Would You Let Your Child Play 18 Rated Games?

The Hubby has worked in the games industry for nearly 20 years and the majority of that time was spent working on 'shooters'. One of the first games he worked on was GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64. 

He's played all kinds of shooters, including Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.

Morgan's Milieu | Would You Let Your Child Play 18 Rated Games?: Photo of Call of Duty Advanced Warfare and Grand Theft Auto Five

I've witnessed the disturbing scenes in Grand Theft Auto V and there is no way on this earth that I would let either of my children play this game. 

And yet there are some parents out there, that haven't seen the game, that will allow their children (sometimes aged 10-11) to play.

I know some of them. If I'm honest I don't think they're aware of just how gruesome and shocking the game is. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not against these games altogether. I know that my eldest will want to play all of them as he gets older. In fact, he does now. They're a part of being a teenage boy, and enjoying going around various worlds attacking and "killing" your friends is the way they bond.

But I don't think they're appropriate for children (younger than, say, 13-14). Not even for children to watch. 

I am confident in my judgement of these games because, like I said, I've watched the Hubby play. I cannot understand how a parent can allow their children to play a game they have never seen. Who knows what language or scenes they will witness?

For me, making a decision hinges on having all the relevant information and with gaming that includes seeing the game in question.

When I was planning this post I posed a few questions on Facebook and Twitter.


At what age would you / did you allow your child to play #CallofDuty or #GTAV?

I went on to have a discussion with Karen Reekie (@MadCatsBabies) who blogs over at The Mad House of Cats and Babies. In answer to my question she said 18, and they would have to pay for it themselves. When I asked what she would do if her 15/16 year old asked about it, she said her answer would still be no. 

I admire her for that one, I think I'll find it tough when BP is that age.

On Facebook I began quite a discussion on the topic receiving 69 comments altogether. It's definitely a subject that people get worked up about. Saying that though, the comments were respectful and I loved how everyone discussed it. Here's a look at what everyone thought:

Suzanne who blogs at www.chickenruby.com about her expat life said

"I never let them play 18 rated games until they were  18."

Kara Guppy said that after her hubby had "vetted the game first" her 14 year old son plays Call of Duty. She draws the line GTA though, because it "glamorises violence and prostitution". Kara blogs at www.chelseamamma.co.uk.

Morgan's Milieu | Would You Let Your Child Play 18 Rated Games?: Lego Marvel Super HeroesI loved the line from Emma Harris, who blogs at Me The Man and The Baby, she said that her 6 year old can

"stick to Lego Xbox games for as long as he is under this roof!"

Rachel Cooper said she wouldn't let her children have a console (apart from a Wii) until they were 14-ish. But she does admit she's open about that sort of thing, allowing her 4yr old to watch Batman with them. You'll find Rachel blogging at Parenthood Highs and Lows.

Someone who doesn't think she'll come across this problem when the time comes is Gemma Chamberlain. They don't play games, they're not gamers, but she said if she did get asked she would only allow games like MarioKart, "GTA glorifies criminality (not necessarily violence) - this makes it a major no-no for me." Gemma blogs at My Mill's Baby.

Donna Wishart, who you'll find blogging at www.whattheredheadsaid.com, agrees that the ratings are there for a reason and said there's no way she'd let her 10-11 yr old play 18 rated games. If they were closer to 18,

"I'd probably consider letting them, depending on what they were like as an individual... I don't think there is a flat right or wrong answer for this as it really depends on the game and the child."

Erica Price (who blogs at 92three30.com) said "generally I wouldn't want to see children playing 18+ games until well into their mid-teens."

Emma Louise Garratt wrote a piece on this topic with survey results, she said "It was shocking to read that so many parents would let their children play adult rated games, some without even playing them beforehand to see the suitability." She has played GTA, Call of Duty and Resident Evil herself so knows what the games are like. Check out Emma's blog at http://www.theminimesandme.com/.

Lisa Hall's boys are 13 and 15 years old and she doesn't allow them to play Call of Duty or GTA.

"When they are older they can choose to play whatever they like."

Cat Williams' husband works in a computer games shop and, in the past, has refused to sell games to parents who come in to buy the games for their children. "There's enough violence and hideous crimes in the world without intentionally subjecting a young child to it... Games like GTA subject children to things they have no need to see." Cat blogs at http://www.rockandrollpussycat.co.uk/.

Morgan's Milieu | Would You Let Your Child Play 18 Rated Games?: Sonic Sega All-Stars RacingLaura Gardner has seen the games, they're a gaming family, but she says her 5 year old son won't be playing these games for "many, many years". She also says "these games aren't suitable for youngsters." Laura blogs at http://www.petitmoi-bigworld.co.uk/ Later Laura added,

"it's not just the killing, it's the atmosphere. In Sonic it's all bright primary colours and flat worlds. In something like COD it's warfare, dark etc."

Eilidh Gallagher wrote a post on this subject a while back (which you can find here), and she believes that allowing your children to play these games at a young age is a form of neglect. However, unlike some, she doesn't believe it should carry a prison sentence. Do you agree? Check out her post and let her know what you think.

Zoe Corkhill only allows her children to play age-appropriate games like the Lego games. She allows her daughter to watch her play Assassins Creed but only while she hunts for collectibles. Zoe has played the games and makes a good point, "you shouldn't let your kid experience anything that is 'realistic' in a game that you wouldn't want them being exposed to in real life". You can find Zoe blogging at Mama Geek..

"If a game is rated 18 I personally don't see the need to even consider letting a young child play."

Wendy Keniwell said "No way would I let a young child play Grand Theft Auto. What parent would?!" "They've got a rating for a REASON, not for the fun of it." Wendy can be found blogging at Wendy's World.

Helena Blakemore won't let her partner play the games while her 2 and a half year old son is in the room. In her words

"He has a choice: switch it off, or I do!

You can find Helena's blog here.

Jenny Leonard has 6 children, ages 5-21. She told me the older children aren't allowed to play the games in front of the little ones. She said she "really discourages games that have no merit or redeeming features." Her children weren't allowed COD until 15, and that was only because they were already playing at friends' homes and would "have a social disadvantage from not being able to join in after school."

"It really is about parent's understanding, playing the games themselves and watching what their children are doing.

Jenny blogs at The Brick Castle.

Laura Huggins' eldest is 5 and she doesn't have a problem with him playing any games. She said her son has played Call of Duty. She wrote a great blog post on the subject and I urge you to go and read it. You may disagree with Laura's decision to allow her son to play this game but read her side before you judge.

Morgan's Milieu | Would You Let Your Child Play 18 Rated Games?: Disney Infinity
Carla Shreeves' boyfriend is a gamer but doesn't play in front of the kids. Her kids play Lego Avengers and Disney Infinity. She said, "maybe when they're older I could judge whether an 18+ game was suitable for them." Check out Carla's blog Random Thoughts Of A Twenty-Something.

Gretta Schifano said

"I absolutely will not let my 12 year old son (my daughter has no interest) play violent video games. I'm very strict about it.

She says her son plays games like FIFA and Minecraft. Gretta blogs at Mums Do Travel.

Sam Bresnahan, who blogs at A Testing Time, said that her son does play Call of Duty but that he wants to go into the Army and he uses it for learning tactics. While playing he has the gore and language turned off.

It seems most mums out there would not let their children play these games. I know that this battle will be reaching my house soon and BP will want to play games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, especially if new ones come out. I may let him play when he is older (15-16) but certainly not until then.

There are certain images that children should not see and in these games there are things I would have preferred to not see.

What do you think - would you let your child play an 18 rated game?

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