Parents Fear GTA More Than Sex And Alcohol

I was browsing the net and found this at

A poll on revealed parents are more afraid of GTA4 then of Sex and Alcohol.
Parents, Press, Education, self-information: Epic Fail!

Seriously parents: Your a shame for your generation.
Your afraid that your under-17 year old children, during a sleepover, could:
Drank beer 14%
Smoked marijuana 50%
Watched pornography 17%
Played Grand Theft Auto 19%

So playing a computer game is a threat to you?
Let us first check the others.

Beer: In too early stages where self-control is often missing it could lead to alcoholism, puking, coma, driving under influence and causing a horrible crash that involves the death of others. Indeed a threat, I agree.

Marijuana: While still young (under 21) it can cause harm to your physical growth, hinder the development and functionality of organs, can lead to hallucinations, depression, migraine and high emotional stress (which even for adults is hard to handle). Indeed a threat, I agree.

Pornography: Some people hate them other love it. But I think we all agree they are not for children. With the age of 14 sexual eduction should take place since both boys and girls start to become physical sexual ready. Watching porn while too young can cause harm to the individual sexual inegrity, identity and development of sexual feelings. I agree that they are not suitable before the age of 17 but porn is not as much as a threat like the first two. Also: Please search your mind and check how much naked skin, boobs and sexual innuendos are today present in normal TV environment. Even during children-normal daytimes.

Grand Theft Auto: GTA is a computer-game where players can be, let us say, less nice in the world. Is it bad? Does a game like this actually invite our children to be bad persons? Steal? Hijack? Murder?
Is it that bad if a game offers the chance to not play the classic good old fashioned hero of the day but more of a bad guy who wants to take some revenge, get some old stories out of the way or to take law in his own hands?
Why is such a game more bad than a movie where a bad cop is shooting someone and gets away with it?
Because we are interactive linked with the game? Because we do it?
Sorry but just playing a game doesn’t turn anyone into a bad person. There are hundred of mature games out there. If they all had such a bad influence our children would have already taken rampage on the city they live in.

Let us add one more general point to this list.
Computer games: A computer game is an interactive experience. It allows any player to be a hero, an alien, a fantastic being or a bad ass. You can travel trough time, space, historic places or actual existing buildings. While progressing trough some games we form a bond with some of our characters, often in games with a very deep and long story. When live with them trough joy and hardships. We see our characters succeed in battle, fail to save a beloved person, witness death and live, justice and evil and much more.
Games, do they invite us? Or do they provoke us? I could tell you how it is for me but that won’t help you.
Are computer games a threat to children? Some games are indeed not suitable for children. However, the various existing ratings that exist are only a guide. The ones who need to decide are the parents.
However, do not oversea the real full impact threats which are way closer and more harmful just because video games are a strange and foreign world to you. It is up to you to educate yourself about games in order to properly parental your children. It is up to you to sit down with your children and to talk with them. Spare some time to watch your children play or even invite them to explain the games to you when they play. You should not provoke them with rules, harsh consequences and or blankly banning games or consoles. Communication will help, both of you. Your child might learn to understand why you are worried and if you approach your child with honest intentions it will welcome your interest (to understand his games).

But still let me address something the press/media often brings up to have big headlines:
Games turning our children into violent, homicidal beings.

Now, first let me tell you: This is outright not true and the media knows that.
There are already dozen of studies, surveys and information found by police investigations that proof the media headlines wrong. Why you never read about that? Which newspaper wants to print: “Sorry, we were wrong.”

Admitted, there is one factor to violence thou: The valve. Allow me to explain:

Often children who turned violent to others had already a hard past. Mobbed in school, parents are fighting and in divorce, Psychological problems beneath the surface, social isolation and so forth.
Most of those things can cause a hidden rage in a child. Often let out by taking drugs, stealing in order to get attention from parents, dropped marks in school, running away, etc.
Sometimes a computer game is a form of escaping reality. A place where the child is in control: Untouchable, the master, the person in charge, the hero, a world where everyone loves “you”.
Unfortunately some games can also make a child think that taking the “the final” actions is a way to end the misery.
The game did not waken those things in our children. They did not create those or provoke bad sides in them.
Games, in the worst but very rare case, can be the valve to release the steam of anger, rage and depression.

You, the parents are in charge to take care of your children to make sure there is no anger, rage and depression that could grow so much. Sure, Children are often irresponsible, feel anger for parents and rules, rage for weird reason or feel depressed for things we no longer understand as parents. How were you as a child?

Don’t point at the government for more harsh rules on computer games: You are only calling for censorship.
Don’t point the finger on the schools: They are supposed to teach knowledge, not to raise your child.

Look into the mirror and ask the person you see one question: What can I do for my child(s)?
Parents are the police at home: Protect your child but also serve your child.

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