I found an article about how violence in video games can effect children, As a parent myself I wouldn't dream of letting my 9 year old play any game over 7 plus unless I had played it first and was absolutely sure that it was appropriate, I mean the age rating on games is there for a reason so I don't understand why so many parents allow there children to play such games. I guess video games are just a free babysitter, and that to me is wrong, subjecting a child to inappropriate content surely will affect them, there actions and the way they look at the world.
I myself have relatives and neighbours that let there children who are as young as 4, play games such as grand theft auto, which involves the beating and killing of women, and there attitude towards women is totally different to that of a child that has never experienced this kind of interactive crap. (my son).
These games can easily be restricted by parents but what about the free games you get online? that can be accessed by anyone, I suppose the only solution is to limit your child's online activity or restrict it completely.
This is hard in a day and age when accessing the Internet is so easy, children can do it from there handheld games consoles (newer Nintendo DSi's allow the user to browse the web).
here is an extract from that article,
Today there are a lot of games—many of them available for free—that make no bones about spewing racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic beliefs, often wrapped in attempts at humor. Many are quite simple. In The Suicide Bombing Game, players use a computer mouse to direct an Arab suicide bomber along a city street, timing the explosion to maximize the carnage. After each explosion, the scoreboard lists the numbers of men, women and children killed and injured by the blast. The start page of the game shows a caricature of the late Yassir Arafat; all of the people killed on the street except the suicide bomber are white.