The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on whether a ban on violent video games should be imposed that enacts fines to anyone who sells or rents violent video games to adolescents under the age of eighteen. Since when did a group of sixty-something have an idea on what a video game is?
I am not a gamer or one that partakes in the continuous playing of video games. I have to admit that I avoid them because I get addicted to the play and lose hours, or days, to the mindless screen. However, there obviously is a market for such things otherwise they would not be produced. That should say more about our society than it does about the designers of the games.
Since the advent of video games, we have had controversy on whether they are healthy for our younger generation. The titles such as Grand Theft Auto, that caused commotion a little over five years ago, to the newer games, such as “Postal 2”, have brought dramatic debate as to what is safe for our children. The objectives of the games are to create as much mayhem as possible and even earning points for unprovoked abuse. Well, that seems like it is teaching the children a mixed lesson but who is to blame? Is it the creators of the games or the parents?
If we, the parents, feel that something is inappropriate for our children to play, then shouldn’t we be the censors? Why do we need the courts to impose legislation that would do the parenting for us? Is this meant to be helpful or to let the government become our de-facto guardians of our youths? Doesn’t this walk a fine line between freedoms of speech in the name of protecting our citizens from what they, the government, thinks is appropriate?
All this brings back the days of the PMRC, the Parents Music Resource Center, which formed to push the conservative agenda to censor music in the late 1980’s. This organization pushed for the government control of what musical content our children could listen to. As with the current issues, shouldn’t the parents be controlling the content?
The very people who want to regulate things that should be left to parents are a group of people who display greed, backstabbing agendas, and over expenditure of funds. How are they qualified to dictate what is right or wrong for each of us. How are they to decide, based on their own personal moral creed, what is good for us? This appears to be a slippery slope that once we start the slide down, our complacency will allow more sweeping laws to be in effect.
Are these games potentially vulgar renditions of violent acts that are inappropriate for adolescence? I can hope that we agree that they are. Could they be teaching our children that there is little consequences to their actions when it comes to violence? Yes, it is easy to shoot someone in a game without realizing the difference between a game and the real world. However, isn’t that our job as parents to filter and explain what is appropriate? If we fail to do so, then we have only ourselves to blame. Pay attention to what your children do, what they play, and get your head out of the sand. It is your responsibility to be a parent, not the government’s.
Until next time…