Education, Not Regulation, On Video Games For Kids

from the much-more-likely-to-be-effective dept

Over the last few years, we’ve seen grandstanding politicians waste millions of taxpayer money pushing through (and then defending in court) a bunch of laws that would ban the sales of certain types of video games. Repeatedly, this taxpayer money has been thrown away as court after court after court after court has explained how such laws are illegal. Adam Thierer, who has been following the space for a while, notes that the latest bit of legislation being pushed in Washington DC (for the city, not the federal government) is quite different. It’s actually focused on helping to better educate parents and children about video game ratings, what they mean, and how to determine if a video game is appropriate for someone at a certain age level. Thierer hopes that this is a turning point, and that others will start to focus on this “education, not regulation” approach to dealing with video games and kids — but that’s probably wishful thinking. Video games and kids are an emotional issue that politicians can play up, because no one wants to have someone say that they’re “for” giving violent video games to kids. It’s entirely a political issue, rather than a practical one. Even if politicians know that banning certain types of video games is illegal, they’ll still pass the laws, because it makes them look concerned about children and gets them attention from parent groups.

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Comments on “Education, Not Regulation, On Video Games For Kids”

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The infamous Joe says:

There's hope, yet.

Where does it say that children have to be isolated from the entire world until they’re no longer children? I don’t have kids of my own, so maybe that’s why I don’t get it.. I grew up with violent videogames, and I don’t run around stabbing people in the streets.

The problem is, I think, that we are almost constantly being lead by the generation before us if not two or three generations… I propose an upper age limit to being a politcal leader… we need people who grew up around the internet and video games (at least atari) to make informed decisions about it– I wouldn’t expect my grandfather to understand that the internet isn’t reallymade of pipes, despite what he heard on TV… or what IP Adresses are, let alone that they are a faulted way of identifying people.

At least the judge in the article knows a violation of free speech when he sees it. There may be hope yet, but I doubt it.

Unknowledgeable Geek says:

Joe has a Great Point

I don’t understand how there can be a minimum age set for someone to take office but not a maximum. The minimum is there for what reasons?

1. To ensure that the individual is mature enough to deal with certain problems.

2. I don’t know why else…

So what would be the reason for maximum?

1. Old age.

2. Staying in touch with what is happening in todays world, dealing with today’s technology, today’s kids.

I don’t know there are plenty of other reasons, but I am still asleep and can’t deal with it right now.

But Age limits on Politicians, you must be 30-60.

Darve says:

Age maximum?

Doesn’t it seem a bit hypocritical to decide that there should be an age cap for politicians? I get the impression that most people who have commented thus far feel that politicians are disconnected with the whole video games issue. Since they aren’t very familiar with it, why should they have the authority to regulate it? So the response is to set an age limit on people who hold political office? Has anyone who has posted about the age limit ever served as a politician at the state or federal level? I could be wrong, but my guess is that the answer is no. Sounds to me like people are trying to place regulations on a system that they are unfamiliar with. Hmmm…..

PhysicsGuy says:

There's hope, yet.

You clearly have no understanding of psychology.

oh, and i’m all for giving violent video games to kids to a degree… i’d be a hypocrite otherwise. mortal kombat was great 🙂 nothing’s more amusing for an adolescent than ripping your friend’s head and spine from their body 😀 (and no, i didn’t turn into a violent person)

Wii Lover says:

Wii already incorporating this

Anyone who has a Wii, or a parent who bought one for their kid can easily turn on the rating funciton of the Wii. The Wii will read the rating info off a disc and if the user is of the appropriate age it will let them play. Why isn’t anyone else thinking of this for other platforms and consoles. Seems like Nintendo’s doing their part.

Solo says:

It’s probably up to the parents to decide what is or is not appropriate for their children. And it goes far more than video games, it’s with TV (if any is allowed) books, magazines, activities, education, schools, nutrition, meals, soscial activities, arts, music, friends, influence from other adults, babysitters, examples set by family, moral value, religion if any, tolerance and openness regarding other cultures, travel, view of the world politics…

“Video games turn kids violent” is about as dumb as “porn turns teenagers into rapists” or “McDonalds is why I’m fat”

Politicians just isolated *one* thing and are trying to push it down people’s throats. When really, there is alot more to care about than video games when it is to “think of the children”. But really, it would require them to actually care.

Anonymous Coward says:

Theres some things i dont get it in all this.
Ratings exist for a purpose. And as far as I know, a mature rating game or something can only be sold to someone of proper age to buy it.
Now should violent games be banned from store shelves?

In what basis ?
Should it be banned because kids can see the package?
What about other types of entertainment such as books, movies, and so on. Why can violent themed movies, books be on display and games shouldnt?

Why can I find a movie or book like “The Perfume” or “Gladiator”, horror movies and so on and shouldnt be able to find say Grand Theft Auto?

Why is TV Wrestling acceptable. with all those kids going to the arenas and Splinter Cell be banned?

Why can I see a “barely dressed” model on a magazine cover or even on outdoor ads, and a similiar display on video game is “too much”?

Why do we accept the erotic nature of many popular artists, we make talk shows about its views. and so on. Even going deeper. We make public TV trials of people breaking up, of people betraying, and so on.

I just find all this fuzz around video games a bit out of touch with reality.

In my opinion, the games arent the problem..Nor displaying them. Nor selling them.
Im not sure how it works in the US, but as far as im aware, selling an AO game in the US follows the same rules (but applied to games) as selling NC-17(movie rating) porn movie ? Selling a Mature follows the same guidelines as an R movie?

Can a 10 year old child but a Mature movie?
As far as im concerned there are fines for doing this..

And what about the parents?
The parents that are so bold to criticize violence yet they offer theyre 10 year old child a game rated Teen or above…

I think our society is living in denial. And frankly this isnt a cultural problem . its pretty much a global problem .
It goes from the US to EU, Eastern nations. Its really global problem.

Frankly the law is not the problem .. PUBLIC RESPONSABILITY IS.

So perhaps it would be much better spent money if instead lawsuits politicians should force public responsability educational systems for all ages.

There are many parents who have a big problem raising kids ..They really dont know how to deal with them. They arent bad persons. They simply are unable to reach theyre childs . And frankly they also live in denial that perhaps theyre not reaching theyre child properly..
And in the other side, we also arent taking into count that indeed there are those people that even with good parents, simply decide to do violent acts .

As the article points. EDUCATION, is better than denial.
“Hiding”, is worst than explaining.
I think we will raise much better people if we explain. If we enpower them to really decide not to do the bad thing.

And still in the violences subject. Study human history.
And really. are we really more violent than we were 50, 100 or 1000 years ago?

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