OMG. I think im going to cry.
They dont get it do they. They think parents dont understand age ratings but its not that. Parents think that games dont matter, and in reality they dont care what their kids play.
There seems to be three types of parent (when you look at it from the age ratings point of view). The ones who see the rating of 12 and say "Oh that will be way too hard for you, your only 11", at which point I tend to interupt and try to educate them that the ratings seen on the games in the square boxes dont rate the difficult of the game, but instead rate the content which maybe encountered, and then show them the extra symbols on the back.
The second kind of parent (whom I get the least of) ask if game X is suitable for a 15 year old. I say "it contains guns/drugs/nothing (Delete as apporpiate)" and they either buy it or dont. I also show them the age ratings and explain the symbols on the box.
The third kind are the worse. The kid comes in picks up the box and brings it to the till. I say "Right kid, this game is 18 rated, you can't buy it without ID.", then the parent walks up and sometimes gives me some abuse about "He is 18!" which then I ask to see ID, which they dont have. Parent says "Fine I'll buy it then". I advise them that it contains drugs,sex,swearing and volience, as well as little children being shot (Fallout 3 ;)) and they go "Well its not me thats going to be playing it so who cares? And its not real anyway init?"
Its not that they dont understand the age ratings, or if they dont theres no one to explain. Its simply that some parents dont care. Its these same parents that blame games when something bad happens. They also blame the teachers/goverment/tv/media/music/religious sect who have anything to do with their child.