Should we permit our 14 to play violent computer games?


#1

Aloha Everyone:
My 14 year old son is a very good kid. He gets wonderful grades, is a homebody, etc. However, he loves to play those violent shoot’em up games. He has asked permission to buy a sci-fi game called Half-Life for his computer. It is rated M for mature audiences. It has excessive gore, violence and adult themes. Of course we said no. He is now upset with us and is trying to convince us that we will not become a serial killer, etc.
I feel that he is starting to lose his spirituality and focusing more on his computer.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


#2

I myself have played the game. I have no trouble with it, but that is me.

If he is spending more time playing games on the computer than praying, I wouldn’t let him on it.


#3

Nope. Stand your ground. If you don’t think they are appropriate - Just say NO. Our son will soon be 14 and we say no to all games rated M - plus MOST PG-13 movies. He complains a bit but I’ve explained to him that someday I will have to answer to God about how I raised him and I want to error on the side of caution. When he’s an adult and living on his own… then it’s his business… but so long as I pay the rent, buy his food & clothing… I get to make the rules… And that is the end of the discussion.


#4

[quote=bogeyjlg]I myself have played the game. I have no trouble with it, but that is me.

If he is spending more time playing games on the computer than praying, I wouldn’t let him on it.
[/quote]

Thanks for your response.
Well, his father and I have limited his time actually playing games to one hour during school days. More on Saturday. I really don’t know what is a fair amount of time to spend on the computer.
I wish there were more engaging games for teens that weren’t so violent though…


#5

[quote=carol marie]Nope. Stand your ground. If you don’t think they are appropriate - Just say NO. Our son will soon be 14 and we say no to all games rated M - plus MOST PG-13 movies. He complains a bit but I’ve explained to him that someday I will have to answer to God about how I raised him and I want to error on the side of caution. When he’s an adult and living on his own… then it’s his business… but so long as I pay the rent, buy his food & clothing… I get to make the rules… And that is the end of the discussion.
[/quote]

I have actually said everything you mentioned to him already. I end up sounding like an ogre and then he complains that I don’t listen to him. Which is probably true. Things were much easier when he was a little boy.


#6

[quote=joeysmom]I wish there were more engaging games for teens that weren’t so violent though…
[/quote]

I am studying to be a software engineer. Maybe I could find a job with a group that will make some.


#7

[quote=bogeyjlg]I am studying to be a software engineer. Maybe I could find a job with a group that will make some.
[/quote]

That would be wonderful!! :clapping:


#8

I totally agree with Carol Marie. My almost-12 year old loves computer games and probably plays them too much, but we try to make sure his chores and homework are done first.
But he understands that if blood is flying, he can’t play it, and absolutely no M games. I censor some T games too – not easy keeping on top of this stuff. But he’s at the “rules are important” stage, and has even come to me with a rented game and said it was too gross.
Movies are different – we let him watch the Lord of the Rings (PG -13)and the Passion of the Christ ®, but most PG-13 are way too suggestive. I sometimes tape them and watch them first and fast forward through questionable material.
The worst problem is when he visits friends who are allowed to watch and play all sorts of junk.

I think you can present all this as if you’re on his side (which you are!) without sounding too much like an ogre. Kids really appreciate rules, though they’d never admit it.


#9

Hi everyone,

I sympathize with your situation completely! My 13 yo son is a good boy also but has a strong affection for video & computer games.

IMHO, you should stand firm. You have good reason to. We, as parents should not advocate the purchase of violence & bloodshed for the purposes of entertainment.

My son’s newest request is to play ‘online’ games. Does anyone have experience with this? He has been begging for months but it makes me very concerned since from what I understand he would be able to communicate with other players on the internet. Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.:eek:

Keep praying & I will pray for all of us (children included!).

Peace of Christ,
Monica:)


#10

There is no pat rule on this. It instead requires personal discernment, monitoring and prayer. The mere fact that there is violence does not make a game necessarily wrong.

Online games present a problem because the anonymous nature of it tends to bring out the worst in people.

Scott


#11

[quote=MonicaPA] My son’s newest request is to play ‘online’ games. Does anyone have experience with this? He has been begging for months but it makes me very concerned since from what I understand he would be able to communicate with other players on the internet. Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

[/quote]

I am assuming by online games you mean MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game).

I would like online games more than others. It is nice to interact with people from all over the world. However, the big problem is that the women in these games tend to be very scatily clad. I don’t think a teenage boy needs that in his life. There is too much of that in real life.


#12

[quote=MonicaPA] My son’s newest request is to play ‘online’ games. Does anyone have experience with this? He has been begging for months but it makes me very concerned since from what I understand he would be able to communicate with other players on the internet. Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.:eek:

Keep praying & I will pray for all of us (children included!).

Peace of Christ,
Monica:)
[/quote]

What online game is he interested in playing?


#13

[quote=joeysmom]Aloha Everyone:
My 14 year old son is a very good kid. He gets wonderful grades, is a homebody, etc. However, he loves to play those violent shoot’em up games. He has asked permission to buy a sci-fi game called Half-Life for his computer. It is rated M for mature audiences. It has excessive gore, violence and adult themes. Of course we said no. He is now upset with us and is trying to convince us that we will not become a serial killer, etc.
I feel that he is starting to lose his spirituality and focusing more on his computer.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
[/quote]

In one word NO. Stick with your decision and find alternatives for him to play. The great outdoors comes to mind.:bounce:


#14

Am I the only one who thinks that playing “violent” video games isn’t bad? I played those types of games growing up, and I have yet to murder anyone. Boys just like that type of thing, and I don’t think it’s harmful.

Sexual content is another matter though.

I’ll admit I don’t know anything about that game in particular.


#15

[quote=Benedictus]Am I the only one who thinks that playing “violent” video games isn’t bad? I played those types of games growing up, and I have yet to murder anyone. Boys just like that type of thing, and I don’t think it’s harmful.

Sexual content is another matter though.

I’ll admit I don’t know anything about that game in particular.
[/quote]

The problem is the discussion is a little on the abstract side. If we could get a specific title, we could be a little more precise.

Scott


#16

[quote=Benedictus]Am I the only one who thinks that playing “violent” video games isn’t bad? I played those types of games growing up, and I have yet to murder anyone. Boys just like that type of thing, and I don’t think it’s harmful.

Sexual content is another matter though.

I’ll admit I don’t know anything about that game in particular.
[/quote]

My thought too, until I was at a party and happended to observe a couple of young teenager boys playing one of their video games. Basically they explained to me that you can shoot the “opponent” in such a way as to only injure and prolong the suffering (with their mischevious smiles) before either leaving the victim wounded or finishing off (asssinating) the opponent. This just really stuck me as strange and detached from reality and not simply a benign entertainment. I would never as a hunter harvest a wild game animal in that matter, so why a video game that depicts humans (or creatures) in such a depiction? My :twocents:.


#17

I recall in 1980 when Frogger came out for Atari how it was considered “violent”.
Times have sure changed.


#18

[quote=felra]This just really stuck me as strange and detached from reality and not simply a benign entertainment.
[/quote]

I’d say that it is indeed detached from reality–in other words, it’s just a game.

I’m not saying all “violent” games are okay. I wouldn’t let my kids play Grand Theft Auto, for example. But I don’t see anything wrong with letting kids play most games with shooting, fighting, etc.

:twocents:


#19

[quote=Benedictus]I’m not saying all “violent” games are okay. I wouldn’t let my kids play Grand Theft Auto, for example. But I don’t see anything wrong with letting kids play most games with shooting, fighting, etc.
[/quote]

There is a large difference between fighting to save the world in a game like Half-Life and gratuitous violence of Grand Theft Auto. One is heroism, the other villanism.


#20

I just consulted my resident game expert, my husband. He says Half-Life is basically a game about a scientist who is stranded on a base where an interdementional portal opens up and all sorts of space monsters come out and you have to kill them. He said that he would let a fourteen year old play this game, but not Half-Life II. Half Life is an older version, but Half Life II is newer so the gore is more graphically realistic. He compared Half Life to Halo. Hope that helps.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.