What would you do if someone decapitated the enemy in front of your kindergardener?

WARNING: Video contents show game violence, game rated at 12+ on iTunes.

When we travel, I pack video games to keep the kiddies entertained. But the knife cuts both ways — in my daughter’s case, the Samurai sword.

We were seated across the center row of seats and a man in front of us was immersed in the graphic video game Samurai II. Not my kind of entertainment, and certainly not a game I would ever let my five-year-old play. But there he was, plugged into a headset, slashing off arms, digital blood splattering across his screen.

And she was enthralled. Quickly I reviewed my options:

Option 1: Ask the nice man busy violently slashing Samurai style to stop playing his game.

Option 2: Ask the flight attendant to end the bloodshed until the aircraft pulled up to the gate.

Option 3: Swap seats with my daughter and attempt to engage her until he finished his game, while ignoring the gore-fest myself.

Please note that the gamer has rights, which I recognize. And a quick check on iTunes rates the game as suitable for ages 12+. But we’re in a public space and there were other young kids on this flight.

I don’t see a winning option. Either way one of us is going to be left feeling uncomfortable. So tell me, what would you do? I’ll reveal what I did in an update later today. Unless one of my kids figures out how to leave a comment.

UPDATE: I was shocked when this happened! I felt uncomfortable and wasn’t sure what to do. Sometimes the heat of the moment intensifies our response, clouds our judgement and makes the right path unclear. It didn’t help that we were crowded on a plane. Like so many of you suggested, I took the easy way out and switched seats with my daughter. We talked about our favorite games and the subject dropped.

What would you do if someone was playing a violent video game in sight of your child?

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Kari Haugeto

Kari is a serial entrepreneur with an education addiction and a profound curiosity that, more often then not, fuels some pretty incredible adventures. Currently her attention is focused on social and digital media technology and she is developing a project with her family of five and a variety of sponsors to share their cross-country adventures online in an interactive, socially responsible, educational and authentic manner.


  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    I know the answer!

    • http://www.facebook.com/haugeto Kari Astrid Haugeto

      Shhhhh!

  • Nikki

    Yikes! – I think I might have switched seats and found something else to distract her… My mom’s method of distracting me (during plane rides) was to ask me to read one of my books to her. I’m pretty sure she would have switched seats on top of that.

  • Glenn

    I think there have been cases where the flight attendants have asked people to not watch their porn videos on board a plane…. seems like an extremely graphic violence game would fall under the same category. And what about the 3 year old sitting 2 rows behind you, whose parents didn’t notice the game?

    I voted ‘ask the flight attendant to intervene’.