Why is Red Dead Redemption Rated M for Mature?

Rockstar Games has officially released Red Dead Redemption, and the game has been a major success. Much of it's success if probably due to the fact that it is extremely realistic in virtually every aspect you can think of. Rockstar's developers have taken many things into consideration while creating this game, and among the many things they thought of are controversial topics. Red Dead Redemption is a very edgy game when compared to previous games released by Rockstar (or any game company for that matter). So there are a number of obvious reasons why they probably decided to give it a rating of M for Mature.

Racial issues
While reading a newspaper in the game, I came across an article that was discussing the differences between whites and other races, and went on to state that scientists believe whites are more civilized than people of darker ethnic backgrounds. It was making a comparison between Caucasions and Native Americans. This is probably historically accurate, as I'm sure many small-minded people at that time really believed that whites were superior. I don't believe Rockstar included details like this in the game to make some kind of a racial statement. I think they just threw it into the game to make it more detailed, since details are what they built their reputation on. I think that's great, but it also shows that Rockstar has come a long way from the first GTA games and is not afraid to push the envelope as long as it improves the game's realism.

There isn't exactly excessive cursing in the game. In fact, I can play the game for many hours without noticing any curse words. But I do notice them occasionally, and there's definitely an increase in swear words in RDR when compared to GTA. Many players may be stunned when they hear the "S word" in the game for the first time, or any other profanities that were used in the Wild West days. Although there's no noticeable racial slurs (unless you consider "Gringo" a racial slur), there are a number of derogatory words used to describe women and people in general.

Confrontations with other people are much more realistic and much more serious. In previous Rockstar games, the confrontations didn't have as much of a serious undertone as this game does. When dealing with enemies, there's a certain feeling the player gets from the game, which is similar to the feelings you would get while watching confrontations unfold in an R rated movie.

Suicides and Tragedy
The GTA series just touched briefly on the issue of suicides and tragedy. Red Dead Redemption pushes serious issues like these to the forefront and right into the player's face. There aren't always happy endings in RDR, and sometimes innocent people are killed as part of the missions. The music just adds to the dark theme during these situations and helps create a sad or depressive mood when they do happen. There are also more graphic details in correlation with these scenes, as the player may come across blood and bones in a bucket deep in the desert, or a sobbing stranger who is about to kill himself right in front of you as you are playing the game.

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