The first day I downloaded the ‘Fat Princess’ demo, I was completely lost. The game had been out for over a year, and I never really bothered to give it a try. However, that particular day, I was too bored to be bothered with the few selection of games I have on disc, and scoured PSN for demos of games I could try.
The music sounded so adorable on the menu screen! All happy and medieval, I figured it was a game rated E+10. It was bright, colorful, and the narrator sounded like one of the announcers from a Nickelodeon commercial. That first time I played, I lost. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I was tired. My six year old son, though, wanted to have a try at it. I figured there was no harm in him playing it, even though I never noticed the ESRB rating for it was T (may contain more intense violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, blood, simulated gambling, and/or use of strong language).
He played that demo almost every time he was allowed to play the PS3. He got the hang of it pretty fast and won almost every game he played. I was beginning to feel a little defeated. A six year old? Better at a game than ME? HMPH. He would capture the Princess multiple times, and save his teammates when they were in peril. Me? I couldn’t even get to the other side of Black Forest without getting whooped by the other team.
It wasn’t until one day, while I was reading a book while he was giving his imprisoned Princess some cake, that I heard a squeaky voice say ‘NOOB!’ I looked up at the TV, and heard another voice say what sounded to me like a curse word. My eyes went wide for a second, and he looked at me. It was the first time EVER that he had played and heard anything other than background music. It was then when I thought, “What the heck is this game rated?!” but didn’t ask him to turn it off. Instead, I watched him play, listening for more mischievous, squeaky-sounding voices. I heard a “VICTORY IS MINE!” and that was it. It was after that incident that I decided I was going to get my game on and learn to play...AND figure out what that game was rated.
It took me awhile to get used to how the game worked, and sadly, my son had to help me. I heard no more squeaky voices, and wondered how the hell they were absent from the game the whole time until that one day. After I noticed the game was rated T, I wondered why. I didn’t see anything wrong with my son playing a game that looked like it was made for young kids in the first place, even though there was a little cartoonish violence. The blood looked cartoonish, not realistic. They were using medieval-looking weapons, and the main objective was to rescue the Princess while feeding the captive Princess so much cake that she would be too fat to be rescued fast enough.
I guess you could say that I should have paid more attention to the game’s rating...but then again, maybe it’s just a parent’s personal judgement whether or not a game is suitable for their child to play. If my kid has seen me play games like Resistance: Fall of Man, World of Warcraft, Resident Evil and Call of Duty, then I see no reason why he can’t play a game that seems totally harmless, yet has a little bit of cartoon violence. As long as it doesn’t have explicit scenes, extreme obscenities, or any INAPPROPRIATE scenes (you know what scenes I’m talking about), then me, myself, am fine with him feeding that damn Princess cake until she is so fat, she kinda reminds me of Mario when he uses the P-Balloon.