this is all coming from an email i just got just now, so bear with me as i just need to vent...
i just had someone email me because he says that he knows that i am trying to promote nonviolent games and that he made this video where he interviewed his friends and thought i'd find it interesting.
well it basically is a commercial for the game "call of duty 2", an EXTREMELY violent war game. i'm not going to link to the video or info on that game because i'm not interested in promoting either. the video actually was pretty well made in so far as technical issues, but i couldn't stomach the constant violent scenes from the game and the casual way these young teen boys were talking about how "fun" it was. and how there's nothing wrong with playing these sort of games, yada yada yada. bleh.
i'm guessing he found me via the website i host on the subject of marketing violence to children, the lion and lamb project...which isn't actually my site but a site of a friend of mine that did many years of research and work on that project and was closing it down, when i offered to keep the info up on the web for her. its a fantastic site and i can't see how anyone that read any of the research on there could even argue that violent games, toys, movies, etc are anything but bad for kids.
what gets me is that if you talked to all the many loving, caring parents who think its perfectly fine for their kids to watch violent images on tv/movies/games...if you asked them why its ok, most would probably say "its make believe, its not real." and that their kids can tell the difference between make believe and real...well, ok so then what if it was a game or tv show about a sex act? would THAT be ok for them to watch? its just make believe, right? (i'm not talking porn, i mean actual acting) its not actually happening, its just on tv or a game, right? so why would that be bad for kids to watch? i think most parents would be horrified at the thought (although there would be some that would think that's ok, *shudder*).
so, goodness no, don't show my children anything involving sex, which is actually a normal and natural thing that most children will grow up to engage in...but bring on the killing and maiming, and beating the hell out of another human being.
well then they might say that that's not good for kids because is IS something that they will probably do some day and they don't need to learn about it yet...whereas the violence, the killing, the kicking the shit out of someone, the stabbing and shooting and blowing people up...that's all something they won't ever do, right?
ok so what if its a show or game about a rape? that's hopefully not something that most of their children (although admittedly there will be some that will) will ever do, right? and its make believe, right? its not actually happening, right? so then is THAT ok for them to watch? no, of course not!
but watching (or being the one doing it in a game)...things like stabbing someone in the face or kicking someone in the head, or jumping on someone and stomping them to the ground, or shooting someone in the gut with and explosion of blood...that's ok?
so its NOT ok for kids to pretend to or watch someone beat up and rape another person, but its perfectly ok for them to pretend to or watch someone beat up and KILL another person? gee i think if they did that in real life they usually get a much stronger sentence for murder.
wait...but maybe its because when someone is being raped they are the victim? whereas the violent shows are all about beating bad guys, right? no, not actually. the violence in games and movies/tv isn't restricted just to the bad guys. the bad guys do their fair share of kicking butt as well, remember?
well i'm sorry but i'm not ok with my children pretending to hurt anyone, or getting any kind of enjoyment from watching anyone get hurt. in any sense of the word, be it physically, verbally, psychologically, etc. (to be perfectly honest, i'm not happy about my husband enjoying those games/movies either...but he's an adult and makes his own decisions.)
if you can sit there and understand why its wrong for a child to watch a dramatized rape, why can you not understand why it is just as wrong for them to watch a dramatized assault or murder?
(i'm not asking anyone, i'm just talking to the air, wondering aloud.)
seriously? i don't get it. i just don't.