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Do parents have a say in the games children play?

Do parents have a say in the games children play?

The Xbox 360 December update will offer "Play Smart, Play Safe" for parents.

Microsoft today released the results of an 'independent' survey into parents' attitudes on video gaming. The results may surprise you; there's nary a reference to “GTA made my son a cold-blooded killer” but plenty of “concerns” and “worries.”

A poll of 4,000 parents in the UK, Germany, Italy, and France yielded results that are being spun in more directions than your average speed-camera report; the BBC is leading the way with “Games content 'concerns parents'”, whereas the official Microsoft stance is a rather more reassuring “Parents in Control of Children's Gaming Habits”.

The winner of the UK Worry-Wart Award has to go to the Telegraph, however: “Video games content worries parents, says survey” is a master-stroke of pot-stirring.

A few choice figures: 71 percent of those questioned stated 'concern' with the content of video games, with the UK coming second only to Italy in the “think of the children” stakes; 66 percent of parents considered themselves the driving force in deciding whether their doe-eyed dear should shoot hookers in GTA3 compared to only 18 percent who think the government should be the ones to make that judgement, a figure which perhaps shows an apathy toward government-mandated ratings systems such as the BBFC here in the UK. Nearly two-thirds of children allegedly play alone with a third each playing with family and friends – it's not known whether these figures include online play such as via Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network as gaming with friends.

Part of Microsoft's new responsible attitude, the survey is a single facet of the Play Smart, Play Safe programme developed to reassure parents that little Jimmy isn't going to go goggle-eyed. With the December Xbox 360 Update including a Family Timer, which promises to enforce a strict daily or weekly (although not both) time limit on console usage, it's clear that Microsoft is hoping to capture a larger slice of the younger market, possibly hoping to finally wrest that particular crown away from Nintendo.

That said, what would you want to play: Halo 3 or Viva Piñata Party Animals? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

17 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Phil Rhodes 4th December 2007, 10:54 Quote
If you ask parents what they think about computer games, they'll respond that they're concerned and worrisome. I suspect you might also be able to prove that they're concerned and worrisome about food additives, cellphone transmitters and man-made fibres in their little ones' bedtime clothes. It is the job of parents to worry and be concerned, and one they generally take to like fish to water, especially if you ask them questions like "you're worried your children being turned into mass murderers by explicit violence in computer games, aren't you?"

At the end of the day some of them are also concerned and worried that they might have to live out a post-mortem eternity of fiery punishment if their invisible, imaginary friend from the big place in the sky doesn't get enough kneeling and praying out of them. Some of them are also bringing their children up to live in fear and trepidation of this sword-and-sorcery pyromaniac.

And that makes me very, very concerned and worried.

Phil
DXR_13KE 4th December 2007, 12:39 Quote
i agree with Phil Rhodes.
Amon 4th December 2007, 12:42 Quote
Obviously they're not concerned enough about their children's well-being with their indifference to climate change and its future consequences.
Almightyrastus 4th December 2007, 12:48 Quote
If they are that concerned and worried about the content of certain games then why are they buying them or even allowing them to be played by kids in the first place?
Blademrk 4th December 2007, 13:02 Quote
That is the 6 million dollar question...
Fod 4th December 2007, 13:37 Quote
here's a thought, parents.

instead of bitchign and moaning about how you have no idea what your kids are playing, how about this:
The next time little Johnny asks you for grand murder death kill simulator:sexy city hooker time VI, instead of, oh, y'know, doing what you normally do, try this: LOOK AT THE BLOODY BBFC CERTIFICATE ON THE FRONT.

it won't kill your kids to say no to them sometimes. my parents did it to me (gasp! i know! what a deprived child i must have been; didn't get everything i asked for!) and i turned out OK ( i think...)
Major 4th December 2007, 13:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Almightyrastus
If they are that concerned and worried about the content of certain games then why are they buying them or even allowing them to be played by kids in the first place?

When I was young, I used to lie quite a bit to buy a 16+ game, and used to go nuts a little, heheh.

But as graphics is quite realistic now, I think parents are worrying more than before, alot more.
Cupboard 4th December 2007, 16:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fod
LOOK AT THE BLOODY BBFC CERTIFICATE ON THE FRONT.

I wish my parent would believe that, I struggled to get Call of Duty 2 even though I was paying and was over the age limit :( oh well, I love them really :P
Cptn-Inafinus 4th December 2007, 17:07 Quote
Quite frankly, parents should just ****ing grow up a little.

Sorry for the harsh words, but if your child is young enough, or has such A weak mind that he would be so badly influenced by A game to go out and kill someone, then he shouldnt be playing the game in the first place, let alone own the console...
Clocked 4th December 2007, 17:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cptn-Inafinus
Quite frankly, parents should just ****ing grow up a little.

Sorry for the harsh words, but if your child is young enough, or has such A weak mind that he would be so badly influenced by A game to go out and kill someone, then he shouldnt be playing the game in the first place, let alone own the console...

Ditto.
Icy EyeG 4th December 2007, 17:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fod
here's a thought, parents.

instead of bitchign and moaning about how you have no idea what your kids are playing, how about this:
The next time little Johnny asks you for grand murder death kill simulator:sexy city hooker time VI, instead of, oh, y'know, doing what you normally do, LOOK AT THE BLOODY BBFC CERTIFICATE ON THE FRONT.

it won't kill your kids to say no to them sometimes. my parents did it to me (gasp! i know! what a deprived child i must have been; didn't get everything i asked for!) and i turned out OK ( i think...)

QFT!!
Bluephoenix 4th December 2007, 19:08 Quote
fod is correct, and this study is too small a sample size and too skewed to be of any statistical value.

when will people learn to grow the F*** up and when will parents in this day and age start doing their damn jobs
RinSewand 4th December 2007, 19:43 Quote
I'd agree with Cptn-Inafinus, instead of being worried about it, why not put a bit more effort and bring your kids up so they won't be affected by games? Both I and my sister have been brought up sensibly enough so that we can treat games as exactly what they are; games!

RwD
walle 4th December 2007, 20:02 Quote
People tend to refute any negative impacts violent video games might have on our youngsters, and most often they refute them out of reflex action.
Jazza 4th December 2007, 20:16 Quote
how many times has manhunt 2 been rejected i mean come on games do not turn us into maniacs, i mean i for one and and nearly ;) all of you out there will not go on a violent rampage after playing a violent game. As or little kids parents shouldn't buy them games like manhunt or let them play them especially if they are under 10 as at that age they do not fully understand the aspect of a game and real life.


p.s when i watch bruce lee films i still feel like a pro kung fu fighter for a whiile after watching it and i'm 17! but that doesn't mean i find someone to fight lol
Nexxo 4th December 2007, 20:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
If you ask parents what they think about computer games, they'll respond that they're concerned and worrisome. I suspect you might also be able to prove that they're concerned and worrisome about food additives, cellphone transmitters and man-made fibres in their little ones' bedtime clothes. It is the job of parents to worry and be concerned, and one they generally take to like fish to water, especially if you ask them questions like "you're worried your children being turned into mass murderers by explicit violence in computer games, aren't you?"

At the end of the day some of them are also concerned and worried that they might have to live out a post-mortem eternity of fiery punishment if their invisible, imaginary friend from the big place in the sky doesn't get enough kneeling and praying out of them. Some of them are also bringing their children up to live in fear and trepidation of this sword-and-sorcery pyromaniac.
QFT.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon
Obviously they're not concerned enough about their children's well-being with their indifference to climate change and its future consequences.
That threat is abstract and distant. Perceived danger is in part a function of immediacy and familiarity. More children die by drowning in the swimming pool in the back garden every year, than through artificial food ingredients, video games or even guns.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fod
here's a thought, parents.

instead of bitchign and moaning about how you have no idea what your kids are playing, how about this:
The next time little Johnny asks you for grand murder death kill simulator:sexy city hooker time VI, instead of, oh, y'know, doing what you normally do, try this: LOOK AT THE BLOODY BBFC CERTIFICATE ON THE FRONT.

it won't kill your kids to say no to them sometimes. my parents did it to me (gasp! i know! what a deprived child i must have been; didn't get everything i asked for!) and i turned out OK ( i think...)
Assume, like, responsibility?!? Are you insane?!? :p
Quote:
Originally Posted by walle
People tend to refute any negative impacts violent video games might have on our youngsters, and most often they refute them out of reflex action.
Psychological reactance, more like. Violent videogames do have an impact on childrens' behaviour in laboratory conditions, but it is not clear what that means for real life. Generally the effects observed are rather small and clinically insignificant.
Mentai 5th December 2007, 00:45 Quote
I see no problems with fighting and shooting games, a lot of them are quite sporting. I do however have a problem with games like manhunt 2 and postal, where there's an emphasis on mutilating. I don't think I would ever my future child get one of those, but them playing an fps like UT3 when they're 10 doesn't concern me.

There are adults who buy into the video game violence destroys society thing way too much though. Last christmas my 5yo cousin was playing simpsons roadrage and drove through some people. It's a childrens game so this pushes the people over, no one dies. Despite this my uncle immediately says "Now he's going to think it's ok to run people over in real cars." It kinda hurts me that someone related to me could make such a blind retarded statement. I mean, even if it was true, in a decades time when my cousin can learn to drive, society will have taught him better. I feel so sorry for my uncles son, I'm pretty sure he will never be allowed the joy of video games, not even Nintendo D:
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