Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ban violent video games?

In case you haven't heard, the United States Supreme Court today heard arguments on a California law that aims to prevent sales of violent video games to minors.

I've heard the argument that this should be up to the parents, not the government. As I see it, the law would actually empower parents by removing one avenue by which kids could obtain objectionable games without their consent. I would take comfort knowing that little Johnny can't ride his bike up to the local Game Shack and pick up a copy of "Grand Theft Auto," then head over to his friends house whose parents don't pay as much attention to the games they play as I do.

So when I see headlines like "Ban violent video games?," I take issue. I don't believe that headline is consistent with what is being proposed. I do not support banning violent video games. I do support keeping certain types of content out of the hands of my children, and the force of law assisting me to that end is welcome. Yes, I support the law.

As a society, we already prevent minors from seeing R-rated movies unless accompanied by an adult, and sales of pornography to minors is a no-no. These seem like no-brainers, don't they? But in both cases, nothing prevents you from exposing your children to these things if you choose. It's merely a restriction at the point of sale. If you really want your ten-year-old to be able to play a game that depicts decapitating young girls and urinating on them, it would still be your choice, even with the proposed law. Just go buy it for them. At least that way you'll stay involved in what your kids are doing, and learning.