Video Game Violence in the news…again
The timing of GTA V’s release couldn’t have been better if you’re against violence in video games. With the tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard spurring up yet another round of “violence in video games” articles and segments in the news, GTA V is at the forefront. It’s perfect, since the series already has a long running history as a scapegoat for mainstream media.
Fortunately, there are people out there who are fighting the misinformation that gets distributed. People like Patrick Scott Patterson are taking a stand, and speaking out on behalf of games. Watch this clip from a segment he appeared on yesterday:
I can’t say I disagree with the good Dr. But, she’s not taking into account PSP’s BIGGEST point: parents have to take responsibility.
My kids play video games. Some parents would disagree with the fact that I let my three and four year old play games. They’re too “violent”, they need to be playing outside instead, it’s going to make them socially inept.
Really? I fail to see how this is true. I mean, my kids aren’t playing GTA or anything like Conker’s Bad Fur Day. I’m not going to let them. Because, it’s MY responsibility to make sure they don’t. I’M the parent. And when it’s not 107 degrees outside, they’re out there, playing with their toys and using their imaginations. Because I want them to have imaginations and experience things in real life. They have lots of friends. They go to playgroups and school. Because I sign them up and take them. I’M the parent. And as the parent, I want them not only to be gamers, but to be well rounded individuals.
Too many times have I seen parents either being too controlling “helicopter” or “tiger” parents, which drives their kids away, or “hands off”, leaving their kids to do whatever they please. How to parent will always be a debate, and really there’s no one true way to parent a child. But, I think it’s agreed, that there are ratings for a reason, and no matter your parenting style, you should adhere to them. If a movie like “Human Centipede” comes out, are you going to let your 12 year old watch it? (If you do, then maybe there are more serious issues than parenting here.) Most parents would say “Hell NO” to this. But, some of these same parents let that same 12 year old play GTA: San Andreas, whose rating was originally M (17+), and was changed to AO (Adults Only), and then accuse the GAME and DEVELOPERS for warping their children’s minds. Why are parents more lax with letting their kids play these games with obviously adult ratings, but more harsh with criticising them?
GTA:SA was changed to AO because of Hot Coffee, which was a virtual minigame in which a sex act with virtual clothes ON was played. Human Centipede was about a crazed doctor who sewed people mouth to anus in a chain. Which one is more disturbing? Yes, HC did get a lot of attention, but I didn’t hear many parents saying their kids watched it, either. There were plenty of accounts where parents were critical with GTA:SA, after THEY let their children play them.
Video games, like movies, television, and music, are popular forms of entertainment. If a crazed individual does something stupid and violent, chances are they have played a violent video game. There’s also a huge chance that they watched violent movies, saw violence on television, and listened to music with violent lyrics. Let’s stop putting the blame on the entertainment, and start taking responsibility for ourselves. If you don’t want your kids playing violent video games, then look at the ratings. Stay informed. It’s hard to say that you may have made a bad decision, especially when you’re a parent, but don’t blame everybody else.