Monday, August 11, 2008

Parents most Concerned about Videogames

A poll conducted by What they Play recently found that parents are more concerned with their children playing videogames than drinking alcohol, watching pornography, or doing drugs.

The main reason found for this is parents don't understand videogames, controls, or understand what goes on in videogames. They do however know the risks of alcohol abuse and pronography. Classic case of "fear of the unknown."

I can understand parents being concerned about videogames, especially for younger kids, but more-so than pornography and underage drinking?

There are games like Grand Theft Auto where if the gamer so chooses you can kill police, steal cars, or deal drugs. I personally think that videogames give the ultimate test of morals. They take outside influences like prison, blood stains, squishy flesh piercing noises, and generally making the public hate you for being a seriel killer. So when you need to go save your brother in GTA, do you steal a car with someone in it, or do you steal the car on the side of the street where no one will get hurt? I pick the one on the side of the road. (This is also because it has a cool animation of you smashing the window with your elbow, and I don't have to chase a moving vehical.)

Some games like Fable and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) have a morality counter: Good Vs Evil. Sometimes it changes your outward appearance, how other characters react to you, or even the storyline. I always found myself going toward the good side first time through. I just get a rush being a hero and helping everyone I can.

On the flip side, maybe we can find the psychopaths or sociopaths early this way. Now that everything is connected to the internet, keep tabs on people that always go toward the evil side. Pull their cell phone records, set up cameras outside their house, and just know where they are at all times. I can already see the newspaper articles "Videogames cause 'Game Over' to Crime."

Anyway, I think in 15 years this poll will have a dramaticly different outcome. The major gamer market went from 8-22 year olds twenty years ago to 12-32 year olds today. Pretty soon parents will be punishing their children with virtual round house kicks to the face. If I ever have kids, I will definitly teach them to play games before how to ride a bike. If for nothing else, so I always have a gaming partner in house.