*WARNING – Rant alert. This post is rated T for light profanity.*
I am an avid gamer. I enjoy many different genres, everything from Super Mario, to The Elder Scrolls, The Sims, Bioshock… I’ve been a gamer for a long time, because it is a great way to immerse yourself in another world and explore the medium. It kills times. It is relaxing. But all in all, it’s just a fun hobby.
For years, there have been activists complaining about the violence in video games. I believe the first case of this was with the original Mortal Kombat in 1992, and suddenly the ESRB was born.
Many games have had controversy over the years. From Mortal Kombat, to Wolfenstein 3D, to Doom, which was played heavily by the two perpetrators of the Columbine High School shooting. Hell, even Sims 2 had some controversy because there were claims that underneath the pixelation of your Sims bodies, there were highly detailed genitals and the like. (Which was proven false by EA, they simply look like Barbie dolls underneath the pixelation.)
There are claims that video games instigate violence. Games such as Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Saints Row, and a multitude of other first person shooters and fighting games are targeted everyday to try to support these claims. People say that these games encourage and promote violence and murder.
And I’m here to tell you, that yes. I agree with that. I agree that video games cause violence… just as much as any television show, music, or movie can, to an unstable person.
ANYTHING can ignite that violent spark inside of a person. It doesn’t even have to be entertainment.
But here’s what makes me furious… parents and so-called activists want to blame the developer and the game for the violent nature? I’ve heard people who want anyone that worked on a certain game in a prison cell! And that is where I want to blow up.
These people make games for a certain demographic. That is why the ESRB is there in the first place! You have your nice E rated games, and T rated games… but some companies make mature games for adult audiences.
It is not legal for a kid under 17 to purchase an M rated game. In fact, most video game stores treat it as if it were cigarettes or alcohol. They card the kid, and reject the purchase if underage.
So usually, it is the PARENTS that buy the games for the kids, not paying attention or not caring that it says right there on the bottom left corner that it is a MATURE GAME.
Or… the other situation, is that a kid buys a game from a friend, or someplace that doesn’t sell them retail, and the kid takes it home and plays it without parental consent.
Sorry to break it to the parents, but a kid playing a game behind their back ISN’T THE DEVELOPER’S FAULT. It is the kids fault, for doing it without permission, and it is the PARENT’S FAULT for not paying attention and checking up on the kid!
How many times do I hear from my 12-year-old brother about his friends playing Grand Theft Auto. A good game, yes, but an undeniably violent one, one made for people my age and up. If you don’t want your child to be exposed to violence of that proportion… don’t try to stop mature adults who know right from wrong from being able to have a little fun. Don’t blame the developer because a game for adults got in your child’s hands without you knowing.
There is a site that simply makes me furious. It’s called commonsensemedia.org. Type in an adult game. Grand Theft Auto V for instance, a game with drugs, sex, torture, murder, criminal activity… and the site’s personal review clearly states that the game is not for kids.
But… you scroll down further, and you see the spot where parents and children put in what age THEY think is appropriate…
ADULTS SAID 12 YEARS OLD.
The children? At least they put it two years higher at 14!
THIS is the problem! There were a couple of people who rated it not for kids, and I applaud them, but the parents who think that their 12-year-old child is ‘mature enough’ is full of crap!
I saw people rating it okay for ten-year olds… eight year olds… I’m really sorry, but WTF is wrong with these people?!?! You have people complaining that violent video games are ruining our children’s heads, but they don’t want to look at sites like this at see the source?! They don’t want to realize that it is the PARENT’S who allow their children access to these violent games at such an early age?!
No. They don’t. They just always want someone else to blame. They let their kids shoot people in the head in a game, and then blame the company who made the game when the kid goes out and does it in real life… instead of pointing the finger and themselves and their own bad parenting.
Here’s a little tip, for all parents. E is for everyone, everyone can play… and the T for Teen rating? That can be flexible. If you have a mature child, let them enjoy some T rated games.
But no matter how mature your child seems to be… there is never a threshold of maturity to play an M rated game. You have to be 17 to buy the games, so a kid should at least be 16 before playing them.
And we wonder why we have such a violent culture. Kids are allowed these things to enter their head at such a young age, and it’s all they’ve ever known. Games are made more violent for older people because it is people of those ages that can understand not to take it seriously.
And the same thing goes with any other form of entertainment… R rated movies, or MA rated television… elementary school kids shouldn’t be watching Family Guy. I shouldn’t be sitting in a theater watching an R rated flick and turn my head to see a kid, maybe seven years old, eyes fixated on the violence.
I’m not telling anyone how to parent. You go ahead and do whatever the frick you want too. Expose your kids to all of the violence and sex you feel.
But what I am telling you to do, is if your kid happens to do something. If something goes wrong… take the responsibility as a mature adult, and not try to shove the blame in the arms of someone who makes video games, movies, television shows… for adults.
And (before I start going off on another rant) that’s all I have to say about that.
– Brandon, 2:05 PM