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Arrest Parents if they let Children to play inappropriate games

kat · 1 · 6484

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Offline kat

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One has to wonder about the letter sent out by Nantwich Education Partnership that actively threatens the parents with being reported to the Police and/or Social Services for "abuse" and/or "neglect" in instances where their children have access to and/or play video games and/or content rated above their age group (18+ in particular), because... video games cause violence etc., etc.

Now whilst some research data exists in support of the idea that highly competitive activities lend themselves to temporarily elevated aggression ('competitive aggression') in individuals, there is little to no such data on their long term effects, a point made all the more difficult to prove when the topic is studied absent social or familial context. In other words, lab conditions don't equate to Real Life (TM), that the social and personal impact of games has been studied since their emergence, some 20 or 30 years, absence of any qualitative confirmation seems to go amiss. Facts just don't appear to matter, especially when they can be so easily trumped strong-arming emotions (i.e. think politicians leveraging knee-jerk reactions for gain).

But that's all besides the point.

The real crux of this particular news-worthy article is this... just how did/do schools and individual teachers know little Janey and Johnny were (are) playing/have access to content deemed inappropriate. Ponder that question for a second whilst considering the aforementioned letter saying that "several children have reported playing, or watching adults plays games which are inappropriate for their age and they have described the levels of violence and **** content they have witnessed" (emphasis added. Full letter can be viewed here).

What's the impetus behind actively asking children to report their activities, and in a way that sufficiently describes what they are seeing/doing, to 'spy' on their families as some more conspiratorial quarters are suggesting. In other words, youngsters in the care of people they trust, absent perhaps sufficiently arguable or justifiable reasons for doing so (which is debatable/questionable) are being asked, without necessarily understanding context or consequence, about their home life and activities in a way that seems slightly unsettling.

In instances where this might be warranted for individuals exhibiting behavioural issues, or where there is genuine and demonstrable concerns over mental, emotional and/or physical well-being of minors, it would be understandable. As a blanket rational to police everyone just because..., is simply overkill, especially where the alleged 'neglect' and/or 'abuse' suffered in playing games is simply not defined (either by the letter, policy or the law), so is subject to the whims, (miss)understanding or biases of the individual policing said policy.

All in all an ironically "inappropriate" intrusion into the private lives of citizens citing unsubstantiated risks attributed to video games as an 'innocent'/'innocuous' (to a child at least) point of entry. Nothing Orwellian about that to be sure.

Cheshire East Safeguarding Education Team (Safeguarding Children in Education Settings Team (SCiES)) is a child safety and protection program operated as part of Cheshire East Council (local  Government).
• The UK Age Ratings Systems - CBBFC & Why we age rate films
• The "Cinderalla Law" - "Parents in England and Wales who emotionally neglect their children could, for the first time, be prosecuted (under the new additions to the Serious Crime Bill)."
Children and Young Persons Act 1933
MP Mark Williams (author of the "Child Maltreatment Bill" [Bill text (dead)])