Parents need to be involved with what their kids watch and play, says WWE Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston, but violent games aren't real life.
Kofi Kingston - born in Ghana as Kofi Sarkodie-Mensah - makes no secret of the fact that he's a gamer. He owns every console, plays Madden and Black Ops regularly, and once told Nintendo Power that he'd always wanted to own a pink hoodie like the one owned by boxer Little Mac in Punch-Out!!. He's also a rising pro wrestling superstar in the world of the WWE, who earlier this month took the Intercontinental Championship belt from Dolph Ziggler (seen here).
The Escapist had a chance to briefly chat with Kingston at a recent event meant to show off WWE All-Stars, in which he appears. Given that professional wrestling had once upon a time been accused of encouraging children to commit violent acts - much as games are now, a subject that is at the core of the California case currently in front of the Supreme Court - it seemed that Kingston, as wrestler and gamer, would be in a position to comment on the issue: Does violent media affect children?
"I always say it really is up to the parents to really kinda police what their kids are watching," he said. With the WWE, continued Kingston, "[It's] a PG show and we advertise that "G" - that it's entertainment. We tell everyone to not try what we do at home, because we train for years to perfect the moves that we do - and there's still a lot of risk. So we always stress to not try what we do at home."
Kingston said he thought it was important to remember that it was all about the fiction of the matter. "We're all about really storytelling when you think about it. It's all about - if I'm going up against a guy like the Big Show, it's the whole David and Goliath story. A guy like Sheamus coming out of nowhere and winning the WWE championship, it's the story of 'He's a beast, he's a monster, he's coming in to take over.' Of a young guy trying to make an impression."
And what about games? "I wouldn't say [there's any correlation between games and violence]," said Kingston - who pointed to the exaggerated cartoon physics and visuals in WWE All-Stars as an example. "With a game like WWE All-Stars, you can look at it and see that it's exaggerated, no one can do these moves in real life, you know what I mean?"
"It's impossible to do some of the things that they do, so you really have to take it in stride and realize that games are games, and reality is reality."