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When can kids play videogames?


foogledricks
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My daughter is 10 months old. She just beat Ninja Gaiden on "Very Hard" mode. She's amazing.

 

Wow. And here I am all proud of myself for making it to chapter 12 on Very Hard. I guess I really do suck.

 

Oh well, at least I still have Amy.

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All joking aside (right or wrong), my friend's son recently turned 5 and he's become as good at Halo 2's multiplayer as most regular players 4 or 5 times his age.

 

Nothing like visiting him to watch wrestling and having his son defeat me and someone else on Slayer by a few points.

 

Oh, and NEVER let him get the rocket launcher. He becomes death incarnate.

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If that's the friend I'm thinking of, I'm surprised he lets his kids play Halo 2[/i'].

 

Yeah, it's him, and he refuses to play anything on Halo 2 other than swords-and-rockets. The rest of the time it's Halo 1... but no sense slamming the poor guy while he ain't here to defend himself...

 

So you guys don't mind letting your kids play M rated games?

 

Actually I mind. I don't have any kids and I wouldn't let them play M rated games.

 

Personally I think Halo and Halo 2 could have gotten away with a T rating. The violence and language are on the same level as the Oddworld games and those are rated T. But I'm not the ESRB.

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My 4 yr old loves to play video games. He's pretty darn good too, he can beat me about half the time we go head to head. Usually GC stuff as it is kid friendly and titles are easier to figure out: Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Spongebob, etc. But he (and the 2 yr old) just LOVE Burnout 3 on the xbox. They will play it as long as I let them, though he seems to think the point of the race is to crash your car in as spectacular fashion as possible instead of finishing in 1st. My car insurance premiums are already quaking with fear of his 16th B-day.

 

As far as M rated games go, a lot of that is BS IMHO. Unless there is very strong nudity, language, or extreme violence / adult situations, you're not going to corrupt your kids. For example I'd let my boys watch or play Halo/2 no problems, but GTA or the Silent Hill games would be a no.

 

Sure it's usually people shooting each other with guns, but if you think keeping them away from a video game is going to keep them away from that you're crazy. We have some Granola-Boulder type friends that don't let their kids watch TV, have gun/sword toys, and all that. Whenever they come over, their kids pick up a gun or sword type toy and *immediately* know what to do with it. If anything, they seem almost obsessed with these toys and games since it is typically denied them.

 

Neither our boys or their kids are particularly violent or don't play well. It seems like the love and attention kids get in a household shapes their values and demeanor much more than any media they choose to absorb.

 

Obviously if someone else came over with their kids I respect their wishes and parenting style. I can't prevent their kids from finding the odd plastic sword or water pistol, but I'm not going to let them watch RE4 or Halo 2.

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Granola-Boulder?

 

I don't have any kids yet, But just wanted to know what people let their kids play, given recent discussions about violence and videogames, and comments such as "It's the parents responsibility". Just curious.

 

I would agree, Halo doesn't strike me as requiring a mature rating.

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Granola-Boulder?

I would agree' date=' Halo doesn't strike me as requiring a mature rating.[/quote']I was against letting my son (age 6) play shooting games, and limited him to racers and sonic. Then my wife let him play star wars, and other then running around with his blaster, aka his finger, I saw no adverse affects.

 

I figured if star wars was okay, halo wasn't much different. Well 10 seconds into halo2 and he's staring at one of the soldiers yelling "he's dead dad, he's not moving, he really dead". :shock: Needless to say, we've put the m games away, and it's T or E only in my house. :o

 

Funny seeing those pic though, as the picture I keep on my desk is my son @ age one holding an n64 controller. Gotta update these pictures someday, maybe one day I'll even put a picture of the other one on my desk. ;)

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Pretty soon I'll see where my idealistic philosophy on art's influence on children contradicts my practical parental instincts. I'm inclined to believe that the vast majority of people (including children) identify with videogames as games. They will be engaged in the tasks put before them primarily toward achieving success (Winning!). If that means they have to kick the big boobed ninja, shoot the alien, stomp on the koopa's head, or drop the tetris block, that's fine.

 

As parents we may be afraid that if a game's looks, sounds, themes, or tasks emulate the real world in some way (as most games do) that our children may develop some immoral sense of right and wrong in the process (e.g. thinking it is ok to run over pedestrians with a car). I understand that worry. But it is silly in my opinion. Here's why.

 

A five year old child has

 

 

  • seen many pedestrians crossing streets in traffic
  • been a pedestrian crossing traffic
  • seen his parents and loved ones driving and as pedestrians as well

Their understanding of the world, how it interacts, and their place in it is enforced every day. The idea that you could shatter a child's sense of reality that easily, by letting them play crazy taxi, is incredibly unlikely. Many other factors would have to be in play to make that happen. Chemical imbalance, parental neglect, drugs, etc.

 

As much as we read headlines about people commiting crimes and blaming it on videogames, just think about what an aberation that is. Millions of children play these games. How often do children lose their sense of reality because of videogames. It is so infrequent.

 

So anyway. If you follow the general rule of moderation (too much of anything can be bad), videogames, movies, music, food, or whatever is fine in moderation.

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I don't have kids, but I would think that with Halo, the flood, mutations, and the religious theory and overtones could potentially make some parents uncomfortable. The ESRB probably felt they should at least put up a yellow flag.

 

Now that you mention it, the multiplayer aspect of Halo 2 only has an occasional blood splatter on a wall here and there from a sniper shot - the Tony Hawk games are more visceral when you bail into a wall, frankly. The single player campaign is probably a lot worse for kids, especially with The Flood.

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