Over the years my parents have tended to keep to age ratings for media products to quite a strict degree. There have been some lapses, but usually only when my parents have perused the higher rated item with one of us kids. I remember watching The Matrix before I was 15 at home with my parents, and the same happened with American Beauty when I was 16 or so. It’s a system that works and us kids are allowed to make our own film, television and videogame choices once we reach 18.
So, what more perfect way to celebrate the media shackles being withdrawn from my now 18 year old brother than by giving him his very own copy of Left 4 Dead to play on his Xbox 360. He’s played it with me a little before and quite enjoyed it. Of course I have a huge back catalogue of 18 rated films, games and TV series that I will be “educating” him with in the years to come.
On a side note, because my brother isn’t like most guys his age, he won’t be trying to down horrendous amounts of alcohol today. Consider this: my brother hates drinks that are fizzy and not sweet – most alcoholic beverages that an 18 year old may peruse on their birthday hold no real draw for my brother. However, I plan to pick up some Cornish Rattler and Woodpecker ciders before heading over, so that he can at least give them a try. And if he doesn’t like ’em, I’ll finish them off.
And if you’re wondering, “Why isn’t he going off partying with his mates?” it’s because he has learning disabilities and that sort of thing just doesn’t appeal to him. Well, you might be able to get him to go to a club if it played decent music*, but had a quiet area too and nowhere in Cornwall currently plays decent music.
*My brother classes “decent music” as anything by Linkin Park and of that ilk in general.