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Gamers & Their Parents

Gamers & Their Parents: Are We Raising Violent Youth?

Is our youth more violent today because of video games?  Every time we experience a horrific incident involving America’s youth, the group of computer geeks labeled “gamers” are usually mentioned in the backlash. As a mom of one precious heavenly boy and two earthly young men, my heart aches for those parents who have lost children in these senseless acts done by mentally unstable people. These murderers are not representative of the young people I know.

I believe that today’s youth are wicked smart and capable of achieving amazing things. I would like to share information with you about the gamers I personally know. I posed the violence question to our kids. My oldest pointed out that there are definitely certain content that can be dangerous if players aren’t mature enough to handle it, but there is an age rating which makes it easy for parents.



I also posed the question to other parents of gamers. They expressed concerns of healthier weight control (less junk food, more exercise). Social skills and isolation is a constant worry, although most kids are skyped in with their gaming friends and are in constant contact the whole time they’re online. It’s the face-to-face conversations that can be challenging, so it’s a pleasant surprise when the group catches a movie, eats out, or visits the comic book store. We want our teens to belong. We want to recognize our children’s passions because passion will lead them to their purpose in life, but at the same time we want them to have respect for us, the rules, good manners, faith, and compassion for human life. These are great topics for conversation, and as open-minded parents, we can observe and help each other stay informed.

My boys find it hard to believe that growing up, I was the channel changer in our home and that our antenna brought us all of three channel choices. Our youth, and now even the generation just starting their families, do not know life without cell phones, SnapChat, and Google.  I confess to being one of those moms whose boys spent a lot of time watching cartoons and videos, and now it’s xBox and computer games. A world without this form of entertainment is foreign to them.


If you ask your kids about the video games they like, you might be surprised at their knowledge and skill level. It’s not just about shooting up stuff or killing zombies. There are “e-Athletes” who make millions playing games for a living, participating in live competitions all over the world. There are best-selling authors who contribute their book ideas to the video games they played as a youth. Scholastic recently announced the launch of a new imprint featuring game-related books for children called AFK (Away from Keyboard). Many parents are engaged too, as playing video games has become a family activity.

Electronic games of today are complex. They have clues and problems to solve in order to advance to each level, and intense hand-eye coordination is required. Take the game Assassin’s Creed, for example, now in it’s tenth installment. Our oldest son is a huge fan and introduced me to this highly popular video game, which grossed $240.7 million worldwide.

Assassin’s Creed is an action-adventure stealth game with each version featuring historical settings . The immersive qualities of the visuals are amazing. Great effort and research was done to immolate the locations with exacting detail. The accurate city layouts and even the furnishings in the buildings, reflect the period. Players complete quests, set objectives, and acquire new skills. And the part that surprised me are the factoid bubbles that pop up giving historical facts about the places and real-life characters from that era. These games take years to develop for players who are highly skilled.

The Gamers I Know

Our youngest son hosts a group of his friends at our office where the WiFi is free so that they can enter tournaments and play against kids from all over the world. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more intelligent bunch. Computers and electronics are their passion. Most have above average grades, are taking High School advance placement and dual-credit courses, and they work hard at part-time jobs. A few of my sons classmates are graduating a year early, and some will almost have completed college Associate degrees by the time they walk across the High School Graduation stage. The majority of the group who hangs out at our office have plans to obtain Bachelors and Masters degrees in computer science or engineering. Some have aspirations, like our youngest, to obtain Ph.D.’s.

Another fact you may be shocked to know, is that most Gamers are against drug use in any form. They understand the importance of keeping their minds sharp and that the ability to have agility, clear focus, dexterity, and concentration is crucial in the competitive world of gaming. You can’t let your team down and you’re not advancing to the next level with a fuzzy brain.

Before You Pass Judgement

Before you pass judgment, I challenge you to ask your kids or grandchildren about their favorite video games. These are not the PacMan some of us know. The video games of today will blow your mind with the visuals and problem solving elements. If you’re not familiar with the titles they want, read reviews online. The only games I do not like have demonic themes, but you can easily google to find out details. When the kids were little, I used to quiz the gaming store clerk. He can direct you to those with themes and age ratings you deem appropriate for your family.

Today’s Youth

The youth of today continually astonishes me. These are the kids that will change our world. These are the kids who will invent phenomenal things in the future that will amaze us and protect us and make our lives richer. Stop believing the false “labels” on social media. Invade your child’s life. Pause and listen. Question and connect. Don’t give up on today’s youth; they’re just getting started.


         Just a Mom


Natalie Cline Bright is a blogger, speaker, hobby photographer, and author of the fun, historical western TROUBLE IN TEXAS series for middle grades, the RESCUE ANIMAL picture book series about rescue horses, and is currently working on an action-packed, Wild West adventure for young adults titled WOLF’S WAR. Her stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications. Visit her Amazon Author Page to learn more about other published works.