In the comments section of yesterday’s Uniting the generations through COD The Double Parent asked:
Have you reached a decision about the game for your son?
I started writing a response in the comments, and then I realized that it was becoming a blog post. So here’s my response:
Personally, the shoot’em up style FPS games continue to make me uncomfortable. That said, I’m packing less testosterone than a lot of FPS fans. My intent isn’t to reinforce gender stereotypes re: boys are more aggressive than girls (or snakes, snails & puppy dog tails, which, as a little girl I always thought seemed much better than sugar, spice & all things nice!). But generally speaking, boys find violent and physical play to be more cathartic — even therapeutic — than girls.
I used to be very strict with the no-violent-video-games rule in my house and you know what? At that time, my son was getting into playground fights at school. I allow some violent games now, and he hasn’t been in a playground fight in over two years.
Admittedly, there are a lot of factors that contributed to the playground fights, as well as to his current success in regulating and managing himself when he sees injustices on the playground — his MO has always been “defender of social justice”; fighting for what’s fair for himself and others. But he tells me that after a crappy and/or frustrating day, he finds respite in his violent video games. It’s a zone of total fantasy where he can take a break from civil society and be pure id for a spot of time. And I don’t have a difficult time getting him to stop playing when I ask him to stop.
I think it’s also important to emphasize that violent video games represent a fraction of Gamer Boy’s collection of video games. He’s also quite outdoorsy and sporty.
Between us, I’m leaning toward a yes and I’ll elaborate on that in an actual review. I plan on keeping this from Gamer Boy though, otherwise I’ll never hear the end of it!