• 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.

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
Elections 2014
Fresh election fears in Sweden
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson may not support a Social Democrat budget. Photo: TT

Fresh election fears in Sweden

The leaders of Sweden's main political parties have been called to parliament as speculation grows that the Sweden Democrats could hold the key to new elections. READ  

Presented by Stockholm Business Region
Introducing... the Stockholm collection
Photo: Imagebank Sweden

Introducing... the Stockholm collection

Moving to Stockholm, or just dreaming about it? Either way, this is your ultimate guide: for housing, finances, insurance, business, and so much more. READ  

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

Time for some luxury this week - we're heading to a sprawling Eskilstuna property with a location and view to die for. READ  

National
Row over viral 'Nazi receipt' in Swedish shop
A cashier in a Coop supermarket: Photo: TT

Row over viral 'Nazi receipt' in Swedish shop

A photo of a till receipt with the Nazi slogan "Sieg Heil" printed on it has gone viral in Sweden, with supermarket chain Coop launching an internal investigation. READ  

Society
Sweden tops 'financial well-being' rankings
Sweden's family-friendly policies contribute to well-being. Photo: TT

Sweden tops 'financial well-being' rankings

Swedes have fewer money concerns than people from any other European country, according to the latest major report on global well-being. READ  

National
King Carl XVI Gustaf 'unhurt' after crash
The King of Sweden. Photo: TT

King Carl XVI Gustaf 'unhurt' after crash

UPDATED: Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf has been involved in a car accident but is unhurt, the Royal family's press office has confirmed to The Local. READ  

Elections 2014
Migration minister calls Feminists 'a dark force'

Migration minister calls Feminists 'a dark force'

Sweden's Migration Minister has said in a Facebook post that both the Sweden Democrats and the Feminist Initiative parties were "dark, gloomy, and destructive forces". READ  

The Local List
Ten Swedish designs that made life better
Playsam

Ten Swedish designs that made life better

Sweden has produced an indecent number of design classics. We take a look at some of the best - from toys to furniture, fabric designs to telephones, packaging to super-safe headwear. READ  

Sport
Juventus topple Malmö in Champions opener
Argentinian Carlos Tevez scores against Malmö. Photo: AP

Juventus topple Malmö in Champions opener

Malmö, the first Swedish club in the Champion's League for more than a decade, lost against Italian champions Juventus on Tuesday night in their Group A opener. READ  

Science
Swedes discover rare Antarctic fossils

Swedes discover rare Antarctic fossils

Researchers from Sweden have been speaking about a rare discovery of mammal fossils in the Antarctic. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Blog updates

17 September

Deep election analysis (Blogweiser) »

"You think you’re bad? Well I’m American. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFbomLID0vU Deep deep analysis on Swedish election results. Vlog post: https://t.co/tjQgfa5Yie #svpol #val2014 #politics pic.twitter.com/oEK5ADFT8L — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 17, 2014 " READ »

 

15 September

Liten, litet, små & lilla (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej igen! Have you ever been confused about when to use “liten”, “litet”, “små” and “lilla”? Today I’m going to sort out how use the adjective “liten” (small) and the different forms of it. Liten or litet? “Liten” is the form we will use when referring to a noun with the gender “en”. For example: Min pappa har en..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
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

854
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
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN