Explicitness in Android Games: Ways of Protecting Children

“Fun and games” on the verge of inappropriate: How to protect children from the notions of sex and violence in android games

The modern age has brought along a number of changes. All spheres of life are perceived through the eyes of technology: whether it be TV sets, computers, tablets, but dominantly mobile phones. Nowadays, mobile phones are available to everyone, regardless of their age, or technology managing techniques. It is not only their availability and easy manageability that makes them an interesting investment. Today’s mobile devices, taking those equipped with android operative system as an example, offer a rich spectrum of applications, covering different fields: music, photography, social networking, as well as video games.  Among the mentioned features, the most appealing one as far as the younger group of customers is concerned are, without doubt, android games.

The popularity of android games among youngsters leaves no space for discussion; they are exciting, thrilling and addictive. However, when taking a closer look at the prominent themes of these games, the presence of sex and violence, absolutely unsuitable for younger users, does not appear to be subtle to say the least. Two questions instantly arise from this acknowledgement: firstly, what effect does the notions of sex and violence (the presence of which cannot be denied in android games) have on the mindset and behavior of children, and secondly, what can be done to protect them from such harmful influence?

A vast majority of these games revolves around physical violence: whether it be in fantasy worlds, such as in HearthStone :  Heroes of Warcraft; or in real-life resembling scenarios, as in Hitman:  Sniper, or Grant Theft Auto: San Andreas. The player is constantly involved in situations in which they are supposed to hurt, shoot, and take down the enemy. Taking the previously mentioned game, Grant Theft Auto:  San Andreas, as an example, the sexual component can be felt on many levels, especially in the way women in the game are portrayed. The girls are only seen wearing provocative clothes, as their role is to be the “arm-candy” of the men in the game.  Android games also offer a category consisting of purely sexual content.

Notions of violence and sex can leave significant consequences when it comes to a young person’s psyche, especially if “sugarcoated” and being presented as fun and exciting, as it is the case in android games. What kind of activity can we undertake for the sake of children’s safety? There are many possible solutions. Monitoring our children’s choices when it comes to android games is one of the answers. There are many android games which do not involve adverse influence and are perhaps more children-friendly, or education-oriented. Conversation is always the way to go: if children are properly introduced to the concepts of sex and violence, they can create a psychological barrier, instead of approving of them. As in any other segment of a child’s life, involvement and advisement of an adult is preferred. Choosing children-friendly games and taking the time to play with your child can be a game-changing step, literally. If you show interest in a game, it is quite possible that the child will follow.

The stubborn presence of technology in the life of younger generations cannot be denied, but it most certainly can be regulated and guided. Adults have the obligation to grant the freedom of choice, with a responsibility of governing the process. As inevitable as explicit content in android games is, the magnitude of its influence can be successfully dealt with, the right strategy being applied.

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