Parents need to keep track of their children
I am a 25 year old male who grew up on video games. I got my first gaming system in 1986... The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and began playing violent video games at the tender age of 5. I started by spitting fireballs and jumping on and squishing goombas as Mario. Then I learned up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, A, B, Select, Start... and in doing so I got to play Contra from beginning to end, indestructible with all the bloody weapons I wanted. From there things progressed until I got into late elementary school and middle school fighting as Ryu, Ken and Blanka on the SNES in Street Fighter II. Then... there was the ultimate in violence... DOOM and MORTAL KOMBAT!!! I got to buzz through Imps with a chainsaw, rip my enemies heads off with their blood-dripping spinal chords still attached and I even got to do it against my little brother and my best friend across town (cause we had modems back then and they were cool). But alas... since then Congress has started taking the responsibilities of raising children away from the parents and instead granted custody to the corporations. Now... instead of parents actually educating themselves on the things that their children watch and play they have little symbols that come right on the box: E, T, and M (those three being the most common and relating most succinctly to movie ratings PG, PG13, and R). But even when THAT happened parents still wanted more to be done... so there was the invention of the V-chip so that parents could trust a machine to look after their child so they wouldn't have to... and Net Nanny which didn't work because it blocked the Disney website on our first computer that had internet access. And NOW... you can even put password-protected parental controls on video game consoles (I know that the PS2, XBox 360 have them) but parents STILL either don't want to educate themselves enough to learn how to use such controls (if they even know that they're there) or they don't want to have to upset little Johnny because he can't play Halo 2 with his friend down the street because his friend's parents are "cool" and don't restrict the games he gets to play on HIS XBox. There's a very simple solution to all of this... PARENTS, for the love of God, all you have to do is talk to your children about the things you feel are appropriate and inappropriate... THEN listen to how your children feel about those things and reach some kind of compromise that you can both live with. If you think that your child is capable of going to school with a gun to kill a fellow student or a teacher then the problem lies in your parenting skills, not the games he's/she's playing or the movies they're watching. Quit casting blame on everyone else when you know damn well that the blame lies with you. If you need more help then just go to Barnes and Noble, browse the Self-Help section and find a book called "Parenting for Dummies." If that insults you then maybe you should've given the child up for adoption to that a real parent could instill values and morals in your child. And for the record... I grew up playing violent video games... I've never been in a fight... I've never fired a gun at or near another human being... and I don't want to. I just got married a week and a half ago and when I decide to have children I'm going to play video games with them and every time my child kills a monster from outer-space with a laser gun I'm going to make sure that my child understands that it's just a video game and that real people don't do that kind of thing in real life. Okay... I'm done now... if you've made it this far and you agree I'd like to hear about it. If you don't agree... you're entitled to your opinion (but just remember... it's YOUR responsibility to take care of your children and to monitor their viewing/playing habits... it's no one else's).
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