Kids Exposed to Violence

This week the newest Call of Duty video game came out and was instantly the number one selling game on the market. Over the past couple of weeks other violent video games have been released including Halo and Assassins Creed, both are highly popular as well. I know how much the students I work with love these games and how many hours they spend playing them, which is why I am concerned.

When I was in college I went on a Spring Break Mission Trip to Jonesboro, Arkansas. One morning on the trip we visited Westside School which was the site of a 1998 school shooting that killed 4 people and injured many more. (if you need a refreshed here is a report of the incident: I remember getting chills as we walked through that school and saw the bullet holes on the outside wall near the playground. The fact I remember the most came from the tour guide who said one of the two shooters had never shot a gun before, but according to the Crime Scene Investigators he shot with military like precision. How did he learn to shoot? By playing a lot of video games. That is scary!

So I ask, how much violence do you let your son or daughter be exposed to? Do you let them play video games where they can be desensitized to killing humans? Do you allow them to watch violent movies? It is hard in our media driven culture to completely avoid all violence but I wonder do you have discussion with your child after a violent scene in a movie? Do you discuss the redeeming value of an ultra violent video game? Have you ever told them they are not allowed to play a certain game, even if it is the most popular game in the world? There are times we need to be the filter for our children because their friends and the folks selling TV shows, video games and movies certainly aren’t going to do that for them.


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