Q&A Friday #17: What’s To Be Done About Violent Video Games?

Question: “It seems every now and then there’s some big stir in the media about violence in movies, video games, and music. Video games in particular are a favorite to blame for causing violence in children and teens.

I was just wondering what your take on the issue is? Do you feel violent video games incite violence, and if so, should some be banned or a tougher, more enforced rating system established for them? And also, is there any general conservative/republican stance on the issue?” — jlk10285

Answer: An already violent kid might try to act out something he sees in a video game, but a kid who isn’t inclined towards violence isn’t going to become violent after doing something in a video game. Same goes for TV, music, and the internet.

I say this with some confidence not just because I’m a staunch conservative who spent my teenage years listening to gangster rap, watching kung-fu movies, and happily playing violent video games, but because of common sense. Percentage wise, there are very small numbers of violent criminals out there, but a very large percentage of our population regularly consumes less than wholesome media fare.

Furthermore, while I wholeheartedly support the decency standards on TV, the video game rating system, as well as the old radio rules (The new fines are so enormous that they represent backdoor censorship), I don’t think the government should become more involved. In the end, it’s up to parents to monitor what their kids are doing.

Furthermore, I think the idea of placing increasingly irritating restrictions on the whole populace because some parents don’t want to take the time to look into what their kids are doing is obnoxious, especially in today’s world where we have the v-chip, internet safety software, and Google can be used to get the scoop on any band, video game, movie, or television program a child is watching. Yes, kids can always find a way to get their hands on objectionable material if they’re determined enough, but at least today’s parents have more tools than ever to help control the content their kids are watching.

That’s why I believe that government has carried the ball far enough on this and parents should be the ones to take it the rest of the way.

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