I try to keep my nearly 8 year old son from playing any game that trivializes the act of killing people or things, because he is at an age where he just doesn't have an empathetic bent yet. He has yet to grasp the notions of death and pain truly and fully as his sister has. Until I feel he's thoroughly grasped those concepts, I don't want to normalize the sight, even the poorly rendered pixellated sight, of death for him. As he gets older, as these things sink in (why does this seem to happen slower for boys?), then I have no qualms about him playing more advanced video games.
It became apparent the other day though when my son visited a friend's house that not all people share my views. He came home raving about how much fun Halo 3 was. Fer frick sake.
How young is too young? Is there ever an age where these games are 'appropriate'? Do others go by some developmental milestone like I have?
I'm curious about people's views on this