NBC tries to oversimplify online gaming for parents

I’ve been doing a lot of travelling lately (hence the light posting), and this morning, as I was getting myself together in my hotel room, I had the TV on to the Today Show for reasons I’m not entirely sure of but probably owing something to a lack of caffiene and coherent thought. I tried finding the video but could only find a feature on What They Play, which is a good, nonjudgemental parent’s resource for video games and not in any position to be slammed by the likes of me.

No, the feature I caught it midway through was on online predators getting to your kids through their game console. We’ve seen this before.

They’re subject matter expert was spending a lot of time blurring the lines between the threat of gaming online and the actual content of videogames. She would say things like “Nintendo is very family-friendly and their games are safe.”

Erm, no… I’m sure I don’t need to tell anyone here that games like Manhunt and Resident Evil 4: Umbrella Chronicles are not appropriate for young children. And while she may have been trying to say that Nintendo’s otherwise maddening online matchup service guarantees that your child will not be contacted by some nasty pederast; to me it came across as “Nintendo is only for little children and will never betray you.”

…And that sentiment applied only to the online facet of gaming would be a point well-taken if a bunch of early-morning, blurry-eyed parents who are trying desperately to educate themselves on how to deliver age-appropriate games to their children happened to catch this and think that anything marked “Wii” was acceptable for the children to consume.

So when those parent do pick up House of the Dead or No More Heroes because it’s for the Nintendo and ergo must be safe; it just means that they’re going to feel that much more betrayed when they walk in on their kid hacking up zombies with guts and gore spilling out, and that shit worries me, because then they feel that if the game companies are so dead-set on betraying that trust, then there “ought to be laws.”

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