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Jon
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Kids & Computer Games

Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:17 pm

I find myself in an interesting dynamic that I have never been in before. My sister and her two kids have just moved to Canada and are staying with us until they can get their own place. My nephew is 9 yrs old and he is showing great interest in games such as Gunman Chronicles and Unreal Tournament 2004 (games which he has played before at friends houses apparently) and as such this is all he wants to play. First problem, he's 9 yrs old and I don't feel 'right' letting a 9 yr old play a genre of FPS games that I only got into until I was about 13-14 yrs old.

What have others done in this situation? Do you let them play the games but reduce the gore level with in-game settings or do you out-right forbid them from playing it?

When I was 9 I was still playing with Lego and transformers and the only games I could play were games like Super Mario Bro's on the Nintendo 8-bit system and Sierra quests like Space Quest and Police Quest. Of course back then violence in games was practically non existent and parental control was never a thought or problem in my parents eye's, today it seems to be a different story.
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Nelliesboo
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Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:36 pm

This all depends on the maturity of the child, also what he/she has been exposed to before. Does he have good manners or does he tend to act out and do stupid things he sees or hears about? With a clean history and a ability to handle said games or even movies of the same nature he should be fine. You should still talk it out with his mother and if anything just ease him into it with the gore options turned down.
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thecoldanddarkone
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Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:39 pm

It really depends on the child, how mature does the kid act? A big conern would also be the allowance of time, how much are you going to let him play?
I don't think overall that ut2004 is that appropriate for a 9 year old, but at the same time I played doom 2 and the original doom before the age of 9. Obviously talk to the mom and get her perception. I think ut2004 without the gore and language wouldn't be so bad, and depending on the maturity level of the child is ok.
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Captain Ned
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Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:55 pm

And off to Gaming we go.
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SNM
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Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:56 pm

If I didn't know the rules for the kid, then if I were playing I'd just pause playing whenever they came into the room and politely tell them they need to leave (for FPS's). If the nature of the game is somewhat less obviously violent, though, I just kind of keep playing and try not to get involved in anything to disgusting while they're around. If they wanted to play it would be an absolute no-no.
However, you're in the lucky position of being able to ask your sister what her preferences are and then acting within them. Myself, I still wouldn't let the kid play, but at least you'll know how far you can go.
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Sun Jul 30, 2006 5:30 pm

My 8 year old brother is about halfway through the first episode of Doom. I've let him play UT2004 before, but the vehicles are too difficult to master. I've seen him, and others his age act out moves they saw on power rangers (or whatever crap they watch these days). Occasionally, they hurt each other with toy weapons. When he starts circlestrafing around his friends, and moving in close to ensure maximum damage with a "shotgun", then I'll become concerned.
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derFunkenstein
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Sun Jul 30, 2006 5:33 pm

My wife and I have talked about this for when we have kids. We've agreed that violent and otherwise mature-themed games will be played only after the kids are in bed for the first X number of years of the child's life. To what is X equal? God only knows at this point; depends on the age of the kid.
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idchafee
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Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:20 pm

This is your sister's decision, not yours. Punt it to her
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AMD Damo
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Re: Kids & Computer Games

Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:55 pm

Jon wrote:
I find myself in an interesting dynamic that I have never been in before. My sister and her two kids have just moved to Canada and are staying with us until they can get their own place. My nephew is 9 yrs old and he is showing great interest in games such as Gunman Chronicles and Unreal Tournament 2004 (games which he has played before at friends houses apparently) and as such this is all he wants to play. First problem, he's 9 yrs old and I don't feel 'right' letting a 9 yr old play a genre of FPS games that I only got into until I was about 13-14 yrs old.

What have others done in this situation? Do you let them play the games but reduce the gore level with in-game settings or do you out-right forbid them from playing it?

When I was 9 I was still playing with Lego and transformers and the only games I could play were games like Super Mario Bro's on the Nintendo 8-bit system and Sierra quests like Space Quest and Police Quest. Of course back then violence in games was practically non existent and parental control was never a thought or problem in my parents eye's, today it seems to be a different story.


I was playing Duke Nukem 3D at the age of 6 man ;) But it depends on what you want. If you dont want gore and stuff. Buy him a good game like Guild Wars that will get him hooked on it.
 
Stripe7
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Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:28 pm

Kids can make up their own minds about what they like and who they want to be. You can "protect" them as much as you want to but it makes little difference it they make up their minds about what they like. My sister tried that with her son, ie no violent games, no toy weapon, violent movies etc.. when he was growing up. First thing he ever made himself was a sword to play with and sword fight with his friends. I made him assemble and build install his own computer at 11. He is 17 now and a straight A honors student who loves FPS games.
 
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Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:26 pm

Kids can make up their own minds about what they like and who they want to be. You can "protect" them as much as you want to but it makes little difference it they make up their minds about what they like.


/agree

What I saw growing up was that the most overbearing/overprotective parents were much much more likely to have the wildest/insane/dangerous kids as soon as they got out of eyesight. When "the man" is holding you down 24/7, you hate it that much more.

I see some weirdos using spygear and crap on their kids now, I almost want to help those poor little bastards do the usual "bad" things. It won't be long until parents start "volunteering" the rugrats for chipping...ugh.

I will say this though, in general I see a lack of functional discipline when I'm out and about. (mostly younger, older ones avoid being seen with parents if possible) There is plenty of counting and the like which is almost completely ignored by the kids...stuff I remember getting smacked for, and it wasn't "abuse" by any definition.
 
njenabnit
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Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:55 am

Control is definitly not a bad thing. Sure, the kid can make up their mind that they want to do have or do something, but you should be able to turn them down. You see it all the time in supermarkets when little screaming kids cry and complain about not getting what they want. Would it be easier to give them what they want? Yes. But the benefits of discipline establish the nature of a person. Ever watch super sweet 16 on MTV? Disgusted by these kids? Lack of discipline.
....
anyways back on topic. I think that if you have an issue with your child playing a game, which you obviously do since you posted this thread, you don't feel comfortable when them playing it at that time because you don't think they are mature enough to play something of that nature. I would imagine that a parent is probably the best judge of their child. If you feel troubled with the game, don't let them play it. There are a lot of less violent/non-violent games out there that I'm sure would intrigue a 9 year old.
I know you'll probably get the old "but xxxxx's parents let them play!" arguement, but if you keep your cool and explain to them why you don't want them playing, you will be in a lot better shape. But remember, attitude is everything here. Don't argue, just understand and communicate.
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DrDoomed
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Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:17 am

kids are growing up faster these days. too fast. But still...

Todays fps is like our space invaders... just turn off the gore and if they venture online turn off text messages.

fun for all
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Jigar
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Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:23 am

idchafee wrote:
This is your sister's decision, not yours. Punt it to her


Who told u that ?? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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idchafee
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Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:21 am

Jigar2speed5095 wrote:
idchafee wrote:
This is your sister's decision, not yours. Punt it to her


Who told u that ?? :lol: :lol: :lol:


:-?

This kind of decision WRT a younger child is always the parents call. Some parents let their 4 year olds play Hot Lusty Housewives IV. Some parents won't let their kids play any games. Its all on the parents.
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derFunkenstein
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Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:46 am

I've noticed this thread is populated by two distinct groups...parents (or soon-to-be parents) and people who aren't even considering parenthood. The opinions of those groups tend to fall in a pattern. :lol:
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tfp
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Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:16 pm

what about the people with kids, I mean the goat owners. What age to let one of them play doom?
 
Capsaicin
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Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:49 pm

I was about 12 when VGA games were coming out. Before that violence was comical at best (Commander Keen anyone?). I played wolf3d, doom et al when they came out. Nobody raised an eyebrow around here (that I knew about anyway). :P
 
SNM
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Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:52 pm

Bauxite wrote:
What I saw growing up was that the most overbearing/overprotective parents were much much more likely to have the wildest/insane/dangerous kids as soon as they got out of eyesight. When "the man" is holding you down 24/7, you hate it that much more.

That's not a function of protection, that's a function of bad parenting. Ie, inconsistently forcing a child into a code of conduct they don't understand because nobody's taught them the underlying moral system and being visibly angry at them anytime they do something outside that code without any reasonable ability to know it was wrong.
Me, I've been pretty protected by most standards, and while plenty of people find my moral system somewhat strange (check out R&P ;)) I've never had any of the symptoms of classic overprotection because I was made aware of the existence of things at some point, but also made aware of the underlying moral code that meant I wasn't going to.
It's kind of like the difference between parents who say "you can't watch that movie" or "you can watch that movie when you're 18" (implying "when I don't control you any more") and parents who say "you should watch that movie in a few years, but it's too violent for now" or something like that (implying that it'd be bad for you right now).
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just brew it!
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Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:57 pm

SNM wrote:
Bauxite wrote:
What I saw growing up was that the most overbearing/overprotective parents were much much more likely to have the wildest/insane/dangerous kids as soon as they got out of eyesight. When "the man" is holding you down 24/7, you hate it that much more.

That's not a function of protection, that's a function of bad parenting. Ie, inconsistently forcing a child into a code of conduct they don't understand because nobody's taught them the underlying moral system and being visibly angry at them anytime they do something outside that code without any reasonable ability to know it was wrong.

Agreed.

But I also believe there is a pretty strong correlation between overbearing/overprotective parents and bad parenting in general.

Me, I've been pretty protected by most standards, and while plenty of people find my moral system somewhat strange (check out R&P ) I've never had any of the symptoms of classic overprotection because I was made aware of the existence of things at some point, but also made aware of the underlying moral code that meant I wasn't going to.

I think you and your situation an exception. Far too many parents just dictate rules, with the only justification being "because I said so". Or (going to the other extreme) provide no guidance whatsoever.

For the record, yes I have kids... and my son (who is now 16) has been able to kick my butt at FPS games since the original Unreal Tornament came out. :lol:
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SNM
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Thu Aug 03, 2006 12:25 am

just brew it! wrote:
But I also believe there is a pretty strong correlation between overbearing/overprotective parents and bad parenting in general.

I think there's a pretty strong correlation between being a parent and being a bad parent. :P

And on topic...have you done anything yet, Jon?
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Vrock
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Sat Aug 05, 2006 2:19 am

I wouldn't let a 9 year old kid play a gory FPS anymore than I'd let him watch a gory R rated movie like Robocop.

Even if the kid is mature enough to handle it, that doesn't necessarily mean he should be exposed to it. I'm mature enough to handle the sight of alot of gruesome and troubling things without going beserk...but I'm also not the type of guy who goes online to find beheading videos of Nick Berg.
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AMD Damo
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Sat Aug 05, 2006 2:35 am

Hah. Eventually the kid is going to evade the "gore" blocks anyway... I did on Duke Nukem 3D...

Also who cares about exposing your kid to these games? Just because someone plays games 24/7 doesnt give them the urge to kill someone when they get bullied at school. Those people who think that are F[_]c|<ed in the head TBH..
 
Vrock
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Sat Aug 05, 2006 2:52 am

AMD Damo wrote:
Hah. Eventually the kid is going to evade the "gore" blocks anyway... I did on Duke Nukem 3D...


Duke Nukem 3D is a cartoon compared to FPS games of today. Heck, it was a cartoon when it came out.

AMD Damo wrote:
Also who cares about exposing your kid to these games? Just because someone plays games 24/7 doesnt give them the urge to kill someone when they get bullied at school. Those people who think that are F[_]c|<ed in the head TBH..


Remember, kids' brains are still developing and kids themselves are by nature impressionable. I'm not saying they're going to go ape and kill their schoolmates, but if you don't think a realistic violent game or movie where humans kill humans can't desensitize kids to violence, then you're wrong. Certain things are just not healthy for developing minds and bodies, and gross depictions of violence can be one them.
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