Editor's Note: The following has been adapted with the author's permission from its original publication on Carolina Culture Warrior. To be fully transparent, the author also owns shares in ABC (as previously disclosed).
Protecting American children has become a full-time job with awful content emanating from the entertainment industry with sex and violence at the forefront. This is especially true with an industry that’s bigger than even movies or television...video games.
Conservative activist and Media Research Center founder and president Brent Bozell was interviewed about this issue on March 9 by the Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney and said this about what should be done:
Why do some of these videos have to be so ultra-violent and what could be done to keep them away from children? Which is why one recommendation put forward by yours truly was if everyone is going to agree that young children shouldn’t get these — these nasty, ultra violent videos, then treat them like any other commodity that’s kept from children. Treat them like cigarettes. Treat them like liquor. Do that which you can do in a store to make sure they never get their hands on it.
After the awful February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Bozell’s advice should be taken to heart. The good news is there are some institutions that are now doing just that.
A good example of a company taking this matter seriously is Nintendo, the Japanese gaming giant responsible for such iconic franchises as Super Mario, Pokémon, and The Legend of Zelda.
When they released their innovative and popular Nintendo Switch console last year, they included parental controls to help parents manage game time, and even block content that’s inappropriate for children under the age of 18 (i.e. Grand Theft Auto):
Nintendo should be given props for taking this crucial first step, especially considering that it’s first-and-foremost a largely family-oriented brand when it comes to its industry. That being said, it’s not enough.
Amazingly, some on the far-left are saying that Trump’s warnings against violent video games, as well as his meeting with power players in the industry, was nothing but a distraction against calls for gun control. Check this out from New York Daily News columnist Chris Ferguson:
With this meeting, Trump appears to be making the violent video game debate into a solidly right-wing moral crusade. Fewer and fewer people are interested in continuing this debate. As with most moral panics, it will die off with the passing of generations.
So by stating how retailers should be restricting M-rated video games to those under 18 years of age and treating them like cigarettes and alcohol, Bozell, the President, and others are engaging in a right-wing crusade...who knew? You shouldn’t expect anything less from the Daily News, a notorious progressive rag that has been going after the NRA and gun owners for years.
More companies in the gaming industry and pop culture writ large should take head at what Nintendo has done to maintain its long-earned reputation among customers. Of course, video games can be a fun way to escape. But, when individuals play them for hours every day and especially violent ones, it can lead to problems if not addressed and the students have other extenuating circumstances.