The ArgusKids’ violence blamed on computer games (From The Argus)

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Sussex headteacher blames kids' violence on computer games

The Argus: Davina Wakelin, headtacher at Meeching Valley Primary school in Newhaven Davina Wakelin, headtacher at Meeching Valley Primary school in Newhaven

Children are turning violent in the playground after becoming hooked on inappropriate computer games.

Parents of pupils at Meeching Valley Primary School in Newhaven are being advised to stop their children playing on games designed for older gamers.

Teachers have sent letters home warning of youngsters misbehaving at break times.

A notice in the school’s newsletter said: “It has been brought to our attention that a number of children are being exposed to video games that are not age appropriate.

“As a result, this is being transferred to their play and resulting in some violent play and inappropriate language among the children.”

Although the school would not single out games for criticism, it is understood those such as warfare game Call of Duty are being played by under-age children.

Headteacher Davina Wakelin said: “We are a responsible school and are mindful of looking out for the welfare of the children.

“By raising awareness of the issue we are doing that.”

Computer-free play

She highlighted the school’s model railway club that was proving popular and was attempting to draw children away from computer games.

Sussex-based child psychologist Dr Aric Sigman said he was not surprised to see computer game violence acted out in the playground.

He said: “People should not be surprised that children, and adults, are affected by what they see. It is the reason why advertisers choose to place adverts in the media and why there is censorship.”

Many children bow to peer pressure to buy and play games restricted for sale to ages 15 or 18, he said.

And these children lose out on learning through “rough and tumble” about conflict, instead experiencing it through the games.

He added: “They do not realise that when you hit someone they do not die like in the game but will hit you back.”

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Comments (11)

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7:24pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Alan G Skinner says...

As usual it's everybody's fault apart from of course the individual child and the parents. Interesting that it's not all children who behave like this just a few. Interesting that in society the majority are law abiding and just a few are criminals. ADHD etc etc, utter rubbish, it's all down to poor diet and bad parenting. These excuse "conditions" are a good way for psychologists and pharmaceutical companies to create a multi million pound industry funded by the tax payer I might add. How many times have you been to a park and watched the majority of children playing together in harmony and then some dragged up little so and so (through no fault of his own) comes along and either hurts or upsets the others, with a bag of cheap sweets and a cola drink in hand. I have played every "violent" video game you care to mention, but oddly enough I have never had the compulsion to reenact an atrocity I have just committed on the Xbox or Ps3 in real life. It is ALWAYS down to the parents and its their failure.
As usual it's everybody's fault apart from of course the individual child and the parents. Interesting that it's not all children who behave like this just a few. Interesting that in society the majority are law abiding and just a few are criminals. ADHD etc etc, utter rubbish, it's all down to poor diet and bad parenting. These excuse "conditions" are a good way for psychologists and pharmaceutical companies to create a multi million pound industry funded by the tax payer I might add. How many times have you been to a park and watched the majority of children playing together in harmony and then some dragged up little so and so (through no fault of his own) comes along and either hurts or upsets the others, with a bag of cheap sweets and a cola drink in hand. I have played every "violent" video game you care to mention, but oddly enough I have never had the compulsion to reenact an atrocity I have just committed on the Xbox or Ps3 in real life. It is ALWAYS down to the parents and its their failure. Alan G Skinner
  • Score: 0

9:03pm Fri 1 Feb 13

PorkBoat says...

Turn the hoses on them!
Turn the hoses on them! PorkBoat
  • Score: 0

9:42pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Fight_Back says...

I'm certainly glad my children aren't taught at a school run by Ms Wakelin if she makes such generalised and sweeping statements about children and computer games without any evidence.

It would be like me suggesting that teachers have an easy life with so much holiday, good pay and gold plated pensions !
I'm certainly glad my children aren't taught at a school run by Ms Wakelin if she makes such generalised and sweeping statements about children and computer games without any evidence. It would be like me suggesting that teachers have an easy life with so much holiday, good pay and gold plated pensions ! Fight_Back
  • Score: 0

9:49pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Capt. Sensiblé says...

Games like Grand Theft Auto and COD were pretty much designed for generations X and Y, whom can appreciate and understand the tongue-in-cheek humour and homages to famous films etc - they are not designed for lazy parents to use as a babysitting aid. If the Head is concerned, maybe she should be telling the parents to let their kids go outside and play physical games with each other, instead of placating them with the internet or video games which they don't understand fully.
Games like Grand Theft Auto and COD were pretty much designed for generations X and Y, whom can appreciate and understand the tongue-in-cheek humour and homages to famous films etc - they are not designed for lazy parents to use as a babysitting aid. If the Head is concerned, maybe she should be telling the parents to let their kids go outside and play physical games with each other, instead of placating them with the internet or video games which they don't understand fully. Capt. Sensiblé
  • Score: 0

1:11am Sat 2 Feb 13

sound_man says...

Violent football players are hardly new!
Violent computer games aren't new and I have not heard of police officer blaming games like Gran Turismo for a rise in speeding offences.

Personally I feel it's down to poor disapline at schools and in the home.
I'll concede that i feel violence is glamourised by the media and not enough reporting of violence is put in the media, only the initial "scuffle" on many occasions
Violent football players are hardly new! Violent computer games aren't new and I have not heard of police officer blaming games like Gran Turismo for a rise in speeding offences. Personally I feel it's down to poor disapline at schools and in the home. I'll concede that i feel violence is glamourised by the media and not enough reporting of violence is put in the media, only the initial "scuffle" on many occasions sound_man
  • Score: 0

9:05am Sat 2 Feb 13

george smith says...

To see how bad parenting is, you should watch parents outside schools in their cars. Those with 4 x4s are the worst. Selfish to the core, its me me me. Not suprised to hear they sit them down with computer games at a young age, less bother than reading with them. When they get older they will send them down the park with cheap cider and twitter on about rights of passage. We really do need to stop paying people to have kids.
To see how bad parenting is, you should watch parents outside schools in their cars. Those with 4 x4s are the worst. Selfish to the core, its me me me. Not suprised to hear they sit them down with computer games at a young age, less bother than reading with them. When they get older they will send them down the park with cheap cider and twitter on about rights of passage. We really do need to stop paying people to have kids. george smith
  • Score: 0

9:23am Sat 2 Feb 13

anonymous coward says...

I assume this is poor Argus reporting and that the headteacher is aware that multiple studies have failed to find any correlation between "violent" games and violence.

Presumably the headteacher's concern is that kids too young to recognise the consequences of their mimicry are being exposed to examples of inappropriate behaviour.

This of course applies to Eastenders as much as Call of Duty.
I assume this is poor Argus reporting and that the headteacher is aware that multiple studies have failed to find any correlation between "violent" games and violence. Presumably the headteacher's concern is that kids too young to recognise the consequences of their mimicry are being exposed to examples of inappropriate behaviour. This of course applies to Eastenders as much as Call of Duty. anonymous coward
  • Score: 0

9:25am Sat 2 Feb 13

anonymous coward says...

@theleftygiraffe

No, no, he's not being sarcastic at all. The relationship between violence and those who fail to appreciate the calming strains of Kris Kristofferson is well understood.
@theleftygiraffe No, no, he's not being sarcastic at all. The relationship between violence and those who fail to appreciate the calming strains of Kris Kristofferson is well understood. anonymous coward
  • Score: 0

10:59am Sun 3 Feb 13

whereisthe...? says...

About time PARENTS took responsibility instead of letting their precious little 'flowers' 'express themselves' by beating other kids up, bullying, or being disruptive.


And since a vast number of these families are single parents, we can conclude they are more likely to be women, since men traditionally don't get custody. And in Brighton, there is a much higher percentage of single parent mothers then in the rest of the U.K.


So let's cut the waffle and say it like it is.


Its about time single parent mother's were told to get off their backsides, take responsibility, and start ACTING their ages, and learn to actually BEHAVE like an adult for a change. (Not all act immaturely, thankfully; yet too many do so)


But no. That won't happen. Because the last taboo in society today is ANYTHING remotely critical of women. We are not even allowed to discuss it in society!! Instead any points worth making get shouted down by tired, clichéd insults of 'misogynist, cant get a girlfriend, etc.'

Pity. So immature. But I guess that's what one would expect from such women.
About time PARENTS took responsibility instead of letting their precious little 'flowers' 'express themselves' by beating other kids up, bullying, or being disruptive. And since a vast number of these families are single parents, we can conclude they are more likely to be women, since men traditionally don't get custody. And in Brighton, there is a much higher percentage of single parent mothers then in the rest of the U.K. So let's cut the waffle and say it like it is. Its about time single parent mother's were told to get off their backsides, take responsibility, and start ACTING their ages, and learn to actually BEHAVE like an adult for a change. (Not all act immaturely, thankfully; yet too many do so) But no. That won't happen. Because the last taboo in society today is ANYTHING remotely critical of women. We are not even allowed to discuss it in society!! Instead any points worth making get shouted down by tired, clichéd insults of 'misogynist, cant get a girlfriend, etc.' Pity. So immature. But I guess that's what one would expect from such women. whereisthe...?
  • Score: 0

1:15pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Duckorange says...

I don't think I could ever send my kids to that school. For the love of God, the sign's in Comic Sans
I don't think I could ever send my kids to that school. For the love of God, the sign's in Comic Sans Duckorange
  • Score: 0

10:00pm Tue 5 Feb 13

willsaywhattheythink says...

I think it is really bad when a head has to take the credit for something she didn't come up with in the first place. I'm sure I saw it in the nursery newsletter before I got it from meeching. Maybe she needs to get her staff under control before looking at the children .
I think it is really bad when a head has to take the credit for something she didn't come up with in the first place. I'm sure I saw it in the nursery newsletter before I got it from meeching. Maybe she needs to get her staff under control before looking at the children . willsaywhattheythink
  • Score: 0

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