Too Close To Real
Last night, I saw my youngest playing a game on Xbox that involved his character, armed with some kind of pistol, going into a ballroom and shooting people as they crouched in terror. His friend, with whom he was communicating over his iPad, was imploring him to just "kill them all." It was a disturbing moment. The sense of realism in games now is prominent, and these kinds of situations have frightening parallels to real-world events.
If I had it to do over again, I would enforce a rule that we only get Nintendo systems. I'd rather have restrictions than be faced with a glut of violence games on the other systems. As casual violence becomes more and more mainstream, Sony and Microsoft are all too happy to indulge our appetites. That kind of thing is rarer with Nintendo systems (although games like Goldeneye are a notable exception — and play somewhat like the game I described at the beginning of the post).
We originally bought a Playstation instead of a Switch because my oldest wanted to primarily play sports games, which weren't well-supported on Nintendo systems. From there we got my youngest a Switch. Then, my Samsung Frame TV came with Xbox Cloud, so my youngest started playing that on the TV. Since I didn't want him constantly playing games on our bedroom TV, I bought him an Xbox. That was probably the biggest mistake. Xbox Live provides him with access to games that I would never approve if I had to vet them individually.
I'm going to have to give some real thought to this situation. My youngest has always loved video games and I would rather not deny him, but parenting sometimes involves setting limits rather than being a friend.