They have taken the ratings off of video games.
Although this may not come as breaking news to those of you with gaming systems, I was totally unaware.
We don't have a game system. We did for about two weeks and then we sold it, because I would much rather be outside playing tennis than playing on TV, but regardless...
Now the ratings are off.
So now that my husband is moonlighting as a manager of a media outlet/book/music store - we know what this translates to:
13 year old boy says, "Hey Mom - I'm going to go rent a video game." And his mom says, "Sure, just pick something appropriate." 13 year old boy walks into store, sees a cool title and maybe the disc itself looks cool and he rents it. It may have been previously rated M for mature but there is no way he could know. Since the video games are not in their original cases at the rental places, there isn't even a way you can tell what sort of content is in the game.
The rating system was apparently "unconstitutional." Uh huh, ok.
Yesterday at work, a 13 year old boy came into the store ALONE, picked out a game and went to my husband, "Hey, what's this game rated?" Dave informed him that games are no longer rated. The boy looked very concerned and said, "Well, then how am I supposed to know if it's appropriate?"
Amazing. Here was a young boy without a guardian choosing what was right. Making choices that mattered.
A few minutes later another 13 year old boy walked in WITH his mom. He saw a hat sitting behind a counter that had been special ordered for someone and was waiting for pick up. He felt entitled to grab it, so he did and proudly, without any hesitation, put it on his head. Dave walked over to the boy and said, "Hey bud, that hat is on hold for someone, can I please have it back?" The mom interrupted and said, "My boy wants it, he's going to get it." And a few minutes later, Dave saw the tag ripped out on the floor, the boy and his mom gone and the hat missing.
Amazing. Here was a young boy with a guardian choosing what was wrong. Making choices that mattered.
It's hard to parent, admittedly. But may you never grow tired of instilling the power and importance of integrity and wisdom to your children. May you never forget that you are your child's first example - and they take note of EVERYTHING. And in response to your never ceasing instruction, may your child be like the first 13 year old who, without any adult forcing him, makes the right choice.