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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