Friday, July 10, 2009

Penn and Teller

So, this month, AT&T - via their UVerse Service - is giving subscribers access to Showtime, Flix and Starz channels. I don't normally get access to these premium channels, as its not worth the expense and, frankly, I'm not home enough to make it worth the expense.

That said, I can occasionally tune in, and last night was one of those nights. I am a huge fan of the Penn and Teller 'Bull$#!@' series, but no more so than last night, when they took on the myth of the adverse affects of video game violence.

While their argument was abrieviated, the most telling portion of the episode was surrounding a mother of a pair of children, one of them a 9-year old boy. Because the argument about playing violent video games is often cast as protecting children from violence, or that violent video games are 'murder simulators' that train kids to perform orgys of violence, it was interesting to hear the Mom say:

"I know my son, he knows the difference between reality and fantasy."

That statement, alone, speaks volumes against the argument that I hear most often about banning violent video games which states that Children do not know the difference between reality and fantasy.

So, what will I do with my son? Good question. He's pretty savy on the computer right now - can navigate the websites he enjoys with a few clicks of the mouse and can play the simple flash games contained within, so he likes games. I know that I grew up without a content filter by my parents - I saw Aliens when I was 7, I played with toy guns, etc. Should a child play a game with gratuitous dismemberments? Does your child understand the difference between fantasy and reality?

That's the real question, and one that the government should not be answering.

1 comment:

Zidan said...

I am a big fan of P&T but have not seen that episode. But I will agree that if a child is mature enough, emotionally, cognitively then he is of course better prepared to deal with fantasy. Who is the best judge of this? Parents.