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Fox News recently published an article written by a man named John S. Dickerson titled ”Grand Theft Auto V sales set record — why are we surprised when virtual violence becomes reality?”. The article in question proposes the argument that games like Grand Theft Auto V are the sole reason for all of the shootings and random acts of violence that have been going on in the United States of America as of late.
Mr.Dickerson goes as far as to say that GTA V and other ”Best selling” video games are teaching young men to open fire on innocent people in public places. He even sites that the man behind the Navy Yard shooting, Aaron Alexis, ”immersed himself for hours at a time in this lifelike virtual reality of violence”. Mr.Dickerson goes on to state that GTA V’s entire purpose is to shoot people. Normally I wouldn’t even bother with anything on Fox News, but I felt someone had to ask the burning question. Are video games too violent for our youth?
This argument almost always comes up when something terrible and violent happens. So, are violent video games to blame? No. Still with me? Good. It may come as a shock to some of you, but the parents are 100% to blame for their children’s misbehavior. I know, it is a shocking new development that no one has ever thought of. Unfortunately, people in this day and age instantly blame anything they can except their selves. When a child acts out and does something we would deem wrong or immoral, it instantly gets blamed on violent video games or the dreaded television. Quite frankly, parents just don’t give a damn about what their kids are doing. Am I saying that M rated titles are okay for young children to play? Not at all! If I had kids they would not be allowed to play games like GTA V.
The fact of the matter is, games like these don’t belong in the hands of children. They are entirely way too graphic for such a young audience. However, a large portion of the GTA V sales were most likely for people under the age of 17. I saw it all too many times when I worked at Gamestop. Kids would come in with their parents and grab the newest M rated game and bring it to the counter. I would inform the guardian that the game is rated M and is not recommended for children under the age of 17. I kid you not, nine times out of ten the parents would not even look at the ESRB rating. They would simply nod and pay for the game. I’m talking about kids that were no older than maybe 11. There is a reason for the ratings system. I don’t see how any parent can try to put their bad parenting off and replace it with the old and over used ”violent video game” excuse. It’s time to start taking an interest in your kids interests. When your children act out, don’t blame it on a video game. Take action and discipline them. The world will be a much better place in the long run.
Do you feel video games are too violent for our youth? Or do you agree that the parents are to blame? Sound off in the comments below!