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October 27, 2005

Chocolate Milk

I woke up to this Joystiq post this morning, and I felt the need to comment (#26).

To sum it up, a kid was mouthing off to his mother for not getting him chocolate milk while he played a video game she shouldn't have allowed him to play in the first place.

  • Here's the post...
A video posted at Google’s video site last July shows a disturbing modern example of an argument between a child and his mother. The video, which is a recording of a Rainbow Six clan match over Xbox Live, shows a young child screaming to his mother “get me some mother****ing chocolate milk” and refusing to stop playing the game.

Given the obvious link between the game and the child’s increasing visciousness towards his mother, the video shows a clear idea of what video games can do to young children. It’s also shows the reason why parents should impose limits on their child’s gaming time. There’s also a question raised about why the child was playing the game given that Rainbow Six is rated Mature (a rating that requires the purchaser to be 17 or over). How did the child obtain the game and why did the mother allow him to play it — even if you ignore the child’s extremely bad behaviour?

  • Here's my reply...

"Given the obvious link between the game and the child’s increasing visciousness towards his mother"

I have to take issue with the irresponsible editorializing here.

What jumps out at me in this video is NOT that Rainbow Six will magically turn your good little angels into dangerous, violent, ungrateful, chocolate-milk-addicted bastards.

You certainly have to ask what this kid is doing playing a game that is inappropriate for his age...

However, instead of tying the game itself to his behavior, you should connect the very fact that his mother would allow him to play the game with his behavior.

It ain't the game. It's the obvious lack of parental responsibility and discipline.

As long as you make sure they play games that are appropriate, and as long as video games are just one of many types of recreation for your kids, then games can be great for them (Read Killing Monsters, What Video Games Can Teach Us About Learning & Literacy, Game On, etc. - see "Recommended Reading" on sidebar).

That puts the responsibility on the parents to learn which games their kids shouldn't be playing, and to make sure that they don't spend the entire day in front of the TV.

The ESRB can help serve as a guide, but the ultimate responsibility lies with the parents. Shouldn't this be a no-brainer?

Bottom line, when it comes to my kids, EVERYTHING is my responsibility.

...Or maybe it's the chocolate milk's fault.


  • I'm not sure why Joystiq re-reported this news item; I'm pretty sure this is months old. It is, however, stunning to listen to. I'm hoping they were being sarcastic...but the writer wasn't terribly adept at it, if that's what he was shooting for.

    My sister came to me, a few years ago, and asked if a certain game, named for a particular felony, was appropriate for her step-son, who was 14 at the time. I said that I didn't think it was and that she wouldn't approve of the game's content. She knew he'd play it elsewhere (namely at his biological mother's house) but that she was drawing a line in her house, which is all she could do.

    My children play games that are age-appropriate. I would no sooner let my children see Resident Evil 4 than I would allow them to go see a movie like Saw II. The ratings system from the ESRB isn't perfect, but it's still pretty clear.

    The video reveals a lot of problems; none of them happen to involve the video game or the consumption of chocolate milk.

    By Blogger WizarDru, at 2:05 PM  

  • Yeah, I remember seeing this a while back, too.

    I thought about the possibility of sarcasm, but after re-reading the post a few times, either the writer was being serious, or like you say, is just an unskilled writer.

    By Blogger Dan, at 5:36 PM  

  • This is a classic example of "it's not my fault, it's everyone else's". If you want to look at all the "bad" in something else, why don't you take a look at your mentallity. If you take one of those "sure, I could blame myself, but it's much easier to blame someone else" parenting styles, and still have the guts to say you are trying to set a good example, then you are no better of a parent than the mother of that kid, and you deserve all the attitude and frustration you receive from the kid. At least the video was funny... (an understatement). Obviously, you have never played a videogame, such as this one. Games may actually teach patience and develop a kid's sense of adaptation to the technology and abilities in the outside world, but this effect may be reversed if placed in the wrong hands. So, just because you fail to be able to know whether you child is sane or not, and filter through the content the are subjected to, instead you blame someone else. Why not buy a gun, shoot some people and blame the store you bought it at for selling it to you. If you cant take responsibility for your actions, then you aren't mature enough to have a kid in the first place. Due to your lack of parenting, and lack of knowledge, you are going to take things out on the videogame industry, for marketing a title that is protected by something you should know about, if you ever passed any of your Social Studies classes, called "The First Amendment". For those of you who dont know what it is, it is the amendment providing free speech, freedom of press, religion, etc. to all media and persons held within this nation. It can be denied to know person, yet , seemingly, it should be denied to you. You should get your facts straight before you throw a big fit about what someone else says , or does. The problem with some of the youth today is not the content of the media around them, it is the lack of responsibility people take for their mistakes. Just because you make a mistake doesnt mean you should deny it, you should accept it and learn from it. That is the way life is. This far into yours, one would think you would know already. Then again, that would be a mistake. At least I just admitted to mine.

    By Anonymous Jeff Van Zant, at 4:46 PM  

  • Um...yeah...

    Jeff, are you sure you understood what this post was saying, let alone what this blog is about?

    Because your comment sure seems like a classic exmaple of insane rambling about nothing in particular.

    Re-read the post, check out some of my other posts, and then decide if that's really what you wanted to write, because it simply doesn't make sense here.

    Thanks for stopping by, though.

    By Blogger Dan, at 8:13 PM  

  • No, I am content and satisfied by my comments. My statements were directed towards the stupid "blame it all on the games" comment posted at the top of the page. They are all my opinions, and as I stated before, said opinions are expressly given to, and excercised by me, through the United States constitution.

    By Anonymous Jeff Van Znat, at 11:00 PM  

  • OK, let's try this...

    Are you aware that I didn't write the comment at the top of the page - that I was quoting (and criticizing) what was written on Joystiq? Because it doesn't seem like you understand who said what.

    If you're trying to criticize the person who wrote the original Joystiq post, then more power to you, but when you write things like...

    "YOUR mentality"
    "YOU have never played"
    "YOU fail"
    "get YOUR facts straight"

    ...on MY blog, then it sure seems like you're saying that to me, which only makes this little episode all the more bizarre, since it seems that we agree more than we disagree.

    By Blogger Dan, at 11:08 PM  

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