Real Cops        Real Crime        Real Advice               





Violence and Videos

By Detective Frank P. Esposito


            Violence is growing around us at an astounding rate.  Everyday it seems that the media is covering more murders and school involved shootings.  Why is this happening?  Some of the reasons are that children become immune to violence by playing violent video games, and watching violence on television.  We as parents must take control in our homes.  We must limit the amount and types of programming our children watch on television. We have a moral and ethical obligation to create a safe environment for our children.  We also have the obligation to teach morals, and ethical values that are adaptable in society.  Our children must learn first in the home.  As parents we must make rules and stick to them because we have the right, and responsibility to make decisions for them. 


Parents usually have an inept ability when it comes to computer skills.  Our children know more about the Internet than we could ever develop.  The student network of knowledge across America is astounding.  Many teens communicate through chat rooms and web sites on a daily basis.  More information is transferred through this means than the “gossip around the water cooler.”  We need to educate ourselves on the sites, and types of material our children are seeking on the computer.  For instance, the recipe for the bomb used by Timothy McVey was published on an Internet web site.  


Another means of violent behavior is video games.  Violence in video games creates the illusion of point and shoot type games.  This illusion makes the child adept to killing creatures, monsters, or other human beings via the video game.  With the technology today, these video games have “virtual reality.”  Virtual reality gives the realism of performing the violent act.  When the player shoots in these video games the violence is as true as reality.  Some parents do not see what their child brings home from the video store. These types of games are just some of the rented items children bring home.  Some parents are not aware of the violent nature of these games and inadvertently purchase these games for their child’s gaming system.  If we do not take control of our children’s viewing preferences, we may be assisting in making them immune to violent acts.


        We must start early in influencing our children’s exposure to television.  Younger children are more adept to rules governing television use making it easier to set rules.  We need to establish the rules early while the children are young; they are much easier to maintain when the child becomes older.  Most importantly, make sure you can enforce the rules that you set.    If a parent works evenings, someone in the home must be trusted to carry out these rules.  These basic suggestions can become a starting point at home.  However, solely the parents cannot complete this task.  We need the help of our Local and Federal agencies to create laws and ordinances governing video game violence.  The laws governing pornographic material can apply to videos, and video games.   We need to adapt a more stringent warning label system for video game manufacturers.  Take part in your child’s lives.  If you enforce homework rules and schoolwork rules, the playtime rules must be governed as well.  Take the time to see what your child is watching on television.  See where they visit on the web, or in what chat rooms they are spending a lot of time.  Supervise what they are renting on video.  A few of these precautions can save problems from occurring in the fast changing society around us.   


Frank P. Esposito is a Detective for a west suburban Cook County, Illinois police department. Detective Esposito has a B.A. in Liberal Arts from DePaul University and is currently working on his Masters degree in Public Administration.

Send mail to with questions or comments about this website. Copyright 2000 

    Hit Counter