How old should your kids be to play Call of Duty?

I’ve got a parenting dilemma to share with you today….

A few weeks ago, my oldest son Kyle went over to a friend’s house to play with a 5th grade buddy.  While he was there, I took the rest of the kids to my daughters’ dance class, and then to pick up another son from chess, and I must not have paid any attention to my cell phone.  When I picked Kyle up from his buddy’s house, the Mom mentioned to me that she had tried to reach me on my cell phone, to ask if it would be okay for Kyle to play “COD” with her son on the XBox.

Realizing how not-with-it I am in the realm of tween boys…  I just looked at her blankly…  “Umm…  cod?  I’m not sure what that is…”  And the Mom proceeded to explain that it was a video game called “Call of Duty” which is a military war game kind of thing, and the goal is for your guy to take out the opposition.  And it’s really not “too graphic” or anything…. But since they were unable to reach me, Kyle and her son just played some other games on the XBox instead.

A parenting dilemma: How old should your kids be to play Call of Duty?

Hmm….  sounds like a little research is in order hereHow old should your kids be to play Call of Duty?

So I first turned to another good friend of mine who has twin sons in the 5th grade to get her take on the matter.  I was surprised to learn that her hubby had purchased the “Call of Duty- Black Ops” game for her boys for Christmas.  The boys know they are not allowed to play it when their younger (3 year old) sister is in the room…  so they wait until she goes to bed.  She explained that the game comes with some sort of levels of control- where you can decide the level of explicit play (I suppose referring to language and graphic violence).  She said that she and her husband set it to the most explicit level to test it out when her boys weren’t around, so they could see how “bad” the game could get….  and she said while the language was indeed colorful- it wasn’t too over the top….  and the violence was video game violence- shooting but without blood and gore (I think).

She went on to talk about another feature of the XBox console (we are Wii people here at the Rowley house)… is that you connect online to other XBox players.  So her boys connect with their older cousin and can play the game against each other.  She mentioned that when you do this, you can hear the people you are connecting to speaking (you are not just hearing the game)….  so her nephew is cautious about playing the game with her sons if her nephew has his older friends visiting at the time (I guess to reign in their own colorful language!)

So I have to admit- at this point I am kind of thinking….  a violent video game that is about killing people, and a game console that allows my kids to connect to other people online and talk to them, while I am not necessarily in the room overseeing this….  so far, I’m not liking this.

Let’s dig a little further….

I go out to Amazon to look at the “Call of Duty-Black Ops” game, and I see that the rating on it is “Mature”.  What does that mean exactly?  Well according to the Entertainment Software Rating Board:

Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.”

So here is the debate I have going back and forth with myself:

How do I feel about the game- it’s rating and it’s content?  (What are my family values as it relates to this?)

Well, I don’t feel very good about “Call of Duty” to be honest.  I really don’t think my 10 year old should be playing video games where the sole purpose is to kill people- using tactical Cold-War era weaponry.  If this were a movie about war, I don’t think I would be showing it to him…  so why is a video game any different?

How do I feel about my son’s maturity level in this area? (Every kid is unique in what they can handle, right?)

Actually, I feel that my son is pretty mature, and he can see something like this, and play the game, and know that killing is wrong, etc.  I don’t see him taking what he sees here and play-acting it with his siblings.  I also don’t think he would play this game and end up with nightmares or new worries about real wars and conflicts.

And what about his social implications?

I know that I don’t want to be the restrictive Mom raising the sheltered kid here.  As much as this game does not align with my personal values, I don’t want to bar him from playing completely- because forbidden fruit is desired that much more.  And I certainly do not want to overlook “the cool factor”- I don’t want him to be the uncool kid in school because his Mom won’t let him see more mature movies, play mature video games, and so on.

What did I eventually decide to do?

Kyle and I (and Steve) sat down and discussed why we are not thrilled with the idea of this game…  that we think violence-based video games are not great fits for 10-year olds, and that violence in general is just wrong.  BUT……  we understand why he would want to play a game at his friend’s house, and find out for himself what “all of the other kids at school are talking about”…  and that he would and should be naturally curious as to what the big deal is all about.  So we will allow him to play it at his friend’s house if he chooses.  And Kyle knows that we will never (at least not for many years) own this type of a game at our home because he has so many younger siblings.

So please weigh in.  Do you think that I made the right decision?  What would you do…. stick to your guns (pun intended!) regarding your own family values, or give in to the social pressure to let him try out the game?


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  1. Meredith says

    I’m totally with you on this. We don’t allow those games in our house and have made it clear we don’t even want them played at their friends houses; although both of my oldest have played it at one time or another while at a friends house. Stick to your family values all the way!!!!!

    • Anonymous says

      I also disagree there is a setting where u can turn gore and blood f and if u are playing online u can mute the people if u are worried about violence don’t let him play the campaign

    • says

      From a kids point of view they see there friends play COD and they also see how much they like it so they want to join in on the fun if you think your child is not ready than wait a few years if you think they are test them with a teen rated video game such as destiny if they react fine then test them with COD if they can’t take it then leave them with the teen rated game if they can take it then make sure the young sibling are not in the room while there playing

    • zoey says

      Saying that you can do it at a friends house but not at your own is sending horrible mixed messages. You can’t drink here but go to your friends house, as long as I don’t know. Either it is allowed in your family or not, just make the choice

  2. Tracey says

    I would have done the same thing as you. I think having that conversation with your son was so smart. I agree not in my home but I also agree forbidden fruit makes things seem more desirable than they really are. Compromise is good when it is on the parents terms.

    • Anonymous says

      I disagree completely I’m on Xbox live playing COD every day & I hear so many kids who are 10 (& even younger) playing & cussing so much over there headsets. I may be 18 now but when I was 10 I was playing much more violent games than COD. Just let him play it it’s not real it’s all fake.

      • says

        I appreciate what you are saying that it is fake and not real… and it’s not that I fear that playing COD is going to turn my son or anyone else into real-life violent criminals. It’s just that I don’t think we need to “go there” yet…. he doesn’t need to be playing live with other kids “cussing” over the headsets. That day will come- it just doesn’t need to be today.

        • Joseph says

          I was 10 when i first played halo ( halo is a much more fun shooter in which you kill aliens in the campaign not humans and in the multiplier you can kill either humans or aliens depending on the players choice of player skin) and i think 10-12 is a good age to get into the violent games. After all its not really any different then playing with Nerf guns at the age of 6 so i think it is ok. However don’t allow online play until the person is 12-14 as there is no language filter and your kid will hear a lot of author kids saying f++k n++++r s++t b+++h and may other swears (most kids that do this are 6-8).

      • Family Person says

        Anonymous, you just proved the point that 10 year old children should NOT be playing Call of Duty. You hear them cussing over their headsets? Really? And that’s appropriate behavior for a 10 year old? Apparently the access to violent video games that you have had has only proven that you are unable to discern unacceptable behavior in children.

        • Cameron says

          Look I get that your all mad but anonymous is right it’s just a game i bet you parents swear more then the game! Trust me i now.when all of you says its to violent. Come on there boys they like stuff like cod and stuff like that.when you start to bleed do you over react and says omg it’s so gory and violent.NO I bet when you were kids you all did stupid stuff like riding your bike up a realy steap and and high hill and you fell down the hill but its not a big deal your still alive,and cod is no different there’s. blood so what,when you cut yourself you se blood it’s no…big…deal

  3. says

    For most families, I think kids should reach at least 6th grade before being exposed to any movies or games of this nature.

    However, there are instances where this is ok for younger kids, in my opinion. For example, my husband was program manager for several years on a project to develop game based training tools for the military. It was not uncommon for his employees to bring in their kids to play each level before it was modified for its specific training application and therefore marked as confidential. They were four boys and one girl ranging in age from 7-13. Scenes were often similar to COD, but these kids are also well versed in all things military.

    Basically I’m saying it depends on what you want for your family. No one else can make the decision for you and your family.

  4. says

    My son is in 9th grade now, but I believe I got him his first COD game in maybe the 7th grade? I watched for a while, I even played it, although I am terrible with the controller thing, and I have to say that it is not as bad as I thought it was going to be. There’s definitely violence. There’s some fake blood. There is no offensive language that I can remember unless they are on xBox live and hooked up to other people.

    Let me also just say, as a teacher, the kids are hearing worse things at school – if they attend public school, maybe even private school – than they hear on xBox live. We can only keep them sheltered so long. They have to be exposed to the real world at some time so they don’t experience total culture shock later.

    I didn’t let my son play M games when he was in fifth grade. My sister didn’t let my nephew play them (at least not at her house) until he was 17. I thought that was a bit drastic.

    I think if you are an involved parent who talks to your child and stays involved in all aspects of his life, the video game rating should probably not be a big issue once they reach about age 12. It depends on the maturity level of your child, also. So, in 5th grade, I don’t think I would be comfortable with it, but as they get into middle school, a little freedom is okay. Just my opinion.

  5. Cesar says

    In my personal opinion just let him play it. The language isn’t a problem, most 10 year olds here more cursing in school daily than the average rated R movie. Blood and gore can always be censored.

  6. BlackBeltMom says

    I teach my kids to seek out better choices where available but allow them to decide after knowing how I feel. I don’t like to foster violence in boys. It carries over to other areas of their lives. Killing is senseless even if it is simulated. Overexposure to it makes it seem less wrong. Who hasn’t left a violent movie and felt like its main character was justified even though a trail of bodies was left in his wake? The video game issue is an ongoing issue at our house too. 🙂

    • Michael says

      I understand what you are trying to say but as a gamer I can assure you that being desensitised to killing doesn’t mean that we actually want to kill. The reason why we like movies with gigantic body counts is simply because it’s fun to watch awesome fight scenes or of sword fights/gun fights and like so very many people will tell you normal kids KNOW that it’s fake and simply take it as just that and nothing more. On top of that being desensitised isn’t really a bad thing these days what with all the horrible things in the world these days that are far worse than any movie or videogame. If you try and shelter your kids from the world than when they hear that Isis is decapitating people simply over religion would you rather them panic and cower in the feral position because they haven’t been prepared for the horrible things that happen or would you want them to say that it’s horrible that in the year 2015 things like this still happen

      I myself have a 15 year old who I let watch and play any video game he pleases because slowly over time he has learnt that it is just a game. He has no desire to go and shoot up a school or other horrible things people blame on games like cod because he has played cod

      I’m sorry if you disagree with this but it really is the truth

  7. Anonymous says

    Your an idiot let kids be kids it’s not like he’s going to go on a rampage killing spree it’s a video game so I think you should let him play it

  8. anonymous says

    If you’re really worried about your kids talking to other people who are swearing or yelling other profanities, you can turn communication off with everyone except the people they’re friends with on Xbox.

    • says

      Thanks for the tip. But it is more than just the communication with others while playing… it is the entire game that is about violence that is my main objection. (But I love all of the discussion that this post is getting- I like hearing other people’s opinions).

  9. Sarah says

    I loved this…and was shocked at how many people said “oh just let him play, he hears it at school anyways.” Kids are going to see and hear all kinds of things at school and out in the world. Does that mean that we are free to act however we choose at home just because they’ll eventually see it anyways? Kids will see lying, cheating stealing…kids will hear swearing. Does this mean you swear at your kids. I would say, without a second thought, that the 5th grade is too young for a game that is not sold to someone under 17. You probably wouldn’t take him to an r-rated movie. Is it going to make him violent…probably not. But agree with you 100%, why even go there yet?

    • says

      I agree with your point of view completely! Just because inappropriate language is “out there” and violence is “out there” doesn’t mean that I should welcome it into my home with open arms! I am not saying “No- not ever!”… I am saying “No- not now.” I know that my children will grow up and over time these choices will become theirs to make. But for right now, I am the parent and I get to set the rules that work for my family…. and other families have the right to do as they see fit too!

      • Jack says

        I am 11 and i do not play any violent video games! Even if you turn gore and blood off its still there just less. My mom says its inapropriate. I agree! The game is +17 for a reason!

  10. Susan says

    I am so over COD, my 10 year old son has been begging me for a year to buy him a game. I do normally give in and buy them things (because I can’t stand the persistent nagging), but I will not give in to COD. I have never played the game, nor do I want to, but I do believe their is a reason it is rated M. I am well aware my son plays it at his friends houses (all of whom have older brothers), but I don’t want it in my house because I also have a 9 year old daughter and an 8 year old son. I think its probably more appropriate for a 13-14 year old

    • says


      I know a 5 yr old boy who has Call of Duty MW3 and is prestiged on it, it is NOT inapropriate, kids have got to learn about life, and if you don’t let them have 18+ games, well, that make them the un-coolest kid in the class.

      I DO go against GTA though, you can see girls’/boys’ middles, I think thats a bit too realistic, if kids want a game like GTA i would advise getting Saints Row The Third

      • Anonymous says

        I agree that you shouldnt wait to be 18+. Adults should NOT play video games, because they have a lot of responsibilities, and a job. Younger teens or Tweens are still young enough that they have time to play without neglecting their responsiblities, whereas most adults don’t.

    • Goarge says

      No Of course Not! Kids just act violent because there parents never taught them whats right and whats wrong

  11. says

    My 6 yr. old son has, without my knowing it, been introduced to this game by his 5 yr. old friends 13 yr old brother. He loves it and I’m not thrilled about the idea of him loving a game that involves killing in any manner. He has asked me repeatedly to buy him this game. He’s 6. Surely this cannot be appropriate no matter what controls you put on the game, i.e., turning off blood graphics and language. I’m not sure how to get him to stop liking a game like this especially when he is at an age where he looks up to young adults like this 13 yr. old boy. He watches i carly and jessie all the time. So anyone else care to comment about this issue? How young is too young to be introduced to real life issues?

    • says

      Melinda- I agree… putting limits on age=appropriate things is easier to do with your oldest, or with a child who does not have friends with older siblings. But once the influence of older kids comes into play…. all of your best intentions get rocked by the realization that everything is not in your control! I think (as in all parenting dilemmas) that you have to do what you think is best. And if you think that this is the wrong game for your 6 year old son, then you tell him he can’t play it- and your house or at his friend’s house.

      • anonymous4545 says

        why let your child play video games anyway they are a waste of time it distracts them in school and get you nothing in life. who cares if your not allowed to play videos games just focus on education and it will pay off later in life unlike video games. so why let him play anyway and call of duty is not the best game anyway. educational games are fun too.

        • Ethan says

          Are you kidding me? Video games get you know where in life? There are millionaires off of playing video games. There is a call of duty tournament every year for 400 thousand dollars. Go on YouTube and look. There are sponsorships and tournaments and YouTube plays a role in it too. You can make tons of money off of cod.

  12. HELLO says

    Call of Duty is actually a way for children to relive stress, without any physical or verbal violence. Now the worst it can get is Modern Warfare 2. When you have to go into an airport and gun down innocent people. In Black Ops you go through a jungle village in Vietnam and kill people while they sleep, by slitting their throats. I believe that these should not be viewed by children. But if your child is around 13 or 14 while every other one of their friends has it… it’s probably okay.

  13. Kristy says

    I came across this post while looking for some rating and feed back about Black Ops. My nephew who just turned 5 brought COD Black Ops with his DS today and has it on his PS3 at home. He wants to play it with my son who is 6, so my son is begging me to let him play it. To find that this game is rated M (17+) I am slightly appalled that they are allowed to play it. I am a gamer myself and I like Shooters a lot… but graphically intense violence and gore added with intense language is NOT what I would permit a pre-schooler and Kindergartener to play!

    My son just had a run in with a child across the street whispering cuss words to him and flipping him off and telling him what it all means to which my son whispered back “stupid” and “oh my God”, because in our house THOSE are bad words! This other kid who is doing this to my child is 7 years old. This child who is 7 yeas old also plays Grand Theft Auto and has requested I let my kids come over and play with him.. UH NO! Where is your filter parents?! How do you allow your child to play games like this that are rated for adults basically? Saying that children should be allowed to play these games or be exposed to it because they will one day get exposed to it anyway, is like sitting down with your young child and watching a porno with them for the sake of saying one day they will see it anyhow. It is totally wrong and they are NOT ready for it and there is a reason they have ratings!

    My little 5 year old nephew walks around pretending to shoot people all the time and throwing grenades at them and makes slit his throat motions all the time. Yeah… Not my kids, not my house, and they will NOT go into anyone elses house either. They will invite their friends to THEIR house, where they are SUPERVISED and have VALUES.

    Why not toss them the keys to the car and tell them to buckle up and drive safe while you’re at it for the sake of being uncool… everyone else does it why shouldn’t they?

    Because you LOVE your kids and you want more for them than just a vocabulary made up of 4 letter words. My 13 year old son does not play this game or use the internet or play multiplayer ANYTHING that will expose him to foul language, pornography, disrespect and disobedience. No thank you. (on a side note my 13 year old is also developmentally delayed and is not your average 13 year old either, so it’s like feeding him to the wolves because he is 13 and of an age that he should be able to handle it when really he is more like 7 years old.)

    I will protect my kids, not shelter them, and teach them right from wrong. The more talks you have with your kids, the better prepared and able they will be when handling this stuff when they have to.

    • says

      Well said Kristy! And you are right… I could never go along with allowing my kids to view this stuff simply because someday they will see it anyway! That is just non-parenting if you ask me. I am glad to hear that you are sticking with your own values and working hard to raise your children by them.

      • Anonymous says

        It’s not that they will eventually see it. It’s that they probably already have. If they want cod they want it for multiplayer which is not nearly as bad as campaign and chances are if they are in fifth grade they already cuss or have friends that do. When I was in fourth grade everyone was always talking about sex and always using bad words. They didn’t know what any of it meant but I’m sure your kid has already heard enough at school that he should play the game. If your still worried go on YouTube and look up call of duty gameplay as watch a vid or two

    • Anonymous says

      I agree with you. Violent video games should Ben played after children are taught what is WRONG, AND WHAT OT RIGHT. WHAT IS REAL AND WHAT IS FAKE. After that the video games shouldn’t effect them.

  14. Anonymous says

    I find it amazing the number of children that found it acceptable to hurl abuse at a mother looking for advice. Interestingly under the cloak of anonymity. I’m with you on this, children should be protected, but not mollycoddled.

  15. Anonymous says

    Oh yes… And the fact I posted that previous comment as anonymous, and this one too should not be lost (although I doubt they appreciate the irony) on the abusive trolls!

  16. yola vadim says

    This is non-sense. Americans are very restrictive. I allow my child to play call of duty and other rated M games and it doesn’t and never did it affect his behavior at all. stop blaming games, social this or that on your child being violent or not. it’s either in him or it’s not. games has nothing to do with it.

  17. Agree says

    I agree with how you handled it- I do the same thing. I say you can play it at a friends house for the same reasons you talk about but it is not allowed in our home.

    I bought one game once that was rated M and now that is what I hear every time he asks for another M rated game- BUT YOU LET ME GET XYZ.

    I did and I regret it and I won’t do it again.
    Even at the workers at the video game store have spoken to him and said those games are not for you you are to young and here are some other games you would like. I appreciated them so much!

  18. hi says

    HELLO, you can skip the modern warfare 2 level and you have the option of not killing the sleeping veit cong in black ops

  19. says

    Ok. First off. I am going to start by saying that I am 14. I know people are just going to skip this, but I would just like to say this. The game is a war game about killing others, but it isn’t very violent. Yes you are killing, but there isn’t that much blood, you basically shoot someone, and they fall down. You can’t blow off body parts or anything. You can turn of all the blood and swearing. I know how your son feels because when I was 10 my parents didn’t let me play the game. I agree when you said “forbidden fruit is desired that much more”. That is true. And the mature rating doesn’t always mean that it is bad. It really should be rated T for Teen. But then there would be too many people complaining.
    However, if your son has many siblings, you should have him play in his bedroom or somewhere in which they cannot see him play. If he doesn’t have his own bedroom, maybe have him play somewhere were the other kids won’t see. 10 years old is way younger than 17 obviously, but that doesn’t mean he can’t play it. I knew some kids who started playing violent games rated M when they were only 6. I personally think that is too young, but I didn’t see any violent behavior from him.
    Also, when I wasn’t allowed to play it, I felt left out because I had no idea what the other kids were talking about. Sometimes other kids made fun of me because I wasn’t allowed to play M games.
    I have a suggestion for you. Search this question on google and see the results. No offense to parents, but normally parents will answer these questions and only say the bad things about the game. Most of them haven’t actually played the game.
    Then, search “how to get your parents to let you play call of duty” that way, it is mostly kids who only look at the positives in the game.
    That way, you can get the 2 point of views, the good and the bad.
    Also, maybe watch some videos on youtube, it shows you the actual gameplay so you can make the decision. The game is probably not as bad as you thought.
    Thanks for posting this question. I think it is smart to get other people’s opinions on parenting.
    Anyonymous recently posted..Lets Play The Sims 3 Seasons Part 26 – Local Watering Hole

    • says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your well-written and thought-out comment! I appreciate hearing what you think… and now that my oldest son is 12 years old, I think he and I both can relate to what you had to say. He has played COD at friend’s houses, and has enjoyed learning what it is all about. But he really doesn’t mind that we don’t own a copy here at our own home. I think for him it was more important to be “in on it” than it really was to continue to play it.

    • Anonymous says

      This was very helpful to me as I am dealing with my own decision whether or not my 10 year old is ready for this game. Thank you very much for your mature response.

  20. Elizabeth says

    I will not let my 5th grader play COD, not even at a friends house. He plays video games on the wii, but mostly sports games. I too, did research on COD and it was not positive. There are many risks to playing the bad guy in this violent video game in the first person. When you watch a scary or more violent movie, most people route for the victim or the good guy. In COD, you experience what it feels like as the bad guy. Some (not all) children like this feeling of being able to KILL someone. This type of game decreases empathy in children. So many kids get obsessed and end up not being able to decipher the difference between reality and fantasy. Also, it’s always the bad kids at school that are allowed first to play this type of game. I’m not saying he will never, but not at 10. I would rather have him playing sports or reading! Think about this, the parents who don’t pay attention to the content and allow the kids too young to play these types of games are the one’s with the real problem down the road.

    • Timothy says

      Elizabeth Elizabeth Elizabeth. Were in the world did you get this information. To start off when you said that you play as a bad guy in the game YOU WERE WRONG!!! You play as good guy from the U.S. Military army against the communist U.S.S.R. during the cold war. And you also said that only bad kids play these types of games. WRONG my little brother and I play these series and he is not a bad kid every day when I see him he is nice like usual. Kids should play these types of games.

    • Anonymous says

      I am 13 years old, and my brother is 10 years and about 4 months old. My parents are basicly being forced to get my brother COD because they made a deal to get him to do something very important and for his own good. I am worried about the effect it will have on him. We already play Destiny and Star War Battlefront, but Call of Duty seems to take it to the next level, so to speak. I am trying to convince them not to get it, but my brother has wanted this game for a long time. As part of the deal, we are also getting Assasin’s Creed. Are these video game aprortiate?

  21. Definatelly not a 11 year old kid(wink)(wink) says

    I think It should be ok. Yes, I do agree with all these terms and I agree that he should not play it in the house.Wait until his siblings are mature enough, then grant him access to anything.You made a wise choice though and you should stick to it, but it is also a real bummer on the “cool” kid popularity at school since most parents allow their children to play these games at early ages. But I can suggest that he would be allowed to play in a few more years and turn off the cussing settings.I don’t really think there is really any blood or gore in it though. But one thing to keep in mind…DO NOT LET HIM PLAY BLACK OPS(next series of shooting game made by same company who made cod) or BLACK OPS 2 IN ZOMBIESMODE.Sorry, I had to emphasize it because it was important. I’m a little of a gamer and this is one of the games I play. I don’t suggest zombies mode because it contains zombies(obviously) and could give some younger kids nightmares because of all the craziness and creepiness in it.

  22. Jack says

    Who wants to see people making love ! Well its in cod! Scary zombies with blood everywhere! It would give kids nightmares!

  23. Ben says

    I’m a 13 year old boy and I would just like to give some insight on the learning factor of these games. I believe that 10 years old is too young but by the time you are a teen it can really give you an understanding of the world and make you a more mature person. I love video games and I don’t think they induce violence in children but I do see your reasoning and respect your opinion. I have a friend who is sheltered by his mother and he is truely miserable and is just learning about the world, I feel very bad for him. Thank you for reading my opinion and I hope you are not sheltering your child too much because that can really hurt a person developmentally.

  24. Anonymous says

    well im 11 and my brother is 12 do u think my parents are over protective because we cant play the game until we are 15 im just wondering if its better to play it whilhanks!e your 12 or like 17 im just wondering t

  25. says

    if your son is mature enough just let him get the game and play it at night when the little kidz our in bed jeez this is what my mom always worries about.also like i play with kids that our heard me.they have it cuss free.

  26. Peter Bosco says

    I can understand both sides of this as i have been playing games all my life. What i can tell you is that the violence in Call of Duty will not turn your son into a cold blooded killer. What i believe Call of Duty does though is makes the kids under the age limit more susceptible to becoming rebellious. Not in a bad way though, they can find out who they are when they play and come up with their own opinions on what their views. I meet many people online and many are great friends while others aren’t so fantastic. Violence is never a good thing, but it does help mold them and while the choice is rightfully up to the parent who has the power to buy the games, having him make his own decisions with things can definitely help mold him into being more able on the internet. The internet can be a very terrifying place, worse than what you may find on xbox live, but he will find his way eventually to it, so may as well help him understand what he can find on it, especially when it comes to being social whether it is games or social media.

  27. Andrew Stincic says

    Hello, I am 15 years old and I hope to buy Call of Duty: Black Ops on my Xbox 360. Even though I own numerous other first person shooters, my parents (mostly my mom) wont let me get this game due to the stupid M rating on the cover. I tried using every excuse including:

    I can turn off the blood/gore

    I can turn off the language

    I am allowed to watch certain R rated movies

    I intend on using my own funds

    Had there not been the turn off blood/language filter, this request would never exist. This could be my final shot. This is my most desperate hour. Help me mom of six, you are my only hope.

  28. Anonymous says

    I think you should DEFINETLY be able to play! you are only 2 years under age. I think when your 13 you should have it.

  29. Anonymous says

    wow my friend is 10 and he plays does any of your friends own the game? if they do that is a good excuse!

  30. Anonymous says

    I played cull of duty when I wuz ate and I turned out to be real smart. just lets the kid play, he will get smart from the game. video games make kidz smarter cuz they learn about stuff.

  31. Anonymous says

    I am sixteen, and my mom doesn’t let me play anything above E. I am a nerd and study all of the time and read books every night. My mother says I can play Call of Duty when I am over twenty one.

    • Andrew Stincic says

      I Actually do own an older Call of Duty game. I have logged a total of 100 combined hours playing multiplayer alone. So far, I have not seen my grades drop. I do know people who have become jerks thanks to Call of Duty.

  32. Idiot Man says

    Sharon, you are the STUPIDEST purson in the world. You are just another overprotective parent. All the parents say is, ” Oh my gosh, we have siblings! ” Holy crap, seriously, who cares about siblings!

    • Andrew Stincic says

      Some of us here don’t have siblings, and have arguably more restrictive parents (including yours truly). I think Sharon is quite generous with her children. Sharon is willing to let her children play such games at a friend’s house. I am not allowed to do that.

      To all of those who are allowed to play M-rated games at a friends house but are not allowed to own them: You have NOTHING to complain about. Sharon has common sense and is willing to let her children have fun. Now, all I have to do is show mom all the previous stuff i have written.

  33. ChiKen Nuggutt says

    Its the chiken nugget guy again. seriously call of duty is bad for your brain, don’t let anyone play it I have heard it make your brain blow up.

  34. .... says

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  35. Oh Snap! says

    Guys, don’t go on this website. Don’t be an unfortunate victim like me. Sharon’s website is designed to infect your computer with malware, including Trojan Horse virus. This website recently infected my computer and stole the ten dollars I had in my bank account.

  36. Josiah Bobaob says

    Call of Duty is the most scary game I have ever played. There are scary dragons and monsters that run around and shoot fire at you. It is so scary I had nightmares for a month.

  37. Anonymous says

    this game COD has no dragons or monsters. but don’t buy him MW3 it has TONS of blood and gore

  38. Mehaha says

    If you want me to be perfectly honest, i’m 13 and play this game on a weekly basis. My mom agrees with you to an extent, but won’t let me play it yet. ( i can play it at my aunts!) I recieved the Playstation 3 for christmas 2 years ago from my aunt and the first game i got was Call of Duty black ops. Knowing my mom didn’t like me playing war games I reluctantly brought it home. I turned it on and immediatley got fussed at. So i took it back to my aunts. If you ask me, call of duty is a way to relieve stress and have fun! I mean, I can distinguish the difference between “real life” and “fake” and was taught not to do or say these things. Ive played this game and have learned that it’s not “really” violent. To be honest I dont even think im killing people. Like many have said, whether you want your child do be “away” from all the evil in this world, or not, (well lets just put it like this) there is no possible way you can send your kid to a pub or priv school without them being showered with “evil”. I did some research myself and came across an “fbi” report, and it stated that ” video games dont cause violence, it fuels whats already there.” Like many have said there is an option to where you can reduce the profane language and gore. Also if he doesn’t have a mic it would be better so he doesnt speak to these 16+ year olds as they would speak to them. People are mean in this game.BUT! There is an option mute all of them. If you ask me if I had a child i would say wait until you are 12-13. But it depends on the maturity of your child! I really hope you read this and I didn’t mean to say i’m right and your wrong but we are all entitled to our own opinion. Thanks

  39. KobTor says

    When ur 12 yrs old it should be fine to play these games but the 12 yr old has to be responsible and knows it’s not real, not the real world. So yeh as long as they understand and they’re sensible ok? 🙂

  40. KobTor says

    Plus I’m 11, I play these type of games and I’m sensible so my parents trust me and my b days soon so it should be fine

  41. ANONYMOUS says

    I am 14 years old and while I do not currently own a copy of Call Of Duty, i have played it numerous times at various friends’ houses. I don’t think Call of Duty or ‘COD’ is very bad for children aged 10+. I do however think that the concept of the game is not suitable for children below the age of 10. COD isn’t at all very realistic and really the only thing i can find that people may be offended by is the language which is present in single-player and online play. This however, can be easily stopped by either; only playing with friends online (which most people do anyway), turning down the volume or i think, you can switch off the bad language.

    I think parents shouldn’t be so harsh as to ban thee games ESPECIALLY if the child is in their teens. Knowing someone is not allowed to play these games even at a a friends house makes them look REALLY ‘uncool’ (no one says that anymore).

    If the child is under 10, it’s fine to not let them play it (unless you think they’re mature enough) but if they’re in their teens then i think any parent that doesn’t allow it is kidding themselves.

    The truth is, kids do have a sudden urge to kill someone after playing these games and there is NO EVIDENCE to prove otherwise.

    Hope this helps!

  42. Anonymous says

    I’m 14 years old and I own a copy of call of duty and I do agree with the fact kids as young as ten should be playing M rated games at that age obviously you are not going to be there all the time for your child and they probably will play the game at a friends house. Call of duty hasn’t got much close to real violence and there is no evidence to prove that, people turn into mindless killing machines after playing M rated games.

  43. Anonymous says

    Sorry when I was saying I do agree with the fact kids should be playing m rated games, u actually meant shouldn’t, lol I think I ruined my comment.

  44. Miriam says

    my son is 11 and in the 6th grade he has been asking for this game for quite a while as well. I am a 4th grade teacher and hear kids from 1st grade on talking about it!!! I am thinking of finally buying it for him this Christmas, but I dont agree with bad words we dont use them at home, he does know that people use them and they are not right. we have great communication and daddy’s a police officer who loves to watch action movies so I finally started letting him (when he wants ) to join us or my hubby watching a movie, but again we talk about it. I think at a certain age yes you cant shelter them and protect them from all that and it is important very important to talk about it. This is the first time I have considered and am considering buying it. My husband has wanted to buy it for him for the past 3 years!!! Im still not sure and am doing a little research on it….

    • says

      You know your son… if you think he is ready to handle it appropriately- then he probably is. We still haven’t caved yet on this at our house…. but my son is asking again this Christmas. One of the issues is that COD doesn’t play on any device we already own- so it would be mean buying a new game system as well. And I don’t want him playing it in front of our younger kids…. so at the moment… we still don’t own it.

  45. Anonymous says

    i think a good thing to do would be to borrow it from your childs friend for a day, let him play the game under your supervision and if you think it’s not appropriate, just don’t get it

  46. Maxine says

    So, I was looking up this game because my dad just got it and offered for me to play, I’m 15 by the way, anyway, I played it with him for a while and it’s not actually that bad, the single player is a lot worse than multiplayer. I watched him play it and the language got quite “colourful” but multi player you’re just playing with those in the room, and you can change the settings to no gore, so it’s not quite as bad. I understand the desentualizing (sorry if that’s spelled wrong) But honestly there is much more violence in movies, and tv shows, with real people that one should be more concerned about seeing as it’s just a click of a button away.

  47. brian says

    I’m eight. And I heard that my cousin was playing COD when he was seven!!!!!!! And my friend is eight and plays COD. I think that he or she should play COD when they’re nine.

  48. Donna Smith says

    I am an adult and play the COD games. It is NOT in any way appropriate for kids under 15!! The online banter between players is extremely MATURE and unfiltered. Even the screen names of some of the players are graphic. Anyone who lets their young kids play this game have NO IDEA what their kid is playing or they don’t pay enough attention to their kid to care!! They just want to be the “cool” mom or dad that got their kid WHATEVER they asked for without researching it first.

    • Anon says

      I’m going to have to disagree with you there Donna. A lot of the following reasons why you believe kids under 15 shouldn’t play COD are completely false. You can make it so you’re unable to communicate with other players, thus no banter. Also screen names can not have foul language otherwise the player will be banned or there name will have to be changed, and for a parent wanting to be the “cool” mom or dad that is just bad parenting.

      • Donna Smith says

        Do you play the game Anon? Wish I could screen shot a couple of the player cards from Call of Duty Black ops II and post them on here. Unless you are a parent who actually plays the game you wouldn’t know what to look for to “parentally control” the game for your child……..screen names can be like this Herpesnstuff, Stinkypinky69r, sploogemonkey, jackoff69, I could go on and on. Also Clan tags are (Ass), (FuQ) etc. Don’t have to be a genius to figure out how to be vulgar in your screen name…..I stick by my opinion.

  49. Greg says

    Hello – just chiming in, I am a single dad of a 5 yro son. I play one game COD that’s it – I am 40 and ex military so for me it’s simply to keep my skills up and mind focused…plus it’s fun. Though when I hear 5,6,7 even 10 year olds in these rooms saying some wild language I ask them “do your parents know your playing this game?” They say yes or no – then I say well put them on the mic I want to ask them if they allowed it, they quickly back pedal – “mom’s asleep” or “dad’s in the garage” or just leave the game. So I blame this on the parents who need to step up and ensure they manage the content their children are exposed to.

    COD is more of a grown up game – I would say anyone ages 16 and up would be able to play.

    I went out and bought Skylanders, Lego, and Disney Infinity for my son to play…age appropriate games.

    But I simply report everyone online that is underage playing COD – this is simply not acceptable…

    • says

      Thanks so much for offering your insight Greg- and you make another point as well…. when kids are playing COD and interacting with others online- they have no idea who they are chatting with. It could be other kids, it could be adults without the best intentions. You simply don’t know.

      • Anonymous says

        Honestly Sharon, you posting this article is going to get you so many idiots trying to defend their game, it gets a lot of hate in the gaming community anyways. It’s good you don’t let your kid play cod when he’s 10, but really, when he’s 13 suprise him for his birthday with an older cod game, i am sure he’ll love it and there won’t be as much of an issue with online safety/ language.

  50. says

    I am 14 years old. I do not have a son. My brother on the other hand is 10, and some how he got into my fathers video games and discovered Call Of Duty. Everyday my brother wakes up at 6:30 to play C.O.D.. I think that is unreasonable. He too have a device that allows him to talk with some of his more violent friends. As his older sister, I am not trying to get him busted, but simply reinforce the rules at which my parents made at the begging of his life. I don’t think waking up at 6:30 to play a video game about killing everyone, along with waking up my sister of 9 and I is fitting. the other day I heard my brother curse for the first time, AT A VIDEO GAME!!! I let my parents know and they let him know, but didn’t strongly inforce that cursing and swearing are not okay. Later today I plan to solve this problem with a organized debat. I hope my parents and my brother will maturely both agree that this is not a appropriate game to play. My goal is to limit his time, settings on the game, and what time he can start playing. My 9 year old sister, craving a future as a lawyer, will help me along the way. I want to thank the author of this websites for informing me on the details I could not find without your help. I will let everyone know later what has become of the debate. Wish me luck!

  51. Isaac says

    Jesus Christ, look at all this anecdotal evidence! In all honesty, your child (unless they have a preexisting condition, or something) will most likely not turn into a violent killer by playing COD (which is a crappy series, btw). It should be at the discretion of the parent, but I personally think at 13 they could play if they want, but you also have to factor in the child’s maturity.

  52. says

    Hi Sharon I just would like to say that your idea that kids hear worse profanities in school is frankly wrong. As an adolescent I used to “dabble” in these types of games and what. I have heard over the Xbox live VoIP makes me very very sad and infact disgusted. The comments range from “I X your mom last night” to “X you X”. Maybe some cuss words are used in schools but never these phrases.

  53. Anonymous says

    I understand your descion my son is 12 years old and is intelligent, and I know he understands that shooting and killing is bad BUT I also think he should be able to handle it

  54. Mom of 5 under 8 says

    Hi there Sharon!
    I liked your review, and would like to add my own opinion.
    I’m currently thinking about letting my oldest play it, they are going to be 8 soon. I have my ups and downs about it.
    – It’s realistic,
    – It is violent (which can be diminished in the options)
    – I don’t care about the language at all – that doesn’t bother me (besides it can be muted on multi-player)
    – It’s a lot of fun
    – It takes quick reflexes, and helps build them
    – Like most games, it helps hand eye coordination
    I accidentally got a test run about a week ago to see how the little ones would react to it, my twins, who are 4, got up from their nap early, and came out while I was in the middle of a match. They saw me shoot somebody, and told me “Mommy, it’s not nice to push people down!” They were quite upset about the fact that I was pushing people down, because we aren’t supposed to do that. I told them that it is okay, ONLY in video games though. From there, I decided I would give it another test try, and I let them see me play a round the next day. The entire time, they were talking to each other, and the conversation basically went.
    Twin A: “We don’t push people down right?”
    Twin B: “Right. Only in games.”
    Twin A: “Pushing people not nice.”
    Twin B: “Yeah. Not nice.”
    Twin A: “games okay though.”
    Twin B: “ONLY GAMES *twin A*”
    Twin A: “Yeah, only games.”
    The conversation continued like that the entire 10 minute match. I think it would be okay for younger children (8ish and up) to play, providing there was a parent there to help guide them, and maybe even get into the action! As a gamer myself, you totally get cool parent points for playing a game with them, even if you do it badly.
    The most important thing is good parenting. The game isn’t going to rot their social capabilities or make them any more violent. I would hazard a guess that the nasty little punks online don’t have any parental supervision, and may have less than stellar parents in the first place.
    I played Mortal Kombat from when it first came out, when I was 6, and I was told again and again that violence is not okay outside of video games, and my parents were always around when I was playing. I have taken that to heart.
    To this day, I absolutely love violent video games, my favorite games are Mortal Kombat and Call of Duty, but I am very much a pacifist, and instill the same ideas in my children. We do not harm, we lift others up, we treat others wonderfully, and don’t allow ourselves to be treated like dirt. Confrontation can absolutely be handled without being violent, and if you need to vent anger or other intense emotions, fighting games are a great way to do it, because you aren’t hurting anyone.

    • says

      Hi Kyra-

      Thanks so much for leaving your comment and sharing your point of view. Yes, I agree that good parenting IS the most important thing… be it video games or any other aspect of life. And I do think that you can earn cool parent points for playing video games with your kids- we play various versions of Super Mario with them all of the time…. and while they are much better at it- it’s fun that it is something we can do together. Ao far, we still haven’t played COD or Halo or other games of that nature at our house. But at this point I feel it is more of a personal preference thing…. we don’t ever watch war movies as a family either because my kids don’t really care for them. But that’s not to say that this won’t change as they get older….

  55. Folwart says

    I realize I’m a little late, but I’ll some food for thought anyhow.

    My answer to this is twofold. The first point, younger children aren’t often mature enough to operate as a team or capable of resisting “whining” and being asses on the mic to the player base. Conversly, the player base is often pretty crude, which isn’t good for the younger kids either. On the second point, you can turn off the blood, but only in the eyes of a truly detached and oblivious parent does that in any way lesson the exposure to violence. Violence is what causes the blood. By taking away the blood at best you’re removing a piece of information that makes it obvious why one doesn’t want to repeat the behavior in reality. Turning off the blood does nothing, it’s not advantageous in any way.

    It’s an illusion to placate the parents, a scheme set in place by the producers, to put parents at ease and to protect if not increase sales. If the box says 16, it’s in the best interest of your child and the gaming community to stay within a couple years of that depending on the maturity of your child. They did the thinking so you don’t have to. The ratings are issued by a third party enity, and the blood and gore settings are the false sense of security the producers brought into play in order to convince parents, “hey we took out the blood so unloading clip after clip into people and lobbing explosives isn’t violent any more! Right? Right guys?”

    I’m not saying the violence causes kids to be violent. I’m living proof that the connection between games and behavior is hogwash. At worst gaming creates a false sense of accomplishment that may or may not deter children from accomplishment in reality. The most important factor to consider in allowing your chikd to play an online game is whether or not your child is at a level to add to the community of the game and receive benefit of learning from others in the game or if they are only going to dink around pointlessly as they could do in any other entertainment medium. I realize the desire to occupy the child and stop their incessant whining and attempts to control you through annoyance until you cave, but be strong. When they are older they will be better for it, and God (or as I call it, the Source) made the great outdoors, sticks and balls for a reason.

  56. Anonymous says

    As long as your children don’t become violent from experiencing the game it is ok. Personally my child started at 11.

  57. Anonymous says

    As i actually play call of duty, i can tell you right away that it would not be okay for a 10 year old to play. 13 maybe, but there is a lot of language in the campaign of any cod game. In online, honestly, barely anyone actually uses their mic so there isn’t any language, and if someone is using language you have the option to mute that person with just 2 buttons. There is also a graphic content filter, you can turn on or off all language, gore, and any explicit scenes in the game (i have never actually seen one i dont know why “sexual content” is on the rating). One last thing- people that play cod do not like it at all when kids (i mean kids- like 10-14) are playing this game. It gets really annoying and they shouldn’t be there and we all want to go to the gamestop employee who sold cod to that mom that didn’t realize this game wasn’t for kids and slap him in the face.

  58. aleya sanchez says

    While call of duty may seem like an inappropriate war simulator,it is in fact the most anticipated first person shooter game by millions each year.There are three playable modes(usually).Campaign or story is usually the most cinematic and mature language filled mode in the game.Multiplayer is more or less acceptable as far as language and violence intensity goes.Usually online in call if duty there are these things called gamemodes.For example,one mode is domination.Two teams must fight for consecutive control over three stationary flags.If my team has control over two flags and the enemy only holds one flag,my team will accelerate more points toward the intended score to win.There are also parental features on these game machines that allow you to choose whether or not they can chat online,what type of games they play and how long they play.CoD is more or less just a game enjoyed by millions.As long as your son doesn’t try to enact certain violence depicted in the game,I say it is ok

  59. Anonymous says

    I agree me spots but there is a thing as being TOO cautious of your kids, it’s being ahellicopter parent and as much as I agree I also disagree.

  60. frank says

    So the issues is not the game but where he plays it… That’s like saying “I don’t mind you drinking with your underaged friends just don’t do it at our house…drink at your friends house” Sad!

    • says

      I disagree. It is more like saying- you are of legal drinking age and can drink where appropriate with your friends that are responsible and of legal age, but please don’t drink with your younger siblings around who are not of age. Not so sad.

      • frank says

        I guess no glass of wine in front of your kids until they’re legal drinking age. My son is 16 years old when he plays COD or AC his younger brother knows to leave the room. I guess its up to parents and there is no right or wrong…but sometimes the younger ones just have to suck it up. I would let my son play the game and invite his friends over. Me and the younger boy go downstairs and play Wii 🙂 again the issue is not the game but where he plays it…I would not want my son to leave to play at a friends house just because of a younger sibling. You’re not wrong but I would not follow.

  61. Royle says

    Honestly, i understand the base of the argument completely. A child’s maturity is a big part in the idea of violent video games, if the parent feels he can handle it than who’s it hurting. I allow violent video games in my house, a child will soon grow up and cant avoid the violence even in real life so the only thing you are controlling is what age you want them to be introduced to the idea. My oldest started playing when he was nine with his cousins and he’s grown up and i dont see any affect on him from the game, he functions well and easily understands the difference from the game and realitiy

  62. Anonymous says

    I’m 14 and I’ve been playing cod for a couple years now. Yes it is violent, but graphic content can be blocked (I never did). The worst mode violence wise is probably the campaigns, the cut scenes often show executions, lots of blood spray, etc. Multiplayer all you see is a little bit of blood spray when you shoot the enemy. Also the box may say drug use, and sexual references but in Black ops 2 (my favourite cod game) there are no sexual references and the worst drug references is buying drugs off of a soldier in panama (Once again that’s in the campaign). So to conclude ive gotta say that yes its violent, but just cause ive seen some civilians get shot up doesn’t mean I’m going to do it in real life. When it comes down to it COD is just a game and a fun one at that.

  63. Anonymous says

    Hi-oddly enough, I took to the Internet for an opinion on this matter and ran across your article after googling “Call of Duty age”. My son, also 10 and in 5th grade also wanted to play at his friends house. I fully trust the choices of the friend’s parents but wanted to look into the game. We had a similar talk and he can play the game there, provided he turns off the violence and language.

    After reading this article, it occurred to me that this would open a conversation about history. My son told me that in the game, part of the objective is to save people. War is tough stuff and although we want to protect them from the evils of the world, there is a balance with exposing them to the realities of this world. After all, we want him to grow to be a confident Christian man who will stand up against these wrongs, right? Blessings!!

  64. Anonymous says

    I am in the seventh grade and I don’t feel socially affected by the fact I can’t play m or some t rated games at all.


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