Will County State Attorney James Glasgow (right) speaks ...
November 01, 2013
Will County State Attorney James Glasgow isn't in favor of banning or censoring video games and TV shows that incorporate violence, he just wants parents and grandparents to know what their children and grandchildren can be exposed to.
"Because if you don't know, you can't protect," he said to about 30 adults gathered in the choir room at Mokena Junior High School.
Glasgow visited the school for its Meteor Coffee event on Thursday, Oct. 17, to speak about violence in video games, TV shows and movies. He showed a mashup of clips from games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. Some parents covered their eyes as the player ran people over with cars, shot police officers and stabbed women, all activities that are part of the Grand Theft Auto game series.
The popularity of Glasgow's talk prompted the district to invite him back for a district-wide event at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, at Mokena Elementary School.
Parent Cherise Piltaver said that she didn't know about all the violence in the games that are popular with her seventh-grade son and many others in his age group.
"I plan on going home right now and reviewing his games," she said after hearing Glasgow speak for more than two hours on Thursday, Oct. 17.
The review would be followed by a talk with her son and husband about the games and the violence involved, Piltaver said.
"I had no idea that they were shooting police officers in these games," she said.
Glasgow stressed that just because children play violent video games doesn't mean they will commit violent acts as a result, but he said they become less empathetic and compassionate as they are desensitized to violence. He also pointed out that many of the victims in video games are women and police officers.
"The kids who are playing these games today are the parents of tomorrow," he said.
Glasgow has been spreading his message for more than a decade and hopes that communities and parents will step up to help protect adolescents from being exposed to violence in video games, TV and in movies.
Some members of the audience brought up the industry's rating system as a way to gauge what shows, movies and games are appropriate for what ages.
Glasgow encouraged those listening to research the topic further and to watch shows and read movie reviews before allowing their children to watch or play.
Piltaver said her family watches shows like "Walking Dead," a show about an apocolyptic world taken over by zombies except for small groups of human survivors, and "Breaking Bad," about a chemistry teacher-turned meth maker and drug dealer.
"Now I'm thinking we shouldn't," she said. "It's just an eye opener."
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