• Sweden edition
 
'Don't buy violent video games for Christmas'

'Don't buy violent video games for Christmas'

Published: 21 Dec 2012 16:45 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Dec 2012 16:45 GMT+01:00

Most Swedes received their December paycheck today but I’ve been fielding calls from worried parents for weeks now. They all call to ask me if it's okay to succumb to pressure from their kids and buy them video games that are increasingly violent.

I tell them "no" every single time, because I firmly believe that violent video games are a ticking bomb.

An increasing number of kids ’love’ video games. Not only the ones with a traditional heroic storyline where a prince sets off to kill the evil dragon.

We’ve left fairy tales far behind.

We’re talking realistic. These games portray war, sometimes even crime. There are guns, rifles, grenades, and good-old fashioned dynamite.

The point is to kill.

Some even lack a significant storyline and the focus is more or less entirely on the killing.

I am a gamer myself, and I find the content of some of these violent games to be grossly unsuitable for younger children. There are, of course, age limits set on many of these extremely violent games but if a parent buys it as a gift for a child, the limits are completely useless.

Parents often feel pressured to buy video games for their young children even though the recommendation is that the gamers be 18 or older.

I’ve seen many cases with children as young as seven.

One thing that strikes me as odd is that many parents would automatically usher their kids out of the room if such brutal violence came up during a film.

In borderline cases, let’s say if you were watching Pulp Fiction with your kids, the parent would step in, contextualize and offer an explanation, even condemnation.

Oddly, with video games, the parent is often not even in the room. And where a film lasts two hours, many children who develop a taste for gaming will be stuck console-in-hand for hours.

But the rules are different in the world of video games. Age recommendations, defined by for example by PEGI, are there to protect underage children against such exposure to violence.

But it’s simply not working.

Christmas is just around the corner and I am contacted by an increasing number of parents that are worried and want guidance. Their intuition is telling them "don’t buy it", but they feel pressured by their own kids, many of whom resort to the classic “but all my friends have it”.

Then parents give in, acting against their own intuition.

My advice to all parents is: Check and respect the age recommendations. Don’t give your child the violent video game.

Research frpm Karolinska Institutet has shown a correlation between violent video games and a decline in empathy. There is also a correlation with rising aggression.

It seems every year we hear of a new school shooting. It is time for people to question the entertainment industry’s glorification of violence.

So, dare I give my child a violent video game this Christmas?

Please don’t.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

09:19 December 27, 2012 by Crowhorse
Here we go again. There is a rating system on the games. Just like in movie they do say an age range. If followed there is no danger in video gaming to your children. Study after study have shown children do not become violent from playing video games. And also have shown a lowering in violence among kids that play game.
15:49 January 9, 2013 by Janoosen
I'm personally getting really sick of reading articles where video games are blamed for things like this. Why do people blame video games? Because video games are the easiest to blame.

It's not like people who lack empathy or are psychopaths or become murderers just happen to be that way due to real life issues or past experiences right? No, that's preposterous! Let's just blame videos games because they're violent!

"Research says blah blah blah" about 99.9% of research like that is WRONG and purely speculation. Don't take it as facts.

My point is, video games only affect you as much as you LET them affect you. I've played violent video games since I was 9 years old (I'm 23 now) and I don't lack empathy because of that. Anyone who says video games are to blame for things like lack of empathy and whatnot are ignorant and close their eyes to the truth; the fact that humans are capable of things like lack of empathy and murder WITHOUT the influence of violent video games.

I mean they actually blamed games like Dynasty Warriors for the Connecticut shootings. Dynasty Warriors is a game about ancient china where you run around beating up soldiers and officers with melee weapons as legendary soldiers. Yeeeeeeeeah, I don't think so.

Get your heads out of your asses.
Today's headlines
Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission
Swedish director Ruben Östlund on set. Photo. TT

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission

The movie set to represent Sweden at the 2015 Academy Awards was revealed on Monday, a film that has already won awards abroad. READ  

Amphetamines
Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

A 53-year-old man has been prosecuted after police in western Sweden made one of their largest drug seizures in the area. READ  

Man shot dead in hunting accident
Photo: Hunter Desportes/Flickr

Man shot dead in hunting accident

UPDATED: Police in northern Sweden say a man was killed on Monday morning after what they described as a "hunting accident". READ  

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

The mother of Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has told The Local about her son's "suffering" in jail ahead of the final stages of his trial. READ  

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden

UPDATED: Officials at a Stockholm hospital reported that they had found a suspected case of the Ebola virus on Sunday night. But the case was dismissed on Monday. READ  

Murderer on the loose after breakout

Murderer on the loose after breakout

A 34-year-old man who killed a child is on the run after he broke out of a psychiatric ward in central Sweden. READ  

Skåne floods
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
A Malmö bus under water. Photo: Stig Åke Jönsson/TT

Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods

Flood waters subsided in the southern Sweden region of Skåne on Monday, after flash flooding saw chaos on roads and trains at the weekend. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto

UPDATED: Leaders of the Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats have announced their complete list of election promises in Stockholm's Nacka. READ  

Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing
Photo: AP

Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing

Champions Paris Saint-Germain thumped Saint-Etienne 5-0 as Bordeaux saw their 100 percent record at the start of the Ligue 1 season ended on Sunday with a 1-1 draw against Bastia. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

754
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se