Inappropriate games…

the boy – all six point five years of unreasonable aesthetically challenged male youth wishes me to engage with him in his gaming habits. First up, he shows me a gruesome motorway race game, wherein the player leaps from vehicle to vehicle and if they aren’t fast enough they get splatted. Yuk!

Then on to something called 1917, which appears to be a wargame based around trench warfare, complete with soldiers getting blown to bits and gas attacks. Not sure whether i am most offended by the tasteless aspect of this game – or the historical violation.

Because, coming over the horizon, what are those? er, German tanks!

Surely not.

(Now sits back and waits for some history geek – sorry, expert – to point out that the Germans actually DID have tanks in 1917).

jane
xx

12 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    eclectic chicken said,

    I thought they had Panzers but google tells me they were in development during WW1.
    But I found this
    “Most of “German” tanks in service during 1917-18 period were captured some 100 British tanks captured at Cambrai and other locations.They were repaired, overhauled at Charleroi and rearmed with Russian 57mm Sokol / Belgian 57mm Maxim Nordenfeld guns in place of British 6pdr guns (Male tanks)and 7.92mm Maxim 08 machine guns (Female tanks). Captured tanks were grouped in four captured tank companies – Sturmpanzerwagenabteilungen (Beute)”.

    http://www.achtungpanzer.com/first-panzers-1917-1918.htm

    So the game (and my thinking they DID have tanks) is accurate….

    ….so ner ner ner ner ner!

  2. 3

    janefae said,

    and u only got that off wiki!

    jane
    xx

    • 4

      eclectic chicken said,

      But I said they had tanks before you madfe me google to check!!!! (The panzer happens to be my favourite tank)😉

      • 5

        Sabine said,

        Panzer is the generic German word for tank.

        The word also means armour. As in armoured vehicle or (a knight’s) body armour.

  3. 6

    Circadian said,

    Hate to be a wet rag, but what were the Age Ratings on those games? I hate the way campaigners are trying to tone down adult-rated video games because “little darling” might get hold of them – but here you may actually be proving that the campaigners have a point, and that a young child is able to get hold of and play titles that are rated only for an older age group. (Yes, I am making the assumption that the age rating for these are for something rather older than 6, but from the descriptions, I would *hope* that the games are rated older than that!)

    • 7

      janefae said,

      not exactly. The point is: he isn’t “getting hold” of these games with no active supervision. The fact that both his parents are aware and posting about it on here should tell you that.

      Which is as it should be. We are aware on a daily basis of what he plays or tries to play and there have been hard lines ruled around some games.

      Personally, i’d say this particular game is “ick” with a capital “i” – but otherwise problematic for me because of its moral simplicity. It appears to teach an “end justifies the means” approach to warfare, which i find wholly reprehensible. That said, though, i do think the censorship issue is complex.

      There are many things rated suitable for young kids that i think ought not to be because of the implicit saccharine morality they teach…whilst i’d uncensor a lot of more “adult” stuff, because the only problem with it is that it is vivid.

      That’s me, though: i am far more concerned about the morality taught thru games than the graphicness or otherwise of them. I personally don’t much like the games i cite above: the boy’s mum is cool with them. They probably wouldn’t rate some mega age certificate. However, i dislike their moral message.

      jane
      xx

      • 8

        Circadian said,

        Difficult line to manage as parent. As a child, the awareness is developing, and so a simplified vision of the world needs to be presented initially. However, which version of “simplified” is, as you refer, very important.
        Looking at the violence aspect, thinking back to the cartoons I used to watch while growing up… Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck etc. Then the films on telly – all the westerns and war films etc. Seems that violence as entertainment is not a new thing at all, and yet we all turned out ok, didn’t we? Didn’t we?? (Looks around at world. Gulp.)
        I started this by disliking the censorship campaigners. I think I now need to go away and think what type of world this would be like if violence isn’t seen as a common form of entertainment, but as something to be frowned on – used as an exception when there is no other way.

    • 9

      Sabine said,

      I’ve found the little blighters to be very resistant to that kind of games as in not taking them seriously. Just like the don’t take fairy-tales seriously.

      A young friend of mine had a phase at about 10 -11 years old where he kept asking me about the power of different kinds of firearms, like: could a machine-gun shoot through a plank of wood this thick. I tried to tell him what machine-guns were made for but he found killing a lot people as fast as possible very boring and a waste.

      At that point I gave up the moralizing and started looking up firearm ballistics in Wikipedia. He clearly understood that death and war not in a book, movie or game were something very different.

      His parents were usually within earshot and had no problem with this topic of conversation. Neither did they have problems with me teaching him about quantum physics.

      • 10

        eclectic chicken said,

        that sounds like our boy…. go with his natural interests and you have him focused.

        There are studies that show allowing boys to express their violent tendencies gets it out of their system quicker as opposed to making it a taboo worth lingering on. Or as you say…channel it wisely🙂

        I also think he well understands the difference between ‘cartoon’ death and the reality of death as we are not a family that shields our children from death (as so many seem to do). People and animals die…he knows the reality of it and is learning the emotions involved. I reckon its pretty damaging to totally shield children from the basic realities of life. That way the cartoon version is their only reference point to death.

  4. 11

    Sabine said,

    @eclectic chicken

    I don’t think they see these games as violence. Neither did we when we were playing cowboys and Indians. It probably isn’t an outlet for aggression anyway, just fun and competition.

    Hitting your mate in the face hurts, it’s violence, it’s wrong and they know it. Shouting Bang and they drop is not and they know that as well.

    I’m not a boy and never have been but I don’t see games like Doom, Quake, WoW or whatever RPG I’m currently playing as violent or an outlet for aggressions. Headshots from cover are my preference but I know i am not hurting anyone or anything when I see that figure representing an NCR sentry drop and go for his ammo stock. I’ve got more qualms about swatting a fly – a fly is a living being.

    As for young male aggression – yes, I’d say keep an eye on it. Give him a chance to work of excess energy and never ever let him think physical aggression gets him anything. It’s probably a matter of balance – if you forbid him to fight for what he considers is his right but he sees that all his mates are allowed to do so, he’ll become a pushover because he’ll learn that everyone else has right to stand up for themselves but he has not so he must be worth less than them.

    Of course there is always the possibility of enrolling him in a sports club or martial arts programme. The youth groups are always keen on discipline and he can only benefit from that. I’d say if he asks about a sport or martial art (if there are competitions, it’s a sport. If not it’s art, btw.), encourage it.

    Said boy is a teenager now and he has changed. I must admit I liked it when he always came to me asking this and that. Made my memory for factoids useful for once instead of inviting ridicule as usual.

  5. 12

    Jenny said,

    I was watching my nephew play one of these war games last year. He was 17 at the time and has been playing them for years. He’s very grounded and knows the difference between death in the real world and death in games and in fictional television programs.

    What actually tickled me though as he was playing this game was how outraged he got when he was repeatedly killed. It wasn’t the fact that someone was killing his character off that was the problem. It was the fact that the person that was killing him off was either a total beginner at the game or was blatantly flouting the games conventions by using a rocket launcher to shoot everyone rather than a rifle or handgun.

    It would seem that even in the world of computer generated death and destruction there are right ways and wrong ways to do things and being blown apart by the most powerful weapon someone can get hold of just isn’t the done thing.


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