We have set several boundaries around the use of digitized media in our home as a source of entertainment. We know that studies give great warnings to not having kids younger than two watch any TV or be around digitized media and we have followed this pretty closely. We also know those same studies warn us to not allow more than an hour of digitized stimulation at age three and no more than two hours per day at age twelve. Now, I do enjoy the playing of video games. I must admit, I need limits placed on me too. But there comes a time when we not only place boundaries on time invested, but on content exposure.
We have gone over what “E” rating means as well as the other E+10 and Teen and Mature ratings. Our kids know about the ratings of movies from G, PG, to PG-13 and rated “R” movies. They understand there are things in life parents and adults do to protect our young–both outside the home and inside. I have watched movies with them and told them to turn their heads, close their eyes, or have even coughed really loud (or muted the sound) when the language was going to be less than acceptable for them to hear.
But I have also not sheltered my kids to the point that we talk about the culture we live in and that what is acceptable in our life and in our home may not be the same in another person’s life and home. We talk about language use in school by other students and what ours needs to be. And when unacceptable language is heard in a movie, I hear my kids mimicking my words now, “Oh man, they don’t need to talk like that.” The same is true in video games.
I told Josh that I wasn’t even sure I was going to play certain games any longer as I have been challenged to rethink my involvement in them for several reasons–but one important one is my example to my children. Video games are just interactive puzzles, at least the ones i have. Mario Kart is a lot of fun and we enjoy playing it together as a family (yes i usually win, but that’s another discussion). But what about when it is a game the entire family can’t view together because of the content? Where do we and how do we draw the lines (and explain those lines reasonably)?
I believe the Bible through the Holy Spirit of the living God in full 3D and in real time can and will help us.