I broke the sixth commandment!

The 10 Commandments are recorded in three books of the Old Testament. Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy provide reference to the laws that were engraved on the tablets held by Moses. The laws apply to our real physical lives, however, since most people now have an online identity and most activities are conducted online... perhaps the ten commandments are relevant for our virtual lives.

We know that we shouldn't lie. Why should the act of lying online be any different? We know that having an affair is an adulterous act, therefore, why should fanning the flames of a secret love online be considered differently? In a nutshell... online activities can be measured and accounted for by the same commandments that have been employed by state and federal law.

The act of murder can be enacted online and "Thou shall not commit murder".

I use to play the Xbox and one of my favorite games, Splinter Cell, involved killing and hiding bodies under stairwells and in dark alleyways. I was able to change weapons according to the situations I encountered. Sometimes silence was required and in these times knives were used to slice throats or I was able to grab innocent victims and snap their neck like a toothpick. The game was thrilling, addictive and I always revisited each level to see if I could make it through the obstacles achieving faster results and obtain a higher score. I remember the addiction fed into the purchase of Grand Theft Auto.

I must have killed hundreds of people... I may have broken the sixth commandment more than most. While I may not have committed crime in the true physical sense it is worth considering the impacts of violent games. There are many gaming options and among the worst is Grand Theft Auto. The game is available for almost every gaming console and handheld device. Children can complete acts of theft, robbery, violence, murder and even rape within the application.

It is known that violent games stunt the growth of the moral compass and can have long term social and mental affects. Behavioral studies have shown an increase in aggressive behavior after violent video games. Furthermore, children who regularly play violent games are more anxious and have reduced levels of empathy, compassion and understanding due to less activity in the brain for "areas that involve emotions, attention and inhibition of our impulses". In conclusion violent games erode moral consciousness and have a negative impact on attitude and behavior.

In order the sustain wellbeing and healthy lifestyle, it is imperative that children's online activities are monitored. Parents must maintain control over what is being downloaded on mobile devices and what games are being purchased. Grand Theft Auto is advised for Mature Audiences (17+). In regards to iPads there are many controls in Settings that can be enabled and adjusted to ensure protective measures are being administered.

Probably the fastest and most affective means of preventing inappropriate applications from being downloaded is to enable age restrictions.

1. Enter Settings and select Restrictions

2. Choose a four digit passcode

3. Select Apps

4. Select appropriate age category to enforce. I suggest either 4+, 9+ or 12+.

Enabling Restrictions is easy. There are many options and configurations that can be made, however, the simple steps provided within this post are truly powerful. Restricting agile devices to only age appropriate apps will help protect your child from inappropriate content. Enabling Restrictions is a simple process and only takes a minute, yet, will prevent the lifelong impacts of violence. It is incredible at how many children have unrestricted access to inappropriate content. I work within a school that has 1:1 iPads from 4-12 and would estimate as little as 10% of the 1100 iPad fleet would have Restrictions enabled. I urge every parent to take a moment and enforce guidelines and enable parenting controls.

Murder the apps!


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