As you all know I’m a gamer and I have been since 1999 when I got my first PC. I now have two children. My boy Ryan 9, and my girl Chloé 6.
There has been an issue raised recently about age restricted gaming products such as Call of duty, or Grand Theft Auto, and children playing them.
The law states that anyone below the age stated on the product should not be allowed to play it. The main census according to a recent poll on the Telegraph website is that it should primarily remain a parental personal choice.
The fact that gaming products are age restricted should be a general indicator that the product is unsuitable for certain age groups. As a parent I would tend to agree with that statement, but being a gamer and having played certain age restricted games I would have to disagree, well at least partially.
If you stay with me for the next bit I will tell you why. If we look at the online multiplayer side of the games Call of Duty and GTA as examples they both have guns, killing, explosives, knives, and stabbing in it.
Lets look at them individually. If we look at GTA’s online free roaming world it pretty much allows you to do anything you want. You can hijack cars, rob convenience stores, run people over, use explosives, have sex with prostitutes and kill people and from what I remember there is a torture scene where the player has to engage to move the story along.
Now lets take a look at Call of Duty’s online game play. You plant bombs and kill people. Yes! That is literally it. Kinda basic.
I’m not being bias while writing this because I have played both types of games, and this is the main reason why I disagree partially with the age rating on some games. I understand why they are there, but it should be more a guideline rather than a strict law. But board games are still safe and not affected by this. Safe games like the best jenga game are already marked as safe alongside many other board games!
I will admit that I let my son play Call of Duty even though it is an 18+ rated game. I don’t think it represents proper violence in the way that GTA does. I would however not let him play GTA. Don’t get me wrong though, as I do know that Call of Duty has some very graphic scenes in it, but these are all in the single player, which he does not play.
You can watch a video that deathmule has put together for Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Single Player, but as I said above my boy doesn’t play single player, so he wont even see any of it. So this is why I condone him playing it.
Now watch a video I found for GTA by Dat Saintsfan. I find it epically disgusting, and if I had a choice in the matter I would not let him play it.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you feel children should be allowed to play age restricted games? Would you let them play it if you played it first to “vet” it? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.