“That violence exists in a virtual world meant to simulate the real, violent one in which we live, shouldn’t come as a surprise. That some people find only bloodshed when they peer through this modern day looking glass probably says more about them then it does the games they’re playing.”
Shortly before Newtown, I’d decided to finally let my 12-year-old son play Halo, a game he’d been begging to play for a while and that several of his friends were already enjoying. Right after Christmas, I let him buy Halo 4 with a gift card he’d received, and the Gamestop employee did their job, pointing out that it was a “Mature” game and confirming I was aware what that meant.
We then played it together for a little while, and even though it’s not my preferred style of game, I continue to play with him now and then to see how he’s handling it, less so because I’m concerned about the animated violence than I am to see what he’s learning from playing as part of a team in co-op mode, or how he’s responding to the admittedly compelling sci-fi storyline in story mode.
There are a wide variety of video games out there, and yes, some are extremely violent. Same goes for movies, TV shows, and even good, old-fashioned books.
If you don’t want your kids playing these games (or consuming any other similar media), be a responsible parent and deal with it, but don’t go playing the blame game every time some senselessly violent act occurs too close to home, crying for government regulation.
I’d argue (and have in the past), that our being at war for the entirety of my kids’ lives has far more potential to negatively impact them and the world they live in than any video game they’ve ever played, or not been allowed to play.