It’s about parental responsibility

 The debate that playing violent video games creates children who will do bad things to others has been going on as long there have been games.
   There have been many studies that have established a link between violence and video games. But none of the studies are thorough and few take into consideration players who are 18 and older.
   Violence in media has been with us for a very long time.
   A study done in 1977 found that an increase in aggressive behaviour was found in children after they viewed violent films such as Bonnie and Clyde and The Dirty Dozen; and recent papers showed that for every hour that children watched violent programming in their pre-school years, their aggression increased threefold when they were aged 7 to 10.
   That’s not even to mention the music industry, with some gangster rappers and some heavier rock outfits proving a point of contention. Lyrical content and extreme behaviours exhibited by people in a position of idolisation to young folks can also be of negative influence.
   But is it really fare to blame video games, musicians, television shows and movies for violence in children?
   Parents must take responsibility in knowing what their children are playing, watching and listening to.
   It’s not the job of government and it’s not the job of the education system.
   If you see your child playing a video game, sit down and play it with him or her. If it’s too violent, take it away from them and explain why you’re doing it.
   But best of all, do your own homework on video games, TV shows, movies and music before giving your child access.
   Even if your children aren’t watching violent television shows and movies, playing violent video games or listening to violence-laced lyrics, if they are spending a lot of time being occupied by those things they are lessening the time they are spending with their friends.
   The best cure: Get them off the couch and out of the house. Instead of letting our kids pass the time of day playing video games or watching TV, encourage them to get involved in their community and help with chores around the house.
   The bottom line is that parents have to be involved in all facets of their children’s lives, from knowing who their friends are, knowing where they hang out and knowing what kind of media is influencing them on a daily basis.
Tammie Chisholm P:\Observer on Sunday\Obs0214\Editorial.rtf [ 408 words]   11:58 AM  12 February 2010  [Page 1]

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