I’ve seen in the news this week that Scottish MP Joe Fitzpatrick has been defending Dundee’s videogames industry after the Scottish Parliament was urged to recognise the fact violent games are easily obtainable for children.
The MSP thought the recent motion, which asked the Scottish Government to make parents “aware of the possible risk to children’s emotional and psychological development”, associated the industry with ‘high levels of violence’ and could set-back the development of the sector.
This made me think about what is really best for the gaming industry. Does being associated with violence do more harm than good, or do we need to accept that it’s partly what sells videogames and that the industry wouldn’t be as successful without it?
We do have ratings on games for a reason and those games that contain violence are designed for adults and categorised appropriately. Personally I think that exposing young children to violent games should be avoided at all costs, but I’m not convinced that the games industry should be negatively branded on account of games of that nature being released.
Saying that, the industry can’t abdicate responsibility altogether – where possible we need to work to help parents become more aware of which video games are violent and how they can keep a closer eye on what their children are playing.
Where do you think the responsibility lies? Is the games industry an innocent party because they warn people of violence on the packaging, or should they have a more prominent role in educating parents of games’ content? It would be great to know your thoughts on the topic.