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“Common Decency”

This video was brought to my attention by another avid gamer friend of mine:

Once again, the debate rages on regarding the pros and cons of video games. Again, my bias of a gamer should be clear however I must completely agree with the first gentleman. There is no question that violence in ALL media is on the rise but what disturbs me about this debate was how readily the non-violent alternative video games were laughed at and not given a second thought. The statements are clear:

Retailers must, by law, prohibit sales of Mature rated games to minors.

There are plenty, loads, tons, and even stacks of games that are suitable for audiences of ALL ages.

To those curious, the “airport scene” described in the video is from the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. This game indeed has a “Mature” rating from the ESRB. Furthermore, the game explicitly allows you, at any time, to skip this “mission” without penalty. In otherwords, for a minor to be exposed to this scene, he/she would need an adult to first buy the game, then a console with unlocked parental controls, then make the decision to play the particular scene. I agree, from experience, that the scene is heart wrenching but I do not see how a child would be able to access the content without parental consent.

One can also not simply discredit an entire industry due to a few products. You can not say movies are evil because they allow the Saw series. Does anyone remember Wii Sports? I seem to recall both adults and children having fun together on the new console from Nintendo. Wii Fit had a lesser but similar effect on bringing parents and children together in the video game world. I would like to emphasize that there are many games like this that both the young and old can enjoy. A “steady diet” of video games will not necessarily cause an impressionable mind to acquire the effects mentioned by Julie in the video. If video games were the true problem, how could educators use the concept so succussfully? I would hypothesize that these symptoms described in the video, especially depression and low self esteem, comes from the lack of parental involvement, not the video games themselves.

I also found this shortly after. Numerous statistics within the video game industry. Of particular interest is the sales by rating and average age.

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