I have been playing video games for well over a decade now. Even though it was a while before I owned my first system, I still played plenty at my friends’ houses as a kid.
One thing I seem to keep hearing about games in the media is whether they are dangerous, and or lead to more violence.
While this has not been news topic in recent months, I have heard talks similar to this in the past year.
Hearing people talk about video games like this has always bothered me.
I understand that video games have become progressively more violent, especially with this past generation of consoles.
There seems to be a large number of people who think that video games are corrupting children, and that companies are specifically trying to market them to children.
I personally disagree with this notion and I find it to be a little annoying when people argue that it is true.
While I do not believe the video games can corrupt people, I do agree that many games are inappropriate for children.
Many parents do not want their children playing violent games and I respect that.
However, I believe this fear that video game companies are trying to market violent media to children is ridiculous.
The video game industry has created a rating system specifically designed to prevent young children from purchasing video games that are inappropriate for them.
Videogame cases have large labels on them that display the intended age group of the game.
I know for a fact retailers actively try to enforce the ratings and do not try sell violent games to children.
The video game retailer GameStop often displays posters for the ERSB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) rating system in their stores.
The ESRB is responsible for determining which ages groups are the games intended audience.
As someone who buys games on semi regular basis, I can testify to how seriously employees at video game retailers take the ratings system.
In the past, I have been required to produce a photo ID to prove I was old enough to buy certain games because of their rating.
Apart from that, I have seen employees at stores such as GameStop ask parents if they are aware of a game’s rating if it looks like they are buying a mature game for a younger child.
While I cannot say that every employee at a GameStop or Wal-Mart will actively try to enforce the rating system, these practices have become more widespread.
It has become increasingly harder for younger children to buy games that are inappropriate for them and that is a good thing.
I cannot say that it is impossible for children to gain access to inappropriate games, just as I cannot say that it is impossible for them to gain access to inappropriate movies or books.
There are limits to the rating system, and it is always possible for children to play violent games when they are gifts or if friends or siblings own them.
However, the videogame industry is actively trying to be responsible with their products.
There is a point where the consumer has to have some responsibility for the products they buy.