Moms Talk: When Parenting and Video-Gaming Collide

The Supreme Court recently ruled that video games should get the same First Amendment protection as books because they, too, are art. But that doesn't mean parents can't step in and lay down their own rules, right?

This week's Moms Talk question comes from , a member of our Moms Council.

Ginny was curious about the Supreme Court's recent decision that would keep video game retailers selling violent video games to kids. Here's what CNN had to say about it a few days ago:

Video games are art, and they deserve the exact same First Amendment protections as books, comics, plays and all the rest, the U.S. Supreme Court said ... in a ruling about the sale of violent video games in California.

California had tried to argue that video games are inherently different from these other mediums because they are "interactive." So if a kid has to pick up a controller and hit the B button — over and over again until he starts to get thumb arthritis — to kill a person in a video game, that's different from reading about a similar murder, the state said.

(You can find that full story here.)

We had touched on this topic in , but Ginny and our other moms would like to know if your thoughts have changed in light of the Supreme Court's ruling.

Emily Chesnic July 06, 2011 at 12:50 PM
Regardless of the ruling, I believe that a parent has to be a parent. It is not the government's job to raise your children, it is yours. If you don't want your son or daughter playing certain video games, reading certain books, watching certain movies or listening to certain music, lay down the law at home. It is a shame violent video games are so readily available but explain to your children why you find them inappropriate and offensive and trust they will make the "right" decisions when you are not around to monitor them.
Laura Z. July 06, 2011 at 01:55 PM
I totally agree, Emily! I hadn't heard anything about the Supreme Court's ruling, but it doesn't really make a difference to me. It will be up to me and my husband to monitor the types of media our son is using.
Kristina Bunnell July 06, 2011 at 02:26 PM
Video games already have a rating system. Once at best buy I was picking up a game for my husband and our son was with me. The check out lady looked me in the eye and said, "you know this game is rated M right?" I assured her it was for dad, not the boy. Many stores have a policy about selling M games to kids who are obviously to young. Regardless, it's the parent's job to know what kids are playing and what the ratings are-just like with movies. Whenever my son asks me about a game I haven't played personally, I check it out on http://www.whattheyplay.com/. That site will tell you what exactly what is in the game that made it fall under the rating it has been given. Video games are just another way to tell a story, just like movies and books.


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