It’s not the games, it’s the parents

I was reading another scare story on the BBC today about how:

more than 75% of parents are concerned about the content of video games played by their childrenBBC News

Sorry? In every computer games shop I’ve ever been into in the last ten years, I’ve seen staff refusing to sell children games on at least one occassion because the children weren’t old enough for the age rating of the game.

If the bloody parents didn’t buy them the age-inappropriate games in the first place, they wouldn’t be playing them, would they? But far too often I have seen parents in games shops, with an eleven year old kid in tow buying the latest blood and guts Doom clone for their offspring, because they’ve said they will buy them a game, and seem to blissfully ignore the fact that it’s 18-rated.

Try this one: would I be happy to let my four year old watch Postman Pat or something with a name like Cannibal Vixen Flesh Eating Zombie Holocaust? Would I take him to see a film at the cinema classified as “suitable for all” or would I take him to see one “for over 18s only”? Well, as I’m a responsible parent (or at least I’d like to think so), I’d be going for the first option in each case.

It’s why I’ll let my boys play Wii Sports but not Resident Evil 4…

The problem is that a lot of adults walk around with their brains switched off. They see “computer game” and immediately register “fine for the kiddies”, despite the fact it’s marked 18 and got some flesh-eating zombie on the front of the box. Alternatively they’ll let their children watch (or read) Manga because it’s a cartoon (or comic), oblivious to the fact that it’s generally got a remarkably high sex-and-violence count.

The sooner that parents get their heads around the idea that if it’s got an age rating on it you should take note as opposed to living in some cotton-wool padded dreamland where anything in a comic strip or on a computer game is perfectly acceptable to kids, the better off they’d be. It would maybe also help if they took an interest in their children, because then they’d know the sort of games their children were playing with.

Maybe then they’d accept that they actually ought to accept some of the responsibility for what games they buy their children? If you wouldn’t pay for your children to go and see Night of the Living Flesh Axe Murderer VII: Extended Gore Edition (rated 18), then don’t bloody well buy them an 18-rated game. Or, if you do choose to let them watch/play that, don’t bloody well complain about it afterwards…

4 Responses to “It’s not the games, it’s the parents”

  1. Cosmin responds:

    This is just like the chimpanzee that smoked 2 packs of cigarettes every day. It quit smoking after the caretakers stopped buying it cigarettes.

  2. mark fairlamb responds:

    may as well buy them 2l of white lightning and kick them out onto the street at 11pm.
    with a knife

  3. Rob Mason responds:

    Cannibal Vixen Flesh Eating Zombie Holocaust is like my favourite game ever, isn’t it?

  4. Collegue Man responds:

    Yes but don’t we live in a society where everything is someone elses fault, I mean parents can’t sue themselves for little Johnny tuning out how he does it has to be the fault of films/games/school/McDonalds delete as appropriate, personal responsibility is overrated anyway.

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