My kid loves violent video games like Halo. Should I be concerned?

Plenty of 10- to 12-year-olds get hooked on video games that are geared toward older players. But video games have age ratings for a reason: Many contain extremely graphic, cinematic scenes of beatings, murder, dismemberment, blood, gore, and worse. Though these things aren't particularly great for anyone, they're definitely not for kids. Halo, for example, has all of the above, which is why we rate its many versions for 13 and over.  

Fixation is a natural part of growing up. But fixation on violent video games could indicate deeper issues and can trigger problems in vulnerable kids. Explore whether your child is going through a phase or possibly is suffering from game addiction, school trouble, or withdrawal from other activities. If there are more serious issues, your pediatrician can help. It may simply be a matter of helping your kid taper off the violent games and finding age-appropriate alternatives. 

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Adult written by Evan D.

It depend on the maturity of your child I would say. If you ask me HALO is the least violent of all shooter games, and is fine for almost any child once they reach the age of 11 or 12.
Adult written by shatter-the-stars

I wouldn't be unless his interest in a very problematic way. People get fixated on a variety of things, and video games can be addicting. And there are a variety of tastes. A video game is not defined just by violence. Halo's sci-fi. Maybe he likes sci-fi/fantasy games. If the violence really bothers you, then get games that suit his interests but you can still deal with. An example of a good sci-fi game is Destiny, and it's pretty calm. The worst thing an enemy can do is disintegrate or have black blood spurt from a neck if you get in a good headshot. The rating on there is T, and the scariest scene is having a bunch of sharp-toothed, taloned Thralls running at you from the dark (and even then you have a warning via radar). But if what he's REALLY into is the violence, you might have an issue.
Adult written by Tonatheos

Halo is probably the most tame M-game in the world. The only "gore" is the zombie aliens that lose limbs, but they look very sci-fi and not graphic; more cartoony-scary than gory. Alien blood is non-human colors and does not look graphic; human blood looks graphic, but there is no gore beyond minor facial scratches in the third game. Language is more mild than the Avengers, and about as mild as Star Wars: The Last Jedi (bastard, damn, hell). The Halo that all the kids play in 2015 - 2018 is Halo 5, which has neither blood nor language. The only violent acts are the "assassination" animations, which can be over-the-top, but have no blood or gore of any kind. Whoever wrote this article is very ignorant, which is disappointing since you would expect a writer to understand his or her own source material. The reality is that other violent games have an M rating for a reason, as do shows such as Family Guy. If your children are engaging in mature content with which you disapprove, it's your fault for being absent. However, videogames have never been known to cause violent behavior in normal, healthy children. Every case wherein there was a violent incident resulting from excessive gaming was a clear example of mental disorders such as schizophrenia and psychosis. If your child can differentiate fantasy from reality (usually they can after age 8) they will not be violent after playing violent games. The only concern would be them repeating foul language and behavior, which children have been known to do, but Halo doesn't have that. It's also your own ineptitude as a parent to not be able to police your child's activities. If children start showing addictive behavior regarding anything at all, you enforce moderation, which will be a valuable tool for them throughout life. Outright banning things will not solve anything. In closing, Halo is not an inappropriate game, and videogames do not make children violent. If your children act violently after playing games, you should take them to a psychiatrist and give them vitamin supplements.
Teen, 13 years old written by IAmKaliberZ

I like games just like Halo. I am thinking:In Halo, you shoot aliens. You are thrown into an epic story about humanity and its lost forces, etc etc. What you DONT do is break into a building and shoot at a bunch of innocent people. Just remind him that its fiction and that violence IRL is never OK.
Adult written by Teagan R.

Ah, yes. Because I am involved and passionate about Splatoon, I will proceed to fill a watergun with paint, and start shooting paint at people. I will run around, say " Woomy! " and start dodge rolling. Because I enjoy playing Roblox, I will now pay people in Robux as opposed to U.S dollars. Now I will walk into school, and start yelling, " Oof! /E ban, builderman is my dad. " Oh, what's this? My 6-year-old cousin enjoys playing Minecraft. Will he start slaughtering pigs with pickaxes made out of pure diamond and start crafting clothing out of cow hide? You tell me.
Teen, 14 years old written by BeatsbyGravon

Halo isn't bad. It has a little language and a little violence. GTA is way worse, if you're worried about it just explain to your kid that it's fake.
Teen, 16 years old written by Live Life0909

Halo really......if you haven't played the game then don't talk about it, iv'e played Halo and you ''Adults'' that think you know everything should play the game before you judge it, their are the AGE preferences on the back for a reason so if you don't want your kid playing the game Don't get the games that Have T-teen, M-mature. P.S: also its not like some kid is going to get a DMR from HALO and shoot up a school, IMPOSSIBLE.
Teen, 16 years old written by Live Life0909

not all games are like GTA bob so don't compare all of them to that ONE game their are thousands of different kinds of games
Kid, 11 years old

Yeah! I play all of the halo games except reach! (not available to XBOX one.) Stop giving this game a bad reputation!!! Really? Halo 4 at 18 plus!? Have these guys even played halo? This game doesn't have as much violence as stuff like happy wheels. All that happens is the enemy bleeds, falls don and die! "The chief solves his problems through violence!" HELLO?! Its a war. Could he really just say "Can the war be over please?" No! Not unless he wants to die. I play halo every week and do i punch people!? NO!!! Do these guys even know about Hitman, Cod, Mortal Kombat or Contract Killer? Probably not. Stop doing these stupid reviews and hire people with real common sense to write. Before you reply and say my guardians aren't aware of how violent it is then please note my dad plays it with me!!Plus, kids will realize the difference between fantasy and reality. Halo is OK for 10 yr olds! No offense but these ratings are innaccurate!
Teen, 13 years old written by Nmehna1734

PLEASE! You're calling Halo, HALO! a violent game have u ever in your life heard of games like Call of Duty, Mortal Kombat, Hatred, Saints Row, Fallout, THOSE are violent games not HALO. This is extremely inaccurate calling halo an extremely violent game and common sense media you gave Halo a rating of 16 and up, the same rating for Sunset Overdrive, Batman the Telltale Series, and so on. Halo doesn't even have sexual content unlike other first person shooters cough-Call of Duty-cough. Please common sense you are terribly innnacurate you are only giving halo a hard time because the esrb gave it a M rating. I play halo and am I having problems. NO I play it because it is a great game. I play M games and do I have violent tendencies NO!!!
Kid, 12 years old

I am genuinely surprised nobody is saying you should not. Guess what? Nope. There is a ton of blood and violence, do not let your kids near unless they are 13 or so, then it is okay.
Kid, 11 years old

ugh. EVERYTHING IS VIOLENT IN GAMES IS THERE A BIT OF BLOOD? BAN IT! IT WILL CORRUPT OUR CHILDREN! good greif. honestly, if kids did what they saw on TV then I, instead of writing this review would be chasing someone around with a chainsaw. not that it is not easy to wield a piece of farm equitment well simultaniusly writing a review, and I am lazy, so I am not slaughtering someone. I therefore conclude that I am not a serial killer, and thus kids wont turn into em either. I rest my case.
Teen, 13 years old written by Malkie11

Absolutely not. If you parented your child properly and told them what's right and what's wrong then you shouldn't be conserned.
Kid, 10 years old

You honestly shouldn't. Most young females such as myself usually can understand the difference of right and wrong(violence wise) at about 8 years old, this means you would understand that you don't do any of this in real life without consequences.
Teen, 16 years old written by Halo117

I love Halo (hence my username :D) and I played it with my brother when I was seven. Been playing ever since, and I promise you I don't have violent tendencies. And if you're concerned about the multiplayer chat, don't be. People online have no interest in talking to little kids, and people usually don't have their mics on anyway unless they invite you to a party, which they won't if it's a little kid. Oh, and about that whole dismemberment and gore thing in the main answer.. Umm no, you don't shoot the aliens' heads off and watch their guts spill out. When they die, they fall over and there's some blood splatters on the ground. Halo is fun, and it trains your brain to make decisions faster, and, depending on the difficulty, you also have to think, come up with strategies. Let him/her play it. And you could also play with your kid. Video games brought me and my brother closer together, maybe it would do the same for you and your child, and perhaps help to dispel some of your worries :)
written by Snowcat01

Around 10 I started games like halo, halo isn't very violent compared to cod. They should be fine playing unless they start to be violent. Halo is a good game based on maturity, if they run around the house shouting DIE, No they aren't mature. As long as they know the diffence between reality and the game they should be fine.
Teen, 15 years old written by Awesomeman_812

Let your kids play! There not gonna go and starting killing people. There having fun and that's all that matters. Let them play as long as they want. They'll beat the game and start doing sports
Teen, 14 years old written by lauren ecs

I think that if your child starts saying and doing unkind things to others, you should get rid of the game. I think that if they are handling the video game well, they should be able to play it, as long as they don't get addicted. In that case, the amount of time your child plays the game should be limited. I also think that if your child is struggling with their grades, withdrawing from other physical activities, and not studying so they can play Halo, then you should get rid of the game.
Teen, 14 years old written by madelineerdell

I believe that if your child starts to make violent actions towards others, you should make adjustments about how much time they spend playing the game. If your child shows signs of addiction toward the game, you need to limit the amount of time they play. -maddy and angelina
Teen, 13 years old written by rachelbland

It is only a concern if the children get out of hand. If they show signs of violence in real life like pushing or fighting with each other, then you should suspend them from the video game. For now you should give a limit for how long they can play the game. For example, 30 minutes each day or an hour once a week. Giving them guidelines will help them stay under control.
Kid, 11 years old

Halo isn't that violent... If halo was just an example, and you're talking, GTA, or CoD, well maybe not CoD, but games like GTA, then snatch it out of his/her hands and run fast. If it's halo, then play it with the kid..
Teen, 13 years old written by Jedibossman

I would say 9 and up because there's barely language and the one that probably has the most is 3 it has some blood and a weird species called the flood that take control of dead bodies. Most of the things you shoot give off blue or purple blood except for humans and brutes buy I don't think halo is bad
Teen, 14 years old written by benkitching13

The line concerning Halo is very misleading, as CSM have rated every single Halo FPS between 16 and 18, yet here they say 13?
Teen, 14 years old written by eazy__breezy

You guys say you rate Halo for 13+, but 2 halo games you say not for kids, and many others iffy for 16 and under??? Halo isn't even that bad, its violent sure, but its one of the most tame M games around. Halo 1 is good for 11+, Halo 2 and 3 for 12+, and Halo 4 or MCC for 13+
Teen, 15 years old written by Atticus_Sauls

halo is a very tame game most violence is towards aliens and other creatures. almost no violence in this game is against other humans or players so i would not be very concerned about it. if halo is an example and he also plays games like call of duty and mortal combat you should let them start playing those types of games when other kids at there school start or the will become left out when his freinds begin to talk about them. to while letting them play m games other than halo before they are ready is bad letting them begin to play them to late is also bad for their social life and can cause them to feel depressed and become antisocial
Teen, 13 years old written by CaptConnor2001

C'mon, halo really that's like the most tame m game you'll find. I get if they are like 8 and 9, but if they are ten let them play the dang game.