"In the crowd of pain
St. Jimmy comes without any shame
he says we're fucked up but we're not the same
and mom and dad are the ones you can blame"
Green Day: American Idiot
Yesternight my wife told me an interesting tale. We were watching a video game review show and the game in question was particularly violent. She turned to me and related that that very afternoon she had refused to sell a minor an ultra-violent racing game. The child returned a short time later with an adult, presumably a parent, who then purchased the game for the little rascal. I wish I could say this is the first time I had heard of/experienced something like that. I once went to see a very, very graphic, R rated movie involving sharks and their human chums(heh heh), and the theatre seemed like a day care center. Parents had brought everything from infants in baskets, to 8 year-olds running all over the place. And this was an evening show, not a matinee.
It's scenes like these that make me cringe when I hear people, especially politicians running for reelection, charge that Hollywood, or the Playstation, or some other outside agency is making our children more violent. To that I say a resounding BULLSHIT!! If more parents viewed their children as human beings who need to be lead by example, rather than as minor inconveniences to be fobbed off on whatever activity will keep their attention, then perhaps fictional images wouldn't have such an impact. Children learn the most from the people they see the most, and people on TV and in video games are as real to a child as their parents. There is nothing wrong with letting children play games, or watch TV, but parents must take an active role in the choices children make, starting with saying no more often.