Age restrictions and eSports

4 min read


A good percentage of the local competitive community consists of gamers who are too young to be playing they games they are, according to the age ratings. Should competition organisers restrict those gamers from competing in these titles or blissfully ignore them?

Leagues and tournaments

Games like Call of Duty and Battlefield have always been primary titles competed in, in our tournaments but there’ve been very little done to make sure that the gamers playing it are within the age restrictions. If you’re under the age rated suitable for the game you’ve never had a problem competing, the most you’ve needed to do is have a parental consent form and there you go.

This however should not be allowed in our local competitions, If organisers allow these under aged gamers to compete, they’re just as bad as the parents buying these kids games they’re not supposed to play. If we want to help better our gaming scene, we shouldn’t just be okay with letting things like these happen. But what would be the effects of restricting under aged gamers of competing be on the competitive scene?

The biggest affect would probably be a drop in numbers when it comes to first-person-shooter leagues. A drop in numbers could mean a drop in sponsors, leaving us with less to give as prizes. It could also do the opposite though. Should distributors of certain products see the professionalism and positive incentive, they might want to sponsor more.

Curbing the number of younger gamers in our tournaments, might also give the older gamers a gap to get to the top. It’s no secret that many older gamers get pushed down the ladder, by younger players with loads more time on their hands, turning them into super competitive machines.

Public match making

Most mature gamers have dealt with young gamers being unbelievably rude. If they didn’t sleep with your mom, they’re cursing the hell out of you or telling you how bad you are the game. Now I’m not saying all young gamers are like this, but we’ve certainly seen this happen on a regular basis. And yes, I know that many older gamers act just as badly, that’s not the point. Curbing the number of younger gamers on public servers, could leave us with a “more mature” community, just slightly, but it could.

There’s no way to predict the age of the gamers playing on public servers, and therefore no way to restrict them from joining it. So how do we solve the problem? That is entirely up to developers of games. This might be a very foolish idea though, because once they’ve slapped their age ratings on the game, they’ve done their part. Public matchmaking comes into play because competitive gamers play there too. If under aged gamers can’t get onto public servers online, it’s far less likely that they will get into competing in the title.

Gaming and the effects of it on young people have been the highlight recently, instead of blaming problems on games we can try and help solve the problem, or make the world feel better about it. Starting with eSports not only locally, but internationally is a step towards influencing the industry to take more serious precautions when it comes to making sure that kids don’t play games they aren’t supposed to.

Even though, it is the responsibility of the parent to make sure their kids don’t play these games, we all know we can’t really rely on them to do the job. That’s the sad truth, and then parents want to complain about violence in video games.

What’s your take? Should the eSports scene be more strict on age ratings or leave it to the parents?

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Last Updated: February 12, 2013

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