Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Video Games and the government:

Today on Capitol Hill hearings are being held in regards to the sale of violent video games to minors. As someone who has played video games since he was a minor and has a son who likes to play video games I think the governments attempt to put restrictions on the industry is a waste of time and an insult to the people who play these games.

It’s obvious that those trying to control the industry are people that have never picked up a controller or installed a game on their computer. Studies have shown that children who play video games not only show no signs of increased violence but also have shown to have a higher IQ and a better ability to solve complex problems. They have also shown, not surprisingly, to have better reflexes.

I actually have two problems with the attacks on the video game industry. First I view these attacks as further proof of a government that feels parents are incapable of raising their own children. As a parent I can say it is impossible for my son to play any game without me knowing. Unless you’re completely brain-dead as a parent you know what your child is playing. If you’re uncomfortable at that point you can take the game away. You don’t need the government to try and control content because it feels it’s not suitable because frankly most people who play these games are over the age 18 anyway and those that are not have parents that are fully capable of running their own households.

My final problem is the idea that violent games make kids violent. To buy into this theory is an insult to the children it attempts to protect. To believe this then you have to also believe that children who play games involving space aliens must then think aliens are also real. To believe this you have to then believe that children who play games involving super heroes must believe that at any moment a super hero could swoop down from the sky in real life to save the day from the evil villain who is about to attack their city. To believe this then you must also think that these children believe toys get up and talk when they’re not around and in a land far away is an ogre who married a princess.

Just like kids know that ogres, aliens and super heroes are not real they understand violent games are just games.

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