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Study Says Kids Like 'M' Rated Games

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the toddlers-love-disembowelments-who-knew dept.

Games 102

Ars Technica's science blog, Nobel Intent, has a post up on a study done by the Journal of Adolescent Health. The report attempted to gauge usage levels of violent videogames among young people in the US. The results are unsurprising to anyone who's ever worked in a second-hand game store: "Most boys, and many girls, played games that the ESRB had rated M, signifying that they were for mature audiences only. Of the games played by the boys, Grand Theft Auto and Halo were both in the top three, and GTA was also the 2nd most played game by girls, according to the data. Over half of all boys agreed with the statement 'I play electronic games because I like guns and weapons.' On the other hand, over 60 percent of boys and girls agreed with the statement 'I play electronic games because there's nothing else to do.'"

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Breaking news.....! (5, Funny)

tanveer1979 (530624) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796365)

It was also discovered at 15 year olds love 18+ rated movies!

They also like (5, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796397)

Playboy Magazine. I doubt it's for the weapons and violence though. They just like to read the articles. What am I missing here?

Re:They also like (5, Funny)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796415)

In short:

( . Y . )

Re:They also like (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19797587)

That is a very onesided look at Lara Croft. You have to draw the guns as well as the weapons of mass distraction.

Ob. Zapp Brannigan-ism (1)

GoodbyeBlueSky1 (176887) | more than 7 years ago | (#19800429)

"I find the most sensual part of a woman is the boobies."

Re:They also like (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19805889)

Those are obviously implants.

Re:They also like (1)

witte (681163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19813297)

...I don't see the dolphins, does that make me a pervert ?

Re:They also like (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796541)

I don't see what the problem is. For one thing it is animated violence. And even if it were live-action violence . . . isn't that a good thing? This is America. We condone violence. What we do not condone is sex.

This is quite easily demonstrated by movie ratings. The SAW movies? Rated R meaning you have to be 17 years old to see people thrown into a giant vat of hypodermic needles or have their heads sliced in half or watch then tear out their own eyeball with a razor or have their entire head juiced by a top-only iron maiden. You can see this if you are under 17 as long as you bring an adult with you who can explain why someone is hacksawing their own foot off.

On the other hand, show a vagina? Instant NC-17 (good luck being shown in theaters), meaning your film can only be seen by adults, even if you have a guardian. After all, one can explain to a teenager why someone is ripping another person's heart right out of their ribcage, but you obviously can't possibly explain why a female would have an unclothed vagina in the shower.

So why is violence acceptable everywhere but in video games?

And really, why are people shocked?! Little boys play cops and robbers and love guns and weapons and military stuff as soon as they're able to walk.

Re:They also like (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796951)

So why is violence acceptable everywhere but in video games?

Because in the movies, the "good" guy always wins. The games allow you to be and root for the "bad" guy. Violence is okay, and in fact encouraged when the authorities can control how and where it's directed. You create winning armies when you can control a persons most primal desires for sex and power. Keep 'em dumb and horny(and throw in some alcohol) makes for a very aggressive, mean fighting machine. The games take away this control.

Re:They also like (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19797467)

Dirty Harry was a pretty bad dude yo.

Re:They also like (1)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 7 years ago | (#19798881)

There's an outcry about many games that have violent scenes and you're the good guy in them. Okay, in San Andreas, you're the bad guy. And that game proves the GP's point very well. The fact that you could gun down cops and blow people's cars up caused some reactions, but not too much. And when it was discovered that a hidden sex scene was in the game, instant media outcry, a widespread desire to ban the game and a resulting adults-only rating. Still, in most shooters and other 'violent' games you're the good guy. Take Doom 3. That's another game that many protested against because of its violent and gory scenes depicted with great graphics. Fundie groups also wanted a ban, yadda yadda. But that's a game where you're the almost perfect "good guy" - you're saving humanity by fighting the forces of Hell. Apparently, the critics don't care much for that part...

Burning Books (5, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19797205)

So why is violence acceptable everywhere but in video games?
For the exact same reason why Hillary Clinton can advocate setting up a censorship board to rate video games, yet would never in a million years advocate doing the same for books.

The simple reason why video games are a target is that most soccer mom's don't play video games any more complex the Snood or Bejeweled. It is an easy point to score to say that you want to save the children by setting up a government censorship board that will police your children when you are not doing it. Granted, no one says it in terms of 'government censorship board' because somewhere in the minds of voters they might actually start to see this as a violation of free speech. This is also why we don't see anyone running trying to put in laws setting up a body to censor books. If someone advocated rating and censoring books, even the dullest of Americans might realize that they are getting their free speech stomped on and react negatively.

The simple fact is that a disturbing amount of Americans don't recognize new media as speech. They recognize that a book is a form of speech that is protected, but fail to appreciate that a video game (or going back a few years, comic books and D&D) are ALSO forms of speech that need to be protected from government regulation and censorship.

People tend to be weak on principles and only perk up when they feel personally threatened. People will vote down the legalization of marijuana because they don't smoke, but would riot and start lynching politicians if alcohol was banned. People will vote for the right to have an abortion when they are young and having promiscuous sex and fear an unplanned pregnancy, but turn around when they are 50, in menopause, and couldn't have a child if they wanted to and vote against it. People will vote to increase taxes for schools when they have kids, and vote against them once the little buggers are out the door.

The hubbub about violent video games is just another example of this self interest untempered by principle. Advocating rating and censoring books for 'violent content' or sex and you would be crucified and thrown out of office. Do the same thing for video games and your average 40 something mom or dad who struggles to get the photos off of their digital camera will happily pat the politician on the back for doing something 'for the children'.

So, why are video games so easy to kick down? Because not enough of the voting population plays video games and people are too dense or indifferent to realize that free speech applies to all speech, not just the speech that they personally consume.

Thankfully, we have a constitution that recognizes that people are stupid and democracies do a mediocre job at best protecting minorities. We (Americans at least) live in a country that while democratic in nature is blessedly NOT a democracy where majority rules. Stuff like anti-video game crusading that the courts have valiantly stopped cold using the Bill of Rights is a civics lesson on why anything approaching pure democracy is an invitation to tyranny by the political majority.

Re:Burning Books (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#19798727)

The simple fact is that a disturbing amount of Americans don't recognize new media as speech.

Didn't the same things get said about "romance" books when the printing press was first invented that people today are saying about video games? Oh, its differnet now because its interactive. You're not really do anything reading a book like using your imagination or anything.

Featured Slashdot post (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19801971)

They ought to put stuff like this up as a perfect reason for Slashdot's existence. You deserve greater than +4 mods for this post. Epic. Truly epic.

Re:Burning Books (2, Insightful)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804469)

This is also why we don't see anyone running trying to put in laws setting up a body to censor books. If someone advocated rating and censoring books, even the dullest of Americans might realize that they are getting their free speech stomped on and react negatively.

You wanna bet? Lots of Americans don't read. All the media they ingest (movies, videogames, TV) is already censored. If someone came along advocating ratings for books, arguing that TV, movies, and videogames were already rated, who would argue against it? People who read books. Considering the anti-intellectualism of American culture, it would be framed as "family values" vs. "cultural elitists" (aka "those uppity people who read books"), and you know who's going to win that fight.

The main hazard of using reductio ad absurdum is that some people will follow you straight to the very same absurd consequence that was supposed to discredit their premises to begin with. This is why yesterday's dystopian fiction is today's standard operating procedure.

Re:Burning Books (1)

demi (17616) | more than 7 years ago | (#19806711)

It seems like neither you nor the parent poster is considering the fact (or did not mention it--but I think it's worth mentioning) that book censorship, banning, outrage, and restricting access by minors to some books has a long history predating these other media, both in the United States and other countries; and continuing to the present day.

They're not "going to come after our books" if they follow their logic; they've been coming after our books for centuries. Free speech is something that wants defending in any media, at any time, and upon the same principles and with the same kind of restrictions.

Re:Burning Books (1)

LGagnon (762015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19805399)

Actually, a democracy didn't create this moral panic. Politicians did to distract us from real problems. If anything, a democracy would not bother with this "problem" and focus on real problems like health care and poverty.

Democracy is not Liberal (3, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19805887)

Actually, a democracy didn't create this moral panic. Politicians did to distract us from real problems. If anything, a democracy would not bother with this "problem" and focus on real problems like health care and poverty.
I am curious as to what on earth you think democracy actually is. Democracy is one thing and one thing alone. Democracy is majority rule and nothing else. If 51% of the population voted to have the other 49% executed, that would be democracy in action. Fluffy crap about democracy having to do something with effective government that focuses on real issues is just taking a perfectly good word and warping it (usually to political ends I might add). Democracy is a method of making decisions and implies nothing about the justice of those decisions other then that a majority of the voting public consented to them.

A Republic with a strong constitution is an inherently undemocratic form of government. It is more 'democratic' than a dictatorship to be sure, but the Bill of Rights for instance is an inherently undemocratic document. The Bill of Rights sets out rights and rules that everyone will receive, regardless if the majority finds it prudent or not. It is an inherently undemocratic document in that it takes FAR more then a simple majority to overturn something like freedom of speech. 51%, 60%, or 65% of the population could vote to revoke the 1st amendment and they would fail. Hell, even with a super majority of 100% of the population begging the government to repeat the first amendment, it would still take a bare minimum years to move the process through. Undemocratic? Sure? One of the pillars keeping society liberal and free (even if not democratic)? Hell yes.

Democracy does not promise a liberal (and I use that in the traditional sense of the word) or free society. Democracy is just a nice clean way to transfer power and run day to day affairs. Non-democratic processes are what protect a liberal and free society from people like Hillary Clinton or the Right-Wing-Nutjob-of-the-Week from setting up a government censorship board.

Re:Democracy is not Liberal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19807681)

Actually I'm sure that the government would be more than happy to revoke the 1st amendment if there was a strong support for its abolishment. Remember that the 1st Amendment freedoms restrict the government, and thus it will be those in power who will inherently benefit from the removal of its restrictions. The only reason you don't see something like this happen now is because we as a people and a country embrace the concept of freedom so much that even so much as a suggestion by the government to revoke the freedoms of the people will cause an immense backlash. However if, for some reason, the political climate suggests that the public will be in overwhelming support of the removal of the Bill of Rights, than the government will by all means attempt to eliminate it because of the immense gain they will receive by doing so.

Re:Burning Books (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19805857)

I think this study proves that people who carry out studies like these have forgotten what life was like for them in their teens.

Re:Burning Books (1)

Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) | more than 7 years ago | (#19807477)

The simple reason why video games are a target is that most soccer mom's don't play video games any more complex the Snood or Bejeweled.
My mom won't play anything but San Andreas. She loves the sound it makes when you run over hookers. And from looking at her, you wouldn't guess that she was anything more than your typical Christian single mother.

Re:Burning Books (1)

mmortal03 (607958) | more than 7 years ago | (#19810115)

The simple reason why video games are a target is that most soccer mom's don't play video games any more complex the Snood or Bejeweled
Not only that, but I would argue that video games are still looked upon as simply children's games by the vast majority of people, even if they are rated Mature. For that reason they are continually going to be marginalized by many adults.

Until we have what are the equivalent of great literary works, constitutions, social commentaries, documentaries, or works of art in the video game format (yes, I know, many gamers argue that we do, but that hasn't caught on), or until they have a serious application in the workforce, i.e. when they are not just there for simply entertainment, until then, until they are truly appreciated universally by the majority of adults in this kind of sense, then they won't be given the more adult treatment that people are asking for them.

Re:They also like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19800853)

I watched a documentary on IFC about the rating system and why ultra violent movies get through with PG-13 and R ratings, and anything with sex in it gets NC-17 or higher. It was really interesting. I can't remember what the name of it was though.

Re:They also like (1)

Gharbad (647620) | more than 7 years ago | (#19801123)

The film you're thinking of is "this film is not yet rated". Quite a good movie. One fuck in pg-13, as long as it doesn't refer to sex. Gay? Clearly nc-17.

Re:They also like (3, Funny)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796745)

I combined the power of the M rating with the power of Playboy - my first self-purchased PC software was a Playboy CD-ROM, rated M.

Ah, those were the days.

Oh no, game weapons!! (5, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796403)

"I play electronic games because I like guns and weapons."

Oh no, they get access to video game guns and weapons! Quick, kick the power cable of that cursed thing and throw it in the garbage bin!

Then send the kid to play outside, with ... toy guns and weapons...

Wait a sec...

Re:Oh no, game weapons!! (5, Insightful)

Ginger_Chris (1068390) | more than 7 years ago | (#19797695)

I think the fact most people are missing is that mature rated games tend to be better games. Apart from Nintendo offerings a large proportion of the critically acclaimed games are M rated. Can we really blame them for wanting to play the best games available? I think game producers should take a leaf out of Nintendo's book and actually make some decent games that kids are allowed to play, such as pikmin or paper mario, rather than bargain bin movie rip-offs.

Re:Oh no, game weapons!! (3, Insightful)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#19799409)

There is still a bias with adolescents toward 'mature' content. I know this is anecdotal but... I'm in a rather large WoW guild, with a pretty wide age spread. (youngest is 14, oldest is in the 50's) Since we're all gamers, consoles come up in conversation quite a bit. Invariably, the younger guys are quick to point out the Wii is for kids, then trumpet the 360/PS3 as 'cooler'. Most of us older guys just like good games.

Adolescents feel like they need to prove their maturity all the time. Mature games/movies/books/etc are just a few ways they can wave the 'adult' flag around.

Re:Oh no, game weapons!! (1)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19798335)

Then send the kid to play outside, with ... toy guns and weapons...

Just don't give them any toy guns or weapons. Then at least they get some mental stimulation while they make weapons out of sticks and Lego (US translation: Legos). :D

Re:Oh no, game weapons!! (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 7 years ago | (#19799727)

Then send the kid to play outside, with ... toy guns and weapons..

I remember when I was a child of 6 or 7 (it would have been around 1988), when 'violent' video games were, for the most part, limited to Duck Hunt and Mario stomping on little mushroom people many mothers, including my own, despised the idea of their sons playing with toy guns.

My violent entertainment at the time was WWF wrestling and Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles. It created a personal problem for my mother who didn't like me watching those shows and I remember TMNT creating a political problem for the primary school that I attended. It as actually prohibited at my school from "playing TMNT" and if I recall correctly we weren't allowed to bring toy guns to school either.

Same old story.

Re:Oh no, game weapons!! (1)

pokerdad (1124121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19801897)

Then send the kid to play outside, with ... toy guns and weapons...

When I was a kid my mother wouldn't let me have any toy guns (she actually sent several gifts over the years back to the giver) because she thought this was the magic key to raising an upstanding member of society. Of course, this didn't stop me from playing guns - it just meant that I was known in the neighborhood as the loser who either borrowed a gun from someone else or pretended his hockey stick was gun.

well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19796447)

duh.

Re:well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19796551)

By Jove, I've GOT it!

We just have to rate Nickelodeon (modern, not vintage) as 'Mature', rate Halo 3 'Senior' or for the aging, and rate the hardcore stuff as 'Deceased.'

Just knock it all up a notch, I'm sure nothing will throw the new system out of whack.
--
Mod daughter post down.

They like R-rated movies too (5, Insightful)

_pi-away (308135) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796465)

Kids like anything that makes them feel/look more grown-up. Did we really need a study for this?

Re:They like R-rated movies too (5, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796591)

Kids like anything that makes them feel/look more grown-up. Did we really need a study for this?
Paying the mortgage and rolling over IRAs is totally all the rage in teenagers these days.

Re:They like R-rated movies too (1)

coaxial (28297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19797421)

Nah. It's life insurance. Afterall, MetLife has been using Snoopy to market to kids for generations. Afterall, RJ Reynolds was doing the same thing with Joe Camel, and look at their success.

Re:They like R-rated movies too (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19799817)

Well, they did like that Irish Republican Army simulator...

Re:They like R-rated movies too (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19802507)

What we need is a video game where you can pay the mortgage and roll over IRAs, so I can learn how to do these things, instead of being evicted all the time!

Re:They like R-rated movies too (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804515)

Well, your first mistake is that not paying the mortgage gets you foreclosed upon. Not paying the rent gets you evicted.

I own a 3.5 million bell house (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804735)

Kids like anything that makes them feel/look more grown-up. Did we really need a study for this?
Paying the mortgage and rolling over IRAs is totally all the rage in teenagers these days.
You intended this as sarcasm, but it's true. Just look at what DS players are playing nowadays [google.com]

Re:They like R-rated movies too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19796597)

Someone did a study that confirms yes, in fact, we do need a study for this.

Re:They like R-rated movies too (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796865)

My study shows a waning interest in your studies. Nyah nyah nyah.

Re:They like R-rated movies too (1)

dohzer (867770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19797309)

Reminds me of how boys "like" the taste of beer when their dad gives them that first sip. My ass....

Re:They like R-rated movies too (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19799131)

Reminds me of how boys "like" the taste of beer when their dad gives them that first sip. My ass....
And now today that father could get in deep trouble if it got out, particularly if a loud neighborhood busy-body found out.

Playing the "Grownup" Game (5, Insightful)

chee1a1a (948680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796471)

Well, it seems odd to me that someone needed to prove that videogames follow the trend that that many other subjects fall into for younger people, but more power to them. Still, at least to me, it seems a rather obvious conclusion.

Why do you think the main readers of "Seventeen Magazine" are considerably below 17 years of age? Why is the average patron at the clothing shop "Forever 21" is in high school? Why do you think little girls dress up baby dolls and play house?

Kids like things that are for "grownups". It's just the way things work, across the board. They think "I'm too grown up for the little kid stuff, give me the big kid stuff!" It's human nature.

Also, adolescents, in my experience, tend to put a great deal of stock in their maturity (in some cases). Most tend to think that they're mature enough to handle anything. Labelling a game "Mature" doesn't exactly deter those trying to prove their maturity.

I hope this report doesn't spur on a backlash of some sort. I'd hope most people are smart enough to realize that this is just another example the compulsion younger people have to identify with things they percieve as for "older" kids. But I'm an optimist.

Hope that made sense.

/captain obvious, signing off

Re:Playing the "Grownup" Game (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796619)

Violence is nothing new to kids. Before the good graphics, games like Contra on NES were played and kids imagined the blood and guts for themselves. Before that, they would go outside and play Cowboys&Indians or GI Joe and imagine the same basic violence.

And movies have provided a nonstop buffet of violence - horror films, action films, you name it. In all ratings except G (and even then - some Disney movies have fighting afterall). And they have BEEN REALISTIC for years. Hell, it goes back to the days of the Colluseum and much earlier than that.

I don't know why the onus is on video games who are just becoming realistic the last few years. The fact is, if video games were not as such, kids would turn to other entertainment that would show/provide violence. It's ingrained within us.

The only question is if there are responsible adult around to guide them on what is right and wrong in real life and distinguish bullshit from fact.

Re:Playing the "Grownup" Game (0)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19797417)

Wow, that ancient Roman kids went to the Coliseum does **NOT** justify our kids doing the same stuff. Is not the Coliseum universally frowned on today?

Re:Playing the "Grownup" Game (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19799859)

Yes, most reasonable people dislike the Coliseum for the fact that there were actual deaths.

Re:Playing the "Grownup" Game (1)

Taevin (850923) | more than 7 years ago | (#19801095)

Wow, that we frown upon the Colosseum today does **NOT** change the fact that we as humans have an affinity for violence.

Seriously, did you even read the post you were responding to? Never did he say that kids going to the Colosseum was a good thing. All he did was point out that humans (which includes children) have been seeking out, participating in, and playing about violence for a very long time. The point was that we have always sought such diversions, long before video games came into being and thus, it is unfair and just plain stupid to place any special blame on them for exposing children to violence and/or encouraging such acts. The second point (which you also ignored) was that trying to censor all forms of violence is foolhardy at best. The important thing is to have a parent/guardian/role model around to guide the development of the child.

Re:Playing the "Grownup" Game (2, Insightful)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | more than 7 years ago | (#19797973)

I don't think that's the whole story. As another post jokingly pointed out, kids don't pretend to write mortgage checks or prepare for retirement. They pretend to kill each other. I think it's an inborn instinct for kids* to compete with each other violently. In the wild, it would invariably have led to the smallest and the weakest children being killed, saving resources for the children who are a better investment from an evolutionary perspective. Sibling rivalry serves a vicious, but necessary, evolutionary purpose.

* Boys especially, owing to the suspected mildly polygynous nature of prehistoric humanity.

Re:Playing the "Grownup" Game (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#19800667)

ObSimpsons:

Manjula: Apu, they're doing it again.
                [the babies begin to wrestle with one another]
Apu: Okay, okay, break it up. [gently breaks up the
                fight by nudging the babies with his foot]

Re:Playing the "Grownup" Game (1)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19801861)

"Kids like things that are for "grownups". It's just the way things work, across the board. They think "I'm too grown up for the little kid stuff, give me the big kid stuff!" It's human nature."

It's not so much that they want it because the adults have it, they want it because they are being told they can't have it. It's the same reason adults buy lottery tickets and envy guys like Bill Gates for managing to strike it rich. Conversely, how often do guys like Bill Gates end up being bored because they've finally "done" or "own" everything?

You only want until you can have it, and once you have it the less interesting it becomes. Son the next big thing comes along and you want that instead. (Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo Wii, iPhone, etc... the list goes on)

Re:Playing the "Grownup" Game (1)

beyowulf (1014741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804995)

I wonder if it be a better deterent to mark such games as J for 'Juvenile'? Or would that just confuse people?

Now my good man... (4, Funny)

kryogen1x (838672) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796487)

What do you like to play?
Pokemon!
Pokeymon? Pokeymon! With the Pokey and the Mon and the thing with a guy comes out of the thing and makes a fwagwagwahah!

Re:Now my good man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19801671)

Do you mean fhqwhgads?

A word from a parent (5, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796497)

First of all: Parents who don't monitor their kids gaming activities should get their heads out of their asses and accept responsibility. Granted, you can't control what's played at their friends, but that's no excuse.

On the other hand, over 60 percent of boys and girls agreed with the statement 'I play electronic games because there's nothing else to do.
This is, pardon my French, is fucked up. If kid's really have nothing to do that's a prime example of an upbringing gone awry. There are a million things one can do as a parent to encourage healthy free time usage on the kids side, including good video games. But what on earth happened to going and doing stuff with your kids? It's not like it's forbidden after they learn to play by themselves.

Get involved, come up with a hobby you can do together. Go hiking. Hunt used bike parts on the net and build a couple of custom mountain bikes for you and the kid. Figure out what really interests them and dig up books which are on the subject. Organize movie nights with borderline-too-mature movies and discuss afterwards, empowering them to process stuff which is a little too heavy.

I'm not saying it's easy, but I will say it's possible.

A word from a non-parent (1, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796539)

But what on earth happened to going and doing stuff with your kids? It's not like it's forbidden after they learn to play by themselves.
I've got better things to do than play with kids.

I'm an adult.

I can't understand why you had 'em in the first place, it's not like Earth needs more people.

Stop breeding already.

Re:A word from a non-parent (1)

Faylone (880739) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796923)

Well, considering we haven't got immortality thing down, we still need some ammount of breeding.

Re:A word from a non-parent (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19797393)

Why? Just so that more breeding can occur??

Re:A word from a non-parent (1)

Retric (704075) | more than 7 years ago | (#19799923)

Old age.

Re:A word from a non-parent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19799455)

Oh, oh, indeed... Everyone, run to the rescue of mankind! We're about to become extinct! ...

Re:A word from a non-parent (1, Insightful)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19798047)

I can't understand why you posted this in the first place, it's not like the Internet needs more opinions.

Stop posting already.

Re:A word from a non-parent (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#19800735)

Hey, we here in the US need a lot more kids to fund our retirements. Current estimate is the government is only going to be paying me 74c on the dollar, and frankly, I doubt by the time I get the real number it will be even 25c on the dollar.

Re:A word from a non-parent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19801619)

4th trimester and beyond abortions anyone?

No wonder you're on Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19804115)

> I can't understand why you had 'em in the first place

That, my friend, is why you're posting on Slashdot and other people are doing the breeding.

> Stop breeding already.

Now there's a stupid idea.

Re:A word from a non-parent (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804575)

Then it's, perhaps, fortunate that you aren't a parent. Those who are, however, probably should play with their kids, lest their kids not be raised properly and end up beating you to death with your own cane 20 years from now.

Re:A word from a non-parent (1)

Deagol (323173) | more than 7 years ago | (#19805655)

While I enjoy this kind of alt.support.childfree angst as much as the next USENET veteran, your post is pointless in this discussion. A non sequitur, really. Why it got modded so high is really beyond me. Save these posts for articles/threads where the topic is the nanny state, in it's mis-guided attempt to "save the children", trampling on your child free existence. The original write-up does not cover this, nor does this thread, which is about *parenting* style and has no relevance to you.

I've got 2 kids of my own, and I have been known to spout some pretty harsh anti-{breeder/sprog} opinions myself. But really... let's keep on target, shall we?

Re:A word from a non-parent (1)

Ian Alanai (1066168) | more than 7 years ago | (#19807753)

I've got a couple of anklebiters myself.

I also advocate compulsory, reversible, sterilisation of all pre-teens. Perhaps implants would do the job. Then people only get their fertility back once they have turned 21 and/or passed suitable training courses.

Re:A word from a non-parent (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 7 years ago | (#19809321)

I also advocate compulsory, reversible, sterilisation of all pre-teens.
Allowing for the positive aspects of you-know-what without the negative aspects of pregnancy. This will be a bad thing, as it spreads various STDs during adolescent periods.

Re:A word from a non-parent (1)

Ian Alanai (1066168) | more than 7 years ago | (#19810043)

Yeah that'd be a big drawback, what with that abstinence thing being so popular with kids these days.

Also it's a Strawman argument unless you are advocating the elimination of the birth control pill as well.

Contraception and disease control are two different things. Only one form of contraception has any role in disease control, and it happens to be the least effective form. If you read the stats you'll see that the risk of unwanted pregnancy doesn't seem to be slowing the randy little buggers down at the moment. And precious few are taking much in the way of precautions.

Disease prevention is a separate issue to unwanted pregnancies. In my mind the people most likely to get unwantedly pregnant at a young age are those least fit to raise a child. The consequences of an unwanted pregnancy, such as abortion and welfare dependency, on the individuals concerned (including the children) and society as a whole, are far greater than the risk of STDs spreading.

Re:A word from a non-parent (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811425)

Yeah that'd be a big drawback, what with that abstinence thing being so popular with kids these days.
Around here, abstinence is at a near-100% rate. You can say this has to do with social factors, but for some, it's compounded by the fact that they don't want to yet be a father.

"Normal society" is half-abstinent. While the age for initiation is on the low side, it's above the age of consent for most places. Read what you will here: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/PUBLICATIONS/fact sheet/fsprotective.htm [advocatesforyouth.org]

Also it's a Strawman argument unless you are advocating the elimination of the birth control pill as well.
Yes, I'm opposed to the pill as well, on moral grounds. This is another story.

It's not a true strawman since the original advocation doesn't give much of a good reason on why to implement it in the first place - it's your argument, why not give sometime even remotely plausible? The argument also doesn't take into account that it is yet another extension of childhood (now boosting it to 21 rather than the current 18) and is perhaps an overreaction to what isn't a pandemic. Unless there is severe poverty, a couple can receive support from either parental group - and if there is... well they somehow are still able to pull through.

A part time job offsets some expenses, which isn't unusual at 17/18. If they're targeting university instead of a job, see above concerning financial support.

Besides, I'd prefer the Slippery Slope argument, where Big Brother somehow decides that you shouldn't reproduce and claims that you haven't really passed whatever test is necessary.

Re:A word from a parent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19796565)

As a parent, I have no problem with my kids playing GTA.

Re:A word from a parent (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796645)

Most adults work for a living and are exhausted when they get home.

Most kids don't have yards or at least not yards big enough to enjoy.

It's all find to tell kids to "go out and play!", but what are they supposed to do in that postage-stamp sized plot of grass you have for them in your suburban neighborhood?

People are squirting out kids when they can't afford a home with plenty of property for a child to really enjoy their childhood. They are scared by the news that their kid is going to be molested or killed if they go anywhere on their own, like taking the bus to the library. Parents are too busy pulling in double incomes so they can afford that speed boat they take out every year for two days.

Videogames and television are a way they can keep the kids out of their hair and off the streets. At least, until we can invent some sort of space-tech that lets your children incubate in a giant pull-out drawer until they're 18 and you can just unplug them from the nutrition tube and wash your hands of them.

Re:A word from a parent (4, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19797027)

Most adults work for a living and are exhausted when they get home.
I've got double twins, four kids. Yes I'm exhausted when I get home, but I still make time to for them. It's my duty, and actually very much worth it too.

Most kids don't have yards or at least not yards big enough to enjoy.
This is a genuine issue. Especially in areas where there is no public spending on proper parks and stuff.

Videogames and television are a way they can keep the kids out of their hair and off the streets.
Videogames and television are a an easy way they can keep the kids out of their hair and off the streets.

I still think that the vast majority of the cases are more about lazy parents than something else.

Re:A word from a parent (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#19799413)

I have no moderator points -- so agreed. I'm also a parent, although only of one. My wife works primarily weekends and I work the traditional 9-5 mon-fri work week. We manage that way to have at least one of us home with our daughter most days instead of day care or babysitting and choose to do so actively.

To be fair, I know its hard to work out good work arrangements these days, as well as good fair prices for rent or home purchases in conjunction with raising a child, but its a lot more to do with priorities.

I've heard many stories from wealthy business people about being raised in poverty by parents who spent time with them teaching them to read and enjoy the library and learn everything they could and stay out of trouble and they're now very successful.

To those who think having children is a bad thing I ask you -- do you think the people who, in your opinion shouldn't be having children are listening? Or just the ones who'd actually make good parents? Someone's going to have children and they're going to be the future of your country and planet. If you want to help, have your own and raise them right.

Re:A word from a parent (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804671)

My parents were retired before I was born, so I had almost-unlimited amounts of their attention, as well as a very big yard. But, unless you have more than one kid, or unless you desperately want your kids to grow up to be introverted loners, it's probably best to live in an actual neighborhood so they have other kids to play with at, say, a neighborhood park. Then they can invite their friends over for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and videogames...(sigh of wasted childhood)

Re:A word from a parent (1)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796799)

As another parent, I would have to say, it probably doesn't make a difference one way or the other. Whether the child plays in the park or plays GTA matters not one whit. Take a look around --- adults of all backgrounds are pretty much fucked up. Whatever they do can be blamed on Playboy or Halo, D&D or Ozzy Osbourne. Except people did bad things way before mass media. More boogeymen blown way out of proportion so that people will overlook the simplest explanation that our collective and individual psyches are totally warped from day one.

Re:A word from a parent (1)

spamking (967666) | more than 7 years ago | (#19799811)

As another parent, I would have to say, it probably doesn't make a difference one way or the other. Whether the child plays in the park or plays GTA matters not one whit.

Psychologically maybe it doesn't matter, but in my opinion it definitely matters physically. Kids today are so freakin' out of shape and over weight that many of them will be lucky to make it out of college if they don't change their lifestyle.

Except people did bad things way before mass media. More boogeymen blown way out of proportion so that people will overlook the simplest explanation that our collective and individual psyches are totally warped from day one.

True, but I'd have to say that parents can actually prevent some of the psyches from being totally warped. But some of them aren't cut out for it.

Re:A word from a parent (2, Insightful)

boldra (121319) | more than 7 years ago | (#19798405)

Don't take it too seriously. Look at the way the question is framed: "Do you play video games because there's nothing else to do?"

If you posed the same question as "Do you play football because there's nothing else to do?" you might get a similar percentage! Kids will very quickly see the current activity as the only one being worth spending time on. If you give them a series of questions about video games, they will imagine themselves playing their favourite video game, and find it hard to imagine "something else to do"

Re:A word from a parent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19800455)

True.
And here's a positive way of looking at the question and its results : Maybe those kids only play video games about 1 hour a month, when there's absolutely nothing else to do (they're in a plane or on a long car trip and forgot their books?).

Re:A word from a parent (1)

psychicsword (1036852) | more than 7 years ago | (#19802783)

When I fist used to play video games I played because I had nothing better to do. But the same is said with play outside with my dog or watching TV just because they have nothing better to do doesn't mean it is a bad thing. And now I have moved on to bigger and better things reading /. because i have nothing better to do.

This is news? (1)

mcsnee (103033) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796523)

The rest of the headline: "Kids also okay with booze; Jury out about porn."

It's About Time! (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796525)

I always hear on Slashdot, "won't somebody think of the children!" well it's good to see video game manufacturers finally doing something. Kudos to them.

Has Psychology Today weighed in? (2, Funny)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796661)

Maybe Psychology Today can write an article [slashdot.org] finally explaining why kids are naturally rebellious.

why do you play video games? (1)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 7 years ago | (#19796717)

I play video games because its an enjoyable way to get my mind off the stresses of life. horrible gory violence, murder and theft without consequences, the ability to kill any foe instantly by jumping on its head, all very not like real life. its that realization that makes those games fun, kids realize that and play them too. adults who don't play video games think it means their kids expect to jump on their heads killing them with blood spurting everywhere followed by a pillaging of the town. sounds to me like people just being afraid of anything they aren't familiar with.

please note that despite the rumors I was never convicted of jumping on that fire breathing biped turtle

Re:why do you play video games? (1)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 7 years ago | (#19797385)

In this day and age, a young child is exposed to violence on television, in movies, and in video games. Much emphasis is placed on the glory and excitement of opening fire on the enemy with oversized gatling guns and flashy rocket launchers, but no parent is willing to do much more than say "violence is bad" to counteract it.

A psychopath is a psychopath, but some children are turning into them who didn't have to because of the way they're raised. (I almost did.) Images that should be disturbing are now commonplace. This can't be a good thing.

Also, from a Darwinian perspective, it seems strange to emphasize same-species killing over reproduction.

-:sigma.SB

(I'm project lead on a war sim, with plenty of blood. I don't think that violence in media is necessarily a bad thing, I just think its influence on young children is often underestimated here.)

Re:why do you play video games? (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#19799277)

Also, from a Darwinian perspective, it seems strange to emphasize same-species killing over reproduction.

Not really when you consider how many people there are in the world, and we're all competing for limited resources and space.

Guns & Weapons (3, Funny)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 7 years ago | (#19798373)

Over half of all boys agreed with the statement 'I play electronic games because I like guns and weapons.'

Over *half*? What's wrong with the rest of them?

Re:Guns & Weapons (1)

Ann Coulter (614889) | more than 7 years ago | (#19805819)

Maybe that "half" corresponds to the boys exclusively.

See also: Playboy (1)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19798427)

In other news, studies (when I was a kid) show that kids like to look at Playboy ...

insufficent (4, Insightful)

LordBafford (1087463) | more than 7 years ago | (#19799067)

what is this? Over half of all boys agreed with the statement 'I play electronic games because I like guns and weapons. They don't give all the facts. How do we know that this survey wasn't set up as such. Why do you play electronic game? A. to learn B. I like guns and weapons C. I have no friends to play with I mean seriously, these studies are always bias towards wither side. You only ever hear about the "bad" stuff and that's it.

Re:insufficent (1)

LordBafford (1087463) | more than 7 years ago | (#19799101)

bah i will never get why i take the time to space out a post and then it decides to negate the spacing.

Re:insufficent? More like Unuseable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19800917)

Honestly, I thought this was a screwed up study too. It says over half of them agreed with the __statement__. Well of course! You tricked the kid by asking him a yes or no question! Don't ask the kid "Do you play video games because you like guns and violence?"

Ask them "Why do you play video games?"
I bet only a few will say they like to kill/murder or for guns/violence and what not. Most will just say BECAUSE ITS FUN. This study is bullocks. RUBBISH I say.

and as for someone saying kids calling Nintendo kiddy, I just must say... Super Smash Bros. Melee. I never see anyone under 16 at the tournaments I go to. Oh, and Resident Evil 4! It was initially a GAMECUBE exclusive(and it feels like it belongs on the Wii). Nintendo doesn't need to make the violent games, that's what the 2nd and 3rd parties are for. Plus anyone ever play 'Sweet Home' for the famicon? It's an NES equivalent game where all major characters can DIE OFF. That's uber kiddy back in 1988, right? Our younger generation is just so completely uneducated that they assume what they think and feel personally is absolute.

                                                                                  oni~

Re:insufficent? More like Unuseable (1)

LordBafford (1087463) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811233)

I totally agree with you. I never take any of these studies seriously. They always leave information out or misinform. I still say that if games were a major factor in violence and crime then no one would be able to walk out their door with out being assaulted.

Quality of the games? (1)

Jaqenn (996058) | more than 7 years ago | (#19799181)

I'd like to see some comparison on game quality vs rating received. How many games with, say, 4 star or higher reviews are rated E? Are rated T?

It seems to me that quality of the game has a bigger impact on the games that people (including kids) will seek out than the rating.

Re:Quality of the games? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#19799953)

It's a bit more than just the ratings. True the game has to be good. But also, other kids have to be playing it too. Because if no one else is playing it, it can't be good, right? I mean, Psychonauts [wikipedia.org] really sucked because no one played it, right?

Meh. (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19801189)

Grand Theft Auto grew fairly stales after the second installment, and Halo was always overhyped. But in all fairness, I would imagine that most of the video games that I play tend to be rated Mature. I do have a heck of a lot of fun with Mario Kart though!

"Nothing else to do?" (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19807003)

Our race is doomed.

And any moron can tell you that labeling something "mature" or "for adults only" is the best way to attract children to it.

Re:"Nothing else to do?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19807313)

By that standpoint, advertisers would want to slap a "M" rating on all content to make it more appealing. Although I think "Barney & Friends" does indeed deserve that rating...

I'm surprised (1)

zahl2 (821572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19809047)

I would have thought a study saying "M-class video games are more interesting", would be stating the obvious, and therefore not very interesting.

Now, that *half* the kids are saying they play them because they can't think of ANYTHING better to do? Oh man, we are doomed.
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