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Should schools have authority over which video games children play at home?

MWEB GameZone writes: "A group of schools in the United Kingdom are threatening to report parents to the Police and Children’s Social Care if they allow their kids to play Mature Rated video games such as GTA V.

Here is why we think schools should not have the authority over which games children play at home."

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HanCilliers876d ago

Wow, now that is taking it too far. I understand why we need censorship and age ratings, but this is abusing authority.

Sillicur876d ago

Indeed, it should be the parents choice. It is a very slippery slope. If they adhere to the ESBR rating as if it is a hard line, next children of 10 wont be allowed to play "Teen Rated" games, which has a ESBR suggestion of 13+.

SonZeRo876d ago

No. Who the hell do they think they are. The only people who can and should be stopping/watching over what kids play are their parents.

Sillicur876d ago

Yup. Even voilent games or games with sexual content can be used by the parents to teach children of these matters in a controlled environment. What they are trying to do is just absurd.

lord zaid876d ago

NO! NO! And NO! Unless allowing you kids to play GTA V is a actual bonafide criminal offence UK Schools have 0 authority here.

There is literally nothing to discuss

Jdoki876d ago (Edited 876d ago )

Of course there's something to discuss here. More speech on issues is always a good thing.

The PEGI ratings are legally enforceable, but only at the retailer level. So parents are free to buy 18rated games and let their kids play them.

The question is, is that responsible parenting. And if letting kids play violent games spills over in to the classroom what duty of care should the school provide.

If the kid is disrupting classes or exhibiting behaviours that worry the school - the teachers need to address it with the parents. Not with the child care services or police (as you rightly point out... There's no case to answer with the police).

As I mentioned below. Some parents use the school system as a replacement for their own responsibilities in raising their kids to be moral and well adjusted / behaved human beings. So on one hand parents expect schools to properly raise their kids, and on the other push back on schools who see kids talking about shooting hookers in GTAV as wrong.

HanCilliers876d ago

Love your reply. I agree that if a teacher can relate a kids bad behavior to him/her playing violent games, then sure, take it further. But legal action, no way.

Also, how do they prove the behavior is related to violent games?

But, I agree that parents use schools to do their parenting for them, so that line does become blurred. But then again, if you give schools this much power, where will it stop?

lord zaid876d ago

You're right. There is more to talk about. I let my outrage overwhelm my sense.

I think teachers should consider the impact, if any, of gaming on childrens behaviour, but I would be surprised if gaming by itself is the problem in any childs life.

Jdoki876d ago

It's a tricky issue.

I know a lot of people who work at schools - and one thing they constantly state is that parents are taking less and less responsibility for their kids, and trying to push all aspects of raising and instilling morals on to schools.

But schools have less and less powers to actually tackle problem kids and address behavioural problems

I don't see a problem with a school informing parents they are doing a shitty job raising their idiot offspring. Some parents are happy to spend money to shut their kids up, and don't care if it's age appropriate material.

However, schools should not be reporting parents to police / child services on the basis of videogames alone. That would just clog up the system and possibly mean truly vulnerable kids are not helped.

Parents do need to be held accountable, but this is not the way.

HanCilliers876d ago

Agree with you 100% on this. Parents are lazy, they shift the responsibility to teachers, but don't give them he power to do it properly. But as you've said, legal action is not the way to go.

Spotie876d ago

No. As nice as it would be for parents to have to face more accountability, I don't see where it would make much- if any- sense for schools to decide something like this.

Should they maybe talk to parents if a trouble=prone child is also shown to play games they shouldn't be? Sure, that would be nice. Inform the parents on the "damage" it can cause to a mind that has yet to really and truly grasp the differences between reality and fiction(damage in parenthesis because it's not a "games cause violence" thing, like many would have parents believe). Let them know a video game is no substitute for interaction with their child, that a gaming console/handheld doesn't make the best babysitter, that too much definitely isn't healthy.

But to let school systems have ACTUAL authority? Hell no. Because even while I support them SUPPORTING the growth of children, I'M still the one raising my child(assuming I had any). If I turn out to be a bad parent, that's one thing, but video game choice isn't inherently that.

Besides, next will be music and movies, and why stop there? Why not let them have authority over which relatives they can interact with? The neighborhoods they can live in? The reasons would be fundamentally the same, so why not, right?

Jdoki876d ago

It did make me smile when you mentioned 'next will be music and movies'.

Every generation has it's demons that the politically correct want to blame for all social ills and problems.

It makes interesting reading if you look in to the music that people tried to ban back in the 60's and 70's.

And in the 80's and early 90's it was all about the accessibility of movies on VHS making people turn in to killers. There's a famous case in the UK some years back where two kids killed a child. Some of the things they did mimicked the horror movie Child's Play 3. Both the killers were too young to watch the film - but all the outcry was to ban 'video nasties', not tackle the parents who allowed them to watch the film.

And now in the 00's and '10's it is video games that are the root of all societies evil.

Whilst I agree that schools should not have the authority to dictate what kids do outside of school (beyond homework!) the problem I see is that when a kid is disciplined at school the parents are quick to blame the school for being heavy-handed or doing a bad job. But if the school sits back and does nothing, they also get blamed for lack of care and doing their jobs. Schools can't win.

I can imagine that the problem schools face of being stuck between a 'rock and a hard place' will have influenced the decision to pass the buck on to police / child care services.

Crazy situation all round.