When I sell an M rated video game, it's quite often for a child who has brought their parent along to make the purchase. The ESRB rating label contains the reasons for the M rating and I turn the game over and read the parent those reasons before I hand them the game.
In the two and a half years I've done this I've never had a parent reject a game for Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, or Use of Drugs. If they reject a game, and this is rare, it will be for Strong Language, Nudity, or any of the four sexual classifications.
The excuse I hear most often is "Well he plays it at his friend's house." I suppose that if his friend's parents have approved it then it must be OK. On an interesting sidenote here, I've never had a parent buy an M rated game for a daughter, only sons.
I suspect that parents are just tired from everything they must do today and thus grant tacit approval for the video game violence portrayed on their electronic babysitter. As long as Johnny doesn't see sexual situations or hear bad language then it's OK. After all, he can just turn on the television for those.
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