Post # 1
(I don’t want this to turn into a crazy debate)
At dinner at a friend’s house recently, her 4 year-old son was playing Call Of Duty. I don’t have kids yet, so I had never thought about it, but I thought it was kinda young. Got me wondering…what age do you think it is appropriate to let your kids play violent video games?
ETA: How I define “violent” is something with excessive blood or gore, generally most first person shooters, or excessive crime. Comment with how you define violent!! =)
Post # 3
@ChuckNorris: Wow! The most violent games my 7 & 8 years olds play are Star Wars light saber battle games and Skylanders. We’re not even going there with the more violent stuff for at least a couple more years.
Post # 4
I said 14-16, though I don’t think I would allow my child to play them in our house at all.
Post # 5
It depends what you mean by violent. My son’s a young teenager and I don’t let him play the most violent games. I don’t know much about Call of Duty but I suspect that would be a “no”. Before he was about 9 I wouldn’t let him play anything remotely violent. A 4 year old playing a realistic war game? Not a chance!
Now he plays games where characters die or there are car crashes and that’s ok. He hasn’t asked about shooting games but it would probably depend on the game. If the rating was ok for his age I would probably allow it.
EDIT: I did a bit of a google. Call of Duty Black Ops II includes graphic decapitations http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2012/11/16/3634077.htm and is rated MA15+. Since the youngest I let my daughters go to an MA15+ movie was 16, I’d say 16 in this case too. So I voted 17 as the closest option. But younger for less graphic violent games
Post # 6
I think there are levels of violent games, not all first person shooter games are bloody and violent, like I don’t see an issue with a middle schooler playing something like Halo but personally there are some games like gears of war I don’t think would ever be okay in my house. I don’t think anything below about 5/6th grade needs to be playing anything more violent then Mario or games where the things being “shot” are non living like droids and such.
Post # 7
@paula1248: & @chasesgirl: I added how I defined violent, because you guys are right, there are many games where characters die that I wouldn’t consider violent, like Kingdom Hearts lol. And many degrees of violence in video games!
Post # 8
Hmm… I’d say at least mid teens for realistic war type violence. Something like grand theft auto though will never be welcome in our home.
Post # 9
I’ve done a bit of research on the topic through my studies, and there is evidence that violent and graphic games desensitize a person, and result in the individuals inability to differentiate between what is real and what is not. It can also morph a persons morals and values and can make them anti social. And, some individuals also are unable to deal with some of lifes issues. In video games you are able to put in cheat codes to get a billion dollars or weapons, and you are able to collect health points and die and come back to life, reality doesn’t work like this. Also, a persons brain is still developing at the age of 15. If an individual is exposed to violent material which their brain is developmentally unable to process it can result in a detrimental effect, and can hinder some development. There are rating systems and age restrictions because game developers have to have their products psychologically tested, however, this restriction is a generalisation, and results and suitability can vary from one individual to another, because we develop at differing rates. I personally think that a parent should follow age restrictions, and that they should also play a game and research it before allowing their child to play it. So, I think that the age restriction should be a minimal limit, and that the parent should use their discretion as well as following those guidelines
I’m studying to be an Early Childhood teacher at the moment, and on my practicums I have come across children as young as 3 who play R16 games. My FMIL’s neighbours son played Grand Theft Auto, Diablo, C.O.D and Mortal Kombat at the age of 7-8. This is such a worry to me Also, his mother is a qualified teacher!!
Post # 10
Definitley 12-13 at LEAST. I think it also depends on the maturity of the child in question. Some may be able to handle violent games sooner than others.
Personally, I do not like them at all and highly doubt I will allow any of my future (or current) children to play them at home.
This actually reminded me of a story a coworker told me. her 8 year old son was concerned becasue there were people outside his window (They lived in a city). His mom asked what they were doing and he replied “It looked like the guy in the car was picking up one of his bi**hes”!!! She was shocked to learn her son was being allowed to play Grand Theft Auto at his uncle’s house after school!
Post # 11
I was about 11-12 when I started playing violent video games, and I’m a well-adjusted adult who can tell the difference between right and wrong and real and fake and I’m neither antisocial nor violent.
A LOT of how it affects a child is based on their maturity level and their ability to grasp the concepts of real and unreal. I had been playing video games for a good while before I started playing violent games, and I knew from a young age that the games aren’t real and that the way people behave in games is different from the way a person should act in real life. I think that, as long as they can grasp that concept, they should be fine.
Post # 12
I lean more towards midteens just because I’d rather have kids be able to understand the difference between reality and a video game.
I love video games, but I also think no matter what age you let your kids play the time limit should be closely monitored. I have too many younger cousins that play video games for hours on end, and I just don’t think it’s healthy for them to have unlimited access.
Post # 13
@LovelyLaura: LOL!!! That story about the coworker’s kid is funny.
Post # 14
Can I vote never? Lol. I think video games are a waste of time, promote childhood obesity, and the violents ones (as someone else noted) have been shown to desensitize players, especially young children. I don’t plan on allowing video games in my house.
I have to bite my tongue when I hear friends or co-workers talk about their young (under 10) children playing those sorts of videogames. Really inappropriate in my mind.
Post # 15
I think it depends on the child and it depends on the video game and it’s overall message. For example some parts of Bioshock are pretty graphic but I would let a much younger child play that then Grand Theft Auto because of how well written Bioshock is. I read a lot of books at 13-14 that some people were pretty surprised that my parents let me read, but I think that overall it helped me more than anything because of their literary value.
For the record I think letting a 4 year old play CoD is too much, but in a lot of games there are settings where you can tone down the violence (like taking out all the blood). If I had a child who was really interested in history and war I would be more open to letting them play a game like CoD, but even then I would probably wait until 13 or 14.
Post # 16
I play a word/thinking game with my students similar to scattegories. They roll dice with letters on them and have to think of words that start with those letters for a certain category. There is one category called toys/games, and I tell them each time: you may not call out video game names for this one. The kids have the most trouble with that — they do not know regular games like tag! I’ve noticed this with fifth and some sixth graders — seventh and eighth graders actually know more non-video game games.
I will have to talk to my fiance, but I don’t want my children playing video games at all. If their friends have them, fine. But what’s the point? My kids can go outside to play, they can read a book, they can play real games.