My take on the Katie Couric Story: "Are Video Games Ruining Your Life?"

Here we go again.

Katie Couric, well known American journalist and author, recently ran a piece called "Are Video Games Ruining Your Life?" about a story from 2007 where then teenager Daniel Petric shot both his mother and father Mark Petric point blank supposedly over Halo 3.

Daniel had apparently sneaked out of the house at night to buy the game, when he came back his father caught him playing the game, locked the game up in the desk safe of the father which also contained a 9mm handgun. A month later Daniel found the key opened the safe to get the game but then decided to shoot both parents.

What apparently happened before this occured  Daniel was becoming very withdrawn from everyone else in his life and was playing hours and hours of video games and he apparently played a 72 hour marathon of Halo 3, Daniel was popping in and out of his room just for cereal or some soda but then went straight back to his room to play Halo 3 and apparently this was going on for hours and hours until 3 days later Mark discovered what his son was doing.

Link to a clip from the interview with Mr.Petric

There was also an interview with former NFL Colts star player Quinn Pitcock who apparently became so addicted to the popular military shooter we all know and love to hate, Call of Duty.

Interview with Quinn

He became so addicted that before he could actually became a member of the Colts he had to go through therapy and went through roughly about 6 months to a year of recovery. The reason why he supposedly became addicted to was that he was becoming the top player in many of the COD games modes, Top 300 in Hardcore Team Deathmatch, Top 15 in Hardcore Search and Destroy, Top 100 in Team Deathmatch etc.

So he was becoming the best of the best out of millions of players around the world without putting much effort into it. Understandable why he became so addicted.

Now it seems to me that Daniel was going through puberty at the time he started to play these games and it also seems that the father didn't really get involved as much as he should have in this situation.

Don't get me wrong Mr.Petric is a good man, he is a minister after all but really I think this whole situation could have been avoided. Instead of taking away the game the father should have told Daniel what he should not think while he is playing the game and also tell Daniel how long he should play and how long he shouldn't play. If my son ended up playing Skyrim for more than 4 hours I would get in there and check out what's going on and educate him about the violence in these games.

The way I see it is that if you get involved in your child's life and educate them on what's right and wrong, reality from fantasy and get involved with your child's life, rather than not getting involved and expecting them to make the right choice. My first M rated game was DOOM 64 for the N64, my parents didn't just let that pass by they got involved and taught me right from wrong, what I should not be learning from the game rather than leaving me to make the choices that should be made.

Especially when your child is a teenager they are very impressionable and if you leave your child to do what he or she wants and let them make their own decisions, you have a high risk of your kid becoming the very thing you didn't want them to become in the first place. It is the Parents that need to get involved with the child and tell them what they should not take from the experience of the video game and tell them the differences between what happens in the game vs the real world.

Do not expect the government to hold your child's hand and teach them right from wrong it is your responsibility to educate your children on morality and reality from fantasy.

A doctor in that same show said that children become desensitized after becoming exposed to these games, true but they only become desensitized if the parent does not get involved and teach them common sense, reality between fantasy. I am not affected by the blood and gore in games because I know for a fact that the blood in the game is not real and the blood in gore in films are also fake, when I see these things in real life I will most likely become uneasy.

I have been playing M  rated games since 9, I've seen bloody messes and gore filled scenes, I'm still squeamish when I see anything bloody or painful in reality. That is the effect of parents educating their children.

One thing I would also like to bring to attention to parents who are asking "How do we stop our kids from being exposed to such violence?!"

STOP BUYING M-RATED GAMES FOR YOUR KIDS!!!!!!!!

There is a big letter on the box with a guidance of who the intended audience is and on the back of the case they describe the elements that are in the game, do not try and blame the government for not stopping these games making it easily available for public consumption and don't get angry at game developers for making such games. They make these games and have a specific audience in mind when making them, if you're looking at a copy of "Dead Island: Riptide" and then decide to buy it for your 10 year old.

YOU'RE THE REASON YOUR CHILD IS BEING EXPOSED TO SUCH VIOLENCE.

There's no excuse, you see it in front of you, half of the time the game is telling what you're getting into when you play the game, you should not be surprised at how violent the game is.  It is not the developer's responsibility to make a game appropriate for your kid, if they want to make a child appropriate game then they will make one. You get that game for your kid, not Call of Duty or Dead Island because little Billy wants it.

Games attract many people yes, but it is your responsibility to make them understand what these games are showing and how what they're showing the player is not actually what happens in real life. If you let your kid play GTA and leave him in his room for 4 hours, don't be surprised when you're kid actually starts to beat up a hooker.

Thank you for reading.


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