English Principals' New (Invasive) Policy on Kids Exposed to "Adult Games"

Education officials of Cheshire, England going too far to enforce age-appropriate content?

The Nantwich Education Partnership – a collective of principals and headteachers based in Cheshire, England – is snooping for evidence that suggests their students have access to “adult video games.”  

If these figures have reason to believe a Cheshire student has played or even witnessed one of these “adult video games,” the NEP will call the police and Child Services (or rather Children’s Social Care, the British equivalent) on the child’s parents.  The letter detailing this new threat – excuse me, policy – specifically cites Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto as the latest tools of the Devil.

Footage of a typical Cheshire school:

"Access to these games OR to some social media sites such as those above increases early sexualized behaviours (sometimes harmful) in children AND leaves them vulnerable to grooming for sexual exploitation or extreme violence.”

Hold on, Nantwich Education Partnership; let me get this straight:

  • Kids who play these blacklisted games are prone to gang violence.
  • Sex should not be talked about.
  • People don’t bad-touch kids, video games do.

Got it.

Look, no one's advocating that primary school kids (that’s kindergarten through fifth grade for Americans) be exposed to 18+ games, but that's not the schools' business to muck around in. Jumping on these families with a visit from the police and/or Child Services is extreme and outlandish.

Published Mar. 31st 2015
View Comments
  • The Slow Gamer
    I think this approach is sound, even if the execution (calling Child Services) is a bit harsh.

    If parents let their child watch 18+ movies on a regular basis that would be considered grounds for abuse (and potentially grooming for sexual abuse). Since kids aren't allowed to buy PEGI 18+ games themselves they have to be getting them from someone else, most likely parents. But a lot of parents don't equate GTA with, say, Kill Bill. This might be a kick in the pants for parents to take notice of what their kids do.

    The letter is poorly written though. Not all Call of Duty games are PEGI 18+ and some games that would appear more "innocent" (like Telltale's Game of Thrones) are PEGI 18+. The letter should focus more on the existing rating system and how parents can use it to determine what their kids are exposed to rather than getting all hysterical about certain games.

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