Post edited 10:04 – Nov 7th 2013 by
I've been trying to post this for a few days and i think everyone has now covered my points esp black73cat.
There are actually three sides to this story.
Yes games can be educational, yes they can improve hand-eye coordination. My 3 year old daughter is a dab hand at the ios devices in our house. From unlocking the devices, entering mine and my wifes passcode and navigating to her apps" (a folder that I have set up on all devices that contains a selection of apps for her age group).
If and when she shows an interest in the Xbox and PlayStation I will wholeheartedly encourage her in this medium – within reason and within a predetermined limit. The same will go for her younger brother.
Are the parents that are completely oblivious to the content they are purchasing. We have all seen them stood in front of us at Game and yes most of us probably have become that kids new nemesis when we have pointed out what content is exactly in the game and the parent has put the game back on the shelf. These people frustrate, not annoy, me as they are not willing to investigate what they are actually buying. After all their 10 year old wouldn't lie to them would they?
Now bear with me on this one as side 3 annoys the hell out of me so much I can feel the rage burning inside me just typing about it. A good example of side 3 is a friend that I have just fallen out with. Here are soime extracts from her facebook statuses the last few weeks:
"Wow, I hate to admit it but I really am enjoying playing GTA V. So glad I bought it for Ben"
"tahnk you to Friend A and Friend B for visiting me today and thank you Call of Duty Black Ops for keeping Ben entertained.
That would be Ben, her son, aged 7
My rage increased further today as she posted a picture of her holding COD Ghosts with the comment of "Yes, I AM a super mummy" – No, no you're not.
Maybe I am over protective but within the first 20 minutes of playing GTA V, I had made the decision that I wouldn't be playing the game IN FRONT of my kids, let alone letting them play it (not that they had any chance of playing it to begin with). It goes without saying that COD would fall in this category too.
I also, like black73cat, don't subscribe to the "they see worse on TV" ethos either. My kids watch Mr Tumble and Jake & The Neverland Pirates. Unless something goes seriously wrong over at Disney and Cbeebies I don't think they see worse in those programs.
What my point is that games are all good and sweet like some gamers like to make out, On the other hand, they are not as evil as the tabloids like to portray either. There has to be, like all other activities, a healthy balanced medium. It's up to us as parents and gamers in Side 1 to ascertain a sensible level and ensure it is adhered to. Side 2 will always be there but education and knowledge will help (a game isn't just a game anymore and those ratings are there for a reason – like a movie).
Unfortunately, whilst there are always Side 3 people around the Daily mail brigade will always have their column inches