Friday, March 2, 2012

Glorifying War through video games...

Warning: Probably another one of my soapbox rants.... this is long, so grab a cup of coffee first if you're going to read this all the way through... it will sound a bit jumbled, jump around a bit, but I'm hoping that my point gets made :)

Many of my friends back in Utah know that I'm not the the war-games type (aka CoD,MW, Spinter Cell, etc), and that I never really like them. For the reasons that:
a) I couldn't spend the hours it would take to get to the level to actually compete
b) I never saw the point in glorifying something as hideous as stalking/shooting/killing people.

This may sound like I have a severe double-standard, but let me explain the difference from my perspective.

If you play fantasy type games (aka WoW, Skyrim, Assassins creed, Final Fantasy, etc), these are all set in complete fantasy worlds that have very little in common with the real world. There is nothing there that could be washed over, over-glorified, and spun by the military/government/media in a 'positive' light.

War games that set you in a realistic place, with modern weapons, shooting at what could be considered a stand-in for a real person in some part of the world (and from what I've seen, the most recent of these games are set in the middle east). I have never been in the military, never had any real desire to, although I came DAMN close to joining on at least 3 occasions to escape some people in my family, and from the several meltdowns of the economy. I look at these games, and all I see is the continuing 'hatred' that is being bred into kids/teenagers/adults, to want to attack and kill a segment of the worlds population, in a realistic scenario... well, realistic, except that the portrayal seems to glorify your part in it. The player himself is in no danger of being harmed, with the possible exception of carpel tunnel or maybe back/neck strain (or their ass falls asleep). These games continue to breed hatred for groups and religious people that, for the action of some small extremist fundamentalists, makes us filled with hatred for them, and these games continue to pour gasoline on this fire.

Personally, I believe that these games should not be continued to be made and released, however I've long come to realize that fighting that would be futile. I also am not trying to point ANY fingers at anyone that plays these games. Those people on my friends list that do, and read this, should please understand that I consider you to (hopefully) be of a mental IQ high enough to both know that I would expect you to not be indoctrinated by the message these games give, that I'm in NO way trying to insult you because you do get entertainment out of them, and to understand my reasons why I can't play these games myself, and will never have any desire to.

War, in ANY way, should NOT be glorified, and that's what I see with these. War is NOT glory, War is NOT honor, War is NOT anything that ANYONE should want. That being said, (as I've said many times in the past), I have absolutely nothing but the UTMOST respect and pride in every single one of my family members and friends that have stepped up to serve in the military, and your sacrifice of your time, and possibly your lives for the sake of the safety of myself and my family is something you will have forever.

I would also ask, please read this article, written by a former soldier, now working as a PMC (private military contractor), who's giving a lot of the same opinions I have above, and his writing has also helped me put into words a lot of what has been in my head.

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