Diablo 3 Lead Designer: Gore OK for Kids

It's hard not jumping on a soap box in regards to gaming violence, children, and the ESRB ratings. But when Blizzard's Jay Wilson says that he allows his 9-year-old daughter to (presumably) play M-rated titles, and publically admits it, the soap box begs for a few preaching feet. Wired actually stumbled across Wilson's wife and daughter at BlizzCon while they played Diablo III, then later tracked down Wilson himself and grilled the lead designer about his daughter and what she plays.

So what was his answer? Basically, Diablo III isn't quite as personal as games with guns or first-person shooters with violence. He boils it down to choice: is the game suitable for the child despite the ESRB rating plastered on the box? Ultimately, he hits the nail on the head: games children play depends on the final verdict of (hopefully) educated parents. A T-rated game for one child may be suitable for one, but not for another of the same age group.

"Well, I feel like for every parent you have to make a choice about what kind of content is appropriate for your child and at what age," he told Wired. "At a certain age, I wouldn’t have let her play a game like Diablo because of the violence. And honestly, I paused before letting her play."

According to Wilson, as a developer, it's hard not to share his work with his daughter, especially when she wants to see the progress on his latest project. "I don’t really want to deprive her of that," he said, adding that he knows his daughter well enough to know if she would  have any problem handling certain content.

"To do my official company line, too, one of the things we intend to do is add parental controls so that every parent can make their own choice about what’s appropriate for their kids," he said.

On the other hand, don't expect Diablo III to appeal to a wider, general audience. "Diablo is our Mature-rated series, and it’s important for us that it be that. It’s our goal, and that’s where we want it to be."

  • coonday
    I think I turned out just fine...think being the key word of course.
  • mlcloud
    Why is this making news? In the end it's all about the relationship between the child and his/her parent(s). Has America fallen to the point where this needs to be publicized? Common sense doesn't exist anymore, right?
  • frozenlead
    The title should read:
    Diablo III lead designer: Gore OK for HIS kid.

    Other parents may object, but they better not object to the developer. If you don't want your kid playing it, don't let them get the game.
  • Kaiser_25
    I was raised on video games, and im a sane, fully functional member of society and live a happy successful life...i dont see a problem with what he lets his daughter play.
  • elbert
    Jay Wilson lets his child play the game now. The games rating content is ok for children. Single player in other words. The problem however is interacting with others. No child should play this game online.
  • Major7up
    mlcloudWhy is this making news? In the end it's all about the relationship between the child and his/her parent(s). Has America fallen to the point where this needs to be publicized? Common sense doesn't exist anymore, right?In response to your question, because there are a whole lot of overzealous idiots out there (you have heard of Jack Thompson???) who don't agree with the rational point you have made. And to some extent, parents don't pay enough attention to what their kids play to make a decision of any kind. Go into any game store and sit there for an hour, you will see this first hand. Common sense does exist but I think that it's in short supply.
  • cryogenic
    I was raised with video games, I'm a gamer from the age of 7, used to play Pong on the "original console" and lot's of games on Amiga ZX spectrum, and played lot's of games since 286 pc's era, violent or non violent.

    I've never had any violence issues (except for minor fights as kid, that are inevitable), and guess why? because of my education. My father told me to never hit a girl in my life because the day I do that I won't be a man anymore and I never did it even when I was a child playing with children, my father told me not to mess up with the wrong people and never do what they do, and I listened, because I had great respect for him all my life ...

    So, its' not the games, it's the education, a good childhood and nice parents that determine how you act on violence, not the games ...

  • tomasz
    Sometime i feel like restictions should not be based on age but rather maturity of people - parents in that matter and how much attention they pay to their kids. But how can this be mesaured...
  • canadakickass
    yeah... i hate misleading headlines like these. The title is obviously false since its generalizing one`s parent relationship with his child. It reminds me of why i no longer read yahoo`s new :S
  • viometrix
    i have no problem with my 8 yr old son playing games like ut 3, crysis, prototype, most first person shooters in general, and other games featuring violence... he knows he cant do these things for real, and does very well... i do not let him play games like gta4 that feature heavy drug use, use of language, and sex.... not that he wont learn about these things in time, but i do not believe he would know how to interperet these things.... some may say the same for violence, but he sees that on the news every day.