Fiona Ma for State Assembly

Websites Break Down Violent Games for Parents

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)  -- Despite the downturn in the economy, video game sales remain high this holiday season, which is why one San Francisco lawmaker wants to remind parents to pay attention to the violence ratings on the box.

"Gears of War 2" was one of last month's biggest sellers, a rapid fire shooting and occasional chain-sawing game to defend humanity against locusts. It's dark and not for kids, which is why its rated "M for Mature," but San Francisco Assemblywoman Fiona Ma wants to make sure parents don't just run out and buy it blindly.

"I just think it's very important for parents who don't want their kids to see violence, blood or guns, or even drugs to take a closer look at these content descriptors," said Ma.

She encourages parents to use the gaming industry's web site "" or San Francisco based "What They" which goes even deeper into describing what's in a game.

"As soon as kids get into the mid-teens the line starts to shift a little bit," said President of What They Play, John Davison. "Every family is different, and some moms are fine with the kids seeing violence, but they don't want to see sexual content, others are really sensitive to strong language and they want to know what words their kids will be hearing coming out of the game. So what we try to do is explain the context of the content."

That way, the parents can decide for themselves.