The risk of violent games

An 8-year-old boy has allegedly shot his elderly care giver with her own gun in the back of the head while she was watching TV after playing Grand Theft Auto IV, according to The Daily Mail.

I'm a gamer and so is my husband. So I'm not going to get on my soapbox and scream that violent games make people violent and make teens go out and shoot up their schools.There's far more psychology involved in those situations (usually involving teens or young adults) than just simply blaming it on a video game. But children, I believe, are a different case. They are far more impressionable and more inclined to play-act when they find things like guns lying around.

There is a reason that video games come with an age restriction, it's because they're not appropriate for young children to play. Especially a game like Grand Theft Auto, a game that I don't particularly like because of the violence and criminality that it normalises. A problem, especially in South Africa, that we're trying to eradicate.

Parents are responsible for the content their children consume, from books to movies and TV series. So why are games not also monitored? An 8-year-old should not be playing Grand Theft Auto. How many incidents have there been of children finding guns lying around and shooting some innocent bystander by accident?

Do you take note of age restrictions on the games your children play?

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24