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Ohhhh The Hypocrisy!

2010 February 12
by Bill

Man – I have fallen behind in my writing lately.  6 weeks into the new year too … UGH!  OK, I am going to need each one of you who read this to keep me writing.  If I have not posted anything after 2 or 3 days – email me and let me know how disappointed you are!  K – Thanks!  I have not written in 10 days … I have a lot to say … so, enjoy this post and PLEASE, leave a comment – I think this is going to stir up some feelings!  *grin*

I read an article the other day titled “Stop Teaching Our Kids To Kill” by David Marsh.  This article talks about Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and how he has “laid siege to the entertainment industry” through his theory of Killology.  Grossman’s theory is that “violence in TV, movies and video games is teaching our kids to kill.”  Ummmm – WHAT???  My first reaction was dismissal – “Oh No, here is another crazy ass giving parents another excuse why NOT to raise their own kids!”  Then after about .0034 seconds … I realized one thing – This guy, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, is a 24 year veteran with the US Military!  He is not some whacked out nut case (my assumption, since most Lt. Col.’s need to be pretty with it if they are going to make it 24 years) … anyway … Here is a man who has made a career from an industry of killing.  Does that make him an expert on what the Entertainment industry is doing?  NOPE … does it make him an expert on the psychology of kids and what makes them do things?  NOPE (for the record – that person does not exists – you can not tell me why kids do things – its impossible!)

So – what is Grossman’s stand?  He wants to “stop an industry that’s selling death and horror and destruction to children as entertainment.”  Now – I would like YOU (the reader) to take a minute and think about that statement.  What is the first word or name that comes to mind when you think about “an industry that is selling death and horror and destruction.”  The first “industry” I think about when the topic of death and destruction is discussed is MEDIA.  Our NEWS in America is no longer about News … it is over-sensationalized garbage where explosions and affairs take top billing over issues that can actually ruin our society.  I am taken back to a time when Anna Nicole Smith was found dead in South Florida … CNN and FOX and MSNBC aired this information for 9 straight days!  Michael Jackson’s death … 3 weeks … NOT NEWS!

The war in Iraq (support it or not) and the coverage we are showing on the 57 NEWS channels that air NEWS 24 hours a day / 7 days a week … wouldn’t you say that might be a cause for the desensitization of our kids to death and gore?  Not Lt. Col. Grossman … he wants you to believe that playing Call Of Duty – Modern Warfare 2 is going to “teach youngsters the skill of killing.”  So – if I understand Grossman correctly – do away with the video games, movies, radio and TV industry and all our problems will be solved!  HA HA HA … I disagree … Circle Gets The Square!

I have a very good friend in the video game industry, he has worked for over 10 years and is currently lead designer at a successful gaming company – I sent him the link to this article and this was his response:

Ultimately, all of the studies have not proven this to be the case. We, as a culture, aren’t any more violent than we used to be (I’m looking at you Coliseum)….we’re simply more desperate, more selfish and better connected so the flow of information happens much faster, creating the illusion. We are definitely more desensitized, but we’re desensitized to everything. Stand in the aisle at a Walmart and you’ll see children shouldered up to magazines telling women how to satisfy their men better.  Covers with mostly naked women all over them. You’ve got thongs in child sizes, children brands like “apple bottom” which refers to the shape of a woman’s ass. Violence isn’t really the biggest threat to our existence, it’s always going to be a part of it, it’s actually the sexualization of children, and especially girls.

You want to know what’s going to destroy the world?  Unwanted children and the death of class and self-respect.  Not to mention the fact that it’s impossible for the world to manage the flow of entertainment to children. Entertainment is built for a specific audience and rated as such. It’s up to parents to be the filter between their kids and the music, movies, games, books and pictures of the world. It doesn’t matter what kind of regulations we impose, without that filter it’s all for nothing … and the filter is what is gone because so many people are having children that have no business doing so. I’m not worried about my kids playing Halo, though I wouldn’t let anyone under 12 play it, I’m worried about what they see every day in the culture around them.

You want to save the world? Don’t regulate entertainment or media, regulate breeding.

What drives me absolutely NUTS is when I read about government, leaders, groups, pastors, anyone – try to tell ME how to raise MY CHILD!  Tyler and Bryan are both amazing kids … Smart, Witty, Successful and Polite – they play video games, they watch movies (sometimes movies I wont even watch – *SHOCK*), they read magazines … yet, somehow they do not fit into the mold these idiots are trying to stuff them into.  Their argument does NOT hold water … because when you boil it down – it is still the parents responsibility to raise the kids!  All these guys want to do is point blame away from adults who have unruly kids, adults who need a reason to blame for their own failures.  Grossman points out in his presentation “young shooters in school massacres in Colorado and Kentucky, among others, were avid video game players.”  WAIT … I am an “avid” video game player … I play my Xbox AT LEAST 3 – 4 times a week … and have been known to play “shooter games” 4 – 6 hours at a time … does that mean I am going to go crazy and start killing?  How about looking at other “factors” with the school shooters … loners, picked on, rebellious, small group of friends, absent parents – I wouldn’t even put Video Games in the top 20 reasons these kids did what they did … blaming video games for violence is easy … but does that make it right?  It’s like saying “Guns Kill People” … noooooo, its the little tiny bullets that kill people … the gun is just a tool … like a hammer, or saw … both of those tools kill people too if used for that purpose – are we now going to raise up against Hammers and Saws???

OK – lets look at this from another angle … and the reason why my post is titled “Ohhhh the Hypocrisy!”  Lt. Col Grossman wants us to believe video games and the entertainment industry is BAD … if this is true – then why does the US Military make it look sooooo exciting in their ad campaigns?  Forgive me – but doesn’t this commercial make being in the Military look and feel like playing a real life video game – only thing they leave out is you get ONE CHANCE – there is no spawn point on these maps:

How can a man with 24 years of Military service stand up and say how horrible an industry is when the same Military uses that industry to attract recruits?  After all … wouldn’t the Military want to attract someone other than an unstable, video gamer that could snap and kill people anytime?  Desensitization happens everywhere – its not one industry/person/company’s fault.  If you try to point the finger at one and ignore other factors affecting the end result you end up being foolish and self-sabotage your mission.

What do you think – when you read this post (and the article on Lt Col Grossman) what is your experience?  What goes through your mind when you think about “desensitizing our youth” … I look forward to any comments you all leave!

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. February 12, 2010

    Good article…our last two Netflix movies were ‘Gamer’ and ‘Hurt Locker’ that are very relevant to your blog. I won’t go into details about the movies. But each was enough to rattle a non-gamer type like me to understand the skill of killing goes beyond the video aspect. Playing a video game is low risk fantasy experience as opposed to a real drive-by shooting, or combat situation, or civil violence. On the way other end of the video game issue is how our youth are now forgoing physical activity. There are many reasons, one is preferring video games/television viewing for hours on end. The risks are higher to their physical health and well being degrading over time. Our children are facing a slow, slow death without balanced physical and social life.

  2. Karma permalink
    February 12, 2010

    I wholeheartedly agree that video games are not the sole cause of desensitization of our society. It is but one factor. I believe that the media in all its forms plays a significant role. Many (not all) absent parents are absent for the purpose of attaining that “American Dream” that is no longer a reality. They are chasing leprechauns! The media dictates what we should have, do, think and say. It tells us how our children should dress, what is appropriate for little ones, etc. Little girls dressed like whores because it makes them look like women?! Come on! Let our children be innocent children while they still can. Each parent needs to know their own children’s maturity level and whether they can handle to shooting games responsibly. I’d guess that most gamers who play violent games are stable enough not to go out and shoot someone because “the game made me do it”! Parents do have a responsibility and it’s time they stood up and became the parents! Thanks for the rant, Bill. =)

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