Pac-Man Made Me Do It

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…

© 2010


4 Comments on Pac-Man Made Me Do It

  1. Honestly I think you hit the nail on the head with this! Parents do need to take more accountability for what their children do and see. They need to actually be involved in their children’s lives and know what they are doing, who their friends are, what they are watching and where they are and even check to make sure they are where they say they are. Being a parent isn’t easy especially in today’s society with both parents working and everyone so busy, but it can be very rewarding if its done correctly. I think one of the big problems is that parents are too busy trying to be their child’s friend rather than their parent. Its tough to hear that you are the “Meanest Mother(or Father) EVER!!” LOL

  2. Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  3. Coming from someone that is prime age for having children in the next generation, I often pause to think hard about having children. Every generation gets harder to censor with the mass movement and spread of media. I agree %100 that it is the parents that are responsible for our children, not the government. Being raised by very artistic parents, we were not shunned from different types of creativity but embraced it for what it is. My parents were always there to explain people’s different type of self-expression. Be yet a painting, a nude sculpture, Graphic movie or a video game, I always had them over my shoulder in one shape or form. Unfortunately, many children don’t have parents there for them. They believe it is the government’s responsibility to censor, educate and even feed them in many cases. For these parents, I feel sorry for, but understand where a little extra help could come in handy. This is still not an excuse! Parenting, from a nonparent humbled opinion, is something that is not taken lightly. It can create a family when people are ready and destroy one when they not. In the meantime, I’m still pausing to think of the children that I have not yet had. Will I always be there over their shoulder enough? To take the sharp object out of the hands, stop the horror movie, look through the music they listen to, take the cigarette out of their mouth and destroy the video game that should not have been in my house. I just hope one day more people that should have children do and people that should not…. Pause and think about it.

  4. It’s hard to be a good parent, yet easy to donate your DNA (and that’s not a sexist comment – it applies as much to women as it does men). Too many people are putting their own lives, social agendas and careers ahead of the development of their children. It’s really disgusting when you get down to it. Children need supervision and interaction with their parents, a true and honest dialogue about life, what it means and how it can be lived to the fullest. Parenting is not the job of PS3, the internet, or 400+ channels of cable – it’s the job of the people who chose to create each individual life (and don’t even get me started on the Duggars). The job of parent never ends, just ebbs and flows. The rewards (and perils) are endless.

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