Games often get a bad rap. Especially games that include anything violent, and/or children. They stand accused of causing violence, inciting attacks, and deaths. It’s not always just games either. Music, movies, TV, really all aspects of our media are now rated, controlled and moderated.
The advocates of such measures will tell you it is to protect children, to keep them from becoming desensitized to violence and death, and to prevent such tragedies as the Columbine Shootings, or gun related accidents. But lets face facts here. It’s because parents are lazy. They would rather ban gaming and music outright from kids rather than spend a few hours teaching them the difference between reality and fiction.
There was a case, earlier this year, a young boy shot his friend while playing Call of Duty. He did this with “a semi-automatic that belonged to his parents.”… Now, rationally, what is to blame here? The Game they were playing? or maybe the Parents who not only didn’t bother to teach their child Gun Safety, but also left a LOADED Semi-Automatic weapon where a fucking 12 year old could “pick it up”?
What is almost more disturbing than the blame game parents are playing, which, let’s face it, is nothing more than a more serious version of what kids do with farting, is the shear number of cases were 10-15 year olds are “playing” with guns and someone (usually a friend) ends up dead.
What should be blamed is lack of parental oversight, and effort. Most or all of these accidents are preventable, and gaming could even be the answer.
Instead of demonizing games, parents need to make an effort to play them with their children, not only is this great bonding time that can be fun for both, but it allows the parent to add the one thing that the child lacks… Context. Children are not stupid, nor are they incapable of complex tasks and thoughts.. but they do not have world experience, and that experience is what gives context to the situations around a person.
By using the games to teach kids about gun safety, teamwork, and perseverance, parents turn what could be a negative into a positive. All it takes is a little time, and a little effort.