Famously satirised in the Simpsons, the idea that the ‘children’ need to be protected from the big bad wolf of adult material and entertainment whether this be violence or sex, has been repeated by many anti gaming groups for decades now. However what these same people seem to forget is that they aren’t thinking of the children themselves. They always point the finger at someone else for their own inadequacy as parents. We need to ask the parents’ questions such as how they were able to buy this, were it done under your credit card and why did you not know they were playing it?
Apathy amongst retailers is a major contributing factor to kids gaining access to these products but in these modern day and age, kids are now so fat they can barely walk. So instead they find solace at home on the computer and shock, wouldn’t you know they came across online retailers. Amazon and Play.com don’t vet whose buying their stuff. All they care about, and rightly so, is if your credit card works. So if a child buys a product online with your credit card, and you’re complaining that violent video games are too easy to access by underage kids, then you sir are a colossal dipshit.
Many point to games being the primary cause of gun violence. Whilst this is yet to be proven (spoiler alert, it never will) many seem to forget that the recurring theme across gun massacres is that they all used guns. It’s in the name. In this day and age, we seem to think it’s okay to shift blame and point the finger at someone else to protect ourselves and think we’re good people as a result. A survey of people who are involved with the ESRB found that 14% understood the guidelines, 38% had no clue about the video game rating system and yet 68% believed the ESRB was poor in its goal of preventing children from access to products that were not appropriate to their age. It’s pathetic to think I actually like the idea of the ESRB but the taint of idiocracy and moronic people working for it just pisses me off.
Violence and entertainment will always exist. Contrary to popular belief, we won’t end like Alex from Clockwork Orange or the numerous gun murders who happen to play video games. Parents and anti-gaming advocates need to remember that games can contribute to the behaviour of a child. However neglect, abuse and even actual violence can be so much more influential on how fucked up a child can be. Videogames have, at least to me, been a place in which I can find solace and intellectual stimulation. I don’t play videogames to inspire me to commit murder in real life. If parents understood this then maybe we won’t have video games being blamed for loners whose problems are caused by other factors. Maybe those problems will be dealt with and maybe, we won’t have to fear a game burning like in the USA.
Yes we do think about the children…as people who should be respected, not foundations for a poorly based and thought out argument. I wonder how someone keeps them entertained knowing they’re the only sane person left on the planet.