My son wants Call of Duty, but how do these video games impact teen boys?

by Boston Children's Hospital staff on January 8, 2010

Michael RichPost update: Dr. Rich responded to the comments on this post, including whether he got some of the facts about the game wrong. Check out his response.

Media expert Michael Rich, MD, MPH, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston, answers your questions about media use. Last week, he discussed junk food ads on kids’ websites.

Here’s this week’s question:

Q: I don’t wish for my teen son to have more “first-person shooter” experiences, and yet all he wants in this world is this Modern Warfare game. All of his friends have it already, and he says he’ll be laughed at and left out if he doesn’t get it. He said these games are so much fun…he gets a real rush. How do these games impact teen boys? Are there any positive impacts? What’s a parent to do?
-Wary of Warfare in Glencoe, IL

A: Dear Wary,

I commend you for questioning and challenging your son’s request. The game he is asking for, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, opens with a scene in which the player—an undercover member of a terrorist group—walks through an airline terminal in Russia. The player earns points by shooting as many tourists as possible, including those who are injured and crawling away.

All video games create behavioral scripts, which encourage the player to respond to the virtual environment in certain ways and rehearse those behaviors over and over. If the game is fun, the brain connects those behaviors to positive feelings. This powerful learning experience can be positive or negative, depending on the content and goal of the game. In this case, your son is getting a rush because the video game is fun, but this is concerning because the fun is being linked to the behavior of shooting helpless people. So the question with this, as with any video game, is what skills and behaviors you want your son to learn, and what he himself wants to practice.

Please note that the concern about first-person shooters and other violent video games is not so much that players will immediately increase their aggression level and become physically violent.  Rather, the concern is what the research shows: that playing such games shifts players’ ideas of what’s normal (related studies can be found here, here and here). Those who play violent video games tend to expect the world to be a meaner place, and they become disconnected and less caring people.

Given all the evidence, I personally would never recommend that a parent give this game to a child or teen. It’s certainly true, though, that your son’s argument – that “everyone else has it” and he’ll be left out if he doesn’t – makes it extremely difficult to say no. But as a parent, you can provide the foresight he doesn’t yet have. Take this opportunity to talk with him about how all video games are educational and that you’re saying no to this one because of what it will teach him. Ask him what kind of person he wants to be and whether this game matches those goals. And most importantly, brainstorm with him to find other, healthier ways to get a rush.
>>Additional advice: Learn how to look up reviews and find videos of what game play is like

Enjoy your media and use them wisely,
The Mediatrician

Do you have a question about your child’s media use? Ask it today!

47 comments

  • jaambageek

    I am no psychology expert, however I am an adult who plays video games occasionally. I have a few issues with the statements above.

    First of all, I have played this game and the level (or Scene) refereed to above can be skipped by choice of the player. When you first put this game in to your XBOX the system tells you that there is a level in the game that can be very disturbing to some players and you may choose to skip this level. Skipping the level in no way affects the score or features of the game that can be unlocked. I would hope that most teens could handle the idea of this level and not be traumatized by it however that is a judgment call for you as the parent. You could oversee the child when they insert the game and make sure that they choose to skip this content if you are worried about it. Also if you feel they are mature enough to see it and play it, you should know that they are not rewarded for killing anyone in this scene and there are no “extra” points for shooting wounded people. You can actually play through this entire level without killing anyone, and the outcome of the level will be the same no mater what.

    As for the idea that violent video games like this cause children to disassociate themselves from reality or become less caring people because of it is outrageous. Video games like this are no different than violent movies. The only difference is that you are interacting with the movie instead of just watching it. If you feel your child is not mature enough to watch a rated R movie then they are probably not mature enough for this game. However, my brother and I both grew up play games like this and other non-violent games and nothing in them has made us violent or detached from the society. My brother in particular has been an avid gamer since the age of 8 and he is now a 30 year old veteran of the Navy (Communications, not weapons expert or anything violent) who now works as a Paramedic. If he were less caring because of video games like this why would he be out there saving lives every day?

    Your child is going to turn out to be what you guide him to be, and if you treat him with respect and trust him to do the right things and talk to him about violence and real life, he will listen. From my experience, kids who are sheltered and coddled from things like this are more likely to rebel against their parents and not be well adjusted adults. If you keep him away from a violent game that all his friends are playing do you really think that he is not going to be exposed to it? His friends are going to talk about it with him and they are going to let him play it any time he goes over their house to visit. You are much better off allowing him to play the game and maybe experiencing some of it with him so that you can talk to him about how you feel. Chances are that by the age of 13 or whatever age he is, he knows that violence like this is not OK in real life, it is just a game.

    If you have any questions about the game feel free to ask here.

  • Matt

    “The game he is asking for, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, opens with a scene in which the player—an undercover member of a terrorist group—walks through an airline terminal in Russia. The player earns points by shooting as many tourists as possible, including those who are injured and crawling away.”

    Disregarding personal opinions on whether this game is appropriate for any child or teenager, as a “media expert”, it would seem appropriate to not disseminate blatant misinformation. The “airport scene” is not the opening scene of the game, the player is allowed to skip this particular scene without penalty, and there is certainly no point-scoring system to tally how many tourists you have or have not killed (the player does not need to kill a single one if he or she choose not to).

  • nick

    Dr. Rich,

    While I agree with the overall tone of your response and that parent's must take the responsibility of media content into their own hands I wish you'd been a little more objective in your description of the videogame in question. The game does not open up with the “airport” mission you described, further more the player does not receive points for shooting the civilians and receives no penalty for not even firing the gun. Further more, the event takes place within a much larger global context, that if fully realized allows the player to better interpret the moral and ethical implications of the mission.

    Your failure to highlight these nuances only continues to villify video games, and while the issue of violence in the media is a very important one your inability to look at both sides of the coin only serves to reinforce the idea that things must be black or white.

    Parents need to understand the content that their children are exposed to, even more important than understanding parents need to create a open dialogue about the content. Initially it's the parents decision to gauge the maturity of their offspring and decide if the provocative content can be maturely handled with discussion or even independently.

    I fully understand the need to protect and inform children and parents of the myriad of entertainment options, but when done in such a one-sided, subjective point of view you create nothing but more ambiguity and false beliefs than if you breeched the subject thoughtfully and objectively.

  • Mark

    are you kidding me ? do you often just straight out lie to people ? maybe someone forgot to teach you something as a kid – not to lie ?

    the game starts out with you at the side of a river, in the midst of complete chaos, with the rest of your troops all around you. there are terrorists on the other bank, and you are trying to defend the position to get a tank bridge laid. it has nothing to do with mowing people down in an airport. you are trying to escape a mogadishu type situation.
    after a couple missions into game, there is a part where you are in an airport with terrorists. the lead terrorist is responsible for the full scale invasion of the united states by russia. they lay the rules down at the beginning that while this mission will tear a part of your soul out (because to be an undercover terrorist, you would have to join with them, which would mean doing terrorist things to earn their trust) but that you will save countless lives. you walk through an airport, and you have to kill everyone, then the police try to kill you, and then the terrorists shoot you in the head because they find out you work for the US government. you are KIA, and at no point do you get any points for this. not much of a rewarding situation is it.
    at the beginning of the game YOU CAN SKIP THIS. it clearly says there is a part of the game which you can skip if you want to because it has disturbing content.

    the russians get control of our communications, and invade main street usa, killing everyone in sight, and eventually invade washington dc. it is your job to defend the united states and fight off the russians.

    it is up to parents to teach kids that war is bad. they only need to turn on the news to see that the world is full of terrorists. they just blew up our own CIA agents the other day. spies are crossed and double crossed and everything else. that is real life. you can tell your kid not to play, but he's gonna play anyway somewhere. otherwise he'll go to school and his friends will ask why he can't play at night with all of them at online capture the flag, and he'll say cause my mom won't let me.

    be a parent. don't listen to liars like this guy. media expert ? maybe you should play the game before saying you are an expert on it.

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-5772-Console-Game-Examiner Steve

    The whole question of whether or not the game is appropriate for a teenage boy seems to have been derailed by the fact that Dr. Rich had some facts wrong. As an avid gamer, I was also a little troubled to see the game's content misrepresented, but I suspect that's simply a matter of Dr. Rich reporting the game as it was presented to him. There's a difference between getting some facts wrong and actively trying to “straight out lie to people.” Let's all take a deep breath and step back to the original question.

    I'm a gamer, and no doubt about it, I enjoy many games that fall into the same “inappropriate” category as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. I will absolutely defend my right to enjoy the vicarious, antisocial thrills of the Assassin's Creed and Grand Theft Auto games. But I'm also a father, and those games don't even come out of hiding until my daughter is fast asleep. Just because she loves Scooby-Doo doesn't mean she's ready to fight the zombie apocalypse in Left 4 Dead.

    That's an extreme example, and I won't pretend that making a judgment call about what's appropriate for a 5-year-old is the same as guiding a teenage boy towards the same decision. As far as whether your teenage son is old enough for an M-rated video game, I'll defer to something Roger Ebert once said when asked by a parent if a particular movie was too scary for her kids. “I don't know- they're you're kids.”

    Not every child handles scenes of violence, fear or intense emotion the same way. Your child may play Call of Duty and find it exciting, terrifying, disturbing or a mixture of emotions, positive and negative. Play online and you'll find a startlingly high population of gamers who clearly can't handle their emotions. They get so swept up in the excitement that they use the anonymity of the online world to vent the worst aspects of their nature, slinging non-stop verbal abuse in a way they'd never dream of doing in the real world. It's one of the reasons many gamers (myself included) refuse to play online unless it's with friends in a private match (to quote John Hughes, “it's demented and sad…but social!)

    To “Wary of Warfare,” I would say this- we could go around in circles about whether this game is appropriate for a teenage boy, but you're the only qualified to decide whether this game is appropriate for your teenage boy.

    You may want to consider getting a rental and trying the game out for yourself before making a decision. As parents, we're constantly trying to help our kids understand what's appropriate, whether they like it or not (mostly 'not'). It's never going to be the easiest part of the job, but it always helps if you can speak knowledgeably about the thing you're saying yes or no to. Think of the M-rating on video games the same way you would an R-rating on a movie. It doesn't tell you whether your son's old enough to handle the game or not. What it does tell you is that he's still too young to make that decision without you.

  • niwiro

    Steve,

    You are right, the central question of the appropiateness of the game was derailed by the fact that the game was described inaccurately by Dr. Rich.
    But shouldn't a “media expert” experience the media himself, rather than take another's description of the game and copy and paste.
    The issue with the way Dr. Rich describes the game is that it conveys the message that the game is not appropiate for anyone, let alone a teenage boy.
    By starting with the assumption that the game is so offensive that no one should witness the atrocities that take place during it's play (points for shooting innocent civilians, some crawling away helpless) you create a moral panic that largely ignores the central question.
    The other question that seems to be missed is that of who should have the final say in a household. Even if a kid (be it a teenager/preteen/adult living at home, whatever) is mature enough to handle the content in a videogame if the parent feels the subject matter is offensive enough than it should be their choice to allow the videogame into the household.
    Excellent description of the rating systems in that they should be a guide for the parents rather than a code that should be followed blindly.

  • Soccer Mom

    I am a cautious mother and I do let my son play Modern Warfare 2. It is the only Mature rated game he plays. I believe it does depend on the individual.

    I ahve got to say I am more concerned about what he is exposed to at public school. He just came home today and was talking about a short story his class has read, it was about a man who murdered his Mom and was accused of burying her in his backyard. That disturbs me.

    There are so many things he tells me thta go on at school that are appauling… This fall another child threatened to kill my son with a gun… The reason being that they were hoeseplaying and my son told the boy to keep his hands to himself… The other boys behavior escalated from there, he beat my son up. My son did fight back and therefore scared to tell a teacher… It has been engrained his mind since Kindergarten that if you tell you are a tattletail.. We did file a complaint and the other boy was suspended. But it still happened….

    Even the way teachers, not all, but some, treat boys horribly. They just can’t seem to handle the fact that boys are silly and need movement. Thankfully my son talks to me and I am aware of his struggles at school, unfortunetly my son is only one boy in the school system… By the way we live in a small city in Maine. As a parent I know what my son is doing, we spend a ton of time together as a family, my husband and I attend every baseball, basketball, and soccer practice and game, my son knows he is loved and we teach him to love himself as well as other people… I am personally more concerned about the negative effects of his experiences in public school than I am by him playing a war game a few hours a week!!!!!!

  • Soccer Mom

    I am a cautious mother and I do let my son play Modern Warfare 2. It is the only Mature rated game he plays. I believe it does depend on the individual.

    I ahve got to say I am more concerned about what he is exposed to at public school. He just came home today and was talking about a short story his class has read, it was about a man who murdered his Mom and was accused of burying her in his backyard. That disturbs me.

    There are so many things he tells me thta go on at school that are appauling… This fall another child threatened to kill my son with a gun… The reason being that they were hoeseplaying and my son told the boy to keep his hands to himself… The other boys behavior escalated from there, he beat my son up. My son did fight back and therefore scared to tell a teacher… It has been engrained his mind since Kindergarten that if you tell you are a tattletail.. We did file a complaint and the other boy was suspended. But it still happened….

    Even the way teachers, not all, but some, treat boys horribly. They just can't seem to handle the fact that boys are silly and need movement. Thankfully my son talks to me and I am aware of his struggles at school, unfortunetly my son is only one boy in the school system… By the way we live in a small city in Maine. As a parent I know what my son is doing, we spend a ton of time together as a family, my husband and I attend every baseball, basketball, and soccer practice and game, my son knows he is loved and we teach him to love himself as well as other people… I am personally more concerned about the negative effects of his experiences in public school than I am by him playing a war game a few hours a week!!!!!!

  • Corey Niles

    Buddy, First of all the game does not open up with that Airport level, Second you have the option at the begining of the game to opt out of playing said mission as it is highly disturbing but it advances the plot.

    The airport mission is the only mission in which you kill civilians and your forced into it, You Dont get “points” for shooting civilians and if you choose not to kill them the mission will continue all the same.

    There is no LEARNING experience in most games, They are just meant to be fun, Not all games have to be a learning experience, And no video games cause a child to be disturbed, The child is already disturbed and the video game brings it out through violence.

    Don't blame video games or musicians for psycho kids going on school shootings, They are meant to be fun, Not tools of destruction. And dont make **** up to try and make things sound worse, Where did you get the whole “points for killing civilians” idea?!

  • Corey Niles

    Buddy, First of all the game does not open up with that Airport level, Second you have the option at the begining of the game to opt out of playing said mission as it is highly disturbing but it advances the plot.

    The airport mission is the only mission in which you kill civilians and your forced into it, You Dont get “points” for shooting civilians and if you choose not to kill them the mission will continue all the same.

    There is no LEARNING experience in most games, They are just meant to be fun, Not all games have to be a learning experience, And no video games cause a child to be disturbed, The child is already disturbed and the video game brings it out through violence.

    Don’t blame video games or musicians for psycho kids going on school shootings, They are meant to be fun, Not tools of destruction. And dont make **** up to try and make things sound worse, Where did you get the whole “points for killing civilians” idea?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Douglas-MacDonald/633768995 Douglas MacDonald

    I am sorry to have to defend myself against a doctor, seeing as how they are highly respected members of society and generally good for the public, but this is just taking things too far… As the previous people stated, you can easily skip the level in question via a fancy little thing called a MENU that pops up when you put the game into the console and run it. It says that there are disturbing parts to the game, and it also asks you if you would rather skip said parts.

    Also, even if you did choose to skip the level, it’s not really like you’re really changing much in the gameplay. Now, I’m not saying that killing civilians is something to be trumpeted in any way, in fact, there are a few missions in the game where you are PROTECTING civilians using the force that you seem so happy to deem evil.

    Now, I myself am an 18 year old gamer. I was given Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, and of all those games, the one that affected me most was the last one. Not because of violence, but because of the soft-core porn I was being treated to every time I played. I don’t mean to disparage the game, or those who like it, I just mean that DoAX had a great effect in my life by acting as my mother and step-dad’s version of “the talk”.

    Now, violence should not be glorified, I understand that. Who would want to glorify violence, but somebody who is violent? Dr. Rich, you sir are a complete fool. Violent video games can act as something that creates anti-social behavior, but not because the game is violent, but because the player actually likes the game and doesn’t want to give it up for a moment.

    If you want to complain about a game, complain about Ninja Gaiden II. It’s violent, bloody, and it shows you how to wield a sword properly while lopping off heads or limbs… And even then, the bodies of your opponents will still try to attack you. Now, I know how to use a gun, but playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Fallout 3, Halo 3, and Devil May Cry 4 have not taught me to shoot any better. Ninja Gaiden II on the other hand, made me a better fighter in hand-to-hand, by showing me how to react.

    Also, playing these games does not make you anti-social, in fact, playing Halo with my friends made me more social, because I had something in common with them that we could all enjoy equally. In fact, some of my happiest memories are from these video games that you deem bad for my mental health because I could play with my friends, or just random people online, and enjoy myself, while they had fun too.

    So, before you judge any one group of things, please, pull your head out of your a** and actually get some first-hand with some of the things in that group.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Douglas-MacDonald/633768995 Douglas MacDonald

    I am sorry to have to defend myself against a doctor, seeing as how they are highly respected members of society and generally good for the public, but this is just taking things too far… As the previous people stated, you can easily skip the level in question via a fancy little thing called a MENU that pops up when you put the game into the console and run it. It says that there are disturbing parts to the game, and it also asks you if you would rather skip said parts.

    Also, even if you did choose to skip the level, it's not really like you're really changing much in the gameplay. Now, I'm not saying that killing civilians is something to be trumpeted in any way, in fact, there are a few missions in the game where you are PROTECTING civilians using the force that you seem so happy to deem evil.

    Now, I myself am an 18 year old gamer. I was given Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, and of all those games, the one that affected me most was the last one. Not because of violence, but because of the soft-core porn I was being treated to every time I played. I don't mean to disparage the game, or those who like it, I just mean that DoAX had a great effect in my life by acting as my mother and step-dad's version of “the talk”.

    Now, violence should not be glorified, I understand that. Who would want to glorify violence, but somebody who is violent? Dr. Rich, you sir are a complete fool. Violent video games can act as something that creates anti-social behavior, but not because the game is violent, but because the player actually likes the game and doesn't want to give it up for a moment.

    If you want to complain about a game, complain about Ninja Gaiden II. It's violent, bloody, and it shows you how to wield a sword properly while lopping off heads or limbs… And even then, the bodies of your opponents will still try to attack you. Now, I know how to use a gun, but playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Fallout 3, Halo 3, and Devil May Cry 4 have not taught me to shoot any better. Ninja Gaiden II on the other hand, made me a better fighter in hand-to-hand, by showing me how to react.

    Also, playing these games does not make you anti-social, in fact, playing Halo with my friends made me more social, because I had something in common with them that we could all enjoy equally. In fact, some of my happiest memories are from these video games that you deem bad for my mental health because I could play with my friends, or just random people online, and enjoy myself, while they had fun too.

    So, before you judge any one group of things, please, pull your head out of your a** and actually get some first-hand with some of the things in that group.

  • http://www.myspace.com/kilikali12 Patrick Caldwell

    I have a complaint against the answer. I own Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and that is not what you’re supposed to do.

    1. The game doesn’t “start out” in the airport in Russia.
    2. It is not a mission objective, nor do you gain any “points”, for shooting tourists/Russian citizens.
    3. You have the option to skip this mission at any time.

    Please refrain from future exaggeration of video game storylines, as this makes the game developers and publishers (Infinity Ward and Activision, respectively) look bad.

    By the way, I am a 16 year old guy, and I am not “less caring”; as a matter of fact, I’ve created a group on Facebook to raise awareness about the situation in Haiti just today. So at least put, “some teens experience a less caring demeanor” or something along those lines instead of assuming that ALL teens become less caring.

  • http://www.myspace.com/kilikali12 Patrick Caldwell

    I have a complaint against the answer. I own Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and that is not what you're supposed to do.

    1. The game doesn't “start out” in the airport in Russia.
    2. It is not a mission objective, nor do you gain any “points”, for shooting tourists/Russian citizens.
    3. You have the option to skip this mission at any time.

    Please refrain from future exaggeration of video game storylines, as this makes the game developers and publishers (Infinity Ward and Activision, respectively) look bad.

    By the way, I am a 16 year old guy, and I am not “less caring”; as a matter of fact, I've created a group on Facebook to raise awareness about the situation in Haiti just today. So at least put, “some teens experience a less caring demeanor” or something along those lines instead of assuming that ALL teens become less caring.

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Rich responded to your comments on his Call of Duty post, including whether he got some of the facts about the game wrong. Check out his response here: http://childrenshospitalblog.org/dr-rich-respon….

  • mattcyr

    Dr. Rich responded to your comments on his Call of Duty post, including whether he got some of the facts about the game wrong. Check out his response here: http://childrenshospitalblog.org/dr-rich-respon….

  • Anonymous

    I dont think you should buy your son this game my son was addicted to is he wakes up in 7 in the morning and starts playing if you want to buy it tell him play 1 hour or 2 hours a day.

  • harout

    I dont think you should buy your son this game my son was addicted to is he wakes up in 7 in the morning and starts playing if you want to buy it tell him play 1 hour or 2 hours a day.

  • Anonymous

    Its ok for a teen the only problame is that there are lots of vilince

  • harout

    Its ok for a teen the only problame is that there are lots of vilince

  • Anonymous

    My teenage boy has it but i only let him play on Saturdays and Sundays

  • harout

    My teenage boy has it but i only let him play on Saturdays and Sundays

  • Anonymous

    My 13 year old son was in a fight to but the person that hit him broke my sons arm so then.
    we took him to the hospital.But the person who his my son got suspended.

  • harout

    My 13 year old son was in a fight to but the person that hit him broke my sons arm so then.
    we took him to the hospital.But the person who his my son got suspended.

  • Anonymous

    I am a 21 year old man and i own the game Modern warfare 2 i got to say it is really really fun but all i hate it there is to menny violence in there but for a teenage boy i sugjest play only on Saturday and Sunday. when i was a teen there was not the game modern warfare 2 there was modern warfare 1 my mom bought me the game but i could only play on Saturdays and Sundays but now modern warfare 2 game out and i could do whatever i want!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! im actully a 9 year old boy

  • harout

    I am a 21 year old man and i own the game Modern warfare 2 i got to say it is really really fun but all i hate it there is to menny violence in there but for a teenage boy i sugjest play only on Saturday and Sunday. when i was a teen there was not the game modern warfare 2 there was modern warfare 1 my mom bought me the game but i could only play on Saturdays and Sundays but now modern warfare 2 game out and i could do whatever i want!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! im actully a 9 year old boy

  • midnight hobo

    in the begginning of the game you are asked if you would like to skip the levels that some people may find offensive like the level mentioned in the second paragraph also the game is mainly used to play online against your friends and other players so please play the game or do some research before you start telling poeple that games are eveil and will turn you into terroists

  • midnight hobo

    in the begginning of the game you are asked if you would like to skip the levels that some people may find offensive like the level mentioned in the second paragraph also the game is mainly used to play online against your friends and other players so please play the game or do some research before you start telling poeple that games are eveil and will turn you into terroists

  • James

    You don’t get “points” for shooting tourist and it is not the opening scene. Please at least play the game before commenting on a game. I respect you opinion on the effects but don’t put more oil on the fire by making the game look like some tourist hunting game.

  • James

    You don't get “points” for shooting tourist and it is not the opening scene. Please at least play the game before commenting on a game. I respect you opinion on the effects but don't put more oil on the fire by making the game look like some tourist hunting game.

  • Bodi

    Well to The Mediatrician,
    First before the game starts you get to pick if you want to play the more violent and disturbing (or disturbing to people who can’t face the realities of life) levels of the game because of people like you who tell others not to get the game.

  • Bodi

    Well to The Mediatrician,
    First before the game starts you get to pick if you want to play the more violent and disturbing (or disturbing to people who can't face the realities of life) levels of the game because of people like you who tell others not to get the game.

  • Luke

    I’m 15 and play violent games such as call of duty and grand theft auto. In modern warefare 2 there is the option to skip the mission “No Russian”. You see in the media how video games make people think it is ok to kill. Just look at me. I play violent video games but I’m not some violent Yob. Ok so I do just sit on my xbox all day but at least I aren’t out on the streets getting in trouble. This is added to by the fact there is nothing to do where I live. The only thing video games have done is taught me a method of self defence. If the worst came to the worst and I had to kill somebody who was attacking me or face being killed myself I could (if I had a firearm) take the life of someone who wished to end my life and not be overly bothered. It annoys me the how if one idiot thinks the world is a video game the media over hype it and say that video games are evil and must be killed. Hell one game DCS: Blackshark has taught me how to operate the systems of a Russian Attack helicopter the Kamov KA50 Hokum. So allow your son to make up his own mind. Please don’t try to be one of these parents who smothers their children. We need to know about the evil in the world. We need somewhere to take out our pent up anger. I’m sure you would rather your son takes out any anger on a virtual level rather than going out and hurting somebody in real life. Video games are also a great way to speak to new people. Unlike what (again) the media say not everyone on the internet is a predator. I know people from all over the world thanks to video gaming. I know what these people look like and I know their voices. If your son can handle emotions properly the game should have no affect on him. I know it hasn’t affected me. (I prefer the likes Forza 3 but thats not important right now)

    Sorry if this came across as a rant. I was running out of stuff to say and that is the first thing that came to mind.

  • Luke

    I'm 15 and play violent games such as call of duty and grand theft auto. In modern warefare 2 there is the option to skip the mission “No Russian”. You see in the media how video games make people think it is ok to kill. Just look at me. I play violent video games but I'm not some violent Yob. Ok so I do just sit on my xbox all day but at least I aren't out on the streets getting in trouble. This is added to by the fact there is nothing to do where I live. The only thing video games have done is taught me a method of self defence. If the worst came to the worst and I had to kill somebody who was attacking me or face being killed myself I could (if I had a firearm) take the life of someone who wished to end my life and not be overly bothered. It annoys me the how if one idiot thinks the world is a video game the media over hype it and say that video games are evil and must be killed. Hell one game DCS: Blackshark has taught me how to operate the systems of a Russian Attack helicopter the Kamov KA50 Hokum. So allow your son to make up his own mind. Please don't try to be one of these parents who smothers their children. We need to know about the evil in the world. We need somewhere to take out our pent up anger. I'm sure you would rather your son takes out any anger on a virtual level rather than going out and hurting somebody in real life. Video games are also a great way to speak to new people. Unlike what (again) the media say not everyone on the internet is a predator. I know people from all over the world thanks to video gaming. I know what these people look like and I know their voices. If your son can handle emotions properly the game should have no affect on him. I know it hasn't affected me. (I prefer the likes Forza 3 but thats not important right now)

    Sorry if this came across as a rant. I was running out of stuff to say and that is the first thing that came to mind.

  • Fernando

    Dr tht is bs. its a mission and you have a choice at the begining to skip that part. Its not required to do that part and you dont get points its just a storyline.It clearly warns you at the begining of the game that “There is some Mature content” and that you can skip any parts you find very violent

  • Fernando

    Dr tht is bs. its a mission and you have a choice at the begining to skip that part. Its not required to do that part and you dont get points its just a storyline.It clearly warns you at the begining of the game that “There is some Mature content” and that you can skip any parts you find very violent

  • Correcting Know-it-all

    Regarding your response to the first paragraph, the game opens with you playing as an army ranger, private first class joseph allen, going on a counter terrorist mission. After said mission, you are selected to go on a covert operation run by the CIA, to gain the trust of terrorist leader Vladimir Makarov, and then assassinate him. You get no reward for shooting civilians, and do not have to fire your weapon against them whatsoever. Your ignorance to said video game is unacceptable to be writing an opinionated article about it.

  • bob

    wtf thats not how it opens. the best line in that level is “remember no russia”
    2 of all this game is fun and i know everyone is like ohhh u kids bad for ur brain but no. its for fun if it was real life i would say no but its fake rember no russia lol GO ROACH AND SOAP AND GOHST

  • J_rockchornoby

    i dont agree with the answer, a he was taking about the worst mission on the game for what happens you can talk to him well he’s playing the game that it’s not right and it might be better for him to learn the fact what happens in the game is not the best thing

  • Orourkej010646

    Query: wouldn’t the son just play this game at his friend’s house? the only purpose this will serve is to alienate the parent from the child. Rather, the proper solution would be to sit in on the son while he is playing and provide a voice of reason.

  • Charredpasta

    In the options you can block the mision in russia and also resctrick all of the blood and gore in the options menu!

  • Ff

    At the start of the game you have the option to skip this mission and you have the option to turn off language.You are not shooting helpless people and hes probably playing it online/splitscreen witch is mainly for fun and competion

  • Zach

    Im a 15 year old. The answer that person gave you is really uneducated. Call of Duty is a series of games that gives the player a first-person shooting experience. I have played these games since I was 9. They are very fun. The only pre-caution I would give you is: dont let your son play all the time. A hour a day is good. I am a huge fan of COD. Its just a game, not real life. Im sure your son has seen movies with worse things that are in the game. The language can be bad sometimes, the gore is not that bad. I would get this game for my son if he was over the age of 8.

  • Xloveisbldingx

    if you were smart, you WOULD NOT get him the game. YOu have NO clue the crap people, kids say on that game. I am 29 yrs old, marrried and it literally blows my mind the things young kids say to me. I had a 12 yr old kid tell me he was going to rape my wife in front of me, then kill her and me. umm yeah.

  • just another kid :]

    ok wow i think that was the most retarded answer i have ever seen.
    im 14 and everybody DOES have this game besides the weird ones or the people nobody likes. i dont see why you have a problem with this. i really doubt a kid will play a video game where he shoots people then acts it out in real life. major media over hype. its stupid. if it was really like that everybody would b running crazy with guns. some people dont even play the storyline. this game is all about online play. i see why you would question yourself as a parent for giving this game to your son but you cant let him miss out on opportunities to “protect” him from what really might not be there. if he goes crazy with it then set a limit on how long he can play. if he starts changing negatively after playing the game then take it away. but at least TRY. he would feel horrible to know that his own mother wouldnt even trust him to play a simple game without turning into a gangster. i think that he would be even more mad to know that rather than not getting the game. and in the game you get killed too. so yeah i dont think you will have to worry about your kid’s attitude changing because he played a game unless you were a bad parent and didnt raise him right or give him the right mindset. at least give it a try. hold him back too much and he will rebel. this is the first time i’ve heard of someones parent not buying the game for them. even my mom understands that its just a game and i think she knows that she raised me well enuff so that i wont act out things in a video game. you never kno until you try.

  • Mary

    Thank you very much for this information. My son (when 8) went to play at a friend’s house and I was disgusted when he came home and told me he’d been playing 16 games. I would never dream of inviting someone else’s child to our house to play and allow this when I’m supposed to be responsible for them. I’m sure that the parents of these children would be most annoyed if we allowed their children to watch 18 horror films or worse. These parents should be prosecuted for not protecting their children and imposing their low moral standards on others.

  • mother of gamer

    I like your answer the most. I am mother of the 14 year old and I purchased him Xbox as it was part of the teenage life. I gave him a chance. But now it is discutable what is the point when I should take away: when he keeps swearing, yelling that distructs the whole household and keeps me on the edge of the nerve. The explanation I get that everybody who plays Call of duty gets angry because the programmers made mistakes, and he has to vent through the yelling and swearing. So, the question is: is it true that the swearing and yelling is also part of the social life of the teenagers and I am supposed to accept that behaviour?

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