Usually I’m not one for writing somewhat super-serious posts like this, but this topic has come up far too often in my personal life recently. So now I wish to ask you, the readers, how young is too young to start playing games like Call of Duty?
Yeah, yeah, I know… this debate has been covered in various ways before. But what I just posted above is a plain and simple question. Keep in mind, I’m not talking about video games in general, but rather the intense fighting games that include either a) guns/explosives or b) copious amounts of gore.
You may be wondering where this question might have sparked from. You see, my girlfriend works with children on a daily basis. Recently she told me how her co-worker’s children were very upset because their Call of Duty: Black Ops II disc was scratched up and couldn’t be used anymore. I then ask her, “Well… how old are these kids?” To which she tells me that they are 9 years old. Instantly I had a shocked face and simply replied, “Well they shouldn’t be playing that game anyway.” But it’s the very next thing that she tells me that really shocks me. She then goes on to say, “But they play it with their father.”
Now I don’t have any children of my own, so I can’t really comment on how it is to raise a child. All I can simply do is tell you how I wish to raise my own children, once that moment arrives. The fact that someone would let a 9 year old play a game like that (who is at most in what… the 3rd grade?) just seems reckless. Shouldn’t we all think that intense games like this will affect the way a child turns out? Hell, around that age I think I was playing games like Donkey Kong Country or something like that. Yes, I do acknowledge that we had games like Mortal Kombat back in the day. That game also got many parents up in arms. But still, how young is too young?
To me, I think a the youngest one should play violent games like that, would be around the 13-14 year old mark at the earliest. Throwing the development concerns aside, how many times have you been in a game lobby only to find out one of your fellow players is 6-9 years old? (Then of course quickly throwing on the mute button to not hear them anymore!) Also please keep in mind that I am not saying that video games alone are bad for kids of that age. The same can be said for TV shows, music, and even movies. If you are letting your 5 year old watch AMC’s The Walking Dead, there may be a problem.
I may get flamed on this post. Hell, I kind of expect it to happen. But I’m not trying to come off as some person on a high pedestal or something, like a lot of these anti-video game movement leaders do. Just simply trying to spark a debate, and see what you readers think about the matter. So go ahead and sound off in the comments.