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Gaming and kids

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#1
Well, I never thought I would enjoy playing games on my PC, but unfortunately TPU started the desire and I really enjoy it. I never thought much of FPS games but Wolfenstein has me hooked and several others that members have recommended. My wife does not thank you.

With this new found enjoyment I have spent some time playing games with my son. He is a very inquisitive 9 year old who is learning about computers on his own and has taught himself a ton. I like spending the time with him and we keep the amount of time we play to around 1 hour and not every day. So here is my question, do any other TPU members play games like Wolfenstein, Battlefield, Call of Duty with their kids even though the ratings are "M". We talk about what is going on in the game and some of the language that is said. He is a good kid and I have never heard him use any of the language from the games. Also, how do others feel about the "violence" of the games for kids? He is a black belt candidate in karate and is in no way aggressive. He has even walked away from kids bullying him when he could have seriously hurt them. Just curious about what others think.
 

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#2
Me I don't really like such graphical violence in games. I don't like to hurt people IRL, why should I enjoy pretending I'm hurting them? I don't even play Europa Universalis anymore because I can't stop thinking about the peasants I'm trampling beneath my imperial feet. :p

But that's just me. Free will etc. vOv
 

FreedomEclipse

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#3

Pretty much says it all about the community in general......

Im not against you having a little time with your son, but the more he encounters players like these then the more hes going to pick up on the language and develop behavioral problems like the kids in this video.

The community itself as a whole is toxic because no parent seems to monitor or supervise what their child plays. No parent cares - so long as the child isnt demanding their attention for an hour or so its a little bit of peace and quiet for them.

theres no setting in the game to permanently mute voice chat afaik so be prepared to explain to him what negative inflammatory racist or hate filled comments or words mean when someone else decides he has to share it with the rest of the other players and he picks up on that.


As for how i feel about violent games - Honestly kids shouldnt be playing such games, but CoD is more of an arcade shooter, nothing thats super realistic. Ive been playing shooters since i was 16 and my mum was always screaming at me about shit she heard on the news about kids reenacting scenes from games and going out there and killing their friends and other innocent people etc etc but Im 28 now and ive never been in trouble with the police or decided that i wanted to go out on the street and knife people because i saw it in a video game.

You are the parent, you are responsible for your child, you assess him mentally and see if you think he's immature or mentally stable enough to play violent games but leave the violence in the virtual world where in belongs when its time to unplug.

------

I was always a very hyperactive child, and it affected the way i learned things because i had the attention span of a goldfish, It affected the way i interacted with other people (as a kid) and I got into a lot of fights because of it. It made me pretty impulsive and I wouldnt even think twice about hitting someone if they were touching something that belonged to me. What did my parents do? put me through karate class - gave me a way to channel that aggression. I was still hyperactive but by highschool i had calmed down a lot.



If you dont want your kid exposed to the kind of trash on the video then find an offline game you can both play and enjoy or make sure he knows that the kind of behaviour he will be experiencing will not be tolerated at home or outside.


back when i started playing CoD1 I was part of a clan who used to play online with their kids too. Though back then it was a completely different day & age and a completely different community.
 
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#4
Both of you make valid points. We do not play online with others, offline single person campaigns only. Much of the off color language is within the game. The video posted is exactly why I/we don't do it. It is not a way of life for us but just some down time once, maybe twice a week and only for about an hour. I am not trying to justify that this is OK, just trying to reconcile in my own mind whether or not to allow this. We have only played the games a handful of times, maybe 5, but before it goes any further I want to get some opinions to make an informed decision on whether to stop now or how to proceed.


UPDATE: Well it has only taken 3 people to reply and another school shooting to make me rethink the types of games to play with my son. There are plenty of games out there that do not use the language or violence that we can play together. No sense in having him grow up too fast, he will do that anyway. Thanks for the replies. I think this is the right choice.
 
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#5
I do not think I agree with Freedom Eclipse, at least in this case. Sounds like this kid already has a good head on his shoulders and some true self-confidence so I don't see third person shooters and their players turning him into an immature f-bomb dropping troll who feels the need to beat down others.
 

cadaveca

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#6
The community itself as a whole is toxic because no parent seems to monitor or supervise what their child plays. No parent cares - so long as the child isnt demanding their attention for an hour or so its a little bit of peace and quiet for them.
I resent this comment of yours.

You are the parent, you are responsible for your child, you assess him mentally and see if you think he's immature or mentally stable enough to play violent games but leave the violence in the virtual world where in belongs when its time to unplug.
Proper education on a subject doesn't cover a person's ability to actually grasp or understand the subject.


My kids are usually within 5 feet of me at all times. I am that over-attentive parent, and that has consequences as well.


While I allow my son to play overtly-violent video games, the exposure is less than you'd find on TV. I do NOT allow my kids to watch TV, don't even have cable TV at this point, and when we did, it was always supervised. There is a marked difference between seeing "realistic animated characters" killing, and real people acting it out on TV. When a child cannot discern the difference between real life, and game characters, then yeah, I side with you.


I must digress, you do bring up some valid points, but they don't apply as broadly as you think. My son is an "A" student, involved in sports, and in community activities with other kids from our neighborhood. He plays all sorts of "M" rated games...after I have. I'm playing Watch_Dogs right now... not because I want to play it, but because he does. I don't think I'll let him buy it.

I also will not leave my kids unsupervised with their mother's family. Real and present dangers exist outside of videogames, and videogames themselves are only an issue, in my opinion, to impressionable and naïve minds. Knowing if someone fits in those segments of behavior doesn't implicitly imply they must be a child...many adults are just as easily influenced.
 
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#7
I do not think I agree with Freedom Eclipse, at least in this case. Sounds like this kid already has a good head on his shoulders and some true self-confidence so I don't see third person shooters and their players turning him into an immature f-bomb dropping troll who feels the need to beat down others.
He is a good kid and his mother and I believe in protecting our kids but not sheltering them. She is not real fond of the games. Unfortunately times are changing in the real world and not just the video game world. I think he will grow up soon enough so not helping this along might be a good idea. Maybe I will get out the old Sega Genesis and pop in Boogerman.

I must digress, you do bring up some valid points, but they don't apply as broadly as you think. My son is an "A" student, involved in sports, and in community activities with other kids from our neighborhood. He plays all sorts of "M" rated games...after I have. I'm playing Watch_Dogs right now... not because I want to play it, but because he does. I don't think I'll let him buy it.
This isn't a bad idea. Thanks.

I also will not leave my kids unsupervised with their mother's family. Real and present dangers exist outside of videogames, and videogames themselves are only an issue, in my opinion, to impressionable and naïve minds. Knowing if someone fits in those segments of behavior doesn't implicitly imply they must be a child...many adults are just as easily influenced.
This I completely agree with.
 
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cadaveca

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#8
This isn't a bad idea. Thanks.
Not all kids out there have parents that play videogames, but many do. It's those that do not, that might fall into Freedom Eclipse's scenario.


There are also many parents that didn't have kids on purpose. That said, I truly feel it is not any videogame's fault that has kids behaving the way some do.. It's entirely up to how they were raised, and what they have experienced prior to games.

I won't let my son play a game - any game - unless I have. Because some of the content in the "E" games, really is NOT for everyone. ESRB ratings aren't meant to be anything other than general guidelines on the content.
 
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#9
Both of you make valid points. We do not play online with others, offline single person campaigns only. Much of the off color language is within the game. The video posted is exactly why I/we don't do it. It is not a way of life for us but just some down time once, maybe twice a week and only for about an hour. I am not trying to justify that this is OK, just trying to reconcile in my own mind whether or not to allow this. We have only played the games a handful of times, maybe 5, but before it goes any further I want to get some opinions to make an informed decision on whether to stop now or how to proceed.


UPDATE: Well it has only taken 3 people to reply and another school shooting to make me rethink the types of games to play with my son. There are plenty of games out there that do not use the language or violence that we can play together. No sense in having him grow up too fast, he will do that anyway. Thanks for the replies. I think this is the right choice.
Gotta agree with your decision here. My 17 year old daughter has finally been given permission to try out the Halo games. I got her into the Elder Scrolls series, and there are TONS of game out there that you can play to spend quality time with your young man without exposing him to wanton violence. Now, I played Mortal Kombat TONS when it first came out, but I was a young adult at that point, and relatively mature for my age. The stuff you see these days? I'm sorry, but unless that's being filtered through a serious parental channel, it's really stupid just to let a child play anything. 5 years ago, I went through my XBox collection of games, and gave her 3 stacks: "you can play", "you can't play now", "we're trading in". She's in the "You can't play now" stack these days, but even this last weekend, she still came to me and asked permission to open one that she hadn't tried yet (Thief 3, which tickled the hell outta me :) ).
It really doesn't matter what games you let them play if you're not going to be involved in their life and the decisions they make. Good call, on your part, in my opinion... good luck :)
 
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#10
My 11 year old daughter recently got into RPGs like Elder Scrolls and Dragon Age. I had a discussion with my wife that maybe she shouldn't play the Dragon Age games...maybe I shelter too much.

Much more drama comes from my gamer wife who plays mmorpgs and everyone wants to be her boyfriend so I tease her a lot when guys send her free stuff and pay her account subscriptions :p
 
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#11
As far as what has been stated in the thread ill add my own view as well:

Video games rating system is very sensitive in this day and age, getting above an E rating is a snap of the fingers and games that used to be labeled T back in the old days automatically jump to M today. I do not see playing "M" rated games with kids (Or letting) as too bad ( I do see a base age but its not as bad as can be made out) however of course there are exceptions to that rule and I view the violence aspect not as bad as the words or suggestive material aspects of games. Truthfully, CoD is not that bad a game and actually has a low amount of suggestive material and cussing compared to other M rated games (IE GTA 5) strictly campaign wise of course.

Now as for online play, I personally view that in a different light no matter what game or rating it has. Online communities have the worst tongues right now and have for years with some of the talk I hear worse than anything ive said in my entire life every other sentence. League of Legends for instance is only rated T yet I read horrid comments constantly on one team or another pretty often similar to seeing/hearing that in online CoD, BF4, or the likes.

It comes down to just let them play with you and make sure they understand things are not real in these games. 99% of kids already know this and the reality is its not as big a deal as its made out to be in the news and what not. I just think the online community and watching for suggestive themes/cussing being the primary things to be careful about when deciding if a game is appropriate for a kid.

Just my viewpoint...
 
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#12
I first played COD4 at a friends house when I was in 4th grade(yeah I'm a bit young) and was disgusted at what I saw on one of the maps. Now I don't really care about any violence in games though I admit to finding games where there are rivers of blood and high velocity ragdolls incredibly entertaining but that's because it's all so incredibly fake. In a game you know and realize that the body flying through the air has nothing to lose it's a 3D model, it doesn't have a family, it doesn't even feel pain so I'm OK watching it fly threw the air after getting blown up by explosives. I would never actually kill anyone while thinking straight and even in a fight I would never pull a weapon. The only things games have managed to do is to get me to use some extremely bad language no racial slurs but plenty swearing ever since 6th grade.

All the cases of youth violence I've heard of end in a suicide so I would guess that it's more of an interest in getting attention rather than a case of hating someone to the point that you want them dead or the shooter being a psycho path and because these stories get in the news other attention seeking idiots go out and copy the original idiots. If you were an actual psychopath that enjoys killing you wouldn't kill yourself because you wouldn't regret what you did. Attention seeking idiots end up realizing that the attention they got isn't the attention they wanted and kill themselves. The TV is a bigger threat than games in that way.
 
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#13
I do allow my 8 yr old son to play BF3 and BF4 on my PC, but I make sure I log him to a less crowded server. All he likes is to wander around, jump around, fly the planes, jump out, put C4 etc. He has Black Belt in Taekwondo and he knows his limits, well behaved kid too.

Both of us spend father and son bonding time on Age of Empires.

As long as we keep an eye on what they are doing and make them aware of the bad things they might see on these games kids are smart enough to understand. Too much blood and violence I try to avoid though.
 

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#14
When my boys are old enough they will be limited to games like minecraft where they are forced to use their imagination and some problem solving. As they grow older I hope to push them towards RTS games to help develop forward thinking and quick decision making skills. However, every preteen and teenage boy enjoys FPS so it may be difficult.
 

cadaveca

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#15
When my boys are old enough they will be limited to games like minecraft where they are forced to use their imagination and some problem solving. As they grow older I hope to push them towards RTS games to help develop forward thinking and quick decision making skills. However, every preteen and teenage boy enjoys FPS so it may be difficult.
Just keep in mind the things your kids see you do, that they cannot... they want.

My son, reads zombie-themed books, plays BF games, and guitar (and PC guitar games). A Boy Scout with top grades that runs long-distance track, and snowboards.



None of that is important.


What is important is that he is happy, confident, and sincere. Happy people don't run around hurting other people. Games and their content don't matter unless they cannot understand the content. The same is true for TV, books, movies, music...


Overall, this is really a very basic subject that has been around since man has existed, just in a new context. Everyone really knows the right answers here.
 

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#16
Overall, this is really a very basic subject that has been around since man has existed, just in a new context. Everyone really knows the right answers here.
yes, exactly. be a good parent and your kid will not go around hurting other people.

/thread
 

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#17
I'd recommend games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution. There is little to no swearing and the entire game can be beat without killing anyone except the forced boss fights. Dishonored falls in the same category (doesn't have the exception for boss fights either). Dishonored especially punishes you for being violent. We could even go back to most of the Splinter Cell games (Pandora Tomorrow, Chaos Theory, Double Agent) where you can pacify instead of kill. It makes the game much harder, but more rewarding. I think the violent games best for kids are like these that have a non-violent solution. If you have a kid that chooses the violent route virtually all of the time, I'd ask why and if I'm not satisfied with the answer, I would be inclined to get a psychologist involved because he/she has anger issues.

Online is not just a "no," but a "hell no," unless it is with people they know in person.
 
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#18
As a child growing up, I've had access to a PC with games on there for pretty much my whole youth. My parents never really actively censored what I could, and could not play. I basically could play anything I could get my hands on, and they were supportive whenever I let them know I'd like to buy another game.

The difference between that and many examples of kids lives these days however seems to be that my parents always tried to impart on me a very clear sense of wrong and right, which usually caused me to make the correct choices myself(never touched postal for an instance since I knew about it from all the stories from other people). Another thing might be the fact that I could usually explore those games on my own, or with close friends/relatives, which I suppose lessened me being influenced by other people like a lot of kids these days seems to be in a big way. They way current gaming communities seem to concentrate the worst kind of people, while also giving them the opportunity to be the biggest bullies without consequences also does not help at all.

I also believe that actively censoring stuff might actually lead to opposite results. Its in the nature of kids to seek out boundaries, and try to get their way against the odds. For some it becomes the more attractive the more their parents try to get them to stop playing. A mother of a close relative kept denying acces to the game Doom, which only caused the kid in question to become more and more curious as to what was actually the deal with that game.

In my opinion the only thing that really matters is parenting. While these days it's computergames, it used to be playing soldier in the garden, or knight, or hero or whatever, and to the imagination of a child they can all be just as real as the rest of their lives. Its up to their parents to bring everything in proper context and teach them whats wrong and whats right.


edit :
I'd recommend games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution. There is little to no swearing and the entire game can be beat without killing anyone except the forced boss fights.
As someone from outside of the US, I really never got the whole love/hate relationship with swearing. Stuff never gets censored over here, and from my standpoint, the only thing all that excessive censoring(beeping) results in is making swearing "cool" for those people already sensitive to that kind of thing. If you don't want people to hear what you're saying, just don't say it! In that case it was probably not worth saying anyway. It also leaves you with a bigger dynamic range of expressing yourself when it really ís needed.(instead of swearing so much it looses all value except expressing something generic and negative)

Also, I'll probably change my mind when my own kids arrive at some point, but this is how I experienced my own childhood :p
 
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#19
My opinion, the less electronic game playing, the better. No matter what the rating. Keep in mind YouTube, it shows off just about every game with swearing and commentaries that'll make Mike Tyson cringe.

Monitoring: I do not allow electronics in the bedroom. The XBox and computers are in the general living areas, so I know what they're being exposed to.
 
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#20
I guess my experience gaming with the kids would be considered a bit uncool these days. We played games like Mario Kart 64, Super Mario 64 and Golden Eye on the Nintendo 64 and Donkey Kong Country and Power Rangers on the SNES. Fun games and everyone had fun. Our girl wasn't real good at the Nintendo games so I helped her play Barbie Adventures on our PC. She loved it so that made it fun for me too.
 
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#21
Mine enjoyed an ATV racing/bashing game we played :) Not very barbie-like, but she enjoyed it :)
 

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#22
As someone from outside of the US, I really never got the whole love/hate relationship with swearing. Stuff never gets censored over here, and from my standpoint, the only thing all that excessive censoring(beeping) results in is making swearing "cool" for those people already sensitive to that kind of thing. If you don't want people to hear what you're saying, just don't say it! In that case it was probably not worth saying anyway. It also leaves you with a bigger dynamic range of expressing yourself when it really ís needed.(instead of swearing so much it looses all value except expressing something generic and negative)
I agree but there are parents out there that really don't like swearing so it was a public service announcement. XD
 
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#23
In my opinion violence and gaming is unrelated (maybe slightly). My generation played Doom and Mortal Kombat in elementary school (few of us could read english at that time and in my country ESRB rating is totally ignored and totally alien stuff to our parents) and maybe CS in junior high. None of us (as I know of) involved in violence except for usual fight between friends (you know girl problem or something).

I think the most important filter is ultimately the parent. We as kids, learn from our parents, even though there will be teen rebel time but eventually we grown respectful to our (decent) parents.
Parent should not censored anything, but parent should give the kids understanding about the matters, be it resolving problem without violence, swearing, racial issue, or sex.
Tell them what is good what is bad, give them reasoning and understanding not just prohibition, they will tread gaming content and community carefully (or in other words... like a game). Silent parent is fail parent.
 

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#24
I don't think vidya games are a problem in the slightest, it's the toxic online community that some of them come with. If a kid has been thrust in front of a PC or console game because their parents CBA to deal with them, that's how XxXD4RKSL4yer360noscopeMLGPROXxX is made, because his parents aren't teaching him to be a human being. They're using violent entertainment as some kind of "upbringing tool", so little johnny starts learning all the shit the other 13 year old kids on CoD online say on voicechat, and hey-presto, another community uneducated moron is born.

I think OP is a cool guy, and that's how I was brought up. I played violent video games, but violence disgusts me in real life. I can laugh with my foreign friends and we can make jokes about each others' race without any emotional harm AT ALL. All because my parents and/or siblings were positive influences as my time on vidya games started to become more prominent and grew.
 
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#25
ha! I would grow up on watching stuff like aliens, predator, and other gory sci fi movies and play those named games and other gory stuff and I came out fine :D I was the least sheltered kid (wasn't coddled like most are I was let outside to play and I would get hurt a lot but it made me tough!) and I'm still not sheltered and whiny and sappy-ass like a lot of people are these days. Yet I'm very friendly to most people, very easy going and extremely helpful and cheery most of the time. I can't even bring myself to kill some insects sometimes and I always help kids and animals in distress.

The big problem is parents don't let their kids play outside they think its evil or something and they won't let little tommy have a girlfiend have a good time but they are totally ok with xXTomas_Da_Big_GunzzXx cussing out people on CoD!