The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Parents should be fined if their sub-17 year old kid(s) are caught playing M-rated games

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/8/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 966 times Debate No: 37513
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)





1st round: acceptance and definitions ONLY
2nd round: Arguments/contentions/points/assertions ONLY
3rd round:Arguments/contentions/points/assertions AND Rebuttal
4th round: rebuttal ONLY

Definitions can also be clarified or given at any time.

No foul language or personal attacks.

Pro will try to prove the topic, while con will try to disprove it.

Now that I have cleared the rules let's get down to the definitions.

M-rated game: a game clearly defined the ESRB ratings to be played by people ages 17 and up due to content.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


I’d like to start off this debate with a quote and I wish good luck to all.

"Parents and physicians need to recognize that M-rated video games popular with children and adolescents contain a wide range of often unlabeled content, exposing young people to messages that may negatively influence their perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors," said Kimberly Thompson, Associate Professor of Risk Analysis and Decision Science at HSPH.

Assertion 1:- M-rated games promote violence

“More than a decade ago, the computer game Doom became a focal point when it was revealed that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the teenagers who committed the Columbine High School massacres, were players.(2)” This was the effect of violent video games on young kids. Many believe that violent video games make underage children violent themselves. One of the believers in this theory is Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), who introduced a bill in December 2012 to find out the impact of violent video games on children. "At times like this, we need to take a comprehensive look at all the ways we can keep our kids safe," says Rockefeller, who serves as Chair of the Senate's Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. "I have long expressed concern about the impact of the violent content our kids see and interact with every day." According to one of his close friends, Adam Lanza, the man who fatally shot 20 children and his own mother, played M-rated games. If M-rated games could cause this sort of problem on a 21-year old then it could totally corrupt a sub-17 year old’s head

Assertion 2: M-rated games use a lot of profanity

This influence could totally demolish a sub-17 year old’s social life and reputation. For example he/she might use profanity on a teacher, a parent, or a friend and totally ruin the relationship between the 2 people. In a way, M-rated games can end one’s social life and weaken one’s relationship.


  1. 1.

  2. 2.



I would like to thank my opponent. I would like to point out that as Con I do not need to bring up any points actually, since I am only disprving Pro. However I will make a few points. Now, as he has made clear I can only offer my own points first, here are my arguments.

Parental Choice:

Parents should have the choice to deem if their kids are mature enough to play an M-rated game, or if the M-rated game in question is suitable for them. Parents know the most about their children, therefore they should get the choice. We should also not tell parents what they can and cannot allow their child to do. We cannot tell parents that their kids can't hunt/fish with them. Why should video games be different?

Gun Violence:

Since the massive craze with FPS's we have seen a drop in homicides in the U.S. Here is a table showing all the homicides in America from 2007 to 2011.

As you can see in the matter of 4 years, homicides have dropped by 2,000. Another report studied the total violence of the U.S. between a peak in 1993 (when DOOM became popular) and 2001.

As you can see violence started going down as soon as DOOM came out. This cannot go uncontested, because if video games causes violence amongst youth we cannot see the drop we have had in violence. If video games caused violence we would see roughly the same violence every year, or an increase in violence. Instead we see a drop in violence. Video games therefore cannot cause violence, and in fact can probably help to stop it. Some have theorized that video games can help to pacify us, and make murder too inconvieniet. If I wanted to murder someone, but didn't want to get in trouble, a video game is perfect. It is totally legal, satisfies my wanting to see someone dead, and does not harm anyone.

Social Interaction:

Video games can help with social interaction for people who are not the social types. By eliminating the inconvienience that some anti-social people blame their lack of interaction on, and the mask of anonymoty, people are more likely to talk and be socially active in a game, or online. I myself play CoD and Battlefield with friends a lot, and I have a blast with them. We make jokes, compete, and have fun. I do not see why this is inferior to a physical social relationship. You are essentially doing the same thing, except you don't have to be in the same room. Although this is a remark to all video games, it applies to FPS's more often due to the fact that they're the most common multiplayer game.

I will offer rebuttals to my opponents arguments in the next round.
Debate Round No. 2


I thank Con for his quick rsponse!

I will first present my remaining assertions an then I will refute.

Assertion 3:- M-rated games contain a lot of content that is is not mentioned on the cover

"According to a study led by Associate Professor Kimberly Thompsonof the Kids Risk Project at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), 81% of a random sample of Mature-rated video games included content that was not noted on the game box. This is the first independent, quantitative study to characterize content in M-rated games related to violence, blood, sexual themes, substances, profanity, and gambling observed in game play. The study appears in the April 3Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Special Issueon the effects of media on children and adolescents published by the American Medical Association.(1)"

Assertion 4:- Purchasing an M-rated game for a minor to play is basically a crime

There are a few good reasons for this inferance:

1. An agency of the government (the ESRB) has made the regulations
2. To buy an M-rated game the parent needs to show an ID card

Refutations (I will refute con's arguments one by one):

Parental choice:

As stated in assertion 3, M-rated video games have a lot of content that isn't mentioned on the cover so the parents may not be prepared for what their child is going to experience.

Gun violence:

This graph (click the link) should refute his argument.

My opponent's graphs referred to the entire population which is therefore deemed out of context since we are only talking about to sub-17 year olds. Also notice the huge spike in homicides just around the time that DOOM was getting popular. This refutes my opponent's point entitled gun violence.

Social Interaction:

Kids can interact in T, E10+, and E games as well. M-rated games aren't the only games to have interactions in them and the alternatives are much more age appropriate.

I have refuted all of my opponents arguments and it is clear that Pro stands ahead in this debate.

Vote Pro!
I look forward to the opposition's response



I would like to thank my opponent for his even more timely response. I will start by refuting his points, and then I will hold up my own.

Point 1: Video Games promote Violence.

This actually is the opposite of my statement, so I will both refute his point, and hold my own up. First he mentions the Columbine shooters. Yes they modded DOOM to simulate the shooting. However, to say that DOOM made them shoot up that school is absurd. By playing Mario I should want to crush turtles under my feet, and hit my head off bricks.This is obviously not the case. You have also, accidentaley, proven my point. Your graph shows an increase in juvenile violence until 1993, the year FPS's became popular. and since then it has been dropping like a rock. The more FPS's become popular, the less violence there is. That is indisputable. Also if DOOM caused that spike in violence we would see something other than what is shown. If DOOM caused it we would see DOOM released and then the spike 2-3 years later, and we would see an increase as time has gone by and FPS's have become more popular. Instead, we see the spike happen simultaneous with DOOM, and then a continuos drop after that. I can not stress enough how much this goes against your statement. I would also like to say that my statistics/graphs that pertained to all violence was because those statistics are easier to find. However since you nicely provided me with a graph that shows JUVENILE violence I will just use that one.

Point 2: M-rated games use a lot of profanity

So do a lot of public schools. Most of my friends swear. Many of the people in 7th grade and up swear. Even the ones who don't play video games. It is just the "cool" thing to do. You say that video games may cause a student to use profanity, or swear against a teacher. The same could be said for music. If a song encourages kids to go against the school, and swear at the teachers, should we make it illegal? No, we give the parents the choice on whether they think their kids are mature enought to handle. I will refute that in a second.

Point 3: M-rated contain a lot of content that is not mentioned on the cover

So we should punish the parents? Fine the gaming publishers for false advertisement, or make a law against it. There is no need to fine the parents because they can't obtain information. Your resolution states that we should fine parents for buying their kids M-rated games. But this is not their fault.

Point 4:

First off, it cannot be "basically" a crime. It either is, or isn't. Second off it definitely isn't a crime.

1. The ESRB makes recommendations, not laws pertaining to who can play. If a parent approves, a kid can play.
2. And if they do then it is completely legal? I am not sure what point you are trying to bring up.

Holding up my contentions:

1. Parental choice

As I stated it is not the fault of the parents that they do not know what the cover doesn't say. However, parents can easily find out about games online. There are many playthroughs, and a lot of reviews of games. It is not hard to find it on the computer. Based on the plethora of information that a parent can get, there is no reason to believe that they can not make an educated choice for their children.

2. Violence

Already addressed.

3. Social Interaction

Sure this can be achieved with any game, regardless of rating. However this is just another pro to M-rated games.

My opponent has not shown efficiently why we should fine parents for allowing their children to play M-rated games. It is the parents choice, and there is no reason sufficient to impose such a fine.
Debate Round No. 3


truthiskey forfeited this round.


Extend all arguments. Please award me my point of conduct.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Shadowguynick 3 years ago
Hurry up truth you have little time left.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: ff