As we haven’t had one of these stories for at least two or three months now, let’s all be united in our shock and surprise as somebody else calls for action on the negative impact of video games on the fragile minds of young people.
Putting aside glibness for one or two minutes, the points made by Alison Sheratt of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers are not wholly without merit. Kids are being allowed to play unsuitable, age-restricted video games by their idiot parents and teachers are seeing the result of this in their classrooms. They are understandably upset by this – this does not, however, permit them to presume to stop the rest of us from playing video games intended for adult audiences in the comfort of our own homes.
Puffing yourself up and demanding that the government introduce ‘stringent legislation’ to restrict access to video games, internet content and television programmes is going to do absolutely nothing to end this problem as the responsibility for children’s exposure to media ends squarely and solely with their parents – the self-same group who invariably allow their wee darlings to play “Modern Warfare 3“ because it’s a game like “Wii Sports“ and couldn’t possibly be harmful to little Kyle and Jade.
Let’s state some undeniable facts, shall we? Kids have no money – their parents buy games consoles and TV’s, give their children laptops and mobile devices and purchase the software which runs on them. The software which they buy for these home systems comes with the industry’s self-policing certification system (see the PEGI graphic above).
This means that parents, so keen to scream, shout and bully their way out of being held accountable for anything that their little darlings do, have no excuse about being unaware that the latest “Saints Row“ is totally unsuitable for their offspring. If they choose to ignore ratings, certificates and guidance aimed to help them make informed choices about their children’s entertainment, its a parent’s fault and nobody else’s if their delightful kids then go to school and, through actions and words, make them look like the negligent, incompetent and careless half-wits that they so frequently are these days.
If we need to start doing anything in society, it’s to make feckless and lazy parents own the behaviour of their children and be held legally and morally accountable for their inaction and, let’s be honest, frequent corruptive influence. Everybody shouldn’t have to suffer because some parents can’t be bothered to, you know, parent.