Video Game Retail Veteran to Parents: Do The Right Thing

September 23, 2013 - James Fudge

Kotaku has an interesting editorial written by "a video game retail veteran" discussing how 100 of the 1,000 copies of Grand Theft Auto V sold last week were to parents accompanied by young kids who "couldn't even see over the counter." In his editorial he talks about being a parent who works at a retailer that sells games, and how he is often surprised at how many parents don't pay attention to the ESRB descriptors, shrug off any advice about what a given title might contain, or how many parents simply ignore what he is saying.

Obviously it's up to parents what games their children play, but this guy thinks a little more responsibility and education is needed by parents.

It also shows that these moves to ban or restrict games are wrongheaded because the ESRB system and the people that sell games do their best to explain to adult consumers what they are buying.

You can read the editorial on Kotaku. As a parent of a teenage boy, I know exactly what this guy is saying: I don't let my young son play games like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto V because they are not for him. Luckily he's too into Minecraft, Terraria, Dragon Quest, Pokémon, and Spiral Knights to care about those kinds of games.

Thanks to Papa Midnight for the link.


Comments

Re: Video Game Retail Veteran to Parents: Do The Right Thing

Obviously it's up to parents what games their children play, but this guy thinks a little more responsibility and education is needed by parents.

If parents are ignoring the warnings on the packaging and rejecting the advice of the salespeople, I don't know what education could be offered to them.

Re: Video Game Retail Veteran to Parents: Do The Right Thing

I had mixed feelings to the editorial.  I certainly think he is right to ask parents to make informed decisions, and it's probably the case that many of these decisions are ill informed.  But ultimately, so long as a parent makes the effort to be informed, I think the final decision is theirs.  It is not up to the retailer, the PTC or CSM, a social scientist or the government to tell me what the right decision is for my child (and yes, I am a parent as well).  There's no "one size fits" all in terms of what is right for children.  The line about maybe thinking twice when your daughter comes home crying because someone calls her a bitch was over the top...using guilt to enforce a moral view.  Although there's certainly a worthwhile debate on video game effects on bullying behaviors, overall I haven't found convincing data linking violent games to bullying.

Re: Video Game Retail Veteran to Parents: Do The Right Thing

video games have not shown to have a negative effect on children, So what the problem?

If its just the content of the game that some worry about, I still don't get then big deal.
Kids hear all the swear words at school. Violence is fake in games and you can see worse on the news. Sex and nudity is completely natural, Nothing wrong with it.
Kids will be fine playing these games.

Your son is a teenager and yet you don't even let him play COD. That seems a bit much. I think stopping your kid from being exposed to these things might stunt his growth. I mean Pokemon and the like are for little kids. Hes your kids so thats your choose but don't knock other parents just cause they don't see a problem with their kids playing those games.

Re: Video Game Retail Veteran to Parents: Do The Right Thing

The worst part is that I'm sure this will be highlighted by busybodies like James Steyer on why the ESRB ratings "aren't enough."

The pal California law wouldn't have been enough either if parents can't be bothered to maneuver their eyeballs to the prominent 17 plus rating.

 
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