature. A person mature enough to play these mindless games can handle what the game throws at him without losing his mental normalcy. This does not necessarily mean that an immature person playing GTA leads to said person committing the same violent acts in real life, but this immature person may not be able to control himself after playing it, and the feelings built up from playing those kinds of games may not be let out in the best way.

I'm sure the guys designing the ESRB had stuff like this in mind.

#16 Edited by believer258 (12186 posts) -

In practically any other place on the internet, about half the answers would have been "your mother" jokes. It's just such an easy target.

You awesome geeks.

#17 Posted by bluefish (548 posts) -

Most titles rated as 'mature' really mean 'completely juvenile.' The terms has unfortunately become riddled with buff dudes, hyper sexualized women, dumb ass writing, tons of blood and the creative ambition of a 12 year old boy who just figured out he could draw naked women in his textbooks. This is all some people see it as.

Stuff like Last of Us is what I consider a 'mature' game when not looking at the ersb sense of the word. Does this title appeal to an adult intellect? An adult emotional spectrum? Is it an adult respect and use of the medium?

Maybe all this makes me sound haughty and I suppose I am a bit. (but I enjoy Saints Row 3 and Halo as much as the next guy) But I mean that things like Limbo, Last of Us and Journey are some of the most mature games I've played in recent history.

@geraltitude said:

The Witcher is a series which tends to have relatively adolescent ways of depicting woman, but also has an incredibly, incredibly grey world. There is very little binary good and evil and most folks you meet tend to be poor, racist, drunk and sad. You might say this is a more mature fantasy RPG world than we are used to. Other RPGs have attempted similar settings (DA2) but tend to me more bluster than bust.

The Witcher doesn't have an adolescent way of depicting women. It depicts women in a way which is consistent with old attitudes about them. I expect and old medieval fantasy world to also have old medieval ideas about race and gender.

I did feel like it treated women as pretty/soft/sexy things at times and I felt it pandered to the male gaze of it's audience. I'm no better. I spend probably %15 of my time with saints row 3 making my lady character look as awesome as possible but it did degrade the credibility of the game in my eyes. Only slightly.