Video Violence: Part II - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Melissa Simas reports

Video Violence: Part II

December 1, 2004 -- Posted 4:00 p.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR -- For the Duckworth family in Jonesboro, playing video games with dad is a bonding experience, especially when it's too wet or cold to go outside. And dad is no pushover, strict rules are the winning strategy for this family.

27 year-old Thomas Duckworth is a big fan of video games. He owns 15 systems and shares in the competition with friends over the weekend. At home and as a dad, he's passing along this hobby to his 4 year-old daughter Rebekah, and 1 year-old son Zander.

"Anything she can just press a button with , she's happy with," said Duckworth.

Rebekah really enjoys playing games like Shrek, and her favorite Mario Party.

"I play a lot of the violent games when they're asleep, when they're awake I'll play the kiddy games with them," said Duckworth.

Thomas and his wife set strict rules about what games their children can play and how long. Violent video games are off limits for the children in this house, except for maybe the occasional duck hunt, and even that game is supervised heavily.

"She used to try to point the gun at people just because she didn't know when she was younger, and we straightened her out there and told her she couldn't point the gun at anybody else," said Duckworth.

Video game images are becoming more realistic these days and some games are getting a failing grade from the National Institute on Media and the Family. These games are rated M for mature---meaning retailers aren't supposed to sell them to anyone under the age of 17, but that sort of thing is still happening.

"I was in a video game store one time and there was a 10 year-old kid in there and he went to buy Grand Theft Auto, and they wouldn't let him because he had to be 18 to buy it, and he got his mom on the phone and she let him buy it," said Duckworth. "I believe sometimes parents are ignorant to it, just because it says M they don't know what kind of content is in it."

"My recommendation is that parents just become aware of what kind of video games their children are playing, I think that most games have rating so they can screen and maybe sit down with the kids and rent them first before they buy them," said Alexis Smith with St. Bernards Behavioral Health in Jonesboro.

That's something the Duckworth family in Jonesboro is already doing.

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