California Video Game Law Struck Down

Wow… I thought this one would stick. I really did.

In a way, I’m glad it didn’t. The truth of the matter is, I am a very firm believer in parental involvement when it comes to video gaming. I gave a speech on the subject at the end of fall quarter, and it was received warmly by my classmates and has been used as a reference for them to help them talk to their parents about ways to guide video game purchases for their younger siblings.

I’m glad I could help.

It boils down to a very simple premise. The ESRB exists to inform consumers about the content in a video game. It does this by using a very well-thought out rating system that is designed to assist parents in making good choices when it comes to buying a video game for their kids.

The problem is, many parents that buy these games don’t play them.

Being a gamer has its advantages in this modern world. My husband and I have played every single video game we own. Between the two of us, we played through the game enough to let the kids take the wheel, or chose not to purchase several rented titles because the content was something that we deemed to be inappropriate for the young ones.

My kids are lucky.. and they are the exception rather than the rule.

So the question remains. What is a non-gaming parent to do when their children want to play video games?

There are many options, and most non-gamer parents don’t realize this. First of all, they can get subscriptions to video game magazines. There are a plethora of magazines that the kids would enjoy looking through that have reviews on titles that are coming out. These reviews often offer a synopsis of the story, as well as insight on the technological ins and outs of the game, not to mention some pointers as to the kind of audience the game is geared toward. But if you don’t want to spend money on a magazine there are even more websites on the internet devoted to gaming that provide reviews of game titles. There’s also the ESRB’s ratings system. It makes things pretty simple. M = Don’t buy it for kids under 17. T = Don’t buy it for kids under 13. E= Buy it for the whole family. There are other ratings, but these three are the most common.

The California law.. was a desperate attempt to solve an age old problem, one that has a solution that’s so obvious that even the most intelligent people can’t see what’s right in front of their faces.

Talk to your kids. Educate yourself. Make responsible choices. These are things that you can’t legislate. They are traits that have to be learned.