Video Games: Threat or Leisure?
According to the Supreme Court Case of “American Amusement Machine Association, et al., v. Teri Kendrick, et al., 244 F.3d 954 (7th Cir. 2001)” the city of Indianapolis required that video game arcade owners limit access to games that depicted certain activities including amputation, decapitation, dismemberment, bloodshed or sexual intercourse. Only with the permission of an accompanying parent or guardian could children below seventeen years old play these types of video games. I personally think that this case is tremendously relevant today due to the fact that now, more than ever, children are playing video games at a very big rate and for a tremendous part of their days. With the increase in technological innovations and creations, video games and virtual leisure has been an even bigger part of peoples lives, especially children. Years, maybe a decade, ago children would be reading books and playing outdoors with their friends but at a very increasing rate, children’s customs have been changing together with technology. Nowadays, the younger population is getting involved and being part of the video game community at a younger age and it is increasing at a very fast rate. With every year that passes you see even younger children than the previous generations buying electronic devices and video games at a bigger rate and percentage.
Although states all over the world, including the one we see in the case above, are trying to limit and control the access children have to video games, I fear that this is not the right path to take when regarding children and video games. However, the state thinks its their own personal bourdon to carry whether or not children access this type of information or so called leisure. I truly think it should come from the parent’s point of view, whether or not their child or children have the right or should be given the possibility to access and buy these types of video games. We have been living in a world of technology and digital innovations, in which more and more the population is being able to access information in many different ways whether or not it is controlled. In my sincere opinion, children will always be able to access the content whether or not it is limited to their age or not. What the government is doing is turning their youth into criminals and denying them the opportunity to know and see for themselves what the world throws their way.
I could not agree more with creators and companies that produce video games with more serious and “adult content” when they clarify and specify that the certain product is for and older public or maybe has content that would not be very appropriate for a younger public, but that is not up to the government to decide. Whether or not a certain person or so called “child” is allowed to access that type of content, that should be up to the people that understand and know how that certain person is and acts. If a seventeen-year-old or even sixteen year old wanted a video game that the government or the company advises against, it should be up to the parents of such kid to decide whether or not they could have the mentality or maturity to access it.
What better example to give to you than myself. When I was sixteen years old, I really wanted to buy a GTA (Grand Theft Auto) Video game for my brand new PlayStation. I asked my dad if he could by me the game because I was young and still didn’t have enough pocket money for the purchase. My dad said it would be possible for him to buy it, or give me the money to do so because he was working and too busy to personally go out and buy it. So I went to the store myself and tried purchasing the video game. As soon as I got to the counter, the lady would not allow me to buy the game by myself so I had to go home and tell my dad the story and he bought it for me the next day. Many would argue that what my dad did was not appropriate, but, honestly, my dad knew exactly how I was and he knew that this game would not make me more violent or give me and incentive to commit crimes.
The laws towards certain limits on whether video games are accessible or not have proven to by flawed and it does not prevent children from accessing that content. The warning and specifications expressing the contents of the product (showing whether or not it has more serious content) is completely understandable, but the prohibition is a step too far and too harsh. I totally agree with the warning on products but the laws shouldn’t be so strict and should not make our younger population into criminals when buying or find a way to buy prohibited content for minors.