UK Researcher: Parents Should Be Arrested for Buying Children Age-Inappropriate Games

A Health Canal report details the concern of a critic of the UK's new video game ratings system saying that it will fail because it doesn't deal with "irresponsible parenting." Yesterday the new PEGI ratings system went into effect in the UK. The new system includes penalties for retailers that sell age inappropriate games to children that do not meet the ratings guidelines.

Speaking to the publication, Dr. Nick Robinson from the School of Politics and International Studies at the University of Leeds, said that these new rules are just a "smokescreen" because the government is abdicating its responsibilities by not prosecuting parents who buy age inappropriate games for the children. Yes he is proposing the idea that the UK government should arrest parents for buying children video games. I don't think even California State Senator Leland Yee (D- San Francisco), the author of the California video game law that was defeated by the Supreme court in Brown v. EMA, would advocate such a strict policy.

"The new framework will not deal with the real problem of inappropriate games getting into the hands of children," said Dr. Robinson. "It’s politically expedient and has been developed to avoid tackling the real issue of irresponsible parenting."

"What this shows is that the issue of video games may seem rather trivial at first, but it has many implications for politicians," he continued. "To really begin to sort this issue, the state would have to be prepared to prosecute parents who purchase and allow their children to play inappropriate games."

Dr. Robinson went on to say that even in the midst of a strong push for educating parents about video games and video game ratings, many parents in the U.S. still purchase mature games for their children. He thinks the same thing will happen in the UK. He goes on to point the finger at video game makers too.

"Historically, the companies that produce these games have been largely absolved from the burden of responsibility because it is seen as the job of the state and the regulator," he said. "Perhaps paradoxically, this means that this has legitimized the growth of more violent games as developers are shielded by the ratings framework."

Dr. Robinson's research on the subject appears in the current issue of The Political Quarterly under the title "Video game and violence: legislating on the ‘politics of confusion’."

Source: Health Canal

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  1. 0
    Longjocks says:

    My ex-housemate allowed his young kid to play some adult oriented games. It was because he was a bright kid and got the difference between real-world violence and game violence, plus my housemate knew what his son was playing and supervised or joined in. Whenever the kid asked a question, my housemate answered or showed him how to find the correct answer. In short, he's a good parent.

    This is unfortunately not the case for so many, but before I'd advocate a law like this, which could punish a person like my housemate, you're more likely to see me advocate having a tested license system to be able to have children in the first place. If you want to punish/prevent bad parenting, go further up the chain.

  2. 0
    lordlundar says:

    The law this person wants is on par to the one that Lieland Yee was pushing for in California where the parent has no legal ability to determine whether their child can handle the content. All this would do is put government control into people's personal lives.

  3. 0
    Conster says:

    Actually, I would almost welcome a law like that – it would definitely place the burden back on the parents' shoulders, where it belongs, and make it harder for "video games turn children into murderers" people to blame the companies while ignoring the possibility of bad parenting.

  4. 0
    Samster says:

    It's hard enough getting child molesters and rapists to do their full, usually pathetic jail term. Can we get some perspective please? If anything, a fine would be sufficient, but I'm not convinced it's this guy or the government's business unless a child is being exposed to actual harmful content and circumstances. And age-rated games are still not proven to be either of these things.

    Besides, responsible parents will accurately assess the maturity of their kids and make whatever content they deem appropriate available to them. Lumping them in with the folks who would rather let their console raise their kids so they get some peace and quiet is what's irresponsible.

  5. 0
    HilaryDuffGta says:

    Strange…..I too thought it was the job of the parent and not of state or goverment?? 


    maybe this will work in the Uk we will see,i know it would never fly out here in the states

  6. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    I wonder if he had the same complaints prior to this change taking place. It was the exact same situation then as it is now. The onus is on the Parents to moderate the entertainment of their children. Fining or jailing parents for making a decision you don't agree with is the last thing we need.

    Some people need to learn that their opinions are theirs alone. Yes you can share your opinion but don't force it on others.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  7. 0
    Truec says:

    How can somebody have an idea so very right:

    "It’s politically expedient and has been developed to avoid tackling the real issue of irresponsible parenting."

    And still be so very wrong?  And also a moron?

  8. 0
    Neeneko says:
    "Historically, the companies that produce these games have been largely absolved from the burden of responsibility because it is seen as the job of the state and the regulator,"

    Odd.. I thought it was seen as the job of the parents….

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