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Even though the Gods of women bashing are smiling down on me again today (like almost every blog-post day), I made a firm decision today during breakfast time that “I will write something different”. It took me the whole day to actually talk myself out of writing an anti-women post.

Yes dear friends, we are going to talk about raising children today. But not only raising children; raising them with an X-Box 360 (or similar gaming console) around. This has been a hot topic at my home for the past few months now. Specially ever since our 6 year old son got his hands on games like Halo 3, Ghost Recon & Call of Duty 4.

So the great debate is whether or not “gun games” instigate violence in a child. The lady of our house has a strong opinion against games that “glorify” guns. All sorts of books have been read to me (excerpts) and all sorts of proof has been provided that when kids play “gun games” they grow up to become terrorists. While I don’t disagree with the fact, I think its only fair to dig deeper into the topic and look at it from different angles. Yes certain games do instigate “thug” style or “gangsta” style behavior in kids. Specially games like Grand Theft Auto, Fight Night and the likes. Games where the player is free to use guns and violence against anyone they want to without a positive intent.

However in first person shooters like Ghost Recon, Medal of Honor or Call of Duty, the sole motive of the game is to serve and protect. I personally think when kids play these games and “kill the bad guys” it does not really turn them into terrorists or gangsters, but gives them yet another opportunity to differentiate between right and wrong. After all, the fact that police kills the bad guys is not terrorism is it? Or a bunch of Army commandos completing a mission on foreign soil in order to save fellow troops, or save a bunch of villagers whose life is in danger is not violence, terrorism or thug style behavior.

There is all kind of talk going on both online and offline that when kids play “gun games” they grow up to become violent people, yet NONE of those authors are able to provide proof. Can anyone actually identify one felon or criminal who ended up becoming one just due to the fact that he was playing video games that had guns in them? There are thousands of other factors that contribute to people growing up to become felons and criminals.

Having said the above, I would also like to point out the importance of moderation. In no way I mean that kids should spend countless number of hours in front of TV with video game consoles. Video game time should be less than 2-3 hours a day and parents should closely monitor what the child is playing and does while playing.

My son Rayyan (6 years old) plays Ghost Recon 2 and Call of Duty and loves both of these games. I talk to him about what he likes in these games. Apparently its not the killing that he likes; what he likes is the ability to eliminate bad people. The ability to save people who are in danger and then of courseĀ  the sense of achievement when he finishes one of those campaigns and receives his medals. He wants to grow up and become a police officer and intends to catch a lot of bad guys and save a lot of lives. He knows that guns kill people but at the same time, he also knows that he has to use a gun ONLY to kill bad people; and this in my opinion is the difference.

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