UK Researcher Wants Parents Arrested for Buying Kids Violent Games

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You know on one hand, I don't see the "damaging effects" children need to be "protected" from here and if anything, sheltering kids, keeping the actual world out there away from them as long as possible and letting them live in a safety bubble probably has a much more damaging effect than some simulated blood or *gasp* a naked human body.

On the other hand, fuck those 12 year old call of duty xbox live shriekers.

Nuke_em_05:
Did I read the same article everyone else did?

This guy said "prosecute", not specifically "jail" or "arrest". Maybe he means like a fine? Who here has ever received a traffic ticket? Tada! You've been "prosecuted". This guy wants to make it illegal for parents to buy these games for their children, which is currently how many circumvent PEGI (and ESRB in the U.S.), but then the "parents" still turn around and run these ridiculous campaigns about the violent videogames that somehow got into their children's hands.

Isn't this suggestion the logical conclusion to the "blame the parents, not the game" mantra when the "games community" feels threatened by major media or legislation against violent videogames?

Personally, I'd rather government just stay out of everyone's business, but the dichotomy here confuses me.

This. In so many ways.

You either start making parents responsible for their poor practices (maybe not as extreme as jail time, a fine is more reasonable,) or you let the industry take the responsibility when little Jimmy shoots up a school and points the finger at Call of Duty.

The most reasonable answer is to make little Jimmy responsible for his own actions, but of course that will never happen. No one wants to think children aren't innocent, and will blame everything else before they blame the person who pulled the trigger.

Ugh, not again, a leak in the morally upfucked associations!

Most kids will be fine with violence and sex (well, The US of A is NOT okay with half a nipple, but half a brain on a wall is all okay) I played doom when I was 5 and I have not killed anyone and am a generally calm and harmonic person.

It breaks down two ways.

One hand its the whole why should government be telling people how to raise their children? is that any business that a government should have to be deciding some overarching standard of what is good and proper for people to show/let their kids play, vs what is not? dont different children mature differently to a good degree?

but on the other hand we have all seen those parents with the young kids at the R rated movies and such, and well it hard not to see a certain point here.

"He also points the finger at game developers for shying away from the responsibility of keeping kids from playing their products."

Does he live in the real world?

Even account-based systems can't keep children from accessing age restricted content if the parents don't control it themselves. He should be pointing the finger solely at the irresponsible parents who try to pass the buck on to retailers because they were too lazy to research what they were buying.

When I have kids, I'd say that it is down to me and my partner when I think my kids are at an appropriate age to play the game. If I think they are not I wouldn't buy, but some kids are more mature than others, its down to the parent's own judgement and that is something the government should not interfere with. How would the authorities even know whether a child is playing such games or not?

Its like how a parent can say in a pub whether or not their child can have an alcoholic drink with their meal.

I've seen this thing happen dozens of times at my local game retailer: An oblivious mom or dad with their little preteen child, and the child points out a game with the gore level of Splatterhouse all over it's M-rating. The parent pays for the game and then gives it to the child, because once the purchase has been made, the responsibility is no longer in the hands of the retailer. As far as the retailer was concerned, an adult bought the game, not the child, but we all know who is going to end up playing the game.

The fate of these people is out of our hands; it is in the domain of subjective experience. Irresponsible parents need to know how to say "No" when their ten year old asks for the new Hooker Shooter Five. The kid may be upset, but that just temporary. At least they aren't ripping out people's digital spines.

This man has lost it, regardless of his meanings with the word "prosecute".
The purpose of these ratings is to make it overseeable to what audiance the game would be suitable for. As an indication. Not to make a hard line. Theres people that are 50 that still are mentally too frail for anything more violent then Mario Kart FFS.

If a parent decides their kid is metally old enough for things like Modern Warefare airport scenes who the hell does this man thinks he is proclaiming to know otherwise.
I'd like to think this is still a free part of the world. If this sort of blundering in other people's business is going to be had you might as well outsource parenting to the gouvernment completely, or dictate in laws what parenting is and shoot everyone who thinks parenting should be done any other way then what the law dictates.

I was playing games, and violent ones at that, for as long as my memory will bring me back. I was playing things like Duke Nukem 3D, Wolfenstein and Rise of the Triad _way_ before I had the "proper" age for those games and I still didn't shoot anyone, the only effect it had on me was a very good understanding of the English language at a young age.

templar1138a:
*facepalm*

You know, on second thought, I actually hope this kind of legislation will pass, in the States as well. It would pave the way for arresting parents who shove their religious beliefs down their children's throats; parents who force their kids to take part in sports or scout groups; parents who teach things to their kids that have even the slightest racist undertone to them.

Sometimes the slippery slope can be a good thing.

Also, Venza from Toyota can kiss my hairy ass.

Er, I don't think you understand the slippery slope this would be in America. This would pave the way for mandatory church on Sundays, mandatory scouts, etc. etc. etc..

cerebus23:
It breaks down two ways.

One hand its the whole why should government be telling people how to raise their children? is that any business that a government should have to be deciding some overarching standard of what is good and proper for people to show/let their kids play, vs what is not? dont different children mature differently to a good degree?

but on the other hand we have all seen those parents with the young kids at the R rated movies and such, and well it hard not to see a certain point here.

The parent that child is with is the only one with a an intimite understanding of what and how that kid ticks. So, no its really easy not to see a point, as everyone else in the theater can only speculate about the kids "readyness" for blood and obscene language, and reflect off of what they themselves would do in the same situation with an imaginairy kid.

People who really wait for their kid to be 18 before they let them play things like Duke Nukem aren't by definition doing the right thing you know... Those ratings are given by a select group of people who themselves have opinions and stances.
Blindly looking at ratings is just as silly as taking an 8 year old kid to see things like Pulp Fiction.

Yes, have the government enforce how parents should raise kids... that won't end in a horrible flaming mess, no siree.

As long as parents can get kid into R rated movies by accompanying them and saying 'it's okay', this isn't going to fly. The parent still has the authority to re there kids how they want and control what media they are exposed to. Are they making bad calls? Yes. Can you do anything? No. Until the state decides to raise kids instead of parents its going to stay that way.

I'm conflicted here. On the one hand I LOVE the idea of idiot parents that buys their kid games with a giant M on the cover along with all the very obvious reasons why and then complains about violent games being bad for them getting a nice big fine.

On the other hand parents should have the right to determine what their kids can and can not handle.

Plus I'm not sure how you can possibly enforce this idea. For example lets say I went to my local Gamestop with my kid, he asks quite loudly for a rated M game and I buy it. Is the gamestop employees going to take my money and then detain me until a cop arrives? Or is the government going to spend a ton of tax money to put cameras in video game stores like traffic lights? I have no idea on the stats but something tells me they'll never make their money back on that one.

image

I think this is appropriate.

Tiamattt:
Plus I'm not sure how you can possibly enforce this idea. For example lets say I went to my local Gamestop with my kid, he asks quite loudly for a rated M game and I buy it. Is the gamestop employees going to take my money and then detain me until a cop arrives? Or is the government going to spend a ton of tax money to put cameras in video game stores like traffic lights? I have no idea on the stats but something tells me they'll never make their money back on that one.

This is my thoughts as well. How is it even possible to enforce something like this?

Should everyone at the counter give their ID and it's checked if you have kids? And what age those kids are? And what if I have kids? I could be buying it for myself or husband. If I had a kid now, it would definitely be for me. Or should we have community watches where neighbours can come and check that a kid is not playing something the government has deemed unfit for him? Or maybe it's mandatory to leave your contact details at the shop so good old police can come and check your house.

We all know console accounts will never be any good in fighting this. Not until the console can only be activated by your finger print and that print has to be given during the game every 16:52 minutes.

I still don't believe that violent video games lead to violence. So this suggestion is just dumb.

Azuaron:

templar1138a:
*facepalm*

You know, on second thought, I actually hope this kind of legislation will pass, in the States as well. It would pave the way for arresting parents who shove their religious beliefs down their children's throats; parents who force their kids to take part in sports or scout groups; parents who teach things to their kids that have even the slightest racist undertone to them.

Sometimes the slippery slope can be a good thing.

Also, Venza from Toyota can kiss my hairy ass.

Er, I don't think you understand the slippery slope this would be in America. This would pave the way for mandatory church on Sundays, mandatory scouts, etc. etc. etc..

Sarcasm. Look it up.

Aeonknight:

Nuke_em_05:
Did I read the same article everyone else did?

This guy said "prosecute", not specifically "jail" or "arrest". Maybe he means like a fine? Who here has ever received a traffic ticket? Tada! You've been "prosecuted". This guy wants to make it illegal for parents to buy these games for their children, which is currently how many circumvent PEGI (and ESRB in the U.S.), but then the "parents" still turn around and run these ridiculous campaigns about the violent videogames that somehow got into their children's hands.

Isn't this suggestion the logical conclusion to the "blame the parents, not the game" mantra when the "games community" feels threatened by major media or legislation against violent videogames?

Personally, I'd rather government just stay out of everyone's business, but the dichotomy here confuses me.

This. In so many ways.

You either start making parents responsible for their poor practices (maybe not as extreme as jail time, a fine is more reasonable,) or you let the industry take the responsibility when little Jimmy shoots up a school and points the finger at Call of Duty.

The most reasonable answer is to make little Jimmy responsible for his own actions, but of course that will never happen. No one wants to think children aren't innocent, and will blame everything else before they blame the person who pulled the trigger.

seconded.

I work in retail (now in food and general goods) and when i was standing at the counter waiting for the next customer i see at least three or separate cases of kids younger then 10 with their parents picking up stuff like gears of war, mortal kombat, COD and Halo with a "mummy/daddy can i have this." and either replying with "sure." or "thats too much money". all i could say to the parents is "are you sure you want to buy this game for your child. it has depictions of violence/sex/strong language." which they will reply "ah its fine." never a "oh dear I won't get it then."

where i work now if i'm selling tobacco or alcohol i need ID off anyone who looks under 25, if i fuck up i can be fined up to 5000 or jail time if i can't pay it. parents should be fined something as they are exposing kids to possibly damaging products to their kid just like tobacco and alcohol.

also kids suck at the games, get out of my battlefield,halo,COD etc.

My parents allowed me to get games that were above my rating when I was younger, because I matured faster than many others. They always looked at why a game got a specific rating and reasoned whether or not it was appropriate for ME specifically.

This researcher clearly doesn't understand that children mature at different rates. There are some 18 year olds that are too immature to handle some teen-rated games, for example.

how exactly does he expect game developers to stop kids playing thir games?

id actually like to hear what he has to say on that because im honestly scratching my head.
asking before play how old are you? requiring you send ID to the developer website before you can play?
how exactly is it meant to work?

Let's just skip the details and just fucking jail everyone because there's no one that's completely innocent. No need to make up retarded laws for that.

image

So instead of buying kids violent video games he wants to jail the parents. Yes, I'm sure that's going to help the child's mental state growing up.

This guy is a total douche.

Riobux:
So to prevent children from being potentially damaged (possible, but not certain or likely) by violent video games, they're going to jail parents? I think he might need to have a glance at all the research of how having a parent in jail may damage the development of a child and work out if it really is worth it.

Yea, I think a fine is sufficient here really.

Arrested for buying kids violent video games? No.

But I AM keen on the idea of punishing parents who haven't raised a child that is capable of separating fantasy and reality and will be able to tell the difference between what's acceptable IRL and what isn't, as well as general stupidity of the parent and the child.

Mostly because of stupid shit like that little fucker who cried 'innocent' when he went on a spending spree on XBL for fucking FIFA and the obnoxious little children who scream into their headset when they get mad or are trying to trash talk someone.

Nuke_em_05:
Did I read the same article everyone else did?

This guy said "prosecute", not specifically "jail" or "arrest". Maybe he means like a fine? Who here has ever received a traffic ticket? Tada! You've been "prosecuted". This guy wants to make it illegal for parents to buy these games for their children, which is currently how many circumvent PEGI (and ESRB in the U.S.), but then the "parents" still turn around and run these ridiculous campaigns about the violent videogames that somehow got into their children's hands.

Isn't this suggestion the logical conclusion to the "blame the parents, not the game" mantra when the "games community" feels threatened by major media or legislation against violent videogames?

Personally, I'd rather government just stay out of everyone's business, but the dichotomy here confuses me.

While true that jail time is not specifically mentioned the implication is that it will be more serious than fines. The sad truth these days in the UK is that people dont need to be prossecuted or found guilty to have fines slapped on them, any number of officials are free to issue fines at the drop of a hat without it going anywhere near a courtroom. So while i agree that prossecution does not equal jail its certainly implied that the penalty will be disproportionatley harsh.

Um, I thought the point of having legislation to prevent minors from buying mature rated games was to empower the parent to make the decisions about what the child can and cannot play [1], right? That would just take the decision away from them, saying "Your wrong, we are right. Kids all develop the same and all can handle the same content at the same age, right? Yep, seems about right". Seems very nanny-state. BreakfastMan disapproves. :/

[1] basically stopping kids from going behind their parents back and forcing the parents to actually get educated and make decisions about what their children play.

So... what, are we going to do a background check on every person who purchases a game with graphic content to see if they have kids? Are we going to set up cameras in every home pointing towards the TV with someone monitoring 24/7? This has to be one of the most stupid ideas I have ever heard. Some parents unknowingly purchase these games for their children under a veil of ignorance of what they may/may not contain.

Nicolaus99:
Please tell me no one on that side of the pond takes this lunatic seriously.

I'm almost insulted at your post, of course we take him seriously as he brings up several very str- hahahahahahahaahahahaha god no.
I'm still a little insulted at you having to check whether anyone takes this prick seriously.
The government certainly won't, what with him going 'FILL THE PRISONS' and us having an over-crowded prisons problem.

The Plunk:
I would like it if retailers had the power to refuse a sale to a parent that they have reason to believe is buying a game for their under-age kid. (e.g. if the retailer saw one saying "Is this the one you wanted, Timmy?)

Prosecution is going a bit far, but if it gets 11-year-olds out of my CoD...

This. Just... This.

Back when I worked in the world of video game retail, we had it hammered into us that we couldn't sell games to kids, but it was perfectly ok to sell to parents, as long as we said 'This game has an age rating, the content may not be suitable for this mouthy little cunt.' Which would of course get handwaved because 'its just a game, what does it matter? As long as it keeps him out of my hair so I dont have to make an effort to raise him, I'm fine with it.'

So yeah, give the retailers extra support to enforce this. Although, actually, being able to say 'if you buy this for your kid, you'll get a prison sentence.' still probably wont be very effective.

Why dont we just ban everything? Lets ban having kids. That'll solve all of these problems.

Captcha: global warming. Yes, even that one captcha, even that one.

Timothy Chang:
He also points the finger at game developers for shying away from the responsibility of keeping kids from playing their products. He states that game makers are "absolved from the burden of responsibility" and instead defer to the state and regulator. He concludes that, as a result, more violent games are released into the market since companies are protected by the ratings framework.

So from what I can read here...it sounds like he thinks developers actually have any real power over how and where games are sold. I'm pretty sure id had no control whatsoever over the actual publication and selling of Rage, since they are only developers, while Bethesda were the publishers....

Also, that's like saying it's Einsteins' fault for the bomb being used to blow up Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yeah, sure, he founded the formula and whatnot behind it, but then his research was used by the military to bomb two cities into dust. Damn Einstein for not having control over the people that used his research. Damn id for not having control over Bethesda. Damn people with no power for not having the power to control things which they CAN'T ACTUALLY FUCKING DO!

<<

>>

Unless, I read that paragraph entirely wrong.

I was GOING to support this guy as he was finally pointing the finger at the parents and pointing out how they were being irresponsible in determining whether their child was emotionally mature enough to handle violent media, but...

Yeah, thanks for getting to the point. You were supposed to stop on it, though, not use it as a stepping stone to jump into the Q Continuum.

fucking idiot...

no, just...no

Hahah, look, another crazy American who...

....
WTF he's from the UK? D:

Nicolaus99:
Please tell me no one on that side of the pond takes this lunatic seriously.

Some random fucker no one's ever heard of, who happens to work at a university...what do you think?

This isn't even at the level of "some local MP spouts off on subject X" that everyone seems to think means that his words are suddenly UK law.

Also this doesn't contain the full article. He might just be giving his opinion on what would work or not for any desired outcome, nowhere does it say he wants parent prosecuted, merely that the current system does not keep games out of childrens hands and in order to do so they would need to target the parents that buy the game.

I would read his original article rather than some bullshit internet news page.

Different kids mature at very different rates, and my parents understand that. Whenever I told them that I wanted to buy a game they would, of course, look at the label, but they would also ask someone about the actual content to find out if they thought I could handle it. Parents who do this shouldn't be sent to jail, because the long term effects of that could be devastating to the child.

This douche clearly doesn't have kids, and he clearly doesn't understand the meaning of good/bad parenting.

Abandon4093:

Riobux:
So to prevent children from being potentially damaged (possible, but not certain or likely) by violent video games, they're going to jail parents? I think he might need to have a glance at all the research of how having a parent in jail may damage the development of a child and work out if it really is worth it.

Yea, I think a fine is sufficient here really.

I don't. Even a fine would be an extreme extension of indirect censorship and brutally invasive, if assessed closely. A law of the sort, sans immediate ramifications, would be almost impossible to codify, if only for the ridiculous responsibilities it would delegate to law enforcement and the retailer, both in terms of security and accountability. How would you define "possession" in scenarios where the parent owned the game, yet it was being unknowingly accessed by one of their children? Are we going to begin enforcing movies and books similarly, or violent art and media in general? What are they going to do with the copy? Confiscate and burn the fucking thing? Are we really so childish, so immature, and so morbidly overassured in the ability of the government to regulate our lives such as to incarcerate or fine parents for....
well...
Let's say this.
A child having his/her parents incarcerated for the rest of their lives isn't nearly as harrowing a sight AS TITTIES?

I'm fairly sure I was WELL under the PEGI/ESRB age limit for at least half of the games a played as a teen xD...and most of them actually enhanced my worldview, the most disgusting of all probably the moreso (The Witcher).

I lived in Switzerland for 2 years, and was born there as well. The youth culture, identity, and overall perception of sexuality and violence there are substantially more developed and grounded in reality and reasonability then the vast majority of the Western world. Ironically, it's for the very reason the US runs so pissively batshit over the direction of their children's lives, and their exposure to media. It's desensitization. It's absorption, and learning, and being provided the skills to cope. 'That's' parenting. Guiding your children into an unfamiliar and dangerous world, as opposed to acting like it doesn't exist. The fact that sexuality and violence have been largely relegated to taboo in the UK and US contributes more to the negative social climate than the "inappropriate" media in itself, as restriction basically confiscates an individual's ability to appreciate more mature media as more than a topical, bloody, wankfest. It encourages experimentation, and actually elevates the illicit activities portrayed by the given media above the thematic qualities of it in itself. I wonder when lobbyists will actually be able to conceive of mature media that allows us to express, understand, and explore a dangerous world as opposed to condoning it in itself. Isn't the the idea of art?

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