Not long ago I posted about fear and my problems with too much fear being taught to us day in and day out. In relation to that I present this news story.
Child predators who are apparently offering “game points” in exchange for nude images through internet-connected video games have prompted a warning for parents from a cybercrime detective.
“Kids are playing games and they’re being asked to take photos of themselves naked in order to get game points”, Florida Attorney General Cybercrime Detective Lt David Maurer said, “There is not only the chatting version of the games but also a webcam involved.”
Maurer is warning parents to take precautions when it comes to gaming because most are hooked to the internet and anyone can be chatting with children during gameplay.
That’s horrendous. I’m glad this guy is speaking up and letting parents know what’s really happening to their children. I’ve been playing games for years and I never had an idea that things were that bad.
“My theory on it is that predators are going to go where kids are, and kids are playing video games so it’s a perfect place for them to be.” Maurer said.
At any time there can be 300,000 people online playing the most popular internet-connected games, Local6’s Donald Forbes reports.
Oh, so it hasn’t actually happened then? It’s just your own personal theory? Well how come that’s newsworthy? Seems like blatant scaremongering to me. And what’s with the random fact about how many people are online at any time? Is the article saying that all these people are paedophiles looking for our kids, or is it just a random fact aimed at getting the reporter some brownie points for research?
“You think they’re just watching a game, and I didn’t really know they could get through the games and play a lot me people.” parent Alida Magana said.
Brilliant parenting there Alida. You leave your children “watching” a game and hope they’re safe. You don’t bother learning of the possible dangers, or even read the manual and set the parental controls. Yet you have no problem hooking it up to the web for them. Yeah, great parenting there.
Some of the most popular games are “Halo 3”, “Call Of Duty”, “Final Fantasy” and “Grand Theft Auto”, Forbes reported.
Okay, so these are the games that are the most dangerous to children obviously else there’d be no reason to even mention them apart from for sensationalism’s sake. I’ll definitely be keeping my kids away from those games. Only God knows how many of those 300,000 paedophiles are preying on all the young children innocently playing the 18 rated Grand Theft Auto.
“We are worried, scared and more cautious”, parent Carol Montalvan said when asked about her son’s gaming. “One of the rules is that he cannot use that unless I am physically home with him; otherwise he cannot use the headset and basically chat either.”
The Montalvan family has set up the gaming in the living room where everyone can view what is taking place on the screen and parental controls.
What the…? It’s over already. No follow through at all. Some detective thinks it’s possible that sexual predators might use online games to get their mitts on children. One parent shows her ignorance by allowing children to go online unsupervised, another thinks that her son will stay away from online games until she’s there. The report mentions parental controls in passing but not the fact that you can set them to exclude online play from your child’s rights. And some well known games are mentioned in passing to make the author seem as if he knows what he’s talking about.
This isn’t an educational piece or even a piece of real news (as the main point is only a single detective’s conjecture). At best it reads like the notes for an unfinished post, at worst like a piece designed to cash in on the sensationalism of fear surrounding both video games and online perverts. The designers of the games mentioned should sue for having their mature games singled out in a piece about child abuse, and Forbes should have handed this assignment over to someone who actually knows something about video games. And if anyone has clue one about what points are being handed out by these 300,000 online perverts to children, do let me know wont you? The term “game points” implies that they are awarded points in the games for showing naked photos and the only ones who could award them points like that are the actual game designers. I smell a lawsuit.
Furie’s Final Thought
A games console is not a babysitter. Spend some time with your children while they’re online. Ensure that they know the possible dangers so that they can play safely and scare tactics like this stop.