Video games are a bit of a touchy subject. Thought of as the work of the devil by one side, and praised as being art by the other.
But what's the real story? Are video games bad for you? Will they make kids want to go around shooting their neighbours? Of course not, that's just silly. On the other hand, however, we can't deny that young children would be affected by the type of... "conversations" that occur in a typical match of Halo over Xbox Live. Sexism, racism and just pure stupidity that is being constantly spewed out by 14 year old boys who just hit puberty.
There's even a push out there to make the sale of games to people under the rating body's age limit illegal, made popular by the infamous Jack Thompson. As a gamer, I feel that stupid, but you can't deny that some restrictions would do both the video game industry and us gamers some good.
The age restrictions put out by bodies like the ESRB and PEGI are completely unreasonable, though. Saying that only someone that is 17 years of age or older could handle the mind-melting properties of Call of Duty is just absurd. A 15 year old playing the Gears of War campaign won't be transformed into a blood-thirsty gun maniac, but at the same time we need to shield impressionable (and stupid) children from the types of chat that goes on over Xbox Live.
To conclude, this is a complex issue that requires a complex solution, but something must be done about it. Us gamers aren't gun-toting murderers waiting to happen, and nor are we immature kids who laugh at the word "tit", and the world needs to see that. Let's not allow people that have never played a game in their lives to distribute their fear-based propaganda.