We loved walking through the street fair. So many colors, textures, and tastes.
The art was quite interesting:
The street food was greasy and fragrant:
The cold beer went perfectly with the spicy pizza
Ice cream was rich and decadent
And this little girl carrying a balloon was the symbol of innocence.
Then, at the GameStop store, this:
And I was reminded of the recent outrage over EA’s decision to release a war game where players can assume the role of Taliban terrorists and kill American soldiers.
In our local news, the young boys interviewed by the reporter said that they can’t wait to play the game. “It’s fun killing people,” they said, adding, “It’s just a game. You’re not really hurting anyone.”
The mother of a soldier who was killed in Iraq in 2004 felt differently, of course. You could see the pain in her face. “War is not a game,” she said. “There are no restarts, and no do-overs.” And my heart went out to her.
War games scare me. Young boys who see war and violence as a game scare me even more. War is pain, blood, injury and death. It is young men and women losing limbs, their eye sight, their lives. It is young women and men who come back home broken, shattered, physically and emotionally. Many of them are never able to resume their normal lives. War is fear. War is ugly and brutal and gruesome.
War is like your worst nightmare, magnified. But unlike a nightmare, it is very real.
I’ve never been to war, but close family members have, and I’ve heard their stories. At least the stories they are willing to tell.
I have two daughters, so I don’t really have to face the dilemma of what to allow my kids to play and where to draw the line. I wish more parents to young boys were firmer in placing limits, but perhaps I’m being naive. After all, even if they’re not allowed to buy or play war games, they can still play at friends’ homes and parents need to pick their battles very wisely, especially with pre-teens and teens.
What do you think? How do you feel about violent video games in general, and about this one in particular?