The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tiarnan's view of games ratings.

A couple of weeks ago, Tiarnan leant his arms upon my armchair, an expression of intense amazement on his face.

"Daddy, you would think that fighting games would be "teen" or "M" - but no, they are for everyone: isn't that crazy?"

He said the word "crazy" with such a demented expression that it was most clear that he thought the adult world utterly bonkers, to rate such games so lightly.

Tiarnan is just four years old. I find it very interesting that, from his perspective, the games raters have got it wrong. For those who don't know, "M" stands for "mature" and is used for games directed at adults. In Tiarnan's eyes, games which showed repeated killing - as the fighting games (military) ones he referred to, do, should be rated for teens or adults only. Yet, we have ones with an "E" rating, for "everyone". Little Tiarnan found that mindboggling, for even he knows that one shouldn't go around shooting people in the head (the basic purpose of one of the games rated for "everyone".)

Perhaps, Tiarnan is able to see more clearly the absurdity of the ratings system, precisely because he is so young and not yet desensitized in the way that so many of us are. He sees what the ratings board has long lost the ability to see: how little children see violence. Even four year olds know that it is not the way to go - at least, our little four year old does.

I wonder what would happen if children were the ones who set ratings: would they be a better reflection of what is harmful to the young and what is not (if any of this is actually harmful). I have a sneaky feeling that they would get it right more often than jaded adults do.

Perhaps they should ask Tiarnan's views for ratings, in future. He might just put them right.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 5:27 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tiarnan's absolutely right - it's crazy!

4:55 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

He sure is. Funny how adults don't notice, though. Perhaps it is because in America, guns are "normal"...

12:05 PM  

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