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Parental Fail Mode... - Elf M. Sternberg
Parental Fail Mode...
I was in Game Stop, the video game store next to the pharmacy where Omaha had gone to wrestle with the devils of irritation and insurance. They have a bin of used games and occasionally I find a good score on something for three bucks or so.

As I was preparing to leave, I heard the guy behind the counter say, "Are you sure you want to buy this for him?" I looked up and there, at the counter, was a father and son. The boy was probably a big ten or average eleven. He had that soft look often worn by children who don't go outside, pudgy and pale. He wore a black T-shirt with a local church logo on it. The salesguy said, "It's ESRB rated Mature." He turned the box to show the dad, while reading from the back. "For intense and realistic violence, drug references, blood, and adult language."

Good for him. It's good to see salespeople doing their jobs. The father looked down at the boy and said, "Are you sure this is what you want?"

"Yeah," the kid said, his voice high-pitched and rising.

"Okay," the father said. He turned back to the salesguy and said, "Yeah."

Well, at least the salesguy had done his job.

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

10 comments or Leave a comment
fayanora From: fayanora Date: March 20th, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
That man is going to be back later complaining very loudly. This is only one half of a future clientcopia post. :-)
bldrnrpdx From: bldrnrpdx Date: March 20th, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
*foreheadsmack* - not *my* forehead.
patcat From: patcat Date: March 20th, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Parent used to be a verb, too; now it's just a noun.
ben_raccoon From: ben_raccoon Date: March 20th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eh. He could very well be thinking his kid is mature enough to play it. It's a slim possibility, but still quite real.

Still, good on the salesguy for doing his job.
omahas From: omahas Date: March 20th, 2010 11:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
The game in question is Modern Warfare 2, which includes the very controversial terrorist attack scene where the player aids a terrorist plot to attack an airport so that he doesn't blow his cover, killing innocent people.

Controversial for adults. I can just imagine the difficulty it would be for this kid.

We're not seeing a parent who has reviewed the game and has determined that his child is ready for the experience. We're seeing a parent whose kid asked for the game and chose to get it, not knowing and not caring to know what the impact would be. Just do what the kid wants, because it seems too difficult to actually be a parent.
nbarnes From: nbarnes Date: March 21st, 2010 12:14 am (UTC) (Link)
At 10 and 11, I was pretty capable of handling that level of moral ambiguity....
ben_raccoon From: ben_raccoon Date: March 21st, 2010 12:25 am (UTC) (Link)
To be fair, the kid probably won't even get half of what's going on and ignore it. Of course, being that the game was not mentioned, it could've very well been Bayonetta, which has all the same themes while also being extremely goofy and probably not appropriate for any age.

Still, not surprising. For every instance of responsible parenting I've seen, there've been dozens of cases of, "Yeah, whatever, get it and lets go."
reynai From: reynai Date: March 21st, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
And, having played the game myself, that isn't the only controversial/morally "ambiguous" part to the game, just the one that the media wants to focus on. I'm a bit put off by just how many little kids play it, evidenced by the voicechat on multiplayer.
From: ladyperegrine Date: March 21st, 2010 03:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm just going to pretend/hope there's someone at home to say, "Take that back, both of you, what the hell were you thinking?"

Really, really hope.

I know not all ten or eleven-year-olds are equal, but my son is ten and I have to vet teen games before he's allowed to play them. I can't imagine just giving him something like the game described. And if I did, I'd damn sure be playing it with him and discussing it with him, not giving it to him to shut him up.

doodlesthegreat From: doodlesthegreat Date: March 21st, 2010 05:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Stupid Parent Tricks.
10 comments or Leave a comment