Germany has always been rather weird about their censorship and age restrictions in games and movies (USK and FSK respectively rarely make decisions which make any sense). Now Nintendo Europe hit the jackpot of ridiculous youth protection: 18+ games or content will only be available after 10 pm, or to use a quote from the Eurogamer source:
“Therefore the accessibility of 18+ content in Nintendo eShop is limited to [USK: 22:00 UTC until 4:00 UTC] [PEGI: 23:00 UTC until 3:00 UTC].”
Now how ridiculous is that? As if underage gamers would not be tempted to go online after 10 pm. You can be sure they will most definitely use that time frame. And now with the help of PEGI this spread to the UK shores as well.
Apparently that’s the reason:
“At Nintendo we always aim to provide a safe gaming experience for fans of all ages and ensure that we comply with applicable legal age restriction requirements across Europe,” a Nintendo spokesperson told Eurogamer.”
What does it mean for the buying public? Not taking into account that the eStore is struggling to be relevant in a time of Xbox Live and the PSN store, now people who are over 18 are not allowed to buy what they want when they want but have to wait for the curfew, closing hour when every kid is safely snuck up in their beds. Is this discrimination or just plain stupidity?
I’ve said it many times before and I will say it again: no youth protection system will stop kids to play these games. Rather by this system, they will be even more intrigued to find out what’s there after 10 pm. Probably not, because to be honest every kid will probably already own ZombiU or get their hands on a friend’s copy.
BTW, I finally got around registering my 3DS, and guess what? I’m still waiting for Nintendo to send me a confirmation email when I’m able to download a free game from the store (Super Mario Land 3D). Sony and Microsoft seem to have no problems activating a game when you purchase it (or got a free download code).
So yeah, Nintendo should probably set its priorities straight before going all youth-protection-style. You know there are still people over 18 who’d like to use the shop without any time restrictions, big N? Maybe this works in Mario’s colorful world, but we’re still in Reality Land where people don’t like to be told when to shop online or access content via the big WWW.