I have been waiting on one thing all summer; the September release of Grand Theft Auto V. I’ve played the game since the first release and while I’ll admit I may have missed a couple due to pregnancy and raising kids, the last edition had me hooked, and now I can’t wait for the new game. However studies are coming out along-side a news story out of Louisiana that says video games, especially violent ones, can be hazardous to young children. Two days ago, an 8 year old boy shot his grandmother in the back of the head after playing GTA IV. The slant the media is giving the story is that children mimic violent video games rather than, it’s a good idea for parents to lock up their weapons rather than carry them in a purse around small children. I’m sure many in my generation played Super Mario Brothers, but none of us were attempting to jump from building to building in an attempt to mimic Mario and Luigi. Violent video games have their time and place in raising children, but to blame this story on video game violence is really pushing it. (Story on CNN here)
According to sources the 8 year old boy shot and killed his 87 year old grandmother intentionally, and will not be charged as state law does not hold children under 10 accountable for criminal actions. For all we know, we have a Dexter on our hands, but a judge has agreed to send the child back home while he and his family participate in therapy. That’s gonna be some serious therapy. In the link I’ve provided you will see where one group wants to blame GTA, but a second video featuring Dr. Drew argues that we might want to put the brakes on that blame.
Let’s just say, I’m still going to purchase GTA V in a couple of weeks, I will not play the game in front of my toddlers, and I will keep my gun locked up as always. In addition to that, I will teach my children that guns are not toys, that video games are not real, and that as humans we can’t do everything we see on television. There is nothing wrong with enjoying video games as CNN would suggest the opposite, but we must apply common sense when we have children in the home. The ratings on the games are there for a reason, use them wisely.