So today I saw some more of the usual local news channel bullshit about some kids using Xbox Live to swap 'inappropriate pictures'.
Of course, this is all Microsoft's fault, because they don't care about the pedophiles, murderers and other various ne'er-do-wells who use their service… as long as those pedophiles and murderers are willing to pay the subscription fee.
Well, I'd like to point something out here. If your kid has an Xbox, before you decide to go nuts and burn the devil machine before it turns Little Timmy into a homosexual rapist, go turn it on and press the big button in the middle of the controller. This will bring up a menu, scroll right, then scroll down to 'Family Settings'.
In that menu you'll find an absolute fuck ton of options that control what your kid can and can't do on that console.
I mean, seriously.
All the tools are right there laid out in a way that you'd have to be clinically retarded not to understand. It appears that Microsoft, instead of being this evil empire who don't care what kids are exposed to as long as they can keep taking your money, are actually a company that created a console that can be specifically tailored to what you find acceptable.
It takes less than 30 seconds to set up a console to only allow 'family-friendly' content and to restrict what your kids can and can't do on Xbox Live. Hell, you can even set it up to only allow your kid to play for a set amount of time per day. If you can read, and have the use of your thumbs, this is also very, very easy to do.
The part of this that really pisses me off is these self righteous parents who find out that their fifteen year old son has been sending the girl from his math class pictures of his dong, and blame the console.
What these parents are really saying is "I care so little about my child that I'm not willing to spend the fifteen minutes it would take to read a 'quick-start' guide and set up a few parental locks."
Here's the deal: It's 2010 people. The internet, computers and games consoles have been in most homes for at least ten years. All those excuses about 'computer stuff' being too complicated or difficult to understand are starting to sound pretty hollow. Computers and consoles were easy to use 15 years ago, and they've only been getting simpler.
It's not that you're incapable of setting parental controls on an Xbox, it's just that doing so might mean reading a couple of pages of a manual, and you can't be bothered. Even worse, if you actually brave setting up some parental controls, that means you then have to accept responsibility for your own kids.
No. It's far easier to remain willfully ignorant, claim something that's as simple as putting a round peg in a round hole to be beyond you…and when you suddenly realize that your fifteen year old kid who you've barely spoken to for the past six months has some porno pictures on his computer, you can blow your top and blame someone else…hopefully a big corporation with bags of cash who will pay you to go away because it's cheaper than a court case.
Here's the real truth: Parents today have more control over what their kids can and can't see than parents at any other point in history. The fact you're too lazy and ignorant to use the tools you've been provided with are no-one's problem but your own.