1. Lorelei

    So well written, Marc! I personally abhor the whole premise of the game, so I have a hard time understanding its appeal. My own criteria for games would require that they be educational or positive/uplifting. GTA seems to me to be the antithesis of those ideals – and I completely agree that they desensitize people to violence and criminal activity.

    Your letter is kind, thoughtful, and very well reasoned – and I especially love that you don’t pretend to have all the answers. Bravo!

    • MarcBenz

      Oh – I also wanted to say that I think that we’re lucky to be parents in our generation. Previous generations of parents weren’t really allowed to say that they didn’t have the answers. They were supposed to. They weren’t allowed to make mistakes. I think that we’re lucky that we get to be “more real” with our kids than previous generations.

      I realize that this is a generalization but I think it’s *mostly* true.

      • Lorelei

        You may be right that previous generations were expected to have all the answers, but in my opinion every parent has the option to be real with their kids regardless of what anyone else expects. I am lucky that for the most part, my parents were real with me – they acknowledged their flaws and admitted when they didn’t know the answers. I think certain personalities find this more difficult than others.

  2. MarcBenz

    Ya – Jessica wasn’t really a fan, either. It may be a “guy” thing; don’t know. The only thing she got out of it was to roll her eyes at me while I did crazy things.

  3. David Johnson

    What a great letter! Not only do I want to share this, I’m going to print it for my kids… My preference for video games died out with the Myst series (though I wish the entire series had been in a freeform rather than frame based). We did enjoy the Portal/Portal2 series.

    GTA went so far beyond the pale and most games so emphasized violence that I just couldn’t even consider the consoles, and I appreciate your open-ended rational discussion.

    • MarcBenz

      Thanks DJ! Share away.

      Myst was a lot of fun, no doubt. And we all get into the puzzle/solve a mystery types of games. But sometimes, it’s just fun to go and blow things up. And that’s where trying to figure out where that imaginary line is between what’s acceptable and what’s “beyond the pale.”

      For us, for now, it seems to be that blowing up bad aliens and zombies is ok, shooting and blowing people is not. The waters, at times, can be a bit murky.

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