On forums I do not get angry easily. Really, I am quite calm. I try to present my point of view moderately and reasonably. I maintain respect for people I disagree with, even if they don’t with me Ao Ashi. I’d make a good moderator. But I must admit my graciousness was tested to its limits when i got embroiled on Youtube with a gaggle of young high school or immature college age men the other day.
It all started out with Pokemon Black and white. As a mother, I’m not a big Pokemon player, but it did register to me quite clearly from my son that Pokemon Black and white was the big thing now and he was dying to have a new game. I did want him to have something- he’s been really helpful lately, so i bought him a Pokemon stuffed toy (a ‘pokedoll? ‘) which he called a Pokemon Plush, whatever that means.
My son has been into Pokemon for quite a while so the other night I became curious as to this game he wants and how it is played. Obviously, Youtube would be the place to go, right? Well, you betcha! But, I was absolutely shocked at the abusive language that i heard on the Pokemon Youtube videos. Pokemon is supposed to be for young children. I understand that its difficult to control the massive amount of videos on the internet, but the fact that abusive language is so prevalent in videos that are supposed to be for children was shocking.
I flagged the guy for abuse of course and even went into the main forms. I realized that if I just randomly walked into this ‘chamber’ they must be all over Youtube. Of course I complained on the users comments section of the video and immediately got entangled with the crowd (I could tell by their writing that they were not kids). I didn’t mind arguing with them, but after an hour I became sad at the fact that they didn’t care that young children were watching. I know as a parent that this is partially my job to control what my child is watching, but how are we supposed to control what we think is harmless childrens content?
As a college student, we were still in the post Mario age. There were some Internet games around, mostly arcade type, and I even remember Pokemon coming onto the scene after i graduated. I remember Playstation and all that, but I was a little old for that. Still, I’ve maintained some off and on interest in games. What bothers me is the idea of profanity that is easily accessible for children. Games are supposed to be fun and enjoyable for children. I really think this problem needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Children need to be protected from this. As a (young) middle-aged mother, I have little interest in video games. In fact, I have almost none at all. Watching my son, I’ve disapproved of some of the violence in these games but beyond the bloodshed, they have seemed to me for the most part to be pretty innocuous. About the worst I could say about them is that they were too absorbing and the overwhelmingly focus on hand-eye coordination rather than logical thought processes. They also keep kids from the physical world, which by the way, isn’t going to go away any time soon. I forced my son to grow vegetables this year in our small Japanese garden and, you know, he’s actually enjoying it.
Recently however a new Pokemon store opened at a mall near us and I got my son something called a Pokemon Plush, which is just another way of saying ‘stuffed character. ‘ He chose ‘Ampharos, ‘ which looked friendly and hardly seemed a ‘monster’ to me (the origin of the word ‘pokemon’ is hard to describe: technically it’s Japanese but if comes from the japanese transliterations of the two words ‘pocket’ and ‘monster, ‘ which is then abbreviated to ‘pokemon’ or ‘pocket monster’). But most of these Pokemon Plush toys seem more like cute animals than monsters.
There are different facets to Pokemon playing, and a very popular one is from the original- the computer game. I must confess that i have become rather interested in Pokemon recently as they appeal to my curiosity for both science fiction and evolution. I also like computers and robotics. So i decided to have a gander at how to play a game and chose a tutorial from Youtube. I heard Black and white was the latest thing in Pokemon goods and playing and chose one of those. I must say though that as a parent I was shocked and appalled by the 22 year old narrator. His language was very obscene. For adults I have no problem with violence or profanity, but when its under the pretext of a children’s video is where a line needs to be drawn.
I’ve watched hundreds if not thousands of Youtube videos, and I can’t recall a more venomous narration than this. I was shocked and angry as i made a lengthy complaint to Youtube and I realized that this is not confined to Pokemon games but games across the board. As a mother, I thought was harmless children’s content was not the case. I’m sure there are a lot of unsuspecting parents out there who also are unaware of this. I really think that something needs to be done to give these videos a warning label or at the least some sort of rating that would make it easier to identify which ones are suitable for young children.