Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Life as an Uncool Mom

“Any fool can do something cool and look cool, but it takes skill to make something uncool cool again.”
― Criss Jami

Thing 2 sat me down for a serious talk tonight.

"Mom," he opened.  "I would like to talk to you about M rated video games."

(Internal alarm bells begin to ring...DANGER, DANGER) 

Courtesy ESRB
He went on.  "I know how you feel about the M rated games but I think you should know that two of my good friends who I KNOW are good kids play M rated games.  You like them, too...[Kid 1] and [Kid 2].  Wouldn't you agree that they're good kids?  Polite and respectful? THEY are allowed to play M rated games."

This kid is well on his way to becoming an attorney the way he sets his traps and goes in for the kill.

We spent the better part of an hour going over WHY he wants to play these violent games and how he feels like he's matured significantly and on and on and on.

And I HEARD him.  I really did.  I understand that it STINKS to not be allowed to do something your friends are doing.  But I also firmly believe in this:  Garbage in=garbage out.  I don't think a 10-year-old needs to be armed with a machine gun blowing off the heads of other people...on-screen OR off.   We even went to the game section at Target during our conversation and I picked up a few M rated games and read the back (because maybe I'm just a little too Tipper Gore for my own good) and the reasons for the M rating.  I felt nauseous.  Intense Violence. Nudity.  Intense Language.  REALLY?  This is FUN for people? 

I am uncool.  I get it.  And he's afraid that will make HIM uncool.  And, there's a 100% chance that I'm not going to change my mind on this.

I gave him an assignment.  He is to go and research the effects of violent video games on kids and adults.  I told him to bring a list of pros ("Why I should be allowed to play violent video games") and cons ("Why violent video games might harm me") and we will discuss it.  I told him that if he finds THREE sources with PROOF that violent video games do not, under any circumstance, cause mental or emotional harm then I would go and buy the game.  PROOF.

I did ask Thing 2 how he thought these violent video games were going to be GOOD for him.  There was a telltale silence on the end of that question mark. 

The one thing that made my heart soar was that we were HAVING THE CONVERSATION.  He approached me in a very mature manner and stated his case.  There was no whining or arguing.  We simply discussed it like two reasonable people.  This means that something is really right with our relationship and, as uncool as I am, I think that's super hip.  :)

I think the assignment is going to open his eyes to the psychological effects video games can have...especially on eager young developing minds.  Who knows?  Maybe he'll become uncool like his mom and decide that E for Everyone really IS the way to go.

Parents?  Do you allow M rated games in your home?  Am I missing the boat here?  


  1. I'm uncool too. I don't understand why adults want to play those games.