There is some controversy today when it comes to the marketing of video games. The dispute relates to the particular marketing tactics of video game makers, and what the appropriate age to expose young children to video games might be. On the one hand, there are those who believe that video games should not be marketed to children or too young children below a certain age. On the other side, there are those that believe marketing video games at young children is not, as they say, “too much, too soon.”
The fact is when it comes to marketing anything to young children; it is the responsibility of parents to act as a filter. If, for example, a company were to market cyanide to young children, it would be the responsibility of parents to say, “No, honey. You may not have cyanide. It is dangerous, and could kill you.”
It is not up to censors or, especially, the government to police what your children watch or don’t watch, or what they are exposed to. Your children are unable to go out and buy their things; anything they own, you will have to provide for them. If you don’t want to expose your child to a particular product, such as video games, then don’t buy those products for your young child.
Beyond this, though, there is a beneficial side to video games that many people overlook. Video games can be used as learning tools. There are many video games, in fact, that is specifically designed to help young children learn certain things and master certain tasks. While the degree to which playing video games contributes to increasing manual dexterity may be up for debate, the fact is that, especially with video game systems such as the Nintendo Wii, children are more active in video games than when watching television. If the choice is between watching Power Rangers or playing the Dora video game, your child is better off playing Dora.
Finally, it must be said that there are times when specific genres of video games may be marketed toward younger children than they are appropriate for. Violent and bloody video games shouldn’t be sold to preschoolers, obviously. But even in this situation, it is up to parents to explain to the child why that video game is not appropriate.
Your young children will be exposed to many undesirable things in their lives, and you will have to do this over and over again. That’s part of a parent’s job acting as a filter against things they see as undesirable.