UK Researcher Wants Parents Arrested for Buying Kids Violent Games

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UK Researcher Wants Parents Arrested for Buying Kids Violent Games


Dr. Nick Robinson believes penalizing retailers for PEGI violations is just not enough.

A political researcher has criticised the UK government's adoption of the PEGI rating system. He says that the system will fail unless the government takes action on poor parenting practices, which includes prosecuting parents who purchase violent games for children.

Dr. Nick Robinson, a researcher from the School of Politics and International Studies at the University of Leeds, criticises the new ratings legislation of being a "smokescreen" to cover up the government's lack of accountability in limiting children's exposure to violent media. He says that the "politically expedient" PEGI system will not address the real problem of preventing young gamers from playing mature titles.

Currently, the PEGI system penalizes retailers for selling games to children who do not meet the ratings guidelines, but Robinson wants the government to take further action. "The issue of video games may seem rather trivial at first, but it has many implications for politicians," he says. "To really begin to sort this issue, the state would have to be prepared to prosecute parents who purchase and allow their children to play inappropriate games."

Robinson bases his comments on research into programmes in the US designed to educate parents and children on the ratings system. "Despite a concerted effort to educate parents and children...which has led to high levels of understanding, a significant minority of parents still purchase inappropriate material for their children," he explained. "Why should the system in the UK be any different?"

He also points the finger at game developers for shying away from the responsibility of keeping kids from playing their products. He states that game makers are "absolved from the burden of responsibility" and instead defer to the state and regulator. He concludes that, as a result, more violent games are released into the market since companies are protected by the ratings framework.

Source: Health Canal via Game Politics


I think I have a new man crush.

Ladies, Gentlemen.

I present to you.

A nutjob.

So to prevent children from being potentially damaged (possible, but not certain or likely) by violent video games, they're going to jail parents? I think he might need to have a glance at all the research of how having a parent in jail may damage the development of a child and work out if it really is worth it.

We should arrest them for letting children watch R rated movies on television and letting them stay up past midnight to. That'll teach those terrible parents. /sarcasm

Sigh... can I move to a new planet where people stay the hell out of other peoples business? I really hate the "I know better than you do" attitude in spite of any conclusive evidence one way or another.

This guy probably want to keep kids out of pubs to, but if that happens little Harry can't have a snifter of brandy and a coke with his parents and there goes all family values.

Please tell me no one on that side of the pond takes this lunatic seriously.

Part of me kind of agrees with this.

You have idiot parents out there who buy their kids Grand Theft Auto and then are shocked when they discover what type of content is actually in the game, so then they try to crusade that games should be banned and regulated because they did a piss poor job, but hell will freeze over before they'll ever admit any fault on their part.

Seeing such people put in jail would be immensely satisfying.

The shit is this fuck? He compares it to stuff in the US, last time I checked the US government doesn't arrest you for buying a video game.

So to prevent children from being potentially damaged (possible, but not certain or likely) by violent video games, they're going to jail parents? I think he might need to have a glance at all the research of how having a parent in jail may damage the development of a child and work out if it really is worth it.

Jail is about a fine instead Not too absurd not too little
Also I don't like his comment about how it's game developer responsibility it's more of a parent's responsibility but then again I don't like his attitude towards this I'm more attracted to the idea of parents this stupid to pay the price of stupidity

Please tell me no one on that side of the pond takes this lunatic seriously.

If I know the parental views of most people in this country the answer will be a resounding "Fuck no." People in the UK don't take well to the government trying to interfere, and will in fact do anything to absolve them self of the blame. Usually a bad thing to be honest, i.e school systems, in this case, probably a good thing.

So to prevent children from being potentially damaged (possible, but not certain or likely) by violent video games, they're going to jail parents? I think he might need to have a glance at all the research of how having a parent in jail may damage the development of a child and work out if it really is worth it.

Ladies and gentlemen, the thread has already been won. Pack it in, we're done here.

Well... most kids with media above their age get said media because their parents just don't give a crap about the age rating. How many times have you heard people talk about how they saw a parent getting a copy of the latest realistic gunwank shooter for their 5-year-old without even looking at the box? It is a problem that needs to be adressed, though this is far too heavy.

Why not let parents decide what their children view and make those parents absolutely responsible for that (as in no suing someone because you bought a violent game for your kid), I know there are some crap parents out there who buy violent games for their kids whilst also crying about how terrible violent games are for their kids but sending them to jail or fining them is just as ridiculous as the current system.

Can someone fire this guy for being incompetent? Yeah, prosecuting parents for doing things that aren't proven harmful but which a minority thinks is bad is a great precedent to set. Nothing bad could possibly come from that.

And the industry not taking responsibility? Did I just imagine the ESRB and companies like Gamestop taking a hard line on not selling M rated games to minors despite there being no legal requirement for them to do that in the US?

Yes, jailing parents is totally the correct response for legally buying a product with their own money. Why don't you just go to their house and shoot them in the head while little Timmy watches? That'll teach the little kids not to play violent video games! I can see the ads now! "Every time you play a violent video game, your parents DIE!"
It's up to parents to make sure their children are playing appropriate games. If they do a shit job, it's not the governments fault, and the government should not be intervening.

I agree with what this guy means, that parents buying Call of Duty and Manhunt for their kids, are bad parents that should be punished. But on the other hand, I see what this guy is insinuating. He is the kind of guy that says violent video games fuck up kids; that someone who plays Call of Duty, is more likely to shoot up a school, than someone who plays Tetris or Pokemon. And that ladies and gentlemen, is a topic that we all know all too fucking well.

I'm all for keeping 12 year olds off of Halo and Call of Duty, but this is not the way.
The fundamental flaw in this guy's "logic" is his use of "inappropriate".
Who is he to say what games are inappropriate for a person's kids? Who is he to say that Call of Duty and other violent video games, are inappropriate? I think it is up to the parents to decide what games are appropriate for their kids, and what games are not.

Working on a mile long back log? Fuck it! I have video game crime to bust.

While this man has his head on straight, jailing parents for buying adult games for thier children is a bit extreme.

After all, a fine and confiscation of the game in question works too right?

'To protect children from the horrors of mature entertainment, we are going to send their parents to jail. Protecting children from the horrors of being without parents due to them being jailed is a less important matter to us.'

wait I read the article twice, and there is no mention of arrest, or jail sentence. the person talks about responsibility, education, and possible prosecution (nowhere did he say the result of the prosecution being a jail sentence) the person who titled the article presumed arrest. I think most everybody here is overreacting to the word "prosecution" when he is probably more likely talking about a trial where a fine is imposed.

I actually like the idea of fining the parents that don't at least understand the rating system, and buy the game anyways not realizing that list next to the rating. file a lawsuit after buying the game calling it to violent then you get the fine (double the lawsuit) to shut you up.

those rating are on the box for a reason, and in some regards yes I completely agree that 8 year-old Timmy should not be playing CoD trash talking on XBL, and his parents should be held responsible/accountable for that. The "I know better then you do" statement is childish, but so is the "I can give my child a ___ if I want to" both do nothing, but start a pissing contest.

Someone tell me why this guy has a platform? God damn.


Wait.... He's serious.....

It's not the governments job to raise children, its the job of the parents. If mommy and daddy want to get little 6 year timmy grand theft auto for Christmas, it might not be the wisest decision, but its still their choice. Unless its a blatant crime like murder or meth cooking, the government has no business in what happens in the family home, period.


You know, on second thought, I actually hope this kind of legislation will pass, in the States as well. It would pave the way for arresting parents who shove their religious beliefs down their children's throats; parents who force their kids to take part in sports or scout groups; parents who teach things to their kids that have even the slightest racist undertone to them.

Sometimes the slippery slope can be a good thing.

Also, Venza from Toyota can kiss my hairy ass.

Lets jail all the people who look different too! Also, fatties!

I sort of agree with him.

I work at a cinema and if I let someone under the appropriate age in I get fined thousands, and lose my job. The parent who brought their kid to see the movie gets off with nothing. I accept it is my responsibility to enforce the rules, but it also the job of the parent, and they should have legal responsibilities too. It's illegal to buy drink or cigarettes for minors, but not games or movies which are similarly age protected.

The problem with this is that it assumes all kids are the same, when that really couldn't be further from the truth. Some kids are quite impressionable and have no business playing anything more violent than Tetris, while others very much aren't. Some 15 year olds can handle PEGI 16 level violence, while some 17 year olds can't.

This is why in general I'm opposed to legislation like this. If a company wants not to sell these things to kids younger than the rating, that's fine, as companies are (usually) private entities. But when the government starts saying it's against the law to decide what's best for your kids, and acting as though all kids of a certain age are the same person, it becomes unreasonable.

P.S. Thanks

Hey guys, let's be fair here. At least he is going in the right direction, blaming parents who don't take the ESRB/PEGI/CERO system to heart instead of game companies or other random things. Who knows, maybe in the next couple of centuries, they might finally get it right.

Uh... what? So, because my parents decided I could take the mental scarring of such horror as presented in say, Tony Hawk's Underground, they should be arrested.

Oh you!

um yeah, that actually seems logical in this day in age, the amount of parents who take a bf if they buy there kids a 18 rated game, for being to violent is unreal.

Then the amount of politicians who call for a outright ban of 'mature games' because of this, forgetting it was the parent in the first place who bought it, is also utterly dumb.

ergo why not tackle the root problem here. Dumb parents. Stores here can not sell games to underage people anyway so... yeah.

ahh well i know someone will just come on and post WRONG to this comment

but i might as-well post it.

That is if prosecution does not mean jail time.... which to be honest prosecution does not equal jail.

Wouldnt mind this.
If consoles (main problem for children) had a way to report underage players, which then went to a local authority, would stop the endless amounts of children screaming down the mic all the time.

Funny when cod comes out though

He realises a huge number of people would be arrested if this was the case, right?

This guy is nuts. As it is parents no longer have a leg to stand on when complaining about violence in games being inappropriate for their kids, they circumvented the law to let the kid play it.

Isn't that enough? Not as if we can cure stupidity, only expose it.

I would like it if retailers had the power to refuse a sale to a parent that they have reason to believe is buying a game for their under-age kid. (e.g. if the retailer saw one saying "Is this the one you wanted, Timmy?)

Prosecution is going a bit far, but if it gets 11-year-olds out of my CoD...

Did I read the same article everyone else did?

This guy said "prosecute", not specifically "jail" or "arrest". Maybe he means like a fine? Who here has ever received a traffic ticket? Tada! You've been "prosecuted". This guy wants to make it illegal for parents to buy these games for their children, which is currently how many circumvent PEGI (and ESRB in the U.S.), but then the "parents" still turn around and run these ridiculous campaigns about the violent videogames that somehow got into their children's hands.

Isn't this suggestion the logical conclusion to the "blame the parents, not the game" mantra when the "games community" feels threatened by major media or legislation against violent videogames?

Personally, I'd rather government just stay out of everyone's business, but the dichotomy here confuses me.

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