Tag Archives: video game ratings

Video game violence: Skyrim vs Fallout 3

If you’ve read any of my Skyrim posts, you’ll know that I like Skyrim quite a lot and recommend it.  I’m writing this little post for parents, basically, who don’t know that much about video games.  When I wrote my first post on Skyrim, I knew that there were games that were more violent and had more gore in them than Skyrim, of course.  But after playing Fallout 3 – another Bethesda game with similarities to Skyrim, I wanted to share some thoughts.

Fallout 3 (2008) is violent and gory, no doubt about it.  It is rated M for mature, but so is Skyrim (2011).  Now, Fallout 3 is far gorier and has much more foul language in it (especially when the DLCs are added in), than Skyrim.  So, how can anyone know about these games unless they play them?  I mentioned in other posts how Skyrim has “passive gore” (bloody skeletons lying around), but that the game can become gorier if the right “perks” are chosen.  With Fallout 3, one cannot turn down the gore.  Comparing these two games, I’m surprised Skyrim isn’t rated T for teens; if the gore couldn’t be “turned up,” I imagine that it could be so rated.

Fallout 3 is definitely a grown up game, if anyone is interested in playing games like that.  It is a high quality game, with lots to do and actually much humor.  It has a lot more humor in it than Skyrim, and it is far far less glitchy, too.  It is more challenging, for sure, and the atmosphere and information in it are worth thinking about (the game takes place 200 years from now, after China and the USA have a major nuclear war).  It is like a morbid, crazy, and humorous Easter egg hunt for grown-ups.  But, all in all, these games are for people who want to relax and have the time to do them.  When I was a young adult, I was interested in my education and career, and rarely even watched TV.  I’m not sure how alluring these games would have been to me, since they are quite “addictive” (who wants to stop looking for eggs in the middle of the hunt?), however.   I believe this is something to consider when addressing game play of any kind with one’s kids.

From a Christian-cultural perspective, there’s one thing I think is neat about Fallout 3, and I wonder if it holds true for Fallout New Vegas (2010) or for the upcoming Fallout 4.   This is the fact that Jesus is held to be the epitome of good in the game.  Jesus is not talked about (that I know of right now), but when you behave well in the game and seek to be a good character, the term “karma” is used, but the image shown for the best levels are an image easily recognized as Jesus.  While the game makes fun of people following any old thing in the name of religion, it obviously gives a nod to true good.  There’s nothing wrong with pointing out how people make up religion and follow false prophets – it is something Christians should probably talk about publicly more, in fact.  Are we interested in people knowing the truth and getting into heaven, or could we care less that people are so easily led astray?  We are compared to sheep in the Bible, after all.

Note:  If you’re interested in finding out more about the Fallout series, my related articles are:  Fallout 4. Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better (Overview),   Fallout 4. Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better (Story); a detailed look at the Honest Hearts FNV DLC and its By the Waters of Babylon theme; and Fallout New Vegas: Comments from a Christian earlier.  Thanks for checking them out!

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