Thursday, June 23, 2005

Kids... or maybe parents these days.

The Beeb put this article out this morning that points out what many people already know... The more restrictive the game rating, the better it sells, even to those it's not supposed to sell to (I just checked Fark and noticed that ArsTechnica also has a writeup on this - but I like the Fark headline - Shocking new study discovers that the adults only rating on games makes more kids buy them. As a result of the study scientists discover new color: sky blue). The article suggests that parents are ambivalent to the content of the games are are more concerned with the time that is spent. Granted, for some portion of families out there, the parents have taught children what the line is between fantasy and reality and what is appropriate in what context. But there are likely a fair number of parents who haven't because of ignorance or a multitude of other reasons (some perhaps that are through no fault of their own). If we really want to "solve" the problem of kids and violent games, it seems to be a little late to have parents monitor games that are already produced. Why are these games produced in the first place? But then that got me thinking about when I was a kid playing with friends. We would start the day with some sort of hunting game (Kick the Can), progress to some sort of gun game and then maybe some sport. All childs play for sure, but also very violent if one were to really take a look. The difference is that we got hurt playing these games and we were brutal to each other if there were disagreements. Was this any better? I don't think that it's right to let kids play violent games unsupervised, but like just about everything else in technology it seems, this problem is just an old problem with a new face.