Violent games on the OLPC Activities page

Noah Kantrowitz kantrn at
Thu Jan 17 21:26:46 EST 2008

On Jan 17, 2008, at 7:36 PM, Arnd Bergmann wrote:

> On Friday 18 January 2008, Edward Cherlin wrote:
>> I see no point in OLPC
>> arguing with either governments or families about their rights in
>> these matters. Others may wish to, but that is no part of the  
>> question
>> before us.
> I think this is exactly the point. Distributing violent games to
> minors is a violation of the law in many countries, so you just can't
> do it unless you start adding filters by IP-address or similar.

Like I said before, if you (where "you" can mean any body up to and  
including a government) do not want your children to find (violence| 
porn|etc) do not let them anywhere near a computer. It just won't  
work, kids are remarkably good at finding ways to do exactly what  
their elders tell them not to.

I would never try to claim that we should force things like Doom or  
sex ed books into the standard software image, legal or not. What we  
are talking about is the closest thing we have to an official  
aggregation point for 3rd party software. I don't see why breaking  
this up by tags (some of which can be things like "PG13") isn't a good  
enough solution. We all know kids will seek this stuff out no matter  
what, lets at least do it in a controlled way.

Another things worth mentioning is that while OLPC is an education  
project, games and play can be a big part of that. Doom is still  
talked about today precisely because of how enjoyable a game  
experience it is. I won't try to argue the violence-in-games-leads-to- 
violence-in-real-life case either way, but suffice to say that the  
jury is very far out.


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