Britain's Association of Teachers and Lecturers Attack Parents over Video Games

March 26, 2012 -

The head of Britain's Association of Teachers and Lecturers thinks parents are doing a crappy job by ignoring game ratings and letting their children play violent video games. They are pulling the proverbial fire alarm, in this BBC report like a teenager might do a one-off prank to send the principal into a tizzy fit (thanks beemoh).

ATL head Dr. Mary Bousted is leading the charge on the fuax crisis facing England's youth, believing that they know better than parents what they should and should not consume at home. Members of the union will debate a resolution calling for tougher legislation against violent video games at their annual conference in Manchester next week.

Dr. Bousted call these games were "very violent" and believes they could have an effect on the "tender young minds of children and young people". She added that parents are ignoring the ratings restrictions on video games, and that these ratings are hard to enforce.

"Of course, they're extremely difficult to enforce, just like films, like TV," she tells reporters.

"It's about reminding parents and carers that they have a very real responsibility for their children and that schools can't do it alone. It takes the very serious and labour-intensive business of proper care and attention of young children before they go to school and while at school to allow them to learn most effectively."

"If they're up to 12 or one o'clock playing computer games, and coming to school exhausted, not interacting with other children, that's not good preparation for school, and not good preparation for life," she added. "The fact that children spend hours locked in their rooms playing computer games, which means they're not interacting, they're not playing and not taking exercise."

Of course one could argue that it is none of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ business in the first place because parents are in charge of their children. As the people who brought them into this world, they have the right to decide if they can watch Doctor Who (on BBC) or play Grand Theft Auto. Perhaps the Association of Teachers and Lecturers should concern themselves with finding better ways to teach children more science, technology, and math so they can be better prepared for the future.

Source: BBC


Comments

Re: Britain's Association of Teachers and Lecturers Attack ...

While I agree there is no 'crisis' here, and I dont think the article uses that word either, there IS a point to be made.

Here in the UK, the BBFC rating system is legally enforceable - kids should NOT be supplied 18 rated games, it's against the law.  If parents are buying them and supplying the kid with them, then yes, we DO know better than the parent, or at least the government and legal system seems to think we do.

However, the PEGI rating system is voluntary here and has no legal penalties for failing to follow it.  This, presumably, is the part of the law that she thinks could do with 'tightening up'.

Whether all of that has to do with teaching, is indeed open to debate, but it is a valid point nonetheless.

Re: Britain's Association of Teachers and Lecturers Attack ...

It's against the law to SELL to minor, not for them to consume. Aka, they depend of their parents for breaching of what is considered the general rule of thumb.

Re: Britain's Association of Teachers and Lecturers Attack ...

Well, yes.  The parents are what this story is about, after all.

Re: Britain's Association of Teachers and Lecturers Attack ...

No, you said it was against the law for them to consume, not to buy, which is false.

Re: Britain's Association of Teachers and Lecturers Attack ...

Oh, maybe the statement is slightly ambiguous but that's not what I was saying.  I said "kids should NOT be supplied 18 rated games, it's against the law."  And that's true - I didnt say who broke the law but that doesnt mean you should jump to the conclusion that I'm saying it was the kid!

But let's not get distracted from the more salient points.

Re: Britain's Association of Teachers and Lecturers Attack ...

You really don't get it, do you? It is NOT against the law to provide a kid with a 18+ game if you're their parent AND making an appeal to a law to establish an automatic righteous/ethic/morality net doesn't work either as plenty of laws are simply wrong. So, NO, it ISN'T against the law and even if it was, which is ISN'T, you'd still have to defend that it is wrong to do so (good luck with that.)

Re: Britain's Association of Teachers and Lecturers Attack ...

Why is this trivial side issue so important to you?  Read it again: I didnt actually say the parents were breaking the law either.  And neither did I mention morality, in fact I specifically said "or at least, the government seems to think that".

Now, can we drop this non-issue and focus on the actual point, which is whether PEGI ratings should be legally binding?

Re: Britain's Association of Teachers and Lecturers Attack ...

Got to agree with him, the biggest problem with violence etc in computer games not the fact that game-makers and ratings boards fail to take it seriously, it's that parents seem to think that because it is a 'computer game', that it will automatically be suitable for little Timmy to play.

It's like when Keith Vaz tried to blame that murder on Manhunt, but neglected to mention that neither the Defendant nor the accused (The police say the murdered boy owned it, Vaz says the accused did) should have had that game by law in the UK, and that's regardless of the emotion-led pseudo science Vaz was using.

Basically, we can stick as many labels and numbers on computer packaging as we like, and the more we add, the less attention will be paid to them, because they'll just be part of the endless waffle of cards, labels and warnings that accompany all digital products that end up being completely ignored.

Re: Britain's Association of Teachers and Lecturers Attack ...

Be that as it may, isn't lobbying for stricter government legislation kind of just feeding this irresponsibility?

If it's not video games it'll be something else.

Re: Britain's Association of Teachers and Lecturers Attack ...

I will admit that it's nice to see somebody calling out parents for doing terrible jobs, rather than taking the Leland Yee approach of claiming video game publishers are somehow exclusively to blame by allegedly making a profit off of selling violent games to kids. 

 
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