Should the kid-friendly DS handheld have M-rated (17+) content available?
Yes, say a pair of game developers at new studio Renegade Kid (Dementium: The Ward). In a guest shot with GameDaily Biz, Gregg Hargrove and Jools Watsham make a strong case for grownup content on the pint-sized DS. Said Hargrove:
As of Q1 2007 there were roughly 12 million DS units in the U.S. alone and of these, almost 50 percent were [owned by gamers] 17 or older. In my opinion, the DS suits a lifestyle. I can play it with my headphones on and not bother anyone. As a matter of fact, more than half of my adult friends own a DS. While we revel in puzzle games and Zelda opuses, that’s not all we want to play.
From a purely business standpoint, Hargrove believes the lower development costs for DS games make them a less risky proposition than their console counterparts. He continued:
If bigger screens and more bells and whistles were so important to creating a more compelling entertainment experience then why aren’t all movie theaters IMAXs by now? If a game is fun, it’s fun. If it’s a dog, putting it on a giant screen and blasting out your 5.1 isn’t going to help.
[Is] the Nintendo DS is worthy of [the survival-horror] genre? Can it produce the quality of visuals and audio that is needed for this genre? Is the screen big enough? Can first-person controls work? Can the Nintendo DS really scare anyone? Either we’re masochists, or we believe that the answer to all of those questions is a rousing yes!
GP: I’m very partial to the DS as well. Readers, what do you think? Should there be M-rated content for Nintendo’s handheld? Would you buy it?