There is a good article on the DailyTech about how a couple of more states want to limit or ban the sale of explicit or violent games to minors. This particular post originated on SuperGeek – but I felt the need to expand on some of my thoughts on this issue.
What is the government’s obsession with trying to pass blame on youth violence on TV and Video games? For every kid that does something bad that gets attributed to a video game – guess what – there were a heck of a lot more of us who turned out just fine and played those violent games. I played Quake, DOOM, etc. and I haven’t turned into a criminal.
Maybe we should instead wonder what the parents were teaching their kids about the difference between real life and imagination. I have played all of the bad games and watched some violent movies. However, my parents when I was a kid made sure I read one book for every one movie I watched. Stop being a reactive and start being proactive.
So parents – stop blaming the government, media, or game industry and take up some responsibility to be involved in your kids life. Maybe be mean and force your kid to let you know what they are doing, or maybe, just maybe teach them that reading is fun and to use their imagination and not be a passive receptor for any information/attention that comes their way. Now, by no means am I saying that parents are to blame for everything-far from it. Yet somewhere we have to draw a line and say, “ok come off it, maybe letting my kid play Quake for 15 hours a day wasn’t the best way to pay attention to them.”
The other idea of mine is: perhaps instead of wasting our tax money on prosecuting game companies-we actually give some of that money to schools for educational technology. Perhaps in an environment made better and more innovative, instead of more restrictive we might be able to stop coming up with things to blame societies woes on and actually focus on teaching our next generation what to do instead of telling them what they can’t do or have.
Oh and just telling a kid that something is bad and banning it – is the stupidest thing on earth. Haven’t we learned by now that making something forbidden is the best way to give it attention? If you are so worried about your kid playing something like Grand Theft Auto, maybe tell them why you don’t want them playing it. Teach them about the moral implications – because they are going to play it anyways. Kids just go over to a friends house or something.