In today’s society parents are faced with a critical parenting question that was not necessary 20 years ago; which video games should I let my children play? Parenting is tough enough without having to deal with a child that gets upset because he cannot play a certain video game that all of his friends are playing. The values that children are raised to believe in are those of their parents, not those of the city, state or country they live in, and those family values are the most important values a child will learn.
Some very influential people in our society believe that the government should be able to dictate what a child is or is not allowed to play or watch. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich believes that “Parenting is hard work and the state has a compelling interest in helping parents raise their children to be upstanding men and women. ” (Whitehead, 2005). Some studies show that these violent and sexually explicit video games provide “harmful effects ranging from health problems to violent behavior. ” (Rutgers University Law – Newark, 2012).
The completed studies and comments from government officials have very informative information and hard evidence to support their statement of “Parents Need Help”. As detailed in many articles and polls, one of the major problems with parents allowing their child to play violent or sexually explicit video games is covered in a 2013 Harris Poll. “The findings underscore the lack of awareness Americans have about the video game rating system, as well as confusion in the market”, said Mike de Vere, President of Harris Poll. PRNewswire, 2013). If parents took the time to understand the video game rating system like they understand a movie rating, they would be better informed as to what each game consist of. Parents have no problem letting a young child watch an “R” rated movie that shows violence and sexual activity, but if that same child is showing violent tendencies or sexual behaviors they are quick to blame video games for the behavior.
Many American children spend a large amount of time playing video games. As a parent, you may be confused as to whether these games are beneficial or not” (http://www. thefreelibrary. com, 2008). If a parent takes the time to review what each of the video game ratings are and what material will be in the video games along with reemphasizing family values there would be less political emphasis on parenting. There has been violent and sexual behavior from children in a ysfunctional and functional home, but if a parent takes the time to ensure their child understands the difference between fiction (video games), reality (everyday life) and monitors their child’s behavior less of these violent outburst would occur. Movies provide the same access to violence and sexual behavior as video games do but there is no political agenda to ban movies that have a less restrictive rating system than video games.
Parents need help restoring parental rights and help in stopping the government from taking over their parenting rights. When the government moves in and takes charge of everything that we as citizens can and cannot do, it provides today’s children with the authority to disobey their parents because the government said something different. If the government wants to help, then they should start applying stricter fines on the video game manufacturers and the stores which sell the video games.
Threatening them with a fine and not imposing that fine when a manufacturer or retail store provides content to a minor, is allowing them to continue to profit off of children. Impose the fines and make it a stringent fine, at which point manufacturers and retailers would start adhering to the video game restrictions and responsibility would fall back to the parents of which games their children play. In closing, government officials should concentrate on raising their children and guiding our country instead of worrying about how each individual raises their children.
Acts of violence and sexual behavior will still occur whether children are playing video games or not; they see it every day on television shows, cartoons, movies and in the news. Parents need to be more vigilant in monitoring what their children are doing, watching, and playing as well as ensuring that your family morals and values are upheld by each member of the family. If we do not accept the role of a parent then we cannot complain when the government decides what we as a society can and cannot do.