Wow man, I just had a blast from the past. I downloaded a freeware mystery pack and found…Doom. The original. (Knee Deep in the Dead)
If you never played Doom (back in the old days) then you have no idea what I’m talking about. Well, Doom is a low-plot, high-gore single player shoot-em-up. Your view is basically of a hand holding a weapon and your job is to point the weapon at things and kill them before they kill you. What’s the story? It has something to do with demons in outer space. Right. It’s not intellectual gaming fare, but I used to play it way back in ancient times… (counts on fingers…count on toes…) when I was a freshman in high school. Yeah, that was when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
Anyway. What a weird culture we live in. Kids kill imaginary people and things for fun, but we still wonder (as a society) why they’re so violent. I remember visiting my cousins last year, and as we were all sitting around watching some of them play Playstation, I heard my six-year old nephew yell out, “Shoot him in the head, shoot him in the head!”
Frankly, I was horrified. That’s probably because when I think of someone being shot in the head, I don’t think of the video-game version where they drop to the floor and then disappear. (bad-guys mysteriously evaporate after they die, have you noticed that?) I think of the real-life version, where being shot in the head means an explosion of blood and flesh and brain-matter. And if the person who’s shot doesn’t die right away, that means lying on the floor in pain, in a pool of your own gore, waiting for either help of death. No, they don’t really evaporate. They probably had a wife, or kids, or at least siblings or parents who would wonder what happened to them and die of worrying. Even if they were the bad-guy in your own real-life adventure, they would still have family members who would probably work themselves to the bone trying to pay the medical bills of their loved one (now a vegetable in the hospital) all because some gun-happy idiot had to come along and shoot their father/brother/husband in the head.
So yeah, I have problems with a six year old yelling for someone to be shot in the head.
Kids these days. I can’t blame them though, because they aren’t actually in charge. It’s the adults who are at fault here, the parents who allow their little kids to watch and emulate violent behavior and practice killing imaginary people. You don’t get a true-to-life idea of death or violence from TV or video games. In cartoons, Tom (from Tom & Jerry) will often get shot in the face with both barrels of a shotgun. He then shakes it off and goes back to chasing Jerry. In video games, you shoot the bad guy and he flashes and disappears. People in cop shows kick each other’s heads and punch each other in the face five, ten, fifteen times and then everyone gets up again, a little bloodier but mostly ok. In reality, if you got punched in the face once you’d be in real trouble. Even just two or three kicks to the head causes permanent damage.
During this same trip, I also saw some of these same kids trying WWF (that’s the World-wide Wrestling Federation, is has nothing to do with wildlife) moves out on each other. One of them nearly busted his head open on the floor trying to do a flying crotch-attack. I don’t know what else to call it, I’m sorry, but those moron wrestlers fly crotch-first at each other and try to wrap their legs around each other’s heads. There’s no other way to explain it. So please pardon my French.
There’s a huge difference between real violence and imaginary violence, in that imaginary violence has not consequences and looks kind of fun, actually. Older children may understand the difference between imaginary violence and real-life violence, but the little kids aren’t smart enough. That’s why their parents have to make the choice for them.
Forget Doom. You should play this instead.
The attorney for a 13-year-old boy accused of killing a six-year-old playmate by slamming her into a table has subpoenaed Hulk Hogan and another wrestler to testify at his client’s upcoming murder trial. The boy was mimicking wrestling moves he had seen on TV.
– Associated Press, Miami 3/21/00
A year-long 98/99 study of World Wrestling Federation’s “Raw is War” by Indiana University revealed:
Grabbing one’s crotch – 1,658 incidents
Giving the “finger” – 157 incidents
Simulated sex – 128 incidents
Simulated drug use – 42 incidents
Urination/talking about/simulation – 21 incidents
Prostitution as a character role – 20 incidents
Indiana University, Department of Telecommunications, 1999