We are a sixth grade class concerned about the growing culture of violence in our nation as well as our communities. In the wake of recent national tragedies such as the Sandy Hook massacre and local incidents like the Taft High School shooting located approximately 40 miles away from Bakersfield, we believe it is time to address the level of violence in our culture.
Soon after the Sandy Hook incident, we discussed, as a class, some of the reasons that contributed towards the escalating culture of violence in our nation. My students determined that popular M-rated video games which glorify violence and sexual abuse have a damaging affect on our youth. These games dehumanize shootings, massacres, and rape by converting these violent acts into a sordid game.
According to the ESRB, Entertainment Software Rating Board, an M-rating consists of intense violence, blood, and gore, sexual content and/or strong language, as well as the use of alcohol or drugs. For example, the Saints Row series I through III is a popular choice among kids and teens in our community despite its graphic and disturbing content such as gaining points for raping, murdering, and robbing people in the game. In fact, scientific studies show the connection between violent video games and aggressive behavior.
We admire and respect Target’s unique qualities such as being eco-conscious (recycling several materials and promoting the use of reusable and/or paper bags), investing in local schools and communities, and volunteering for projects that give back to society. According to Target's website under corporate responsibility, they articulate their desire to promote “strong, healthy, and safe communities”.
Therefore, we ask that Target immediately stops selling rated-M for mature video games since it contradicts Target’s corporate responsibility statement. It imperative that Target, being an exemplary family-friendly corporation, honors its own philosophy of promoting strong, healthy, and safe communities by refusing to sell rated-M for mature video games. We invite Target to be a pioneer in corporate responsibility and become an advocate for promoting responsible, safe products to the very communities that it serves.
Ms. Guajardo’s 6th Grade Class