Well today was rather interesting.  I’ve been watching a lot of videos online of news reports and talk shows bashing video games and mainly saying how they’re too violent and young kids shouldn’t be exposed to them.  This I agree with, as I don’t think a ten year old should be playing games like GTA IV and the COD games of this generation of consoles.  However, there is a rating on them, and that is a “M” rating.  When a product has this rating it specifically says “Mature 17+” on the packaging.  By doing this, there is a rather large hint that the game is not meant for kids, but there are parents who think it’s easier to buy the game and complain about it later.  Why they do this, well I honestly don’t know.  Regardless, they will always be around, condemning modern entertainment but in some cases watching hockey and hoping for a violent fight on the ice (note, those are real people while video games are usually pretty obvious that they’re fake).  So it will go on, parents being anti-video game, condemning them  for whatever reason, and not paying attention to the giant “M” and list of ratings on the back of the box.

Though, is it fully their fault?  Well, I’m going to say no.  I say no because I was in Toys R Us today doing some quick Christmas shopping, and saw a giant poster of Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in the gaming section of the store.  I think we’re all fully aware that it’s a store mainly for kids.  Now, why would there be such blatant advertising for rather violent games in a kids store?  Furthermore, the parent not knowing much about games may assume that because it is in a store for young kids it must be acceptable.  I find it wrong that a store like this, with such a specific demographic would try to sell these types of games to unsuspecting parents.  Granted, the want to make a profit as many ways as possible, but I don’t see them selling Rambo right next to Modern Warfare 3.

Of course, there are a lot of parents who know about games and their ratings and know what their kids can and cannot play, but there are many who still are not willing to learn about video games (and by learning, all you have to do is take a few minutes to read the box, go to the ESRB rating site (they even explain all of their ratings, but it’s worth noting they sometimes aren’t fully accurate, and may over rate just to be on the safe side), and especially by watching a few videos on YouTube to get a feel for the game (many times you can find reviews and/or commentary videos).

At the end of the day, I realize I wrote this because I’m tired of hearing people complain how video games make people violent, are too violent, and other ridiculous accusations about games, especially those who say they make people less intelligent (yes, I actually read an article backed by some sort of research).  As said previously, all you have to do is be involved with your kids and be proactive rather than complain after purchasing something you don’t like.  For whatever reason, stores like Toys R Us seem to think it’s OK to sell and advertise these games in their store, so be warned, they are not really for kids.

All in all, have a happy Holiday season, and please feel free to weigh in on this topic or if you find something to say that’s relatable to it please do.