Does It Actually Matter if Kids Buy M Rated Videogames
CNet’s Digital Home asks a compelling question, “Does it matter who buys video games?” In this recent article, the author sites a survey that finds 17% of the GTAIV videogames sold were bought by or for kids ages 6-17. Given that 80% of the kids of the kids that didn’t buy it themselves got it from their parents or older siblings the author takes a stance against regulating the sale of M rated games. His point is that these kids’ parents are likely to go get it for them anyway.
The original intent of not allowing underage kids to buy video games was to stop them from picking up a violent title that their parents didn’t want them to play and bring it to a friend’s house where they wouldn’t know. And while that is an admirable idea, it simply doesn’t hold up.
To think that ID’ing kids for a video game will somehow stop violence and the proliferation of violent video games is extremely foolhardy. If they’re turned down, they’ll simply go to the next place and see if they can win someone over there. And if all else fails, they can enlist the help of an older person.
Stopping underage children from buying video games may be a great PR stunt, but that’s all it is. Children are getting their hands on M-rated games and there’s no changing it. So we have one of two options: ignore it or just forget about age limits altogether. I vote for the latter.
I have to say that I’m going to have to agree to disagree. As a father, I feel it’s important to have those ratings and prohibitions in place. I reserve the right to decide which mature rated videogames… if any my children can play. I also should have the right to purchase those titles which I approve of for my children.
Many parents seem not to be as involved with their children or aware of their activities as they should be. Having an age limit in place serves as a protection to children who might not be able to handle a mature title when parents fail to do their job.