For some odd reason, I was actually sitting down yesterday watching the news instead of preschooler programming. They had this interesting piece on video games. I'll try to explain as best I can:
Some people in California were trying to pass legislation saying that you had to show ID to buy appropriate video games (like they do at the movies). They also explained of how they rated the games, which sort of grossed me out.
Teen- games where there is killing, and little to no blood
Mature- games where there is killing and excessive amount of blood
Adults Only- games where there is killing, excessive blood and sexual abuse
What? Did I just hear that last part right? Sexual abuse? I asked Greg if there were actual games that depicted that. He said that the game player wasn't actually doing the abusing, but in the video game story, there might be depictions of sexual assualt.
Also, there was a panel of 6 people who decide these ratings, and the video game corporations only have to give a snipet of the video game violence, instead of showing all of it. It was weird that the panel of people was never revealed. I can imagine it's a panel of 6 moms who resemble Betty Crocker, and close their eyes, and peak through their fingers at these violent parts. Or maybe it's a panel of 6 burly men who shout the whole time, "More shooting, more blood!" This is only a theory though.
Back to the legislation, they conducted a study to see if there was a connection between excessively violent video games and heightened violence in the schools or public domain. They didn't find a strong corrolation. My thought: just because we (mostly Americans) are desensitized to violence doesn't make us all axe murderers, just as most Europeans are desensitized to sex does not make them all sexual deviants. (But I agree there are definitely some kids out there who have a hard time drawing the line between fantasy and reality)
One worrying fact they did show: The gaming industry makes $26 billion a year on games, compared to $10 billion in movies. The scary thing is though that instead of watching a violent 2 hour movie, they are spending 30 to 40 hours playing a violent video game.
California finally decided that it was the responsibility of the parents to sensor what they bought their children to play. Some people weren't happy about that. But mostly all people will never be happy with what the government does. The people cry for less government in their lives and get mad when it doesn't work out to their advantage, so they cry out for more government in their lives and then claim that Big Brother is smothering them.
When decisions are sometimes left to adults, they aren't always the best ones. I was always a little bit bothered when I would ask my 3rd graders what their favorite movie was and they would reply, "Saw 3". What? Your parents took you to that movie? I guess since I never had the desire to see that kind of movie, I would assume a 9-year old wouldn't either.
I guess we'll see what Greg and I do when Nolan gets to be a teen and begs for the latest and greatest video game. But probably by that time, video games might be taboo and playing outside will be popular again...yeah, I know, in my dreams.
***If you google "violent video games" there is a ton of research done on the topic. Haven't read any of it, just found this interesting***