Tuesday, December 07, 2004

PG games

When I saw that the American Academy of Pediatrics had advised not letting kids watch televised sports unless accompanied by an adult, I naturally assumed that we were in for another round of hand-wringing about Janet Jackson and Nicolette Sheridan. But no: It's not sex at all that's inspired the pediatrician's warning, but violence. And not even violence on the field or in the ring -- violence in the commercials. The doctors' research found that fully one in five ads broadcast during sporting events depicts some form of dangerous behavior. And as it turns out, watching three straight hours of come-ons for beer and shoot-'em-ups, broken up by the occasional bone-crunching bit of game-play, can be harmful for young viewers. Who knew?

It's all well and good, I suppose, to suggest a little parental guidance for kids watching the game on the tube. But I gotta ask: If the adult in question spends most of the time getting drunk and yelling at athletes to kill one another, is it still better for kids to watch with a grown-up than alone? The pediatricians of America might want to think on that for a bit.

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