This is a picture of my amazing youngest son Evan. He's 13, he's holding a game controller and looking at a glowing screen and he's doing what he does a lot of -- diving into digital realms of adventure.Geneva Conventions
His latest favourite game is Call of Duty - which he plays on-line with his friends. Evan's wanting to play C of D was something of a challenge for us. It's rated T and he's only just a teenager and point and shoot first person games worry me some. Evan is relentlessly reasonable sometimes -- he outlined why he wanted to play the game and he was pretty upfront why he knew my "parent-sense" would start tingling. So I had to be reasonable too. I looked at the game. I've done a lot of research for military museums so I could tell that the content was accurate -- but there was lots of shooting and blowing things up. 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...
So we compromised. Well, sort of.
I asked Evan to google the Geneva Convention. Then he had to read it and then we had to discuss it. This we did. So the deal is that Evan has to fight according to the rules of the Geneva Convention. If his team-mates violate the Convention then play stops and Call of Duty goes away for a while.
We'll see how it goes, but Evan keeps his word. Especially about his games.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.