Before I begin this post I want to tell you that I have read all your comments. You are all such amazing people and I appreciate your solicitude. It means a lot more than you can imagine. Thank you. ❤️ I am still not in a very good place and this is just a guest appearance if you will. Something I need to get off my chest.
A month or so ago we got a message from our kids school. A message among others we assumed. We have a 12 y/o who gets in trouble a lot because of the “friends” he hangs with. So, we thought it was just a regular message about some incident that had occurred among their group of boys. It wasn’t. It was something more bothersome and serious than what my kid and his friends are up to. They are typical 12 y/o messing around, pinching and hitting each other just to annoy each other and then it gets out of hand. This was something else. Something really serious. And it had nothing to do with the older kids.
‘We [the school] would like to inform all the legal guardians of the students at x school that there has been a serious incident in the lower classes and one student has been brought to the hospital. The incident is connected to the students in question playing a video game called GTA.’
That’s all we got to know. It’s hard to know if the school exaggerates when they write a thing like this. They aren’t exactly explaining anything. Not what happened, what injuries the kid got and how it all began. I am by nature suspicious and when it comes to gaming even more so, so I take messages like these rather lightly I must admit. Especially since we [the 12 y/o’s parents] had a lecture about tweens and internet not that long ago and they showed us a short video of the worst scene from GTA V they could find on YouTube, and were horrified of the fact that you could kill a whore in the game and then that someone had put it on YouTube. I wanted to ask how come none of the them hadn’t reported it if they thought it was so bad but yeah, I have learned to keep my mouth shut. Anyway, I was skeptical and assumed it wasn’t as bad as they made out it to be. I am never gonna assume anything again.
The other day I talked to a mom of a girl in the class and then I got the whole story. A bunch of boys, age 6-8, had come up with a game where they choose one boy and the other boys get to hit that boy as much and hard as they can. The next day they change to another boy. It’s a game. The idea one (or more, she wasn’t sure) of them has gotten from playing GTA V. The incident we get to hear about in that message is about a boy getting choked to the point where he faints and fall and hits his head so bad he gets a deep cut in the back of his head that starts to bleed heavily. There have of course been other serious incidents before but the school has kept silent about it. Yeah, I didn’t have much faith in the school before but now… And then the mom tells me that it took the school two weeks to call social services and the police, which is policy when things like this happen and that after the parents had pressured them. That didn’t make my trust in the school any better. But that is a whole other subject.
Where am I going with this? I bet you think I am gonna blame the gaming industry for what happened with those little boys. Nah, that wouldn’t be reasonable. As I said, I am a parent of two kids. They are 10 and 12. They have both played GTA V. I know, I am that kind of mom. I don’t know what kind of parents that kid who came up with the game they played are but somewhere the information didn’t quite reached the little boy about how games work and how you shouldn’t imitate games in real life. I or the daddy in this house play with the kids. Or at least we know what they play. We also know our kids well enough to know that they understand what consequences violence have in real life. They knew that a long time ago, when they were just little kids in kindergarten. So, it bothers me that an 8 y/o doesn’t understand when he is taking it too far. Why does a child strangle another child so he finally faints? You can’t blame a game for that. Even if he got the idea for the game from GTA V he should have that line he wouldn’t cross. But he didn’t.
It’s been so much talk about Doki Doki Literature Club lately. Well, I’ve been off the grid for a little while so it has surely quit down by now but still, it was a lot of fuzz around the game a while back. That made me think too. Violent games can surely be triggering to do violent acts. I know a lot of gamers are screaming out loud at the mere mention that games and real life violence would have anything to do with each other. What I mean is that if you already have the violence in you and already have the urge or need, or have planned but am too weak or coward to do it, playing a game like GTA V could trigger and encourage you to go ahead and make truth to your plans and urges. Is it really so far fetched? Just like DDLC am the perfect trigger for someone who is already suicidal to go ahead and take their own life. When you are suicidal you are grasping for straws to find something to help you take that step. Most people who are planning on taking their lives need to find courage to do so and seeing a picture of a woman who has hung herself is triggering. Or reading about an idol taking their life, especially when the media specifies how said idol has chosen to end it.
I understand the need to defend the gaming industry but maybe one should look further and actually see the dark side too. Some people get violent by playing video games, some people decide to end their lives when they play video games and 8 y/o boys come up with games that sends their unconscious classmate to the hospital in an ambulance.
N.B. I don’t necessarily think it as great idea to let an 8 y/o play GTA V, especially not unattended and alone. I have no idea how this boy above is playing it and with who, and i don’t want to speculate about what kind of parents he has, and I ask that you refrain from doing the same in the comments should you comment on it. As for my children who also play; the 10 y/o is only interested in dressing up her character and change hair styles, and then she drives around and occasionally hits people with the car. The 12 y/o likes to shoot people and does races. None of them have played story mode and will not do that until they get older, if they are still interested. The youngest is more into sims now anyway. The oldest is into, well, who knows, he has a million games he plays but probably Battlefield or something like that. He loves war games. And if he by chance would become a mass murdering homicidal maniac then I’m sorry, but I take my hands off it and blame it all on the video games. 😎