California State Senator Leland Yee's campaign against a gory video game was set back a little last week when the National Ratings Board declined to give Manhunt 2 an "Adults Only" rating, which would have kept it off shelves. For those of you parents who might not know it, Manhunt 2 is a slasher game released on Halloween with a "Mature" rating in which gamers control an asylum escapee bent on slaughtering adversaries in the grisliest manner possible.
The game has been banned in the United Kingdom, and although I am not usually in support of this heavy-handedness, I may agree with this action. Although the "Mature" rating technically prohibits sales to minors, unaccompanied youths can usually buy these titles as they are on shelves everywhere. Much of the literature on violent video games is pretty clear - having children exposed to the depictions of brutal slayings is harmful and encourages young people to use violence as a way of dealing with frustration.
Again, if you have not played these games with your kids, you may not have any idea what they are being exposed to, and whether or not it bothers you. Please, watch or play so you can at least talk about the experience.