Voluntarily Giving Up Violent Video Games

Friday, December 21, 2012

A letter to my child’s principal,

My heart is so heavy regarding the Connecticut tragedies that I felt I would just reach out. I have talked at length with my children and we’ve discussed that there is no one solution to this problem of random acts of violence.  We’ve talked about the multifactorial problem including mental illness, ease of obtaining weapons, violent video game desensitization, etc.  I fully understand the extremes of opinions in this case.  Tragedy brings out strong emotions.  

My son doesn’t have Nintendo, Xbox, or wii with violent games.  He doesn’t have the most violent of the video games on his iPad.  He does, however, have a few games that involve guns.  Please understand that I am not anti-gun. Nor am I a gun advocate.

It may seem inconsequential, but I have asked him to voluntarily give up those games, in honor of those innocent children.  He was more than willing to do so.  He has plenty of other sports games, etc. to play on the time he is allowed on his computer.  

I wonder if we asked the kids at school, if they would be willing to do the same.  All, of course, voluntarily. Again, please understand that I believe asking for voluntary participation is the key.  You can’t force compassion or awareness. Law and force do not change the heart. I think it comes from one on one talks from parents and strong role models like yourself.  I don’t think a massive announcement would work. It needs to come from a place of tenderness for the lost lives.

It is just a small act of kindness that the children can actually ‘do’ to show they understand on some level that pretending to realistically assassinate others is not the best use of their time on this earth. If giving it up entirely seems drastic, maybe they could dedicate a violent video game free day a week and substitute the time with acts of kindness, community service, or tutoring. I do understand that the children do not play these games at school and it is fully under parental control.  I’m only asking for support from the strong role models at school. I think it would be amazing for our children to take a stand to honor the lost lives.  

Thank you for considering this voluntary action. While we are all hugging our children a little tighter this holiday season, maybe we can whisper in their ears as well.

Carlene Vital

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