It’s actually been a while since we’ve heard parents complain about video game violence and kids, and I’m shocked, really. Come on, parents- don’t you know your kids are playing Grand Theft Auto, then going out and smoking cocaine off of hookers and going all Breaking Bad behind your back? (Which, given the premise of Breaking Bad would be impossible to do.)

Oh, here comes the Parents Television Council to the rescue of today’s youth! According to the PTC, it’s a “Joe Camel move” to place violent, sexual, M-rated games alongside games that would be acceptable for our youth. Keep in mind that the PTC is the same group that wanted to fine retailers for selling games to underage kids without parental approval. (A double-edged sword with which I am acquainted; No, retailers shouldn’t sell to kids without parental approval, but parents should also be monitoring what their underage children are playing.)

Here’s my take on the situation: The PTC is right. I think that making M-rated games out of reach for children would make it a lot more difficult for kids to get their hands on “Killer 3: The Sexication”. However, they are forgetting a few things. First of all, there are kids under 17 that will easily be able to reach this. Hell, there are kids under 13 that will be easily able to reach this. Having a height requirement to pick up video games isn’t so much a deterrent as it is an inconvenience. Secondly, kids who can’t reach the top row wouldn’t be sold Grand Theft Auto anyway. Retailers can be dumb, but they’re not dumb enough to sell an M-rated game to the kid that can’t get his neck fully over the counter.

Three, in most non-electronic stores, video games are sold behind glass cases. Even if you want to grab a copy of “Sex Killer V” from the bottom of the shelf, you’ll need a supervisor to do it for you, and once the supervisor sees velcro shoes and a Power Rangers tee-shirt, he’s not going to grab it for your kid. Fourth, and absolutely my most important point- parents hold the ultimate responsibility when it comes to buying and supervising video games. It’s like the Supremacy Clause of life; if your kid wants to buy a video game, you should probably go with him, look at the box, and decide whether or not you want your kid to be playing the game. If you’re fine with it, that’s your call, and no one else can be blamed or rewarded for whatever occurs. If you’re not fine with it, don’t buy it- crisis averted. But don’t blame the retailers every time a wayward ten-year old gets their hands “Stabby the Foul-Mouthed Penis” for the Wii.

[Source: The Consumerist]

3 COMMENTS

  1. It is a known fact that human beings have a normal reluctance to kill. Soldiers in combat sometimes miss an opportunity to kill the enemy because they are hesitant to pull the trigger.

    But this reluctance can (and obviously is) overcome. A number of factors are to blame, one of the most prominent being video games. Children’s access to violent video games is of particular concern given the growing body of research documenting the lasting harmful effects of exposure to video game violence. One recent study found that teens who play violent video games showed increased activity in the areas of the brain linked to emotional arousal and decreased activity in regions of the brain that govern self-control. Another recent study found that young men were more likely to perceive others’ attitudes toward them as hostile if they had just played a violent game.

    The most violent, and therefore harmful, video games are rated “M”. These games are not to be sold to persons under 17. But unfortunately some retailers, due to greed, indifference, or carelessness, will sell to anyone.

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