Poppycock. Branding influences people throughout their lives. People are very easily influenced and are mostly unaware of it. It can even change the way something tastes.
The very fact that CoD is an 18 rated game is a little odd. I'm not sure whether this one decides to include any needless torture sequence, but if it were not for the controversy seeking moments every CoD game now needs to have, they are very much a PG-13/12A depiction of war. Film studios would certainly not want an 18/American equivalent rated film being made, if it hoped to be so widely bought. It's always struck as a bit of a double standard, with games definitely receiving significantly higher ratings than film. Not only that, but it also seems like a desirable, as if your game would be shunned if it did not try to receive as high a rating as possible.
And yet, there are very few games that I do not think would be suitable for a young audience (12+). Very few games ever attempt to challenge us, beyond the obvious, and rarely ever actually become mature. The majority end up playing very much to the audience it is meant to not be suitable for.
The only element that does worry me slightly is the depiction of female characters and minorities. I don't think it is intentional on the part of the developers, but the negative stereotypical writing seems to offer much more potential for damaging the development of a child compared to the shooting of imaginary men.
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