Age ratings

DinoFlintstone

"There can be only one!"
#1
I'll hold my hands-up.

My Son is 11 years old. For years, I've let him watch T.V after the 9pm Watershed, and I [sometimes] let him watch a film that has a teenage or adult rating [if I've seen the film myself first,] however, I draw the line at many things.

His Mum and I are not together. Just before Christmas, she and her fiance got him the latest Grand Theft Auto for his PSP. Their is no way should an 11 year old have that game. I have myown way/style of being a Dad. I don't want to simply just take the game off him as I tend to think of the long term effects such actions would take, but instead, at every given opertunity, I take the PSP off him and ban him from using it accoring to his behaviour. I often tell him, I don't like the game [and why] and I ask him if he knows why these things are wrong. I let him play killing games when it comes to soldiers/war, some cheap martial arts/fighting shooting aircrafts/space-ships, zombies etc, but I think the GTA is just way too far, especially for his age. My aim is to wean him off it, and to consiously think about right and wrong.

What do you think of my way of dealing with it?
How might you deal with it?
 

Cait

Oh, poppycock.
#2
I think you're dealing with it in a good way, but I would handle it differently. I'm not a child of divorce, but I know that sometimes different houses have different rules. One of them could be in your house, you don't want him playing the game. I see you would be reasonable and explain to him why.

Me personally personally? I've been playing gta since I was 9. I'm good.
 

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#3
I let him play killing games when it comes to soldiers/war, some cheap martial arts/fighting shooting aircrafts/space-ships, zombies etc, but I think the GTA is just way too far, especially for his age. My aim is to wean him off it, and to consiously think about right and wrong.

How is war or zombie games any worse? What other games do you let him play? I'm curious what games you consider acceptable compared to GTA. Also, how much have you played it?
 

DinoFlintstone

"There can be only one!"
#4
Dinoflintstone said:
I let him play killing games when it comes to soldiers/war, some cheap martial arts/fighting shooting aircrafts/space-ships, zombies etc, but I think the GTA is just way too far, especially for his age. My aim is to wean him off it, and to consiously think about right and wrong.
How is war or zombie games any worse?
They are not.
If you mean 'how is GTA worse?' then...
First of all, in the war game, you have to look at what game it is, from grafics, sounds, special fx, detail of specific storyline etc. The war games I let him play are [usually] of low quality, and non 'close encounter,' however, from time to time he might get to play other games like medal of honour with his cousins until I catch him, or I see things go too far.
The zombie games are just daft little games, you 'zapp' the zombies before they get too close. I often talk to him about the games during and after.

What other games do you let him play?
Club Pengine for the Internet and DS. Harry Potter, Pokemon... just other age appropriate games.

I'm curious what games you consider acceptable compared to GTA.
I can't think of any off the top of my head, but I take into consideration the graffics, the storyline, how addictive the game is etc.

My issue with GTA is that it's wrong to steel cars, and to run people over, and beat them-up in the street, and to use knuckle dusters, knives, guns etc, and to think having such weapons in a street is cool.
In a war situation, one might be able to justify many actions, but these same actions in a street for fun and illeagal gain is very wrong, so it's a good moral lesson to teach a Child.

Also, how much have you played it?
GTA?
I have played it on myown for a fair number of clocked-up hours, but when I show my Son when I 'have a shot' I pretend I am really bad at driving, and I won't attack people.
 

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#5
How about instead you just instill a strong sense of reality and fiction in him? If it's anything I think parents should do more of nowadays, it's define that line. Taking the game away or limiting his time with it will just make him resent you and make him want to play it more. It's just make-believe violence and it's just as bad for a kid technically as a war game since almost none of them are anywhere near realistic. I mean, kids still played 'violent' make believe games when they didn't have video entertainment in the past. Hell cops and robbers is pretty 'violent' since it's all shooting each other. The point is, that as long as he understands the differences and realizes that it's just a game, it can't harm him.
 

DinoFlintstone

"There can be only one!"
#6
I think two games of the same nature, but showed/played differently can have two different effects. Think of an old Commodore computer game, their is a poorly drawn witch with poor sound effects laughing over a cauldron, with other poor effects such as the exact same bolt of lightning playing every 20 secs on a loop. It might have little or no effect, but the same game updated for a PS3 and has the best effects could show an almost life-like witch with perfect voice and sound etc... and in both games, the story-line goes on.
In some [albeit 'rare'] cases, the impressionable youngster might not think much if anything of the first game, other than be interested in it as a game, however, in the second game witch is more realistic, then it might bring that person to think about and eventually practice the occult.
You can use any analogy, but I think with crime, some games and films etc are more likely to trickle into the subconscious of impressionable people than other games are.
 

PretzelCorps

Registered Member
#7
I can understand where Dino is coming from, to a point:

I would never give GTA to an 11 year-old. Were it my kid, I'd just tell them they have to wait until they're 16 --> On the other hand, I wouldn't be so worried about a game like Call of Duty 2 or 3, since killing Nazis isn't a sin. :lol: Kidding. It's just that in games like that, the violence isn't so gratuitous, and you have to follow a certain path. In GTA, you're free to behave, but you're also free to go on a rampage, sleep with prostitutes and kill them after, murder police officers, etc, etc, all without any consequences.


I agree with Cons, though --> At this point, the kid already has the game, so to take it away now would be very counter-productive. I think talking with him about it is a good way to keep reality in check.
 

ysabel

/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
#8
Do you have custody?

I think you should talk to your exwife about this. She probably knew you were letting your son play other violent games and didn't think GTA was any different.
It's her gift to him. It wasn't fair to take the PSP off him just because his mom gave him a game you didn't agree with. You could have taken the game (discuss with your exwife so that it could be changed to more suitable games) and let him play with his PSP as before.

But then, your purpose is not clear. First it was the GTA, then next it's the whole PSP. Which one is it?
 

DinoFlintstone

"There can be only one!"
#9
Do you have custody?
It's shared.

I think you should talk to your exwife about this. She probably knew you were letting your son play other violent games and didn't think GTA was any different.
'I think' she just never thought at all.


It's her gift to him. It wasn't fair to take the PSP off him just because his mom gave him a game you didn't agree with.
I never said I took the PSP off him because of the game. The game was a reason in my mind, but as I said, I've taken it from him from time to time according to his behaviour, i.e it's a treat, and if he's naughty, then no treat.

You could have taken the game (discuss with your exwife so that it could be changed to more suitable games) and let him play with his PSP as before.
When he's good, which is most of the time, he does play his PSP.

But then, your purpose is not clear. First it was the GTA, then next it's the whole PSP. Which one is it?
It's the game that I don't aprove of, but I wouldn't simply just take it from him. Again, I'll take the whole PSP, DS, Wii, T.V and all other things from him if he's being naughty.
 

ysabel

/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
#10
The thing with shared custody, you mostly get to set the rules only for your house and not when he's at his mom's place. If you and your exwife don't agree with what is permissible to him, he will not get the consistency he needs to understand why certain things aren't good for him or whatever message you want to give him. The message it sends is "it's ok depending on where I live". Be careful because this could be used against you later when he wants something and know that he can get it as long as you and your exwife are disagreeing (there's be always one on his side of the things).

I understand now why you take away the PSP and other things. It's not because you think they're harmful per se, but you see them as privileges that can be taken from him if he's misbehaving. That works.