A recent survey of parents in the UK has suggested that over half of parents allow their children to play games with adult or age-inappropriate ratings unsupervised. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Anyone can look back to their school days and remember kids talking about the newest Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, or, these days, Fortnite.
The survey, carried out by childcare, gathered responses from over 2,000 parents. The results, although unsurprising, are quite interesting. Over 50 percent of parents in the survey said that they let their kids play games with an 18 rating. What’s worse, they let them play these games without any supervision or any knowledge of the game. What’s amazing is that only 18 percent of parents in the survey said they would let their children aged between 10-14 watch 18 rated films. Hmm.
This contradiction continues. 86 percent of parents don’t follow the age-ratings of games. Whereas 23 percent don’t care about the age-rating of films. It’s astonishing, really. Why would you let your kid play an 18-rated game, but not watch an 18-rated film? Arguably, games are worse than films. In a film, we are watching the violence unfold, a game puts us right into the throes of it. When playing a violent game, we are the ones shooting, hacking, and slashing. Chances are, kids won’t try to re-enact any violence they see on screen. Indeed, the parents agree. 86 percent don’t believe that violent video games will have a negative effect on their child’s behavior or outlook on life.
Despite this, however, 43 percent have seen a negative change in their child’s behavior after playing an unsuitable game. 23 percent bemoaning the new foul language picked up from playing a game like Grand Theft Auto 5. It is a confusing study. Perhaps the most telling thing to take away from this survey is the worries of parents that their kid is addicted to games. 48 percent of the 2171 parents surveyed are scared that their kid is addicted to games. Perhaps there is something to this. Video game addiction is now considered a disease, after all.
Fortnite and Why Video Game “Addiction” is a Concern
This begs the question that if parents are worried about addiction, why do they let their kids play games like Fortnite so often? Richard Conway, the founder of childcare, thinks the answer is simple:
“It’s difficult in this day and age to govern what your child is exposed to, because if your 10-year-old has friends who are playing Fortnite, which is rated 12, you want them to be included in the fun. However, it’s always worth looking into the game to see if it’s suitable rather than leaving them to their own devices.”
It certainly is interesting that parents do not share the same fears over films as they do games, something with which Conway agrees:
“What’s interesting is that the majority of parents follow film age ratings, but when it comes to video games they maybe aren’t as strict. It’s important to remember how impressionable children are; if they see behavior or language in a video game or movie, they may mimic it.”
Would you let your kid play unsuitable games without supervision?