We all know about the video game rating system. In America it is the ESRB system, and in Europe you get the PEGI system. The ratings go from a childhood age to the deep adult only content, and it is very interesting to see how the ratings companies grade games. Having just completed Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies, a game that received an ESRB rating of Mature, it leaves me puzzled as to why the game received such a harsh rating in the first place. What I would like to explore at this point in time is whether the system itself is flawed or the whether the system itself is no longer needed. How inaccurate is the system, and does it help anyone nowadays? I went through and played Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies for the Nintendo 3DS earlier this week, and left a review about the matter, as linked above. The game received a Mature rating, which cited blood, violence, and suggestive themes as some of the major reasons. This game could have easily been dropped to a Teen rating, but why the mature rating? The rating is so blown out of proportion that it seems almost comical. Blood and violence are central to most of the games in the Ace Attorney franchise. Could it be due to the inflated opinions on media violence that plague the United States as of late? Why do these ratings even exist anymore, when the rules are not really followed anymore (at least, where I live, I never see the ratings rules enforced), and why could they be so inconsistent at times? These ratings are very inconsistent nowadays. Comparing Ace Attorney to a game like Ninja Gaiden is like comparing an adult movie to a Disney one. There are also the stray instances where games are underrated, and far more violent than what the rating described. We are in an age where everything that we do is competitive. Everyone wants to earn that extra dollar. This ESRB system is so flawed where I am from. I could go to a gaming store for a popular release, and I could find a gaggle of kids that look no older than ten years old, and they would all troop up to the register, and ask for a copy of the latest and most popular shooting game. The employee at the register does not even do his job and warn the children, or ask for an adult. He just sells the game to them; the kids get the game, and the store their money. It is so inconsistent. Gaming has changed a lot since I started playing them, and think about it. The ESRB is a group of people who decide what you should or should not be seeing. You would get hordes of parents who just blindly follow these rules and limit the overall gaming experience that their children would get to play. Are such limitations necessary? Does the material children should be able to see feel worthy of being censored out? That isn't to say that the entire system is absolutely worthless. I understand that the system is there for a reason. The rating system could very well be looked at as a very broad and loose guideline as to what the game could possibly feature. Maybe I think this due to the fact that I am an adult, myself, and do not have to worry. This could definitely be a possibility that I am willing to account for. What I wanted to get at is that the rating system should not be the only factor that is accounted for in screening games. Gaming is a complex world now. But for the parents nowadays, who seem to cry bloody murder at the smallest thing, it leads to extreme reactions. You can look no further at the plight that is SwapNote on the Nintendo 3DS, which was shut down indefinitely the other day due to abuse of the system. There it goes again, someone is controlling what someone can be viewing. There were so many other solutions that could have been employed, but the path chosen was the most extreme. In a broad sweep, is it not fair to allow select individuals to think that they have the best interests for children and for gamers alike? Let's ask a question. If you are under eighteen years old, and you see a website that asks you to put in your birthday, do you turn around and run when you are confronted with that? Do you or your parents employ parental controls on consoles to restrict gaming? That is what I am talking about when I say that these ratings really do not matter to people as much anymore. Do people still follow these ratings to a religious extent? Sure, there can be people out there still. But should we as gamers be in agreement that the rating system in general is just inconsistent and flawed? Do you guys agree that the system can change? Do you guys think that there are limitations as to where the lines of ratings are drawn? Chime off below!