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Advising children about mature content in video games

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

While M rated video games are unable to be purchased by costumers under the age of 17, mobile devices offer a wide variety of violent games as well.

Since the early 1970s, video games have captivated the attention of children, teens and adults alike. However, the world of gaming has changed drastically through the decades. Games that are rated M for Mature are not sold to customers under the age of 17, however many parents still allow their children to play them. Parents should use caution when allowing their children to play violent video games.

Today, video games feature life like scenarios and situations that make the player feel as though they are carrying out the actions themselves. Some studies suggest that there is a correlation between violence in video games and aggression in children. While there are plenty of other factors that affect child behavior, parents are worried video games may reduce a child’s sense of empathy.

However, other studies suggest that there are no long term effects to playing violent video games. Using MRI technology, scientists were unable to distinguish between gamers and non gamers. Any signs of aggression from video games appear to be only temporary.

Each parent should monitor the video games their children play and decide whether they will allow their child to play games rated mature. While some teens may be unaffected by gaming, others may find the violence in video games triggers a response in their children. — Feather staff

In July of 2016, an 18 year old gunman took the lives of nine people in Munich, Germany. While the shooter also suffered from mental illnesses, it was found that he was an avid player of first person shooter games, such as Counter-Strike.

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Students play video games on their mobile devices. Each person reacts differently to violent video games, so it is important that parents monitor their children’s gaming activity.

This once again raised the question if video games were responsible for a spike in violence, such as mass shootings. With a rise in popularity of games such as Call of Duty or Fortnite, should the public be worried about today’s youth?

According to studies, an estimated 1.2 billion people play video games worldwide. 700 million of those people game online. With such a large market, it is unlikely that the gaming industry will cease production of violent games.

Each parent should monitor the video games their children play and decide whether they will allow their child to play games rated mature. While some teens may be unaffected by gaming, others may find the violence in video games triggers a response in their children.

For more editorials, read EDITORIAL: Standing in the face of adversity and EDITORIAL: Pros and cons of a well-rounded student.

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