So … I’ve been party to a number of conversations recently that have got me thinking about this subject. Raising my son to be a gentleman has always been one of my mantras, particularly in the scary modern world of gaming that seems to idolise characters that, I can safely say, without arguement, are not who we could ever class as gentlemen!
Now, I appreciate, that even before I write this, there will be an uproar of opinion but I don’t want to be battered for mine or my friends’ opinion because I guess I’m trying to understand the culture of our very young youth of today and the social peer pressure that many boys are under to fit in … my boy included.
Conversation 1: My son discusses that most of his friends have a game that we will refer to as ‘a very popular game that involves stealing cars’ … I’d like to point out here that my son is 12 and ‘a very popular game about stealing cars’ has a certificate of 18 … now I’m going to hazard a guess that this means you are meant to be … wait for it … 18 … wow didn’t see that coming … to play this game … anyone disagreeing? So … based on that little piece of information I’m probably going to advise that son should wait until he’s 18 … oh hang on, I’ve just become the worst mum in the entire world in 5 seconds flat … just terrific … thank you gaming world … thank you parents who let their 12 year old boys play this game … just a whole lot of thanks!
Conversation 2: Son’s friend admits that he downloaded the game when his parents were asleep early one Sunday morning and that he was so utterly and completely terrified by it that he had to wake his parents to admit what he had done so that he could offload the images and feelings that he couldn’t handle … hmmm I can see why 12 year olds should be playing this game … really?
Conversation 3: Overhear friend discussing latest ‘a very popular game about stealing cars’ which includes drive by shootings … oh that’s OK then … perfect games for raising a gentleman … what was I possibly worried about?
Conversation 4: Another friend’s son begging for ‘a very popular game about stealing cars’ for his 13th birthday as he was desperate to fit in amongst his peers so her and her husband caved in and popped to the local gaming shop (not giving any names away here!) to purchase but thought they’d just discuss with shop assistant first … and here I salute the gaming shop in question … shop assistant announced that it was the most unsuitable game of unsuitable games for anyone below the age of 18 and that under no circumstances would he ever recommend the context of the content for a 13 year old … game over so to speak I think.
So, to support my mantra of trying to raise a gentleman, should I deem it appropriate that he plays killing games with other sordid content that I don’t want to mention here? But am I wrong? I genuinely would love to hear other parent’s views … those whose sons do play such games and those who don’t. Maybe, we won’t know the real damage, if any, until these boys have a few more years under their belt … time will tell … but in the meantime my son will have to be mad at me because I’m not convinced … just saying!