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DS1 has an AIBU question to ask

(30 Posts)
VoldemortsNipple Sun 24-May-15 12:21:56

AIBU to think that if I'm too young (16) to buy violent video games, I'm also too young to sign up for the army?

Also AIBU to think if the government think I'm too young to play violent video games, the MOD shouldn't have been teaching me weapon skills in cadets since I was 12 and let me run around the countryside playing army.

madreloco Sun 24-May-15 12:24:15

Yes, you are far too young for both.

ChuffinAda Sun 24-May-15 12:25:25

16 year olds aren't deployed on the front line so don't see the full guts and gore of war.

At the moment in cadets you're learning drill, respect and how to follow orders

Cornettoninja Sun 24-May-15 12:28:01

I suppose there is an argument that you would not be in army training or cadets unsupervised and there would be an emphasis on protocols and safety.

Adult rated games and films are generally consumed as an individual alone with no wider context or education. The military generally doesn't encourage blindly killing people for 'fun'.

Also I don't believe you would be allowed into active combat until you were 18.

FadedRed Sun 24-May-15 12:29:14

Hi Ds1- welcome to the weirdly illogical adult world star That you are thinking this clearly at 16 gives me hope for the future!

StackladysMorphicResonator Sun 24-May-15 12:33:07

VoldemortsSon - YABU. Whilst it is possible to join the Armed Forces aged just 16, you will receive extensive psychological and physical training before going into combat. Also, the MoD does not send anyone under the age of 18 into combat.

If you were to experience a distressing and violent situation you would be fully trained to cope with it, would be extensively debriefed, and would receive support and counselling after the event.

The Army does not glorify violence - it is a means to an end. The violent video games you are talking about make violence seem commonplace and acceptable. At the age of 16 your brain and personality are far from fully formed - you are in the midst of a period of intensive change and development, and are therefore very open to inappropriate influences. It is for this reason that violent video games are particularly unsuitable for those aged under 18 (although personally I think some of them, such as GTA, are unsuitable for all).

There have been studies done on the effects of violent video games on the brain - try Anderson and Bushman's literature review for starters:

Hope that helps answer your AIBU!

StackladysMorphicResonator Sun 24-May-15 12:34:58

I forgot to answer your point about the cadets - cadet training is not at all like life in the Army, and you will not be exposed to violence and death (unless there's a dreadful accident of course!).

MaidOfStars Sun 24-May-15 12:35:46

Army =/= GTA wink

Theycallmemellowjello Sun 24-May-15 12:37:29

Yes, army training for under 18s, let alone actual sign-up for the army, is a disgrace IMO.

VoldemortsNipple Sun 24-May-15 12:38:40

Just a bit of background information.
DS wasn't allowed violent games until he was almost 16 although I'm sure he played them at friends houses. He is actually more interested in completing the mission than mindless violence. He also has plans to join the army, it's something he has wanted to do long before he played these games and I support his choice.

But in comparison, he does actually have a good point. It's not about whether he should be able to buy any play violent games. He can actually sign up and train to be a soldier at 16, and although he won't see any real action, that would be the ultimate goal.

PandaMummyofOne Sun 24-May-15 15:00:43

Legally speaking yes you are too young. I teach young people your age to join the armed forces so fully support the cadets. They teach you the basic skills you will need not only in the forces but in any job. 'Playing Soldiers' is highly controlled and an effective tool to help keep some individuals out of trouble, using weapons correctly and not on the streets.

You are fully able to join the army at 16 provided that you have parental consent. That being said you will spend two years training on base and at no point will be allowed near any conflict, let alone a war zone. In this situation the armed force will insist that you learn a trade and that you fully complete all trade training before you deploy.

Some individuals do not have a choice but to join the army at that age and I have been privy to this. That being said at the end of those two years and I get an invitation to those passing out parades, I couldn't be more proud of my Learners.

TheFairyCaravan Sun 24-May-15 15:08:25

My children have said the same thing for a while about the video games. I allowed them to have them from about 14 onwards.

DS1(20) joined the Army at 19, I wouldn't let him join at 16, I wanted him to do his A levels first so he did.

iseenodust Sun 24-May-15 15:20:45

I would support a raising of the age you can first sign up to the army to 18. I don't support under 18's campaigning to have the vote. As you are not deemed mature enough to vote for or against any party's view on a war/conflict then you shouldn't be 'immersed' in the military mindset either while still developing as a young adult.

Running round the countryside playing war cadets is just that - learning teamwork etc through play.

VoldemortsNipple Sun 24-May-15 17:46:08

I must admit the programme that the army run for 16-17 year olds looks really good. I'd would be quite happy for ds1 to join up at 16. At least he has two years to change his mind wink In fact this was his plan before he has had a medical set back. But maybe it should be treated more as as a training programme with a qualification in citizenship and field craft rather than phase one and phase two army training.

DS1 has been with the cadets for four years and in this time has learnt a lot of valuable life skills along with drill and fieldcraft. He could buy and sell you on the British military. He didn't ask the question to back up an argument as to why he should have the next 18 rated game. It just generally puzzled him, because as much as he knows everything he does in cadets and everything he would do in army training and even afterwards, is in a controlled environment, a violent video game is still just a game. It's not real.

Obviously he is not taking into account the mental health implications some gamers suffer or the desensitisation they can cause.

VivienScott Sun 24-May-15 17:53:18

Yabu, the army contextualises the violence. It, as part of an actual war and/or peace keeping duties, is necessary. Video game violence is not. No one is looking after your psychological well being, no one is telling you violence is generally wrong.

VoldemortsNipple Sun 24-May-15 18:58:12

So you really think a 12 year old who is handed a weapon for the first time, no matter how safely, can rationally put war and violence into context? Because my DS was just impressed that he held a real gun. The same type that the army use to shoot and kill people. Where as, the first time he played an army type game, he was more interested in the graphics.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Sun 24-May-15 19:06:02

I think he has a point, until very recently the UK was one of very few counties to send children into combat - there were 17 year olds in Iraq and Kosovo. I know they've changed it to 18 in recent years though but they still recruit at 16. I do find it strange that you can join the army, but not vote, smoke, drive, get married (in England) etc

Purpleflamingos Sun 24-May-15 19:08:12

I've been having similar conversations with a 17yr old who is signing up.

In the army you are with people everyday. You're not isolated from them. You are part of a team. You follow orders. Killing is a means to an end, and there are targets, not mindless killing of civilians including children. If you do kill someone, there is support for you afterward, just as you've been trained and prepared with your team before a tour.

On the other hand, video games are isolating and encourage a desensitisation to violence. That desensitisation makes it easier for an individual to commit violent crimes or build up misogynistic and antisocial attitudes.

FlabulousChix Sun 24-May-15 19:11:33

I never took any notice of the age on games. My kids aren't stupid. My eldest is now 27 and youngest 22 they are normal same adults leading normal lives having an aged 16 game at 12 made no difference to their personalities or lifestyles at all. They can tell the difference between reality and fantasy

Athenaviolet Sun 24-May-15 19:15:17

It horrifies me that your 16yo has held a real gun.

lljkk Sun 24-May-15 19:23:14

DS has been in cadets 20 months & not allowed to shoot or handle a gun even once, yet. There's some kind of ban in our area. Very annoying!! I still don't let him have 18 games. Totally different matter.

OrlandoWoolf Sun 24-May-15 19:27:59

DS has been in cadets 20 months & not allowed to shoot or handle a gun even once, yet

Isn't that part of being in cadets? I used to be in the Air Training Corps and was very disappointed we went gliding once in 2 years. Lots of drill.

I left.

lljkk Sun 24-May-15 19:30:05

Staff aren't happy about it, either, Orlando, but out of their hands, orders from high above.

OrlandoWoolf Sun 24-May-15 19:30:32

It horrifies me that your 16yo has held a real gun

My 9yr old son has been air rifle shooting at a range. We even got to use a sniper rifle.

He was taught all about gun safety. He still doesn't play Call of Duty or HALO in spite of friends his age playing it.

There's a difference between the controlled environment and the free for all mayhem of shooting games.

But personally I can't see the difference between 16 and 18 to play such games.

VoldemortsNipple Sun 24-May-15 19:32:11

I believe the type of people who have problems with video games probably have some sort of mental health issue to begin withrather than it being a direct cause of game playing. That's not to say I don't agree with them having ratings because I do.

But who has decided that that a 16 year old is mature enough to train for warfare when in context they are not old enough to buy a video or cigarettes or decide who they want to run the country for the next 5 years. There are enough ex service men with mental Heath problems who have still struggled despite the best efforts of the MOD.

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