Thursday, 18 April 2013

Video Games: Do you know what your teenager is playing?

Courtesy of Shutterstock, FireFish45 photostream

Jack went to his friend’s house after school last night, where he told me he was playing the latest ‘Call of Duty’ game. This is one I have heard one of my friends mention before as she is unhappy about her son playing it, so I took a look into what the game involved online.

I found that ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II’ is a very violent first-person shooter game, involving intense torture scenes, strong language and drug references. The player takes part in graphic combat, with a lot of intense, gory parts. The game seems to glorify military conflict, and while the player is mostly cast in the role of the good guy, they also take on the villains’ role in a couple of scenes, giving them the opportunity to do evil.

While I appreciate that this isa game and something that Jack and his friends don’t take seriously  (as Jack keeps pointing out to me with a lot of eye rolling!), I can’t help but feel that this is not a subject matter that should be taken lightly and played by children.

When Jack’s friends are allowed to play the game by their parents however, it makes it difficult for me to say no. Naturally, he wants the game for his up-coming birthday, and keeps nagging me for it. He can play it at his friend’s house without me knowing, so I have to wonder whether there is any point in me fighting with him over him having his own copy.

How have you dealt with your children’s interest in violent video games? Is it something you worry about, or do you think that there is no point stressing over what is essentially ‘just a game’? Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated!

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