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Keeping violent video games away from children

by Marc Bennett CNET staff/forum admin / December 5, 2006 7:35 AM PST

Who is most responsible for keeping violent video games away from children?

Parents (tell us why)
Vendors/retailers (tell us why)
Game developers (tell us why)
Federal/local government (tell us why)

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What should be done?
by Hobbit_4 / December 5, 2006 9:21 AM PST

I think that the main responsibility of keeping games away from children is the parent?s responsibility and the responsibility of the Vender/Seller of the Games. Here are the reasons I think so:

For Vendors
1. If the Game is rated M then don?t sell it to people under the age group (I?m in Canada and I don?t know if it?s the same in the US but M is 18+ and these are the majority of the violent games are in this section)? There should be proof of their age if they look younger like picture ID or something? (we have to provide ID for games in Canada)

1. Are responsible for taking care of their children. If you don?t want them to play violent games then don?t let them. I want allowed to play certain games until I was older.
2. If you play Violent games then Hide them from your Children and get non violent video games for them.
3. If you do not want your child to play a violent game, read up on the game, look at the cover of Gears of War for the Xbox360 is rated M and has a picture of big soldier with a huge weapon which has a bloody chainsaw bayonet on it (sorry I am offending any of you, but that?s what?s on the cover)? If that doesn?t give people a hint then nothing will? By the Way Gears of war is a Sci-Fi third person Shooter game? its classified as a action/horror game? (it has aliens or zombies in it I think but I have not looked at it)

I don?t think that getting violent games into the hands of children will stop? Some parents think that those games are ok so there is no stopping them? Then these kids invite their friends over and other kids get interested? (I am looking at the younger teen crowd)? apparently it?s cool to play those games? and some of them are really fun? The first M game I played was Halo? (I love that game, [cant wait till halo 3 or the movie of halo])... and your right I talk on xboxlive while playing M games on my Xbox360 and I hear childrens voices I was surprised at number of them that I have heard.

I don?t think that there is anything that is simple which the government or game developers can do to stop this? If the government bans all of the games then all of older gamers will get mad, and the some of the game developers loose jobs? The developers are making money so what?s motivating them to change what they make? I suppose the Government could make rules? but what? Its not simple?

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Where are the parents?
by Falconias / December 5, 2006 12:31 PM PST
In reply to: What should be done?

While I agree that vendors should not sell mature rated games to people that are under age, the ultimate decision to whether or not a child can play that game is the parents responsibility. What is up with a society that instead of having its parents take greater responsibility for the actions of their children, more and more asks the government to step in and let the parents go back to whatever it is their doing? I'm sure there are some problem kids out there that no matter how good the parents are, would still be problem kids. However my guess is the vast majority of these problem kids would have not have been problem kids if their parents just dealt and paid some attention to them when they needed it. This applies to all aspects of parenting, controlling video games and movies, controlling the food they eat, and figuring out any problems with their child. This increasing neglect of the average child is what is resulting in situations like Columbine and parents sending their children off to so called boot camps because they can no longer control them. The industry and the government have done their part by putting the ratings on these games but ultimately this comes down to the parents.

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by hagosrush / December 5, 2006 1:31 PM PST
In reply to: Where are the parents?

I agree with what was posted. It is a MINOR duty of the gaming industries to keep these violent games out of kids hands. The full responsibility however falls on the parents. The kids may be in the stores for a few minutes at a time, but the people with the most influence are the kids. The parents need to stop lobbying for non-violent games and actually parent.

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Parents responsibility - definitely.
by Helzundi / December 5, 2006 2:35 PM PST
In reply to: Agreed

I am a parent of 2 young girls, and will soon be facing the issues of violent video games, and whether to let them play them or not, and if so, which ones.
Even so, I would never lobby for a blanket ban on violent games.
Likewise, I don't drink, but I don't want alcohol banned. Same with smoking. Same with party pills. Et cetera ad nausium.

Parents who support blanket bans on violent games to protect thier kids, would be the first to complain about police enforced curfues to protect themselves.
But I ask you, really, what is the difference?

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by bayre / December 5, 2006 6:42 PM PST
In reply to: Where are the parents?

It's absolutely the parents who need to take responsibility for their children (as well as the children too). Too many parents have already dumped their kids at schools - daycare - summer camp and the like to get others to take the lead in controlling their progeny. Get rid of the excuses and labels (ADD & ADHD) to help explain why our children behave inappropriately or have little or no respect for anything - and let's get back to basics! If you can't - take a look at history - it's sure to repeat itself!

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Well Said
by bcheihn / December 6, 2006 3:21 AM PST
In reply to: PARENTS

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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by arkie77 / December 6, 2006 7:26 AM PST
In reply to: PARENTS

If you don't want to take the time to keep an eye on your kids and what they're playing on the game systems and what they're watching on t.v. and if you don't want to bother disciplining them, then don't have kids. It takes a lot of time and effort to raise kids. When you have them you not only get them you get the responsibility and privilege of raising them.

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I would be willing to bet you don't have kids
by photobuff55 / December 5, 2006 11:05 PM PST
In reply to: Where are the parents?

Please read my post submitted a few minutes ago. You can't control kids once they are able to drive and earn their own money. You can set a good, decent, moral base and pray they continue, but YOU CAN'T CONTROL THEM. Nor should you. They need to learn to become responsible adults in their own right. That is why the ratings and laws to enforce them become valuable tools in parenting.

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Keeping video games from kids
by jbroberts / December 5, 2006 12:51 PM PST
In reply to: What should be done?

It is time for parents to be parents instead of giving in to every whine and demand. The kids will ask for the moon, but as parents and grandparents we have the responsibility to monitor and restrict them from accessing inappropriate games. Working in the medical community with a wife and two daughters in education I see first hand the kids who can't separate video games from reality. It isn't positive or pretty.

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Proof of age
by Misfire&ice / December 5, 2006 3:24 PM PST
In reply to: What should be done?

I don't mean to be argumentative or rude, but even if proof were required wouldn't they just get around it? You know, the same way they do for cigarettes and alcohol.

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Vidoe Games..Who's fault
by geoffreper / December 5, 2006 11:49 PM PST
In reply to: What should be done?

Parents are to blame for young chldren playing on violent games.WHY?.Because someone that produces either films,dvd's or videogames for the adult population isn't to be held responsible for children getting their hands on them.The onus is on the parent(s)to take responsibility.Ask yourself it someone elses fault if you have an adult film or dvd in your home,and you 5 year old son/daughter gets hold of it,or even an adult magazine? I have grandchildren between the ages of 14 down to 3.If I am playing on a violent video game,and they happen to visit,I turn my pc off immediately,no buts no arguments.If parents are concerned,dont buy them yourself AND DON'T buy them for your children(not even let the child buy them).

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Responsible Parenting
by djbltrn9412 / December 5, 2006 12:28 PM PST

What children learn is what the parents teach by example, instruction and discipline. If a parent wants their child to become violent, parent behavior will likly succeed by demonstrating violence in the home. This transfers to all of the other 'sins' that the parents believe in. Providing the example of what you wish your child to become, however, does not carry with it, that your dreams will be translated with accuracy through the static of todays world of fear and hate.

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I truly resent your message
by photobuff55 / December 5, 2006 11:21 PM PST
In reply to: Responsible Parenting

We have a terrific home. We don't smoke, we don't drink, we don't fight (at least in front of the kids), we have family time, we go to church, we enforce discipline, but in the end it's up to the kid to choose how to live his/her life. My son bought these games on the sly with his own money, and I had no idea at the time because he was very careful to keep it secret, knowing I would not approve. He's fulfilled his "violent" tendencies as an adult, he's now in the US Army serving in Baghdad. But if there had been ratings, and laws to enforce them, he would not have been able to buy them secretly or otherwise. Even good parents need tools and resources to help them! It's not about WHO is responsible. Obviously, in the end, it's the parents. But at some point you cannot control - nor should you - what your older child is doing with their life. IT'S ABOUT HAVING THE TOOLS TO BE A GOOD PARENT.

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Wake up
by jjjonesy / December 6, 2006 3:36 AM PST

If you think you are unable to monitor/control children, you're kidding yourself. You should have been checking on what they were doing behind that closed door of theirs. Playing a game behind your back? - walk over to the console, take the disc out, and snap it in half. They won't keep paying $50 for a game they know will get broken. They're still hiding from you? - cut the electricity to their room. You have to work? - lock the console up until you get home. You have to take an active role, not just sit back and watch them unfold. And if you think he's old enough to choose how to live his life, then out of the house he goes. At that point, he is an adult, his mental development is almost over, and this becomes a moot point.

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Resentment helps release existing tension.
by djbltrn9412 / January 13, 2007 1:54 AM PST

I am happy that you have successfully raised your children in a love filled home and that your child has proceeded through the hedgerows of challenges that children face maturing to adulthood. No family is without these challenges no matter how perfect we try to keep the appropriate environment to accomplish our goals. There is no single answer. My eldest of six was elected to a church vestry three days past his 16th birthday only to become a successfull cocaine addict and dealer at a major western campus. The major lesson seems that we cannot control the future of anyone but ourselves, by our individual decisions and with the knowledge that our individual future rests on the responsibillity we take for our own decisions. It seems that once a child starts walking, they walk towards the level of individual maturity that they choose. Becoming educated can usually only come from making mistakes and realizing that the previously choosen path does not procude the level of maturity that we sought. The same path, whether it be a computer system, a sport, a religious activity or whatever does not produce the same resulting learning and maturation in different individuals - we are different, we are free to choose as individuals and we are responsible for those choices or we don't learn and we don't mature.

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by 9mmammo / December 5, 2006 12:31 PM PST

It always comes down to this, no one wants to be held accountable/responsible. Parents drop kids off at school and expect them to come back full of knowledge and social values. I take that back, where I live they drive up up to the school bus stop in the new H3, with a cup of coffee and still wearing a robe, to drop off their kids. It makes me wonder who we should be sending off to school. I don't want government to further intrude into my life because you can't control your own kids......Grow up!!! Be a Parent!!!!

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Keeping violent video games away from children
by jeff14693 / December 5, 2006 1:17 PM PST

I think that the main responsibility of keeping games away from children is the parent?s part of how you want to raise your kids,games have never made me go out and do stupid thing's jeff

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This one is obvious
by westred / December 5, 2006 1:29 PM PST

Parents, parents,parents. As the media world keeps thowing out trashy and explicit games and other media driven "entertainment",
parents have to take responsibility of monitoring what their kids are playing or watching. We all know that sex and violence sells! And we also know that the government isn't going to control it. Just look at the parental advisory warning that come on CD's. Since their inception, it only helped kids with no parental control to find the most outragous and yes "dangerous" media.

Parents are the ultimate answer to this question, but I question if there are enough parents out there with the patience and moral fiber to help their kids make the right choses. It is becoming less and less as the U.S. becomes more and more a ME society and worries more about pleasing themselves and just giving kids $$ to get them out of thier hair. It's not easy being a responsible parent in the days we live in!

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Parental Resposibility
by JonJontheMighty / December 5, 2006 1:50 PM PST
In reply to: This one is obvious

?Parents are the ultimate answer to this question, but I question if there are enough parents out there with the patience and moral fiber to help their kids make the right choices!?
Half right my friend; the people who chose to have children are totally responsible for their offspring and hold ?the Childs? entire future within their own hands.
They should be held fully culpable for any 'misdemeanors'.
The ?clay? is molded to your own personal choice.
It is the responsibility of the Parent at all times; children can only respond to the quality input supplied i.e. good input equates to good kids?
The designers of the ?product? are the only ones accountable.

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Parents are always and fully responsible for their children
by colossians128 / December 5, 2006 10:09 PM PST
In reply to: Parental Resposibility

(Pro 22:6 NET.) Train a child in the way that he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.

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Tough Decisions
by rkbush / December 5, 2006 1:54 PM PST

I joined virtually no one saying I thought regulation of violent games should by federal/local governments. Being long past my "salad" days, I have seen a good deal of life. There is NO WAY any of the other methods would work. Even government would probably fail. I remember during the 1960's when I was in college--we all were amazed at how our parent's world was so screwed-up...war, poverty, lack of food, housing--all the social issues--were unsolved. Over time, we slid off our "high horse" and slowly began to see how many of life's problems--which seem so easily fixed--cure poverty with money, etc.--were DAMN HARD to solve! The vagaries of life's winding path eventually overtakes most of us. But, look at the college students of today...ANGERED and defiant at how so many generations had failed so miserably! Simple things--solved by just MAKING it happen. I wish it was that easy, I still hope for solutions. They would come quicker if no one raved about simplistic solutions. Nothing will stop children from getting these games. Did you ever drink a beer before you were 21 (or 18)?

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Just like when solving any other real problem...
by genotypewriter / December 5, 2006 1:57 PM PST

... a collective effort is needed. Take alcohol for an example... if it's just the parents that who oppose kids drinking but shops are allowed to legally supply it to kids it's not going to work. Kids aren't with their parents/guardians most of the time anyway so they have enough chances to do things unsuitable for their ages. Either way older kids can always buy games for younger kids but if kids have their own money to spend on video games (i.e. after considering the prices of these) then the lack of maturity shouldn't be that much of a problem. To get back to the point... parents are responsible by default, vendors are responsible just like when it comes to selling alcohol to minors, and the government's responsible to ensure that there are heavy penalties on vendors who sell games to kids who're not old enough to play them.

Age-wise restrictions are the current generation's solution to these matters. What the world really needs are scientific methods to measure the maturity of people/children... that and parents who can set examples of human values... yes, both ideas seem too far fetched but if they accomplish the first, there might be hope for the second.

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What the world needs are responsible parents
by Ladymaggic / December 5, 2006 2:58 PM PST

I would hate to even try and list the students I know whose parents give them computers, often with Internet too, and allow the student to use the Computers as they wish in their private bedrooms, as firstly, it keeps the students out of their parents hair, and secondly, it is far too difficult for parents to start making rules and restrictions, on children who have been able to do what they wish most of their lives.

So the start should be with parents assuming responsibility for what their children do...from a very early age. Its impossible to suddenly start controlling what the students do when most parents have totally lost control of their kids anyway.
Those that haven't, have responsible kids, and they are not the ones I am referring to. There are many well trained and well loved kids who are still under their parent's rules.

Anything in excess is not good, and this is where the situation is today..If you want to control what your children are using, you have to start controlling when they are young enough to listen and respect what you say.
Expecting schools to do parental work is a hoot...parents keep passing the buck to schools to try and fix the unfixable..

Get the computers out of hidden rooms, into open studies and lounges where parents can keep some sort of eye on what the children are doing..That is the start..

Advice from a responsible teacher, who cannot control what students do anymore either.
It has to be started before the kids come to school...

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by jdbwar07 / December 6, 2006 5:18 PM PST

Well, I seriously disagree video games are like alcohol. A harmful, addictive substance that destroys brain cells and actually does cause violent behavior is something completely different. Besides, kids are mostly attracted to it because it is forbidden. In some European countries kids are allowed to buy it (even if only for parents) and teens drink some with their family (in moderation). There it's no big deal, since it's something ordinary kids aren't considered cool or hip for stealing it or drinking it. It loses its appeal. I'm not saying we should do this, however alcohol does actually kill, no one drives home drunk on video games and crashes their car because of Halo.

Also, it's not likely (if possible) for a parent, who's kid lives in the same house, to not keep track of what they're doing. There's always a way. If they keep buying unwanted video games with their allowance, just stop giving them money to buy stuff with. If it's a teenager with a job that allows them to get $50 games with their own money, then they're probably responsible and mature enough anyway. It's easy to install filtering software, or watch what someone's doing on a computer or console.

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Missed it
by genotypewriter / December 6, 2006 10:00 PM PST
In reply to: Reply

I meant the problem of kids getting their hands on things they shouldn't for their age, i.e. in video game's case, can be handled the way alcohol is handled (at least in most countries).

Talking about how video games are like/not like alcohol in their effect on people is no where near relevant to what I said. And how the hell does it make it okay to let children acquire things they shouldn't for their age, just because some country does it? Apart from missing the point you're also making invalid excuses. And I did say that if kids can afford their own games they probably have some maturity in them... thanks for restating that.

No... kids aren't going to crash their cars and die because they were high on video games... in most countries kids aren't allowed to drive real vehicles on public roads in the first place. But remember that stupid people don't come from thin air... they were once stupid kids too. And stupid kids don't know what's a video game and what's real life. It's their lack of intelligence that causes them to not realise this... that there are people in real life who actually value their own lives too.

Obviously there are kids who are a lot mature than people sometimes 10 years (or more) older than them. They won't become anything less by playing any video game... infact, it might even make them more mature. It's the kids with low intelligence and a lack of values that people have to worry about. And these kids probably think there's nothing wrong in playing video games that aren't suitable for their ages too.

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Keeping violent video games away from children
by Lophura / December 5, 2006 2:55 PM PST

i think everyone involved with creating/manufacturing/distributing is responsible right alongside parents. 100 years ago there wasn't this much readily available exposure to violence (and other elements that children need parental help with). not like it is today, and not by a long shot. there are countless new challenges for parents living today. it's not fair to ask them to face them all without help from us as a society...the society that created them in the first place.

as far as games go, i think developers need to understand the ramifications of what they are doing and fully disclose all content to the esrb, producers/manufacturers need to label titles clearly and accurately, stores need to control access to games as much as they do everything else that has age restrictions, and parents are unfortunately required to be more proactive to ensure their children are being exposed only to what they think is proper for them to be exposed to.

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Keeping violent video games away from children
by yogi_bear_2k2 / December 5, 2006 3:18 PM PST

Personally, i don't think it is right to keep children away from violent video games. Children get more violence in the school playground than they will ever get from a pixel!! And it is less harmfull! I think children should be able to make up their own minds about what they want to play! They are very intelligent!! My step grandson, who is 10, has been playing games for so called over 18 since he was 7! And i truly beleive it has done him good!! It has made him stronger as a person and set him in good stead! So, no, please dont take video games from our children. THIS is what causes anarchy!!

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Violence is not caused by video games
by Misfire&ice / December 5, 2006 3:22 PM PST

Violence isn't caused by video games, movies or any other "influence". It is caused by anger which is fueled by neglect or a need for attention. If parents paid more attention to their children and cared for their needs not only would buying violent games not be an issue but there wouldn't be a market for them. If your child wants to buy one of the violent video games ask them why? Perhaps your child has issues you might need to address, whether it is an issue you have caused or an issue that has sprung from outside the home (school or friends).

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Video games ARE causing violence
by robertopaolozzi / December 5, 2006 4:20 PM PST

Here's why: Our brain is trainable - even subconsciously. The more our brain experiences violent scenes, even unreal ones, the more it accepts them as plausible. If you think watching people hacking other people to bits is good for a child's mental health or doesn't impact it at all then I'm sorry but you're mad.

Now of course you can say that there are other reasons that make kids go off the right path and I agree but if we can't tackle all problems at the same time we'll have to do it bit by bit...banning these games from our society if as tough as getting rid of smoking, yet with the right determination it IS achievable.

Who is responsible for the limitation of these sick productions? Well it would be easy to just point the finger at the parents again but let's face it - looking around in certain neighbourhoods the parents are worse than their kids so we might as well make the goat responsible for the garden.

Only if these games will no longer be produced and sold will they disappear from the scene.

In the end it will have to be the government who has to put stricter laws in place and take action against the firms that produce them.

Maybe they won't disappear completely but at least they would not be available from every supermarket shelve anymore.

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Violence has been around WAY before video games hit the scen
by asktheadmin / December 6, 2006 3:04 AM PST

If you know anything about history, you know that eras are marked by wars. Violence is as common as people, and it isn't going to change anytime soon. Maybe when adults stop killing each other for whatever reason, then it may be time to cut the violent video games. But America, and every other country in the world, were built and organized through murder, rape, genocide and other atrocities. Most of the countries and governments of the world have been ensconed in blood and guts. As a matter of fact, the worst wars in history were religious. Does this mean that we need to ban kids from churches?

So to try to insulate your kids from video games is totally specious, as all they have to do to see violence all day long is to turn on the news or a stupid talk show or stupid "Judge Slap-Em" show. If your kid is going to be influenced to be a violent attacker or killer by playing a video game, I don't think the kid is too stable and/or the parent(s) aren't doing their job. Every study that I've seen on the video games have not been able to link any real cause-effect relationship between kids playing violent video games and perpetrating violence. I let my kid play them, but I do limit his playing time for other reasons. The bottom line is that while you don't want to turn your children into adults before it is time, you don't want to hide them from reality either. No use in having your kids believe all that lovey-dovey B.S. P.R. that we get from television for them to eventually have to do a mind flush and embrace reality...

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