Kids and Violent Video Games

By: Dadu2004
November 3rd, 2010
12:17 pm

Kids and Violent Video Games

There are certainly a ton of violent video games out there. I'm definately not an advocate of allowing a child to play a violent game, but isn't it my right to define what my child is exposed to and not? Why should the government be involved and tell me how to raise my kid? If I want to allow my kid to play an uber-violent game or watch horror movies, that's my right as an American to be a crappy human being.

How a 42-Year-Old Porn Might Screw Video Games - PCWorld

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62 comments on "Kids and Violent Video Games"

  • Jeremy+3
    November 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I didn't realise PC world was global.

    In the UK if a game has an age limit on the packet then someone under that age cannot buy it, I think if it says PG then that means people under 12 cannot buy it. So that means if a 14 year old tried to buy a 15 game and then their parent tried to buy it, they cannot buy it either as it is an offense to pass on age restricted items to someone known to be underage/someone who cannot prove their age.

  • Xero
    November 3, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Here a kid under age 18 can't buy a game that is rated M (mature) and if you don't provide ID at the store they wont sell it to you. However, if your parent goes in or you take your parent with you its perfectly fine. So pretty much anybody over 18 can buy rated M games and give them to younger kids and I don't believe its against the law. I scanned the article and I think that's what it was talking about, was whether it should be illegal for a parent to buy it for their kids etc.

    I guess its a little bit extensive for them to make that the law, but honestly it doesn't bug me too much. I already think too many underage, immature little kids are playing video games that they shouldn't be. The kind that involve blood, gore, murder, and sexual content. Some parents just make stupid decisions because its more important for their kids to have the xbox as a babysitter. I personally find it slightly insulting that the government would suggest that I can't make healthy decisions reguarding my kids. BUT there are SO many people out there that need decisions to be made for them, sadly. Not all parents actually care that much or think that hard before making decisions. I'd rather have all the irresponsible people forced into doing the right thing than consider the pride of the people who are doing it right. Sad, but true.

  • TabascoNatalie
    November 3, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    myself i grew up with Doom and Quake. well, Half-Life was there when i was a teen, I remember buying it for my 8yo cousin as a Xmas gift so i'm not that fussy. as it comes to small children, it's more a matter not of allowing, but supplying. well, I'm not buying GTA series for my kid, but I allow Ninja Gaiden. Though it says 16+ on packaging (UK), on the cartridge it says 12 (Germany). But it is a nice game -- no gore, beautiful Japanese graphics, and violence only about swordfighting.
    I also think WW2 themed games are ok.

    yes, there are nasty games out there today, but what comes for Nintendo DS or Wii are pretty much harmless.

  • ElliottCarasDad
    November 4, 2010 at 5:05 am

    Originally Posted by Jeremy+3
    I didn't realise PC world was global.

    In the UK if a game has an age limit on the packet then someone under that age cannot buy it, I think if it says PG then that means people under 12 cannot buy it. So that means if a 14 year old tried to buy a 15 game and then their parent tried to buy it, they cannot buy it either as it is an offense to pass on age restricted items to someone known to be underage/someone who cannot prove their age.
    Well at least you can still give a 5 year old a beer!

  • ElliottCarasDad
    November 4, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Here are some great outtakes from the transcripts....

    Judges Say The Funniest Things

  • mom2many
    November 4, 2010 at 7:18 am

    My kids, my choice. I have no problem with the restriction of a minor buying the games. I would however have a problem with them telling me I couldn't buy it and give it to my kids.

    Halo, would not be considered appropriate, but I let mine play it. Modern Warfare, again not appropriate but they can play it. I don't restrict games as a rule, and there has only ever been one game I have said not to and that was GTA, but then I go out and buy Saints Row not realizing it is almost the same as GTA...but only slightly better. I still let them play it but I have had long....LONG...talks with them about fantasy and reality. We have always had those talks but I really wanted it stressed with that game. Let's face it WWII is long past and aliens are unlikely to invade us, but gangs are still very prevalent.

    Thankfully after the first few days they were bored with it, but it was still my choice as their parent what is and isn't acceptable.

    However, I agree with Zero to some extent about parents who just don't care and use video games as babysitters. It's sad but it is so very true, and yet it is the parents right to parent their child however they want.

  • TabascoNatalie
    November 4, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Originally Posted by mom2many
    Let's face it WWII is long past.
    kids have to learn about WW2 in history lessons anyway

  • sbattisti
    November 4, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I generally stick roughly to the guidelines, but I recently played Call of Duty with my 9-year old and he really enjoyed it. But every time we play, I make sure to use it as a bit of a "teaching moment" about WWII, or about war, or the military, or whatever.

  • andrewdive
    November 4, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I agree that this is not an area that the government should be regulating - but just as an aside, we made the choice to not have any video games at home - violent or not, we'd rather our daughter spent time playing, drawing, reading, chatting with us etc - and I can't say that I feel like she or we are missing anything by not having a video game console in the house.

  • Father_0f_7
    November 4, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Originally Posted by

    My kids, my choice. I have no problem with the restriction of a minor buying the games. I would however have a problem with them telling me I couldn't buy it and give it to my kids.
    Agreed. I think that it all depends on the child and you can't really put a specific age on things like this.

  • Maria
    November 7, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Wait, I'm not sure what the question is here? I think parents can decide whether or not their kids can watch horror movies or play violent vids, at least in USA. I see kids go to horror flicks with their parents all the time. So long as they are not super young kids, I do not see the harm. I know I've been watching horror flicks since I was nine and I turned out okay. I have only ever had one nightmare from the horror flicks in my whole life (The Leprechaun, age 10). I am a decent contributing member of society who has never been in a single fist fight in her entire life! I volunteer at the Red Cross and I am kind to people, because my parents taught me how to be a decent human being. My parents actively taught me how to behave instead of letting the tele do the parenting for them.

    Violent tv and vids are only a problem if it is the only source of parenting. Because, you know, it is a video game problem right? It simply CANNOT be the parents! And yes, that was sarcastic.

    I plan on letting my kids play violent video games and watch horror flicks, but I think I'll make them wait until they are at least 13. Looking back, I think 9 might've been a tad too young for me to watch those kinds of movies (I say this because of the inappropriate sexual themes, not violence), but my point remains valid that the parents make a bigger impact in a kids life than violent media.

  • Venezia
    November 12, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Wall of text warning!!

    I suspect that living in the UK, I'm starting from a different place, not least because here it *is* illegal for adults to buy 18+ games for minors. Of course, people still do it but not blatantly. I've been in stores many times where adults have been refused service because they've admitted they were buying the games for children. I even saw one adult turn around and clip their child around the ear, saying, "You never told me it was a grown-up's game"! Rather an extreme reaction, I thought... but perhaps the adult didn't bother reading the packaging.

    It's been this way for as long as I can remember, and I personally don't have a problem with it. I don't feel as though the state is telling me how to raise my children (especially as they are adults themselves now)! And TBH, I've seen enough children affected by dubious parenting (I used to be an SEN teacher) to know that not every parent is capable, coherent or even cares enough to make an informed decision regarding what their children play/watch/listen to. And I wonder if that's the point that this not-so-new law seems to be making - that not every parent is a good parent, so someone has to protect the children.

    For those parents who do care, does it actually make any difference? Presumably there will still be nothing to stop an adult buying an 18-rated game, no matter where it eventually ends up, and having this law is, I assume, not going to make you rush out, out of sheer defiance, and buy 18-games for kids! So it seems to me, more a question of principle - that people want the right to be able to choose whether to buy 18-rated games for minors, and not be told by a nanny-state that they can't.

    However, and this is where I think the difference in culture comes into play; in the UK, I don't think we give as much thought to rights the way people do in the US (I could be wrong of course!). I don't recall hearing about anyone here ever feeling that their rights were being stomped on because the law says they aren't able to purchase GTA (for example) for their child, and I think if anyone felt strongly enough about it, they'd just go and do it, and give it to the child when they got back from the shop! For me personally, I've never thought my rights were being restricted because the law says I can't do a certain thing. I've never wanted to buy an 18-rated game for a child, so in all honesty, being unable to by law is not something which I've ever given much thought to, but to be honest, I wouldn't let it stop me if I was of a mind to.

    I should point out at this stage, that I work in the videogames industry, and most people I speak to over here regarding this, who also work in the same industry, are of the same opinion. We just can't see what all the fuss is about! (I'm not being flippant, by the way.)

    Another point I think, is that as someone mentioned, parents aren't always aware of the content of a game. I believe Saints Row was mentioned. One could argue that the responsible parent will do their homework first, but what happens when they can't or won't? How many children are playing adult games because their parents didn't have a clue what they were buying?

    As an example, when my youngest son was nine, he had a friend over who, unbeknownst to me, brought Resident Evil with him. My son told him not to put it in the console but N was very insistent, so Zig came out into the kitchen, told me what was going on, and asked me to stop N. Of course, I went into the front room, took the game out of the Playstation, confiscated it and rang the boy's mother. She seemed genuinely surprised that her son was playing an 18-rated game, and said her husband had bought it for him. It also turned out that this 9-year old's console was in his bedroom, and the mother had no clue as to which games he was playing, nor which videos he was watching. This, according to her, was something her husband dealt with. Thing is, she wasn't at all concerned, nor was she bothered that her son was trying to bully mine into doing something he wasn't comfortable with.

    Obviously the law did nothing to prevent this boy's father buying him dubious games and videos, but my point is that there are parents out there who don't have a clue, like N's mum....not that it made any difference once she found out.

    At the end of the day, I can't see how whether it is or isn't law is going to make any difference - people either will or will not buy 18-rated games for minors; I don't understand how having a law making it illegal is going to change that. The way I see it is that it's just something to help people make an informed decision, but people don't seem to be happy about it. Or am I being naive?

    Is it the same for 18-rated films and videos? And if in the US, an adult is not allowed to take a minor to the cinema to watch an 18 film, or rent an 18 video for them, do you feel the same way about that as you do about videogames? And if not, why not?

    I'm not trying to be contentious here - I'm trying to understand the situation, because I do honestly think that a) it's very different to here in the UK and b) it's quite fascinating!

    Thanks for listening to my somewhat lengthy ramble!

  • Jeremy+3
    November 12, 2010 at 11:04 am

    My six year old nephew plays bioshock, he is badass though.

  • Venezia
    November 12, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Originally Posted by Jeremy+3
    My six year old nephew plays bioshock, he is badass though.
    I'm afraid I wimped out on Bioshock! I really wanted to love it (beautiful visuals, great music, intriguing story, fab gameplay etc.)... but it scared the pants off me! I am so very lame!

  • Xero
    November 12, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I watched DH play Bioshock, I just loved (watching) that game!!! I can't wait for the new one to come out, it looks like somethin else!

    Originally Posted by Venezia
    Is it the same for 18-rated films and videos? And if in the US, an adult is not allowed to take a minor to the cinema to watch an 18 film, or rent an 18 video for them, do you feel the same way about that as you do about videogames? And if not, why not?
    Actually, if you're talking about R-rated movies (which are actually 17 and older, not 18 and older) which is the highest rating that they will actually show in a theater, the next up being you know like porn lol, it is sadly completely legal to take a child of any age in the US. As long as the under age child is with a parent or guardian, they can see any R-rated movie they want. I saw countless R-rated movies with my mom as a child. I know its still allowed too, because I know people that take their kids and also there is a sign in every theater that says they wont allow any kids under a certain age to go into an R-rated movie after a certain time of night. I think that's only because they want to keep the disturbances to a minimum though haha. I took this quote directly from my local theater's website:

    Note: No Children Under Age 6 Will Be Admitted To Any R-Rated Feature After 6:00 PM. Valid IDs will be required to attend Rated "R" movies. You must be at least 17 years of age or have your parent accompany you to view the movie. IDs will be checked at the theatre.

  • TabascoNatalie
    November 15, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Originally Posted by Venezia
    Wall of text warning!!
    However, and this is where I think the difference in culture comes into play; in the UK, I don't think we give as much thought to rights the way people do in the US (I could be wrong of course!). I don't recall hearing about anyone here ever feeling that their rights were being stomped on because the law says they aren't able to purchase GTA (for example) for their child, and I think if anyone felt strongly enough about it, they'd just go and do it, and give it to the child when they got back from the shop! For me personally, I've never thought my rights were being restricted because the law says I can't do a certain thing. I've never wanted to buy an 18-rated game for a child, so in all honesty, being unable to by law is not something which I've ever given much thought to, but to be honest, I wouldn't let it stop me if I was of a mind to.
    i recall a newspaper article, where a woman wasn't allowed to buy a 12+ DVD because she had her 7yo son with her, but she was allowed to buy a bottle of wine. so -- if nonsense happens sometimes, people actually complain.
    as for the law, it is there, but it is something that can't be enforced. well, a shop assistand has to deny your purchase, but that's it. next time you come without a child, buy it online, whatever. who is going to check? run a background check how many children you have?
    so its just common sense, that your rights in fact are not restricted in any way.
    Myself I allow my 6yo kid to play some 12+ games. and what? anybody is going to report me to police because my child is playing "Biker Mice from Mars"?

  • Venezia
    November 15, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Originally Posted by Xero
    I watched DH play Bioshock, I just loved (watching) that game!!! I can't wait for the new one to come out, it looks like somethin else!
    Bioshock 2 came out in February this year! You can probably pick it up for next to nothing pre-owned by now, I should think!


    Originally Posted by
    Actually, if you're talking about R-rated movies (which are actually 17 and older, not 18 and older) which is the highest rating that they will actually show in a theater, the next up being you know like porn lol, it is sadly completely legal to take a child of any age in the US. As long as the under age child is with a parent or guardian, they can see any R-rated movie they want.
    Really? Goodness, that seems so bizarre to me! I was 14 when I went to see my first X-rated film at the cinema (to get an idea of how long ago that was, it was Saturday Night Fever!) - my grandmother took me, and the whole time, she was telling me to 'act grown up' because if anyone discovered I was under 18, she and the cinema would have been in big trouble!

    We no longer have X films here - they're 18s now, and even accompanied by adults, minors (or those perceived to be underage) are not allowed in to see them.

    Originally Posted by
    I saw countless R-rated movies with my mom as a child.
    I did at home...but to be honest, these were generally limited to Hammer films!

    Originally Posted by
    I know its still allowed too, because I know people that take their kids and also there is a sign in every theater that says they wont allow any kids under a certain age to go into an R-rated movie after a certain time of night. I think that's only because they want to keep the disturbances to a minimum though haha. I took this quote directly from my local theater's website:

    Note: No Children Under Age 6 Will Be Admitted To Any R-Rated Feature After 6:00 PM. Valid IDs will be required to attend Rated "R" movies. You must be at least 17 years of age or have your parent accompany you to view the movie. IDs will be checked at the theatre.
    If you'll forgive me for saying so, that's complete madness! Why not just make everything which isn't a U (do you still have that?) a PG in that case? What does R stand for anyway? I understand that M is mature but R = ??

    Originally Posted by TabascoNatalie
    i recall a newspaper article, where a woman wasn't allowed to buy a 12+ DVD because she had her 7yo son with her, but she was allowed to buy a bottle of wine. so -- if nonsense happens sometimes, people actually complain.
    Absolutely - hence my comment about if someone is determined to do a thing, they'll find a way. Must admit, I didn't think about the wine thing though. And I suppose that people can get sold cigarettes if they have a minor with them too. So in that sense, the law makes no sense. Quel surprise!

    Originally Posted by
    as for the law, it is there, but it is something that can't be enforced. well, a shop assistand has to deny your purchase, but that's it. next time you come without a child, buy it online, whatever. who is going to check? run a background check how many children you have?
    Shhhhh...don't give 'them' ideas!

    Originally Posted by
    so its just common sense, that your rights in fact are not restricted in any way.
    I do agree with what you say but surely, not everyone has common sense? Honestly, I have met many people who really do need to be told the most basic things (such as "No it is not good to send your child to school barefoot in the rain, no matter how much he says he wants to"!).

    Originally Posted by
    Myself I allow my 6yo kid to play some 12+ games. and what? anybody is going to report me to police because my child is playing "Biker Mice from Mars"?
    Dialling 911 right now!

    Seriously though, I do agree with you - I think (hope!) that most parents are capable of making judgement calls on what is or isn't good for their offspring, and in that sense, I can see that Chapter 638 (or whatever it's called) is actually quite insulting; however, IMO (and this is only an opinion!), for all those who aren't capable for whatever reason of making that kind of decision, maybe protecting kids (e.g. the greater good) is worth a few ruffled feathers?

  • Xero
    November 15, 2010 at 7:17 am

    Originally Posted by Venezia
    Bioshock 2 came out in February this year! You can probably pick it up for next to nothing pre-owned by now, I should think!
    Bioshock 2 was great as well!! The first was better IMO though. I loved watching them both lol. I was talking about Bioshock Infinite, you haven't heard of it!?!?! It looks amazing, although completely different from the first two.

    http://www.bioshockinfinite.com/main.php


    I don't think it will be out till next year or something.

    Originally Posted by Venezia
    Really? Goodness, that seems so bizarre to me! I was 14 when I went to see my first X-rated film at the cinema (to get an idea of how long ago that was, it was Saturday Night Fever!)
    lol see that sounds funny to me, because here people refer to porn as "X-rated".

    Originally Posted by Venezia
    If you'll forgive me for saying so, that's complete madness! Why not just make everything which isn't a U (do you still have that?) a PG in that case? What does R stand for anyway? I understand that M is mature but R = ??
    I don't think we use "U" as a rating here, is that like "G"? They use G for stuff that is good for little kids. R stands for Restricted. I agree, it is madness!!!! People shouldn't be bringing kids to those movies. -cringe-

  • TabascoNatalie
    November 15, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Originally Posted by Venezia
    Really? Goodness, that seems so bizarre to me! I was 14 when I went to see my first X-rated film at the cinema (to get an idea of how long ago that was, it was Saturday Night Fever!) - my grandmother took me, and the whole time, she was telling me to 'act grown up' because if anyone discovered I was under 18, she and the cinema would have been in big trouble!
    did it hurt you? did youfeel mistreated by adult who took youto cinema?

    Originally Posted by
    I do agree with what you say but surely, not everyone has common sense? Honestly, I have met many people who really do need to be told the most basic things (such as "No it is not good to send your child to school barefoot in the rain, no matter how much he says he wants to"!).
    as for climate in England -- i'd let them try. back at home -- no child would think so in that climate.

  • Venezia
    November 15, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Originally Posted by Xero
    Bioshock 2 was great as well!! The first was better IMO though. I loved watching them both lol. I was talking about Bioshock Infinite, you haven't heard of it!?!?! It looks amazing, although completely different from the first two.
    Sorry, I was just being a complete numpty! I'd forgotten all about Infinite! That video reminds of the Myst series - v. cool!

    Originally Posted by
    lol see that sounds funny to me, because here people refer to porn as "X-rated".
    Well clearly our porn is better than yours because here we call it XXX (and it has nothing to do with Vin Diesel!)!!

    Originally Posted by
    I don't think we use "U" as a rating here, is that like "G"? They use G for stuff that is good for little kids. R stands for Restricted. I agree, it is madness!!!! People shouldn't be bringing kids to those movies. -cringe-
    I suspect it might be. U is Universal, so it sounds like the same thing, doesn't it? Restricted - yeah that makes sense....until you discover it's pretty meaningless. Bonkers, if you ask me!



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