Monday, September 26, 2005

Parents and games

MSNBC has an article on the role of parents in their kids' gameplay, When Parents Become Gamers. In a very comfortable way, it conveys some important issues like:
  • Brenda Braithewaite on the Hot Coffee modification that introduces sex scenes to Grand Theft Auto: "When Hot Coffee erupted into a big story I was wondering why all the parents were irate," she said. "What are you doing with the game in the first place?"

  • Matthew Ford on how game play with his son can facilitate conversations: “As a result we had several very good conversations about what defines evil, why doing evil things can be attractive, and why it can be fun to act out in a game, even though to do that in real life would be wrong.”

It made me wonder what instructions we need to offer parents. There are things I consider just obvious, like the value of the video game rating system, and the fact that there are some games designed specifically for adults (and not just the sex-related things... but advanced themes and violence.) However, it is clear to me from our interaction with kids who all seem to have seen (or claim to) M games, that parents don't take these seriously. I don't think parents play the games (possibly because they are intimidated by the skill of their children), or know how to have discussions with their kids about them.

As educators, what are our roles to help parents out?


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