About two weeks before Christmas, my oldest son who is fifteen years old asked me for the video game, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. He insisted that he was old enough to handle it and that all of his friends from school were playing the online version.
As I did the research, I really did feel in my heart that I did not want this game or the nature of its content anywhere near my home.
About two days before Christmas, as the conversations continued, I caved. The purchase was made and I spent my next several days suffering from a severe case of buyer’s remorse.
Of course, as if that wasn’t bad enough, the thirteen year old also insisted that he too, was old enough and responsible enough to play along.
I will admit that they wore me down, but ultimatley it was my responsibility and I allowed it to happen.
What I witnessed in my home that first morning they played was really disturbing.
My thirteen year old looked crazed as he was playing this game. The room felt beyond toxic to me – the mere words coming from my TV and my children made me not able to catch my breath. Even my husband had commented on the language and the gore.
Now to be fair, they were playing the game in “campaign mode” which is apparantly the most violent and disturbing part of the game. I’ve been told that there are other modes that can be played that are a toned down version of the game.
But come on, surely there has to be a better way for them to spend their time.
Perhaps this all happened too closely to the shooting in Connecticut, but I have to tell you that I felt sick to my stomach that I let this happen and that my kids were not only witnessing but partaking in such a negative experience.
It’s not about age, or maturity. I can’t understand why anyone would want to participate in something so dark, nor do I want my children to become desensitized to the world around them.
So now comes the point when everyone tells me that they are going to play it anyways at their friends house and I need to not be so controlling of my kids. Perhaps they will play again, but it certainly isn’t going to be with my blessing.
Now I’m not judging on whether or not you let your kids play this game – that choice is yours to make.
But I too have a call of duty – To stay true to our family values and to raise my children in the way that I see fit and to not allow society to tell me otherwise.
Call me old fashioned, but my Call of Duty will have a far more positive impact on my children in the long run.