Opinion: A Mother’s Thoughts on the MAVAV Organization

First, I am a Mother, and as a Mother, I feel it is my personal responsibility to monitor my children’s activities.  From the time they wake up in the morning until they go to bed.  When it comes to games, I enjoy all types and I consider myself a gamer.  Since I enjoy this as a past-time, so does my family.  I personally play games with any ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) rating however, I decide what is and what is not appropriate for my children.   I do not rely solely on ESRB ratings or game reviews to make those decisions.  I read reviews, I ask opinions and if I buy a game, I usually try it out first.  Seeing organizations like MAVAV (Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence) makes me question, what type of parent would start such an organization?  My opinion, a parent without responsibility.  One who does not have interest in their child’s activities.  One who would buy their child the exact type of game they feel they need to take a stand against.  We all know there are restrictions to purchasing games that are not rated for children by the ESRB.  These are the same restrictions put on products like alcohol, tobacco and pornography.  Therefore, if you don’t want your child playing these games, don’t buy them.  Yes, it’s THAT simple.  It’s not easy for some parents to say no to their kids but if your child asked for a pack of cigarettes, what would you say?

The Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence organization is dedicated to educating parents of the world’s fastest growing addiction and the most reckless endangerment of children today: Video Game Addiction and Violence in Underground Video Game Cultures

Video game addiction is without a doubt, becoming this century’s most increasingly worrisome epidemic, comparable even to drug and alcohol abuse. All the while, the video game industry continues to market and promote hatred, racism, sexism, and the most disturbing trend: clans and guilds, an underground video game phenomenon which closely resembles gangs. Parents NEED to be aware of the hidden dangers.

~ The Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence Organization

(All emphasis above is from the MAVAV.) Second, I don’t feel that any part of the above statement is true.  I do not believe that video games lead to violence, drug and alcohol abuse, hatred, racism, sexism, and gang activity.  I truly believe games can play a positive role for kids, and adults alike.  They’re fun and that’s what they are meant to be and at times can be educational or even healthy (i.e. fitness games).  Sure, if you ignore your kid and set them in front of the TV to play video games all day or night, your electronic babysitter may cause your child excessive laziness.  That’s where parents come in, we are the moderators, responsible for our child’s health and well being.  Do more with your child, raise them, be a living example, teach them the skills they need to succeed.  It’s not video games that cause problems for kids, its parents who don’t take responsibility for being a parent.  I feel that people who think that violent games are the cause of all our problems in the world are nothing but ill-informed simpletons.