First of all, rating systems are not there to keep children away from certain movies/video games, but rather to inform parents on what kind of content the media contains and decide whether their child can handle it. That being said, people need to stop complaining when they see a child watching a rated R movie at a theater or having a parent buy them a rated M game. Simply hiding things from your kids just because of their age, rather than actually taking the time to explain why it's wrong to do certain things is just lazy parenting. What's so intelligent about not teaching them right from wrong as soon as possible, and then waiting until the last minute and being surprised IF they do something wrong?
I've played violent games since I was seven years old, starting with Killer Instinct (SNES). Some of my friends played those types of games when they were younger than that. Our parents didn't put an age restriction on what we watched/played/listened, to and none of us tried to emulate dangerous things that we saw or heard. Plus, some of us (including me) are in college now.
They say children should not watch horror movies because they'll be "traumatized for life". Apparently, fear stops at ages 17-18 to them. For example, I am 19-year-old arachnophobe, so what does that make me? If I and a 10-year-old who wouldn't scare too easily wanted to buy a ticket to a rated R movie about killer spiders, chances are, I would be allowed inside and the child would need to be accompanied by a parent. Why should I be allowed to see a movie about something that I'm afraid of, but someone else can't, even if they won't get scared?
Fear is one of the many things that depend on the person, not just age. Even Alfred Hitchcock was spooked by simple things such as police and eggs. Some children are afraid of Barney, but according to soccer moms, that's the only thing they should be allowed to view. Heck, plenty of kids are afraid of their parents. You'll never see parents separated from kids just because of fear.
Oddly enough, some people believe that children should not be allowed to listen to music with obscene language. They seem to believe that cursing at such a young age encourages them to use foul language all the time when they get older. Funny how roughly 9/10 children use that same language when no adults are present. The paradox here is that some say that this generation of youth is the only one that curses, yet plenty of adults curse excessively for no reason, so they must have been doing it since they were young. If you never heard a child curse, that just shows how easily fooled you are by them.
Many parents come home drunk and abuse their spouse and/or kids. Why don't they (the Government or whoever) ban liquor? People smoke in front of children before the kids even know what secondhand smoke is. Why aren't cigarettes getting banned? Last I heard, liquor and cigarettes are two of the leading causes of death in the country.
Now look at Power Rangers. Look at tag. Look at certain cereals. They (and plenty of other things) are made for/marketed toward children and they're either banned (in some places) or in talks to be banned. This might come as a shock to some people but... most of them never killed anyone.
My point is, every time something gets popular among the youth, ageists will use every excuse in the book to keep it from them. Rock & Roll was the Devil's music, video games turn kids into killers, Bratz inspire little girls to want to grow up to be prostitutes, and the list goes on. It's disgusting how generations who spent years trying to convince their parents that they're not easily affected by certain things is doing the same thing that their parents did.
Feeding the starving children of the world is a good way to help the children. Sheltering the homeless will save the children. Prohibiting certain games just because of the myth that all kids and teens will emulate every hazardous thing they see does not qualify as helping the children. See the difference?