My eldest daughter and my step-daughter are deep into COD. They play the game with skill, panache, persistence and no small amount of blood lust. And yet I can’t get either of them to muck about with (i.e. responsibly handle and appreciate) real guns. I asked Sasha for an explanation. “Seriously? You can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality?” I can. They can. bakersfield.com columnist Heather James? Not so much. “These games, with their impressive graphics and true-to-life situations, create an aura of realism; yet fail to portray the long-term consequences of such behavior, because you can always restart the game and the characters previously assaulted or killed are unaffected.” If James thinks that all videogame characters are immortal, or immoral, she needs to stay in more. Anyway, this lack of consequences is, once again, a cancer on our society . . .
And that’s the major problem, isn’t it? The disconnect between firing a simulated video gun hundreds of times a day at fictional creatures, and the one time a bullet meets a real wall of flesh, blood and a pounding heart.
Yes, those are drastic results, but sometimes teenage angst and violence is like a tremor under the sea. It rolls and rolls without alarm until it’s a tsunami crashing along our shores, destroying everything in sight.
Not to coin a phrase, that’s some serious shit Heather. If videogames are creating a nation of killers—I mean, naughty killers (’cause we do have a couple of wars going on, in case anyone forgot)—the streets will soon run red with the blood of zombies. Make that non-videogame playing innocents.
Psychologist Garbell added, “Not every kid who plays these games is going to go out and imitate what they see, but some kids may internalize the message that violence and aggression are acceptable ways to interact with the world. That message may manifest itself as arguing with teachers at school, or teasing peers without a regard for the feelings of others.
So violent videogames lead to bullying. Or bullies play violent videogames, which give the green-light to bullying. Or something like that. Or nothing of the sort.