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Don't Blame The Games, Blame The Parent 136

Posted by Zonk
from the talking-some-sense dept.
jayintune writes "2old2play has an interesting article up on the recent push for more laws on videogame sales to children. It goes over the history of violent crime amongst teens and how it relates to the new surge in videogame-related legislation. Do laws really help our children or is it ultimately the parents role to decided?" From the article: "I'd say by the time a kid is three or four, he or she should know it's not okay to hit someone else. The child should be aware violence is not an acceptable response. Parents, grandparents, older siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers... anyone older than a child should reinforce certain societal values and traits. Kids should and mostly do know better. I talked with a psychologist who told me children can separate reality from fiction at about nine or ten years of age. Well, "pre-teen" is what he said. At that age, they know what's on TV isn't real, what's in a video game isn't real. Video games are easier; they're basically just moving cartoons."
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Don't Blame The Games, Blame The Parent

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  • Two words. (Score:4, Funny)

    by kunwon1 (795332) * <dave.j.moore@gmail.com> on Thursday May 25, 2006 @02:40PM (#15404339) Homepage
    'No shit!'
    • by creimer (824291) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @02:59PM (#15404522) Homepage
      That's right. My roommate's mother gave me trouble for working on a baseball video game for kids when I was at Atari that forces kids to stay indoors instead of going outside. I told her it was the parent's responsibility to raise their children that they brought into the world by screwing around. That didn't go over too well with her.
    • I'm sorry, but your reply has been rated M, therefore the majority of Slashdot users are forbidden to read it unless their parents do so for them.
  • by MonkeyPaw (8286) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @02:40PM (#15404341) Homepage
    When I was a kid the hype was all about violence in cartoons.. I watched them but I never dropped an anvil or piano on someone (not to say I didn't want rocket-powered roller skates).

    I think people give far less credit to kids and their concepts of reality vs make believe.

    • (not to say I didn't want rocket-powered roller skates).

      You mean they *aren't* real!

      You spoiled my dreams! I'll see you in court!
      • "Hello, Acme Lawyers of Walla Walla Washington? Yes. I was riding my rocket-powered roller skates down the road minding my own business when WHAM I drove straight into a cliff face. The odd thing was I thought it was a tunnel. It sure looked like a tunnel. I saw Winckle sneaking off with a can of paint. I don't even think I would have noticed him were it not for the guy in the bushes playing sneaking music on the oboe. I want to sue him for a million-trillion dollars and a Illudium PU36 Explosive Space Modu
    • And now I notice that they rarely -- if ever -- show the oldie-but-goodie cartoons such as Looney Toons, Tom & Jerry, etc. Maybe it's that there are so many new cartoons that they don't have enough time to show the classics. But it also looks like the cartoon-violence crazies may have won.
      • But instead they have tons of other characters with more realistic weapons causing violence.
      • Re:Old cartoons (Score:2, Informative)

        by hackwrench (573697)
        They've been placed on the Boomerang [cartoonnetwork.com] network.

        The Google entry [google.com] for that page says "Go to Boomerang.com for more information about our 24-hour network for classic cartoons!", but that's a completely unrelated site. It's also in the page's description tag, which is where Google gets it from. Anybody know what happened to that domain?
    • I agree. Kids can handle a lot more than we give them credit for.

      Don't forget, we evolved over many years; most of our history has included pretty tramatic things, like losing one or both parents, maybe getting lost.

      Its nice to have some science in this debate finally; maybe that will quell parents fears. Of course science doesn't seem to stop creationists from presenting their 'theory'.. maybe I'm hoping for too much.
    • Well I did drop a piano on a kid after watching cartoons when I was a kid. He didn't get up and I was scarred for life because of it! I wish my parents would have told me dropping pianos on people would actually hurt them.
    • by GundamFan (848341) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @02:54PM (#15404469)
      That is interesting...

      I remember being lectured over and over as a child that television and cartoons are fiction, I also remember trying to explain to adults that I understood the concept.

      I have always had a very vibrant imagination and a good memeory for detail I think this is why I like science Fiction like Stargate, BSG, B5 and Star Trek... I can ususaly keep the minor details of the setting sorted out (without focusing on how "unrealistic" it all is) which usualy makes these kinds of shows more enjoyable.

      I think grounding your kids too deeply in reality is a bad idea... children need to have there imaginations stimulated otherwise they lose them... having said that parents should do there best to be involved in there childs life for a number of reasons but in this case mostly to make sure they don't get to out of touch with reality.
      • I've known kids who weren't even old enough to speak coherently who clearly understood the difference between reality and not-reality.

        A friend's 2-year-old daughter (a middling-bright, perfectly normal child) would do things like give adults imaginary trinkets, which she would pick out of the air and lay on your open palm. Her mannerisms when doing this were obviously meant to be *mime*, quite different from when she picked up a real object and gave you that.

        She also understood my game of calling a blanket
    • When I was a kid the hype was all about violence in cartoons

      I remember a strong reaction to Dungeons & Dragons. Interesting, really - at that point in time (early 80's) they seemed to think the biggest threat to children was their own imaginations.

      • Didn't you read any of the anti-D&D propaganda? They weren't trying to protect us from anything as innocent as our own imaginations - D&D was a real training program, intended to teach us to cast spells in real life and gently lead us into worshipping Satan!

        *sigh* If only the truth of it had been that exciting...
      • You wouldn't be talking about This tripe [chick.com], would you? I know the URL looks shady, but its some Christian cartoonist.
        • You wouldn't be talking about This tripe, would you?

          Wow, that's really over the top! There was some of this pressure, but it was only at church - where they were pretty much opposed to everything. What I'm talking about is the idea that D&D would somehow make us all become delusional and believe we were living the lives of our game characters, like the main character in Mazes And Monsters [wikipedia.org]. It's loosely based on actual events. (Very loosely.) It's embarrassing to admit just how many people thought this w
    • I played tons of Wolfenstein, Doom, and other such violent games when I was a kid. I don't think it had any affect on me. All my friends were playing the same games, and we didn't turn out that bad. Then again, things are a little different now. Games are now much more realistic, and instead of killing nazis, or demons from hell, we're killing cops. They try to mimic real life much more. I think that games can be bad for kids who already have inadequate parenting, and these are the same kids who will
    • The people who say that games and cartoons are making kids hurt each other, are the same ones that say the Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter are going to destroy Christianity. They are looking for a defense of their insecurities about being a parent, and find them in things that make people think or act differently from how they were raised.
    • I've always had a huge problem with the implications of this argument, and where it has led us.

      When I was a kid, yes, it was all about rocket powered roller skates et al. Slapstick silliness. Violent yes. But also obviously ludicrous, no parallels in the real world.

      What cartoons are presented to kids now though? The ludicrous has been replaced with the realistic. The non-existent anvil has been replaced with the omnipresent gun. There is absolutely blatant and obvious realistic and plausible violence in car
  • It's a shame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aitikin (909209) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @02:43PM (#15404364)
    I've been hearing this from people in the social and psychological fields since shortly after Columbine. The shame is that Jack Thompson and his band of conservaative game haters never heard it or never listened to it. Studies have been done for years that prove this, very few that prove the contrary, and yet only the ones that prove the contrary seem to make the news outside of slashdot and gaming boards.
    • Re:It's a shame (Score:2, Insightful)

      John Stewart said it best when trying to explain why everyone getting main media attention seems to be a nutcase. To paraphrase, he said it was very hard to get a mob to form around you if you stand in the streat and keep screaming "Be reasonable! Just be reasonable!".
      • Re:It's a shame (Score:3, Interesting)

        by esper (11644)
        Yup... There was a guy I went to college with, die-hard Republican, back when the Iran-Contra thing was hot. One of the left-wing groups on campus had a big rally one day to protest it and all the local news stations showed up. This guy rounded up a couple of his buddies and set up across the street to protest against lime jello.

        Hundreds of people protesting a real issue on one side. Three loonies claiming lime Jello should be banned because it killed one of their mothers on the other side. Guess which
    • by Mistshadow2k4 (748958) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @05:03PM (#15405571) Journal

      I've been hearing this a lot too and it's pure BS. In the 70s a young girl took a gun to school and killed several of her classmates. When asked why, "I hate Mondays" was her only reply. (IIRC, a punk rock song came out of that incident.) This girl was not the only student to commit such violence at a school in the 70s. You can't blame GTA or any other violent game for that; all that was available at that time was pinball and the early Atari games. This has been going on longer than there have been violent video games. Why are they focusing on video games being a cause now when this problem obviously began -- and well withing living memory -- before these kind of video games existed?

      Thing is, a lot of people who advocate this are the same age as me or even older so they should remember these incidents too, which makes me wonder what kind of brain-washing techniques the leaders of this movement are using.

  • by madsenj37 (612413) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @02:43PM (#15404365)
    Hitler did not have video games. Neither did Ghengis Khan or Alexander the Great. It is up to the parents to raise their children properly. Kids are a product of their whole environment, not just video games.
    • And sometimes you will still get a violent child. It happens, sometimes. Nature overriding nurture and so forth.
    • Bzzzzzzzt [wikipedia.org]. You lose.
      • Heber's Law: As an online discussion which has invoked Godwin's Law grows longer, the probability that someone will point it out approaches one.
      • Godwins law requires a comparison. IE "Hitler probably would have banned video games". But here Hitler was used as an example of someone who never played video games and still commited violence.
      • I'm really sick of this. Godwin's law states that any discussion long enough will eventually come around to Nazis/Hitler.

        Nobody loses.

        Where did these stupid kids get this idea?

        It even says so in your frickin' link.

        • Further on in the page, it says:
          There is a tradition in many Usenet newsgroups that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress.

          And if you looked at the talkback page, in the section called "good or bad?" you'd see my comment that says that the article's opening focus underemphasizes the tradition that whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress, which is what most peop
    • I am a parent and I plan to be as active as I can in the media that my kids will enjoy.

      That said, I think ratings are a critical tool to help a parent but the current rating systems suck. There really needs to be something more along the lines of an indicator of what the content is rather than some arbitrary scale that means nothing to me. It goes without saying that I do not agree with censorship at all but there should be something to help us understand what the content is so a parent can choose how a
      • Then read closer. There are descriptors, and they're usually more descriptive than the ones the MPAA slaps on movies.
      • I purchased a video game today. The rating tag reads:

        EVERYONE 10+
        E 10+
        Fantasy Violence
        Mild Language
        Mild Suggestive Themes
        Use of Alcohol and Tobacco
        ESRB CONTENT RATING www.esrb.org

        You have to flip the box over to get that as there's just the non-descriptive rating on the front of the box, but that looks pretty good to me. There's usually also some text and screenshots on the packaging that would let a concerned parent know a little about the game. I guess I don't understand where you see the problem.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 25, 2006 @02:50PM (#15404426)
    Blame the game or blame the parent? WTF. It's all of the above and more. Does anyone honestly it's as simplistic as "it's the games fault that Johnny went postal" or "it's his parents fault that Johnny went postal"? Actually I guess there are people that do.

    Listen up folks, regardless of which camp you fall into, you're both wrong. When someone performs such acts it's almost always a complex interaction between many factors. The child themself, their parents, their friends, their environment, all those things factor into how one acts/reacts. There is no such thing as "perfect" parenting. You could apply the exact same parenting style to two different kids and get to very differently behaved kids. Ditto the other factors. What happens is that all these factors play together and if you get the right (or wrong depending on your perspective) then something bad can happen. Blindly trying to blame a single point of failure, while comforting to many, almost never works.

    That is what is so upsetting about both extremes of this debate. On the one side you have folks who want to ban violent video games. On the other (and many on /. fall into this category) are those who claim that the media (including video games) have NOTHING to do with it and responsibility falls on the parents. Both are right and both are wrong.
    • While you have some very valid points, parenting has alot to do with it. The parents of these kids have been poor parents for a long time. It not that there is one correct way to raise a kid, but the leasons they need to learn are the same. These parent have failed to teach there kids how to behave correctly and most cases have lost toutch with them. You have to be a parent from day one.

      If you possibly could blame the games, its because of over exposure to them. Something that proper parenting could co
  • of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alfs boner (963844) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @02:51PM (#15404437) Homepage Journal
    Back in the "old days" it was the Waltz, then there was the Tango, the Charleston and then...

    1950s OH MY GOD THE WORLD IS OVER, Rock and Roll... our children are being corrupted

    1960s OH MY GOD, ELVIS is such a good boy, but those BEATLES

    1970s TV is KILLING my Children

    1980s HORROR MOVIES are KILLING my Children

    1990s NIVARNA are forcing Children to top themselves

    And of course now its Video Games which are forcing Children into a life of violence.

    This is just another great "Aunt Sally" for politicians and "academics" to debate and get money from. If it wasn't this they'd be battering on at Cartoons for glorifying violence (there is nothing in Doom III worse than the violence of Tom and Jerry or Roadrunner). The young are ALWAYS being corrupted in the minds of the elders, and what corrupted them in their youth is now seen as innocent.

    And have you noticed... its always the over 40s who start wars... something must be making them do it.... I blame mugs of hot chocolate.

    And lets not forget when Marge banned "Itchy and Scratchy"

    • Re:of course... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by joe 155 (937621)
      One thing people never mention is when God ordered the death of someone for working on a sunday, now I know I don't have a right to challenge Him; but surely God is more important than a videogame, especially in a country where most people are active in their faith... why did no one say "that kid at columbine had read the bible, people were killed in the bible, it must be the bible's fault, ban the bible" instead they blame Manson (even though they weren't fans anyway).

      Video games are on the whole no mor
      • One thing people never mention is when God ordered the death of someone for working on a sunday, now I know I don't have a right to challenge Him

        Who told you that? If God is wrong, if God orders something you know to be evil, then you not only have the right but also the duty to challenge him. More to the point, if God's officially appointed spokesman on Earth is wrong - because for some reason he doesn't generally do public appearances, but issues statements via intermediaries - then you ought to challen

    • by phorm (591458)
      For those that want a little history, can somebody here dig up some of the good ol' days of D&D witch-hunts? D&D promotes devil-worship, etc etc....
    • Itchy and Scratchy was a criticism towards the hipocricy of extreme right-wing groups and the corruption of the media.

      Like when the women helped Marge in banning Itchy and Scratchy... but then they were scandalized at Michael Angelo's David and Marge was accused of treason. Then the TV company saw this and played Itchy and Scratchy again.

      The same hipocricy and nonsense can be seen in the "conservative christian" groups banning the .xxx domain.

      I also find the entertainment media hipocritical - instead of acc
    • Video games have been a "target" of the "thought police" (as it were) ever since the days when a video game was a large wooden cabinet that you needed to put 20c into in order to play.

      And even before that, electromechanical and mechanical machines of amusment were targets (Pinball was a big target for years).

      I grew up playing games on the Nintendo and on PC (including Doom and C&C) and I am perfectly normal. Oh wait, no-one who posts to slashdot can be perfectly normal :)
    • We didn't start the fire...
  • So in fact, what he's saying is that games arent the greater evil that drives our teens nuts ? That in fact parents should take responsiblity and raise them better... wow, I must be dreaming....

    We have to admit that movies & games *are* getting more and more explicit & gory in days where we actually attempt to control that very same violence. ESRB just being there to relieve the non caring parents from having to decide what's good for their kids or not. Sure I could believe that a mentally challenge
  • Theory 1:
    Back in the old days, parent had other people to rely on, and to some extent get some education on being a parent from.

    Theory 2:
    These days parents have more responsibilities that keep them away from their kids, so they don't get the feel of what a kid really is.

    Theory 3:
    If #2 is true then parents have less of an idea what is appropriate for their kids.

    Theory 4:
    If #1 is true, then new sources should be created to replace the lost ones.
    Question:
    Are parent's incentive to learn and resourc
  • How did Zonk get that title from that blurb???

    On a slightly different topic, how am I supposed to monitor my child all the time to make sure he's not doing violent things, when it takes time away from me playing VIOLENT VIDEOGAMES!
  • Video games are easier; they're basically just moving cartoons.

    If you play modern first person shooters, they can be very realistic. The graphics are superb these days. Not 100% perfect, but far better than 'moving cartoons'. You can get totally immersed in the game and begin to think about the game also when you are not playing it. The level of realism possible will only improve in the future. Obviously the author has never played this sort of game, and ought to try it before claiming to know about games.

    H
  • by Evangelion (2145) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:08PM (#15404594) Homepage

    Dear Random Nobody,

    Okay, you don't like legislation affecting video games, we get it.

    But please, your blog entry comes off as incoherent, at best, and childish at worst.

    a) You start off with a straw man. No legislators are calling for people to burn video games. No legislators are claiming that they're the root of all evil.

    b) You take a quote from someone who runs Common Sense Media [commonsensemedia.org] -- an lobbying organization that also happens to provide rating services -- at face value. In the same article you call journalists lazy.

    c) You mistakenly cite GTA as the "start" of this. "This" has been going on since Doom. GTA3, and Hot Coffee, weren't out when Colubine happened, if you remember.

    d) You waffle, and end up attacking video games yourself by saying "I wouldn't let my children anywhere near one of these games", and that the game sucked. That's like defending Manhunt by saying it was so bad people wouldn't play it.

    e) You talk with "a psychologist". No citations, no refernces, no studies that indicate when a child can seperate reality from fantasy. Just your word.

    f) You commit the fallacy of accident -- just because you haven't been violent, means that video games don't make people violent. That's not proof, that's circumstance.

    g) You site crime statistics that are meaningless in support of your proof. There are well understood reasons why the crime rate dropped nationwide in 1993. This does not preclude, in any way, video games from having a detremental effect.

    h) You "read studies" -- you don't cite, you don't reference, you selectively remember. For someone with an alleged Master's degree, you sure as hell don't know how to form an argument.

    By the way, I live in a province where the government regulates video games and movies. Oddly, I'm still able to go to EB and buy GTA if I want. And my son can't.

    I can't for the life of me figure out why that's bad.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      There are so many things wrong with this post and your "logic" that I wish I could reach over the internet and swat you with a rolled up newspaper.
    • You mistakenly cite GTA as the "start" of this. "This" has been going on since Doom. GTA3, and Hot Coffee, weren't out when Colubine happened, if you remember.

      Since even earlier. Remember the panic about Mortal Kombat? Or the epilepsy scare? Hell, the whole thing can probably be traced at least to the Dungeons & Dragons panic in the seventies and eighties.

  • Rephrase (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:11PM (#15404627) Homepage
    By the time a child is three or four, they should have had beaten into them the idea that hitting someone is not okay.
    • "You want something to cry about? I'll give you something to cry about!"

      My mother said it to me and I plan on saying it to my kid.

      • Sounds good to me too. Some crying is fine, but I've seen kids where the crying is so obviously faked ("crying about nothing" as you imply) that it is annoying that their parents still let themselves be manipulated by it. Deceit and deception should not be encouraged by parents - some kids already have enough internal desire/motivation/reasons to deceive which the parents have to counter.

        All that stuff about kids fragile egos and self-esteem is bullshit (dangerous too IMO).

        Most kids think the world revolves
        • Speaking as a professional dog trainer with 36 years experience... dead on. Dogs and kids are functionally identical in how they behave and learn. Everyday love and attention are good and necessary. But you don't *praise* a dog just for breathing; praise is for *deliberately* doing good. Discouragement (painful if necessary) is for doing bad. And if you want a dog that really loves to work (ie. has high self-esteem and confidence in its own ability), you teach it that the best reward for good work is... mor
  • Solution: Vote (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mr. Sketch (111112) <(mister.sketch) (at) (gmail.com)> on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:19PM (#15404687)
    Seriously, if we have law makers passing this kind of legislation, it is our responsibility to vote them out of office. The article speaks of a generational gap between us (the under 35/40 crowd) and the older crowd. Not surprisingly, it's the older crowd that has the most active voting population, and they vote people in that have their views, which are usually anti-video games. They also have a well organized group (AARP) that feeds them the propaganda that they want to hear so they will write their congressperson and let them know they think violent video games are bad.

    If we want to change this situation, we, as a generation, need to take action and vote out the people who are making these laws. This problem can only be addressed by doing something. We need to vote on election days and write on congressperson every time this issue comes up to let our voice be heard.
  • The shooter is responsible for what he does with his gun. The driver is responsible for what he does with his car, and the individual is responsible for what he does with his games. The eater is responsible for how much mcDonald's he shoves in his maw. I tend to agree. This "get rich quick via torts" mentality is reaching the end of its tenure. People who constantly accuse products and businesses of destroying America and her precious children trivialize real and legit cases of product liability, and g
    • Absolutely.

      In defense of the litigation-happy parents (I sympathize, plus I like to play devil's advocate), what most of the litigation does is simply help parents retain their power of choice for their children. It's hard to raise kids right in a media-crazy world. Unless you throw out the TV and radio and never let them get out of sight, kids are quickly exposed to adult themes that some of them are not emotionally mature enough to understand. The two big ones are sex and violence, of course.

      We're talking
  • Man, give me them good ol' fashioned static cartoons!
  • by vertinox (846076)
    Do laws really help our children or is it ultimately the parents role to decided?

    I thought laws were made to get politicians re-elected?
  • How about we blame both? Saying that it is either one or the other is simplistic and completely ignores the myriad of factors at play here. As it is, the only discussion on the subject is people from each camp yelling about how the games/parents are killing the children/irresponsible wankers. It's a ridiculous argument on both sides.
  • He likes to play World of Warcraft with me (it's really cut to watch him play). When my wife said something to effect that she was worried about the violence, he turned to her and said, "It's not real, mom. It's just pretend."

    If my kid gets it at 5, you can be damn sure every teen-ager out there gets it. It's the ones that don't CARE about the difference between fantasy and reality that should scare you. And video games have nothing to do with it.
    • Ok, obviously that should say "cute to watch him play". Stupid fingers not typing what I tell 'em to...
    • Some people are less mentally stable, less well-reared, and more easily influenced than others. My sister, for example, has had several arguements with me claiming that the Davinci Code (the book, this was back before the movie) was all true and that there's a massive church conspiracy etc etc.

      Some people just can't seem to glean that what they see on TV or read in a book/magazine isn't real. Heck, even I get a bit irate when I see the stuff that happens on certain cop shows (although mainly because the
    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @06:22PM (#15406039)


      There is a difference between conscious recognition that something is "just pretend" and actually not having it effect you, and the fact that someone that is 5, or a teen, or whatever can say "its just pretend" doesn't imply that it is not having a bigger effect on their thinking and behavior than it might on a person with a more mature brain. And there are plenty of studies that support that this is, in fact, generally the case.

      Note: I'm not saying I agree with the mindset that the state should regulate; I believe that parents are the best regulators, and that the role of the state should be to empower parents while not constraining the free flow of content, which is a tough balance to strike. And, further, I think that sheltering kids from "mature" content isn't really the best response. Sure, there needs to be some control, but more important is to prepare them for increasingly mature content and helping them develope the mental facilities to deal with it. All I'm saying is that its a bit naive to say that kids are generally safe because they consciously recognize the distinction between "pretend" and "reality".

      Because sooner or later they are going to run into sex, violence, etc., in art and/or reality, and they ought to be prepared to deal with exposure to it when they do.

  • by PMuse (320639) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:57PM (#15405037)
    Can laws help? Yes, absolutely. What a parent who is doing his/her job needs is a content label that tells them what's in the game (mild language, strong language, extreme sexuality, moderate violence, etc.).

    The first problem ratings, e.g. motion picture ratins, has always been that they don't tell you what's in the film. Instead, they tell you if the film is 'safe' or 'dangerous'. Now, video game ratings are the same way.

    The second problem is that no sooner does a work get labeled than some @$$hat write a law restricting sale/ viewing of works with particular ratings.

    The only law that's worth having here is one mandating content labelling to give partents information. After than, leave it to the parents to decide.
  • Wait for it. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sylver Dragon (445237) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:57PM (#15405040) Journal
    As with most of life's problems, this one will go away if we just wait long enough.
    In 20 years or so, those of us who grew up with video games will be in our 40-50's and in control of most things. The people who grew up in the mists of the dark ages will either be dead or pretty darn close to it. Once that happens we can all agree that video games are not evil and insted work on preventing the corruption of children by whatever new evil has come about by then.
    • Hahahahaaa!

      Boy do I have a surprise for you:

      The current generation is going to turn into their parents, and if there is any change it will be more, not less restrictive.

      Notice how all those weed smokers from the 60s that are in charge now don't allow weed smoking? Even though, if weed was as harmful as claimed, these people should have disqualified themselves as mentaly unfit. Or at least they should have an obvious drool.

      Grade school kids nowdays are supervised every waking moment. A generation ag

      • NO "junk food"

        They've aleady got you beat on this one. Campuses are starting to remove soda mahcines and anything tasty from school menues.
        I weep for the US, it had a good run, but we have managed to rise to decadence and are now working our way to imploding. I expect that we'll go the way of Rome in the next 200 years, we have an economic empire and are running out of areas to conquer, implosion can't be too far off.
  • From TFA: What studies? . . . I'm so tired of people stating their opinion as fact and the media reporting it without context. . . . Do the statistics support his claims? If not, don't give him the headline. . . . Yes, I blame the media... for being irresponsible and lazy.

    You gotta love an article that complains about a lack of studies, but doesn't cite a single study showing lack of correlation between playing violent games and performing violent acts.

    Those overall crime stats are nice, but let's see a st
  • So exactly how is the author of this an expert of child development? Is he or she an expert in violence is society? Maybe they raised several children?

    From his own keyboard "I'm so tired of people stating their opinion as fact and the media reporting it without context. If a guy says that about video games, it's the media's job to do the research.".
    Yet all we get from this guy is his opinion. No studies on any connection between violence and video games or lack there of.
    This article is as valid as one that
  • the sun is hot, and water is wet.
  • In my opinion, our society has created an environment where both parents HAVE to work to live a stable life. Unfortunately, as work hours get longer and work demands get more demanding, they have less time to spend with their children. What do many of these parents do to compensate for not being with their children? Buy whatever they want, give them what they want, etc. But basically supplementing some quality time with material goods.

    Children need guidance and advice from their number 1 source, their

  • While it's true that the ultimate responsibility lies with the parent, this argument is spurious. Just because a kid should know better, does that make it okay for me to sell him something that's potentially dangerous?

    Obviously you can argue the games aren't harmful, but that's not the point this guy seems to be trying to make. His point is, "It's the parents' fault, ergo there shouldn't be laws that prohibit sales to minors." That doesn't follow. By that logic, nothing should be prohibited from being

  • I am the father of an 11 year old. He doesn't play his Playstation 2 on weekdays, and even when he does play, it's only sports games (football is our favorite). No TV until the weekends, and definitely no TV in his room.

    How do kids have all this free time? He's either at practice (soccer, baseball, basketball - whatever is in season) or outside in our backyard playing with the neighborhood kids (or me).

    These parents who complain about TV or videogames just seem a little lazy to me...
  • The problem truly is that a great many parents are just damn lazy. They would much rather have some great overseer take care of the problem then have to deal with it themselves. I cannot count the number of parents I have seen with their children in public who I watched and wondered, who is really in charge of this situation?

    Maybe I was just fortunate enough to have parents who were responsible and actually wanted to know what their kids were doing. I use to complain about my parents monitoring my inte
  • Perhaps there should be laws and regulations preventing just anyone from having kids ;).

    Maybe before anyone is allowed to have kids they must have provably brought up a dog of a not super-compliant breed to be well mannered, not destructive but still not totally cowed (can't have one always running away and hiding). The Regulatory body picks and assigns the dog (you don't get to choose the super easy candidates ;) ).

    If they don't pass, they have to keep paying maintenance for the dog and they don't get a ch
    • And if you don't like dogs you're automatically disqualified from being a parent? Fair enough, I'd rather be childless than have to spend any extended time with a stupid, barking airheaded mutt.
      • There are plenty of other animals. If you don't like any, there's a high chance you don't really like humans that much either.

        Anyway what happens if you end up with a stupid barking airheaded child? There's a chance you might get one of those as a parent.

        Those that just want to pass on their genes can donate their sperm/eggs ;).
      • If you wind up with a "stupid, barking, airheaded mutt", you have already failed the "ability to train something with the mind of a child" test.

        [Speaking as a professional dog trainer with 36 years experience.]

  • Do any of you have any idea how difficult it actually is to be a parent now? Picture this as an example. My 13 year old son has a paper route, and so a stream of income on his own. He can choose to take his check, ride his bike over to the local game store, and buy any game he wants. He can take this home, and play it. What happens if I come by to check on what he's doing? He turns the game off and picks up a book, says "I'm reading". Short of watching a child 24/7, there is no way to make sure they do eve
    • I welcome any law that would prevent a child from buying a violent game. It's not censorship, as anybody who has first ammendment protection can buy the game. I can even buy the game for my child if I think it's okay. The government is not saying what's okay and what's not; that's still up to me.

      You fail.
      By having a law stating that a child cannot buy a game, the Government is the one saying what's okay and what's not. Not you. The government.

      If you don't want your son playing violent games, then you tell

      • ### By having a law stating that a child cannot buy a game, the Government is the one saying what's okay and what's not. Not you. The government.

        Wrong, the government, or whoever would rate the games in the end, isn't saying what is ok and what is not, it would only be a recommendation, nothing more. If a parent thinks his son/daughter is mature enough for some more gory content there is nothing stoping that parent from buying the game for his/her child. The point is that the parent should be the one buying
    • Doesn't hash. If you can't trust your 13-year-old to obey your wishes and not buy GTA6 or whatever, then the solution ISN'T more government meddling. It's making the kid give up the paper route.

      Jobs are good for kids because it teaches them responsibility and some limited measure of independence. If you and/or your kid aren't ready for that then he shouldn't have a job.

Waste not, get your budget cut next year.

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