Same moral panic, different day.

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Read the fricking label?

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.

Quel surprise.

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.

 

 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Same moral panic, different day.

  1. I have written my share on the same subject many times myself and so many more have too. It’s so sad that we have to keep returning to it. It’s not like the rating system isn’t in everyone’s face. There is no excuse what so ever to blame violence on games. Like you said, the blame is on the parent.
    Hell, even when I was a kid my parents monitored the movies I watched and the music I listened to. While they didn’t approve all the media I enjoyed, the more ‘hardcore’ of it they would take the time to sit with me and explain it in context (I was going to watch it/listen to it anyways). Morality and wrong and right was explained and I am a better person for it. If a parent must let their kid play some of these games, at least take the time to talk to your kids about it.

    • This is the problem, isn’t it? We’ve got so many parents who don’t want to parent – and it’s these guys who seem like they’re the first ones to point the finger and decry bad behaviour in others. I’ve lost count of the times that I’ve been in a branch of the nearly-deceased GAME chain of video game stores in the UK and seen a parent or ostensibly responsible adult buying “Call of Duty” or another FPS for a pre-teen son.

      And these are the guys who will never take the time to contextualise the violence in a game like this as being comic book/action movie derived – and wouldn’t know a parental lock if it punched them in the chops.

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