According to the headteachers in Cheshire, allowing your child to play Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto V and similar titles is a form of child neglect.
Let that sink in for a minute.
In a letter sent to parents by the Nantwich Educational Partnership, 16 schools have come together and deemed that the consumption of violent video games, including Call of Duty, Gears of War, Grand Theft Auto and so on, are a form of neglect. This is in reaction to the discovery that some students in the district were found to be enjoying violent and over-sexualized video games at home.
The letter also goes on to state that parents should not allow their children to access social media sites such as Facebook or WhatsApp, but rather should play games found suitable to the child’s age. If a student is found to be accessing these sites or playing Call of Duty, the school warns it will take action and notify police and child social services of the neglect.
“If your child is allowed to have inappropriate access to any game or associated product that is designated 18+ we will are advised to contact the Police and Children’s Social Care as it is neglectful.”
Violence in video games have always been a scapegoat for those who wish to blame the media for societal problems. Call of Duty recently has recieved a bad rap specifically due to Norwegian killer Andres Breivik claiming he trained using Call of Duty for years. However, studies have consistently proven that there is no more a link between violent games and real-life violent acts than there are with movies.
According to the Electronic Software Association (ESA), studies have shown that violent crimes by young people have declined consistently since the early 1990s, while video game consumption has increased over that same time. The conclusion to draw from that would be if there were a link between violent crimes and games among children, wouldn’t the two statistics move in the same direction?
The larger issue here is whether schools should be able to overstep the boundaries of the classroom walls and dictate to parents what goes on in their homes. The PEGI rating system gives parents plenty of advice and information on purchasing a game such as Call of Duty for their child, so can the school really tell the parent how to raise their kid?
Do you consider it neglect to play Call of Duty and other violent games? Sound off below.