Parent Asks Son to Play COD According to Geneva Conventions

Illustration for article titled Parent Asks Son to Play COD According to Geneva Conventions

Although it's some versions are rated T, Call of Duty had some troubling aspects for a father of a 13-year-old who wanted to play it. So they came to an agreement.

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On Boing Boing, a writer named Hugh Spencer mentions his son Evan's enthusiasm for Call of Duty, but also that his kid knows there are some aspects to it that might set off the parent radar. While Hugh mentions this is rated T, later versions of CoD are rated M (thanks to readers for pointing that out. I even have the damn thing.)

Hugh, meeting him halfway, considered the benefits and the drawbacks of the game. "I could tell that the content was accurate - but there was lots of shooting and blowing things up," he says. "But there was a fair bit of that during World War II. So it was undeniable that Evan was experiencing history and there was this teamwork factor ..."

Evan would get to play the game, but before that, Hugh had him look up the Geneva Conventions online, read their provisions, and then the two discussed its history and what they mean. "So the deal is that Evan has to fight according to the rules of the Geneva Convention. If his team-mates violate the Convention [assuming Hugh means online human players] then play stops and Call of Duty goes away for a while."

As nearly unenforceable as that sounds, a point is made. And it makes a point in a way that seeing a film or reading a book about war can't. You can discuss why characters in those two media would make the choices they did, but it's a different thing to explain the choices you would make - and then act accordingly.

Now, seriously speaking, I'm not sure Evan's going to be reading out the provisions of the conventions to his squadmates in a COD lobby before starting up a match. I'm not even sure how many of them are applicable in multiplayer, to be honest. (Is dominating an opponent "torture"?) And in singleplayer, yes, I'm aware that CoD;WaW opens with the torture and execution of an American prisoner. But the point of principles is that they govern your conduct; they're not based upon your enemy's behavior. It's what it says about you, and not them.

Kudos to this father for making this a reasonably teachable moment, one that allows his son to enjoy the appropriate pursuits he chooses while still addressing the legitimate concerns of a parent.

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Parent of Gamer Asks His Son to Honor Geneva Conventions [Boing Boing]

DISCUSSION

bakamoichigei
Bakamoichigei

While I applaud any attempts parents make at being more involved and intelligent parents... What. The. FUCK?

If his ONLINE TEAMMATES violate the Geneva Conventions, he can't play the game for a while? Look, I acknowledge that he made the kid learn something and all...but still. Let's assume for a second that the clever father can even enforce this...

1. Exactly what the hell parts of the Geneva Conventions actually apply to something like this? Are we saying he can't shoot medics or wounded players? (I forget, do they have such a system in CoD?)

2. The current form of the Geneva Conventions did not exist in the time period of the game. Unless he is adhering to the correct version, this little exercise in historical accuracy is flawed to begin with.

3. He is basing his son's ability to enjoy his game on the behavior of PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET. You might as well say "If someone rapes and murders a jogger in central park, I'm throwing your Nintendo in the wood chipper!"

I think we just found a surefire plan for turning a gamer into a serial killer.

After the third or fourth time he loses the ability to play his game because people on the internet act like drunken retarded monkeys, he WILL start randomly murdering people while muttering the names of other players.

Can you tell I've been trying to play some L4D today? omg...must kill...