07 January 2009

Video Games and Child Behaviour

Anyone looking for an in-depth analysis of the relationship between video games and child behaviour will be sorely disappointed in this post. Nevertheless, there is a connection.

In a news story out of Wicomico Church, Virginia in the good ol' US of A, a six-year-old who was so keen to get to school that when he missed the school bus he figured he would grab the keys to the family car and drive himself to school. This decision did not pan out as he was hoping as he did not make it to school crashing after some six miles and still at least a mile and a half short of school.

When pressed by the local police about where he learned to drive the child admitted that all of his driving experience can from playing "Grand Theft Auto" and "Monster Truck Jam" video games. The fact that he managed to drive six miles, negotiate a few turns, and pass a couple of cars before crashing seems to suggest that these video games are pretty real in terms of the reality portrayed.

Unfortunately, for the kid he is now in protective custody as both his parents have been charged with child endangerment. Child endangerment would suggest that there is more to this story than just a mother falling asleep and leaving the car keys on the table. If not, then the moral of this story is that as a parent you must supervise your children 24 hours a day because if they do anything that endangers themselves then you are responsible as a parent.

The logic of this, taken to its conclusion, is that the parents of children are responsible for the children's actions. Simply, if your child steals then you as the parent must be punished. Similarly, if your kid decides to "borrow" your car keys and take the car for a spin then you are guilty of child endangerment.

13 comments:

Russell Cavanagh said...

Yup, I just heard this on BBC radio news. Unbelievable!

All the best from the UK.

Rob Baiton said...

Russell...

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

I am wondering whether or not I can get a pilot rating having never flown a plane but being pretty good on the flight simulator games? :)

All the best from Indonesia...

tere616 said...

Lucky that my daughter is not a fan of Video Games, since I don't allow video games into the house.

Child endangerment ? I think it's silly, how come we can punish the parents if their children stolen the car key.

Child is under parents responsibility, yes. But child is "human" too, so let the child receive the punishment because of the mistake that he/she made.

Parents must be responsible if they don't take care of their children but not for the child mistake.

My 2 cents

Rob Baiton said...

Tere...

Kind of hard to be a fan of video games if your mum does not let them in the house ;)

Daryo Tabayani Siampa said...

i like the topic. May i have a literature about this topic?

Rob Baiton said...

DTS...

You could probably do an internet search and find plenty of "literature" on this topic.

My brief entry was just a comment on the fact that when this little fella was questioned by the coppers about where and how he learned to drive, he said that he learned the necessary skills from a video game.

therry said...

Consider the parents are lucky that the child didn't run over any elderlies in the process, as what GTA would've taught the gamers, for mere pleasure only.

I enjoyed playing GTA for a while, until I realised I was supposed to achieve something, instead of just running around stealing cars and hitting people with them. Sigh.

Rob Baiton said...

Therry...

Running people over and running other cars off the road and the like. Yep, he and the parents were pretty lucky.

I am impressed not only by his driving skills but also his determination to get to school.

I would have just said, "bugger it, I am staying home". When my Ma got up and asked why I was still at home playing GTA. "missed the bus"... :D

tikno said...

There is not good to separate children from the game. That's their world. Maybe parents need to choose wisely in accordance with their child's age level.

Rob Baiton said...

Tikno...

I never thought that GTA was a game for 6-year-olds ;)

therry said...

Maybe the previous night, the mother/father already warned the kid that "If you stay up late and miss the school bus tomorrow morning, I'mma make sure no video games for a month"?

Rob Baiton said...

Therry...

Lessons in Parenting 101 :D

Russell Cavanagh said...

Rob ...

Re the flying licence ... If kids can use their video game prowess to join the US Air Force ... and do it for real ..... !!!