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I found this article in my latest issue of GamePro.
Issue #199 April 2005
Page 12 "Teach Your Children"
Although I have a few gaming mags with articles about video game violence, this is the first time I've posted about it. I will type the whole letter in and GamePro's response and then what I think.
Then all of yall are free to comment.
Teach Your Children
I have recently come to a conclusion about violence and video games.
Since before Death Race for the Atari 2600, there has been concern about violence in video games.
Now, the reasons for banning violent video games are admirable, but the cause of violence in society and in children is not video games or any form of media for that matter. It can be argued that much is due it the negligence of some parents who don't take the responsibility for teaching their children right from wrong. When you expect media to teach your children life values rather then taking care yourself to have such discussions with them, there will be problems. Games are not the cause of violence, but if parents would just step in and teach their children that violent behavior is wrong, that concern wouldn't not be an issue. Or better yet, if parents don't want their children to play the games, they shouldn't allow them to. Parents have a responsibility in this situation, and until parents decide to change, nothing else will.
MailGP - Via Internet
There's no substitute for conscientious and loving parenting: That includes imparting the proper knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. Parents are responsible for that, but with technology and culture evolving to rapidly, they can use all the help they can get. This includes the ESRB ratings, proper support for ratings at the retail level, good information (from places like GamePro)*, and responsible gameplay by their gamer children, too.
*that was a shameless plug on GamePro's part, I did not add that in there. All of the above articles were retyped word for word.
Now my thoughts.
Although I do agree that games are not the CAUSE of violence. I do agree that it can contribute to it, Just like movies can. That is why there is a rating system on the games and movies as well. It is up too the retail stores to uphold the ratings of course. For my speech class I did some research on this topic. There was a study conducted where the researchers had different aged kids try and buy games, such as the "TEEN", "M", and rare "AO" ratings. There were about 75% of the kids that were too young to buy such games that were turned away. I know the major stores that started a program for greater awareness of the ESRB ratings include; WalMart, BestBuy, Gamestop chains, and Hastings. The researchers also did some observatory studies in the above mentioned stores and a few other smaller ones. What they saw was that when a kid wanted to buy a game and was too young and therefore turned away, they soon returned with their parent or guardian. This happened about 60% of the time.
This is why the awareness of the ratings is important.
But now about this argument that the video games cause the violence. That is total crap, it is a complete logical fallacy, there is no direct causal link. That is just like saying that the porn industry causes women to be raped. Sure it might contribute to the mind set of the men that do those things, but I think women were being raped long before any sort of pornographic media was made or largely distributed. As were people and youth killing other humans before any type of violent entertainment media.
This is why I think that these arguments and lawsuits should just be dropped and thrown out of court.
Sure the retailer that might have sold the game to an underaged gainer would have a little bit of responsibility in the matter. But there is no way to say that they sold it to him/her.
But the people that sue companies like RockStar, makers of the GTA series, or Bungie, makers of the Halo games, for the death or injury of their precious innocent baby, well they are just crazy and need to wake up. The history and past life of the kid would also have to be considered as would his up bringing. These things would prove to be very difficult to find out and therefore impractical.
The cases are a big waste of everyone's money.
Especially the game companies, because they need it to make more great games.