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Should minors be banned from buying violent video games?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 27, 2010

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Photo of Patti Lyon

“Absolutely, without a doubt, yes … we should be responsible towards our youth and make sure they have as little contact as possible with violence.”

Photo of Savannah Abbott

“I think high school (age) and up should be able to handle it, but I think elementary school (age) or younger should not be able to buy it freely.”

Photo of Amy Grant

“I think ban is a pretty strong word, but I think all parents hopefully could make that decision that it’s not appropriate for children to do.”

Photo of Gunter de Vries

“I think under 16, maybe 14 should be banned, but 18 is too old to be banned.”


Linda Endicott 3 years, 11 months ago

You know, when I was a kid I watched those Warner Bros. cartoons all the time, the ones they now say were way too violent...

And I've never once had the urge to drop an anvil on the cat...


75x55 3 years, 11 months ago

The neutering of America would continue unabated if some had their way.


Boosh 3 years, 11 months ago

As a long time gamer (PC) I feel I can say most of you understand. It is the parents responsibility to monitor what their children are doing online. If your child is playing any game where interaction online is used you should try the game (online) before deciding if your child should play it, no matter the ESRB rating.


parrothead8 3 years, 11 months ago

I think it would be great if kids today were exposed to a little less violence, but I think parents should bear much more responsibility than video game store employees for the games kids are playing.


Liberty275 3 years, 11 months ago

Only if the violence involves the use of picks and shovels.

Seriously though, no. Parents should pay attention to what their kids are doing and use their judgment. Generally, kids are wards of the parents, not the state. No more stupid laws.


oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 11 months ago

Minors should be blamed for having parents.


Nachtwolf 3 years, 11 months ago

Yes, Patti, by all means, let's censor all violence. Let's take away all games remotely violent, and while we're at it let's just get rid of the bulk of all cartoons, any super-heroes, all those action figures and all those toys. Shelter our kids, let them know that the world is safe, that nothing bad happens. You might as well not let them outside ever, and home-school them too, who knows what violent things other kids might doing! Kids need exposure to reality or else they'll never be able to cope when faced with it later in life. I'm not saying let your five year old watch Hostel, I'm just saying let kids be kids.

The idea of a ban is absurd. The government does not need to act like a parent. Whether or not a child can handle a game is up to the parents. Everyone knows about movie ratings, but it seems like almost nobody outside of the active gaming world knows about the ESRB's game rating system. Almost every game out there that's violent is rated M these days, and you have be 17 or 18 to buy those, much the same as R rated movies. PG-13 has the T for Teen equivalent, as well.

I played Doom when I was 5, back in 1993. I've killed millions upon millions of video game Nazis. Devastated the turtle population of the Mushroom Kingdom. I've gone on civilian shooting sprees and destruction runs in San Andreas and Liberty City. I've punched, kicked, chopped, shot, sliced, and maimed my through countless foes. I grew up during the rise of the video game empire, and I can say that I've never seen anyone act violently towards anyone else or anything because of a video game. I don't walk around shooting people or the like. I play some of the goriest games available, I've played through the controversial mission in Modern Warfare 2 several times where you play as terrorists shooting up a Russian airport, and do I feel more violent as a result? No, I've never acted violently towards another person, and I certainly have never felt like doing as the result of a video game. How are violent video games any different than playing with toy guns, or acting like sticks are swords?

Don't blame the games, blame the parents.


Deja Coffin 3 years, 11 months ago

How about we just ban Super Mario Bros. in my house? I bought the Wii for the Wii Fit not sitting around trying to beat Bowzer!


jonas_opines 3 years, 11 months ago

Since, as pointed out, there already is a system in place to keep minors from buying violent video games, this questions seems like nothing but a prelude to another question: "should violent video games be banned?"


RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years, 11 months ago

prospector Sorry, that song was just hanging around in the back of my mind today.


The_Original_Bob 3 years, 11 months ago

Hooker, Oklahoma's hardware store is named...

Hooker Hardware.


prospector 3 years, 11 months ago

Thanks R_I, that was uplifting.

So was a sign I saw on a store cruising 59 highway south of Ottawa. It was called:

Master Bait




kantubek 3 years, 11 months ago

Well, children are already banned from buying violent games, depending on the rating it is given by the ESRB. So it's the parents that must buy these games for their children.

Stupid OTS


relocatedtarheel 3 years, 11 months ago

GreenEyedBlues gets the win for quoting Clueless in this discussion.


prospector 3 years, 11 months ago


I did a road trip to the sad little town of Girard and saw a large tag on a building that was an anarchist symbol next to a Navajo swastika (straight, not the crooked Nazi one). This question just made me think that the moron that did it is probably an expert at violent video games. We have that to thank that this individual is not smart enough to know the absurdness of his act. He will remain low on the food chain and never smart enough to more than just harm himself. I say let the idiot play.

Let's just Ban Stupid!


acg 3 years, 11 months ago

I thought they were already banned from buying violent video games. Why are we even talking about this?


prospector 3 years, 11 months ago

Come on, sing it with me,

Ban ban ban ban Ban ban ban ban

First it was umbrellas Then it was balloons Then it was smoking Next? Texting Cellphones Salt Video games Are they joking?

Keep singing,

Ban ban ban ban Ban ban ban ban




! ! ! ! !

Bans don't mean squat!


Randall Barnes 3 years, 11 months ago



The_Original_Bob 3 years, 11 months ago

White sharp cheddar was good the other day in my cheddar ale soup.


Michael Rowland 3 years, 11 months ago

Why is there still discussion about all this? There is a rating system. Store employees typically are pretty strict about it, if you aren't at the right age, you can't buy it. Kids mainly get these games because of the stupid, irresponsible parents who buy video games without checking the rating first. Mom, Dad, would you buy your child a dvd that is labeled R? Then why are you buying your kids M rated video games?


GreenEyedBlues 3 years, 11 months ago

"Until mankind is peaceful enough not to have violence on the news, there's no point in taking it out of [games] that need it for entertainment value!"


Prydain 3 years, 11 months ago

They are all ready restricted to minors voluntarily by the industry (ESRB). Any mature rated game is only sold to people over 18.


RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years, 11 months ago

At what point does utopian cooperation become dystopian conformity?


Donnuts 3 years, 11 months ago

Geez Patti, that would restrict their freedom of choice. I am supposing they ought to deal with real guns instead of fake ones to understand how they work first.

That is right Merrlll, violent movies are all over TV and theaters. It is great to see sensationalistic crap that is not linear in cause effect relationships where car crashes explode instead of just kill people. I am thinking we need to generate more channels and make more movies without reality based relationships with objects modified.

Why don't we make it bleed into 'information shows' as well with doctored photos that are supposed to be real footage?
Then we can really trick people into thinking things that aren't real are.


Richard Heckler 3 years, 11 months ago

Violent movies are all over the television screen daily...


RoeDapple 3 years, 11 months ago

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