In pleasantly shocking news, mainstream media outlet The Star-Gazette reports today that parents, not videogames, are responsible for the development of their own children. I'm sure you're reeling from the shock of such an announcement, so I'll give you a minute to let that sink in. Everyone good to go? OK, moving on.
A concerned parent, displaying a disturbing aptitude for regurgitating prime time factoids and an inability to communicate with her own child, wrote in with this question:
Without my approval, my ex-husband gave our 11-year old son, Clayton, video games for Christmas. My son has wanted them, but I resisted. Now he hardly stops for food, and he's fighting his school routine. I've heard that doctors consider video games addictive, and think I should take them away, but this would cause a fight I don't need with him or his dad. I e-mailed his teacher about the "addiction" aspect. She says some games might lead to violent behavior but doesn't know about addiction. Can kids get addicted to video games?
Ignore for a moment the fact that, seemingly at her wits end, this mother turned to a small newspaper in New York for advice and reflect instead on the greater issue here. When faced with adversity with her kid, rather then trying to determine a fair, effective way make him respect her wishes (or pill him up, whatever), the parent immediately lays blame at the feet of games.
Now granted, a child growing out of their younger years and into adolescence, losing interest in things they previously enjoyed, and focusing instead on a world many parents know nothing about can be incredibly scary. However, to immediately assume that the media itself is to blame rather than an inability to command respect from an 11 year old is not only moronic, but dangerous.
Children are like animals you see, plain and simple. A moral compass doesn't come standard with every baby last time I checked, and to shift blame from yourself as a parent to an inanimate object for a failure to raise a child correctly is likely the best way to start churning out beastly sociopaths (we'll know for sure once they've fully matured). While an army of children devoid of ethics and morals trained in virtual combat sounds pretty cool, it is unfortunately not really conducive to the continued survival of mankind. Sorry folks.
Thankfully, it seems like at least some of the mainstream media are starting get with the program and are doling out rational advice. Heres to hoping a majority of parents follow suit in short order.
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