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Earlier, I called the labels a con. Sorry, they’re apparently boomerangs. My bad.

Surely even the brightest parents know video-game labels are aimed at making them feel better so they’ll plop down another $50 for a new game.

I have a modest proposal.

First, drop the video-game labels. Really, if they’re only going to attract the kids to the objectionable stuff, they’re worse than useless.

Instead, require all future game descriptions to be written with polysyllabic words. No more easy-to-read phrases such as “nightmares below” and “demons marching.” We want fancy words such as “conflagration” and complex descriptions such as “After lucubration, the plenipotentiary advised salient interdiction.”

Third, to ensure maximum wordiness and incomprehensibility, game descriptions should be written by federal bureaucrats, edited by lawyers and proofed by the people who write mortgage documents.

We may not be able to stop our kids’ love affairs with video games, but we could at least make them work harder to figure out where to get their next digital bloodbath — or dose of full-frontal male nudity.

Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at