Under 18’s playing games rated 18+ is not something that’s uncommon these days, most gamers have played a game which they could never buy themselves. Where do they get those? Parents, family members, friends or downloading the game either illegally or legally if the game is free to play.

Part of the letter by the Nantwich Education Partnership read: If your child is allowed to have inappropriate access to any game or associated product that is designated 18+, we are advised to contact the police and children’s social care as this is deemed neglectful

A group of 16 schools within the UK have banded together to label allowing underaged gamers to have access to certain video games as neglect; not only this but they will be reporting the parents to the police and social services. The schools involved are mostly primary schools (5-11 years old) and one secondary school (11-16 years old) and the partnership is concerned about children having access to games containing unsuitable levels of violence and sexual content.

The headteachers of the school have also gone as far as saying that certain social media websites such as Facebook could lead to “early sexualised behaviour” and that children are “vulnerable” to “exploitation” on those websites. This comes despite the mixed results of hundreds of psychological studies into the effects of violent video games on children.

Whether or not parents will be getting put through the criminal justice system is not entirely clear however it does seem that Social Services will be getting involved with the family.

The British Social Services is already very busy and scandals break almost yearly about how seriously abused children were overlooked by the service; it is possible this could never be enforced by the Child Protection Service and if it is then money will be taken from where it’s needed most just to label parents as ‘neglectful’ for allowing their 17 year old to play a game that’s rated 18+.

However once an underaged gamer reaches a certain point or age they are able to find free games without adult supervision; this is much easier for PC underaged gamers as there are many free-to-play titles on Steam and also possible for Xbox users if they have an Xbox Live membership. It’s not clear what would be done in this case or even if the game is a free flash game such as the original Slender which is a horror game; will they also ban horror games to underaged gamers?

Personally I first played Mortal Kombat when I was around 7 years old and there’s been no negative effects of it on me or my younger brother who was 5 years old at the time when he played with me.

See the full article from the Guardian here

What do you reckon? Is it good to enforce this for certain age groups e.g. under 10’s? Should certain genre’s be banned e.g. horror? Or is all just a load of rubbish? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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