Learning About Robots

Modern day schooling has a lot to answer for, mostly in the teaching of our beloved children.  In all fairness, it does a great job of educating our children, faced with such adversity from the PC brigade and the general behaviour of some of the little darlings that have to be taught.  Being a parent of a 9-year-old I hear it all, sometimes in great detail, about the regular goings on of school life and what’s hot and not in the modern world, it’s the only way I keep up with the modern pop music charts.  On occasion us parents are invited to assemblies where we can witness firsthand all the things our children have been learning. This term the topic was robots.

Centre stage, ready to roll.

After being postponed twice, due to the snow, us parents were ushered into the school hall to be treated to a half-hour extravaganza about the wonders of robots.  Much mirth was had by all as lines were fluffed, timings gone haywire and the usual ‘you’ve been framed’ moments of a school production unfolded before our eyes.  The show was enjoyable, up until the point where two boys came to the front of the stage to tell us about their robot findings.  During their speech they uttered the words that I suspect only cast doubt to myself.  As we learned about robots that disarm bombs and the like, the audience was told by these two 9-year-old boys that robots also featured in the games Modern Warfare and Medal of Honor.  The gears in my head screeched to a halt and I rewound what the boys said in my head to quickly analyse what I had just heard.  Surely, children younger than 10 in primary five don’t have access to 18-rated games do they?  I know it would be naive to think that kids don’t have some sort of access to this type of material, but when it is presented to you in such a manner it really does make you wonder.

Does 18 really mean 18?

Firstly, I was annoyed at the thought that the parents of these kids would allow them to play the games, but then I was also questioning the teacher by letting the kids put that part into their speech.  I realise it would be foolish to think that all teachers have a knowledge of the current age ratings of specific games, but then I thought that it’s not unreasonable to expect teachers to keep up with popular culture.  As a general member of the public it has been pretty hard to escape the news stories surrounding these specific games, with the sensationalist headlines and scaremongering by various media sources I would have thought that everyone would know about them.  Maybe I’m being a little sensitive here, it’s not as if my daughter is now going to want to play these games because her classmates talked about them, I didn’t see any other parents looking shocked or questioning what we had heard.  Maybe I should have halted the performance and asked the teacher exactly why she had allowed the content to be included, that wouldn’t have helped anyone though.  The vast majority of parents left the show with a slightly better knowledge of robots, but I’m sure than none except me left questioning what we had heard.

"I'm gonna f**king send in a f**king drone to f**k you up."

Is it possible that, with myself having a greater exposure to the whole games world, I pick up on things that really have no issue in the grand scheme of things?  I really don’t think so, I think that being exposed to games more than the average person, I have a greater understanding of their content and standing in the modern, popular world.  I go to great lengths to make sure that my daughter isn’t exposed to the violent themes, bad language and visual violence of games that I play, therefore I never play them when she is about. I think that it is a responsibility that most parents in a gaming environment should undertake without thinking.  I will, however, contradict myself by saying that I won’t stop her from seeing mature-rated games or media (films etc) before she is the correct age.  This is mostly due to the fact that I realise age ratings can often be far off the mark at what age is deemed suitable to view the content.  I don’t believe that you have to be 15 or 18 to play games or watch films of those ratings and in instances like that, parental discretion should be applied.  What I don’t believe in is that children of nine should be playing 18-rated games. That is wrong on so many levels.  If you have children, what do you think is acceptable to allow under 10s to play?  Is a 12-rated game or film too old or should the level be 15 in accordance with what their peers are getting access to?  If you don’t have children what are your thoughts on it?  Would you think twice about reprimanding a younger relative you witness playing games that are obviously too old for them?







2 responses to “Learning About Robots”

  1. Optimus Pints avatar
    Optimus Pints

    I’m afraid kids are getting less innocent in nature and getting too mature for their own age. My opinion is that society’s lack of upholding rules has brought desensitive attitudes to most things taboo.

    The question I ask myself is do parents care? I say this because when i worked in retail selling games, the amount of parents that came up to the counter with an 18 game for thier kids was a bigger group than college students buying an 18 game for themselves (this was not an everyday occurence, mostly weekends this happened).

    A few times the conversations gone this way

    Me: Are you sure you want to buy this game? (GTA) it’s about drugs sex and voilence in a nutshell
    Customers Parent: A) Yeah but they either play it at thier mates so it doesn’t matter
    B) It’s alright, it’s his birthday/christmas presents
    C) Yeah *tut* what you gonna do ey? <—the most suprising one

    I've never thought it was acceptable but at the same time I was helpless, i had to call the manager a few times and his general response was
    "yeah but the mum/dads buying it whats the problem?"
    "In third world countries the kids there have real guns? grow up!"

    or some other non sensical answer like that.

    You know societies crumbling when i grew up watching a plumber jump on turtles and my 13 year old future brother in law is gangsta tripping some rivals because they're a takeover thier turf in the saints row hood yo….

  2. Martin avatar

    Unfortunately, the parents who don’t give a shit make the age rating system a bit of a joke. But there’s nothing can be done for those buying for the underage, unlike buying alcohol for underagers.

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