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Monday, October 31, 2005

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I am continually shocked, and even horrified, by the stuff that people let their kids watch/consume. The same parents whose children can't walk down the block "because it's too dangerous" happily invite bone-snapping violent imagery into their homes.

In the US, "wrestling" (not the Olympic sport but rather the sexed up nasty violent mockery version) is a top-ten television choice for boys ages 4 to 11. It's genuinely horrifying.

I should add, just for the record, that I do see that these games are ranked 'Mature', whatever that is supposed to mean. Only one of them was marked 'Teen'. None of them were designated as for children. But that doesn't make much difference. Our friends (twin boys) were able to buy Grand Theft Auto, even though it had an official rating for over-15s, when they were only 12. The guy in the shop did not blink. And kids are easily able to go to websites such as this, which is a very famous one, therefore a place they would seek to visit. When Olle is only two years older, he'll doubtless be able to search for these sites by himself, when other kids mention them to him. He might not be able to actually play these games online, but he can read all about them and see their predominantly violent images. It's not a world I want him to have anything to do with, but I can see that's going to be almost impossible - he may not enter right into it, but he will get glimpses.

Sigh... I am *so* not looking forward to that. I'm hoping that hearing parents endlessly saying how awful these things are may help discourage my own kids from wallowing in them. But I am not so sure that that will work. :(

I didn't know that males appear from nowhere to join into ball games. Interesting!

I guess I should clarify - they don't just appear from nowhere. They're there already! This tends to take place in the smallish park where we and vast crowds of other people walk our dogs. Thus everyone congregates before and after work. There are usually around 20 dogs and their assorted humans, which often include other parents with their sons. Either these other men and boys bring a ball to play with while the dog is being exercised or they join in as soon as Olle produces his ball. This wouldn't happen as readily in a larger park with a more scattered focus, although I have still seen it happen in that type of situation. I think the general principle is sound - men and boys like playing with balls and need other men and boys to play with and will easily form themselves into a game.

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