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What Makes A Mature Game?

Posted on 8th Feb 2010 at 13:57 by Joe Martin with 16 comments

Joe Martin
When I first joined bit-tech a few years ago I was fairly new to the journalism game and naïve in my responses to many things. Since then I’ve learned a lot more about the industry and one of the things I’ve been watching lately is the way that developers rush to label their games as ‘adult’ or ‘mature’ experiences.

We really delved into the story with Game X,” you might hear a developer say. “We really wanted to explore the fiction and make it as mature as possible.

It sounds good in theory and maybe I’m just being jaded and grumpy, but every time I hear someone label their title as having “a really mature story” or somesuch then alarm bells in my head start to ring. All too often the phrase is just a mask and the reality is that the game is, rather than being actually mature, tangibly immature.

When PRs and developers label a game as ‘mature’ what they really mean more often than not is that they’ve added swearing, boobs and gore beyond what the story and gameplay strictly require. Usually it’s part of an effort to appeal to a pubescent, sweaty-palmed audience too and the game is appealing more to adolescent lust rather than the wisdom that goes with maturity.

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