That link to the news about India and Pakistan is kinda frightening, in an “i told you so” sort of way….chickens coming home to roost, anyone?
Mark, that whole debate about the links between video games and violence is an interesting one to me. I mean, it’s almost a visceral response for me to immediately laugh at the idea and say that if a video game is enough to make someone devalue human life to the point where it ends in tragedy (as is always the case when the proponents of this argument rear their ugly heads), then there’s something much deeper and more troubling involved. At the same time, I run into all too many people (and I am sure Brandon is with me here, probably the rest of you) who I give almost no credit to in terms of their ability to reason or understand real-life issues. So then I have to make the decision: do I have faith in humanity (meaning that video games should’nt be able to negatively affect people so profoundly) or do I not (be honest, on the highway, you hate everyone and wish they would die)?
I mean, in some sense, we all know that a slight majority of Americans support the war. Now, to be a smug liberal and assume that I am right and they are wrong, we have one of three choices: 1) Americans understand the issues and are capable of intelligently making a decision on the matter, and hence they just believe it is the moral thing to do, and that getting rid of / disarming Saddam really is worth all the potential problems. 2) Americans understand the issues and are capable of intelligently making a decision, but the way the war is presented by the government and media skews the issue so that Americans are on the wrong team. Or, 3) Americans are presented the issue in a balanced manner but are unable to adequately understand the situation and therefore arrive at the wrong conclusion.
So, from that point of view, I am forced to choose between our citizens being immoral (or at least morally so different from myself that they seem alien), duped, or stupid. I guess I’d have to lean towards a combination of (2) and (3)…but it’s hard to tell. I guess if I chose immoral, that would suggest that video games aren’t responsible for violence, it’s just an inborn American trait. Whereas if I chose (3), video games could be responsible for making people violent. But I just don’t believe it…so it’s kind of a quandry.
As for not enjoying yourself running over civvies…I have to say that’s a totally understandable and probably healthy reaction. From my personal point of view, I never had the chance or much yearning to play grand theft auto, but if I did, I’d probably enjoy running over the civilians a great deal. Why? I guess it’s like Q-Tip says: “I really can’t tell/I guess I laugh to keep from cryin/so much goin’ on,/people killin, people dyin'”
Chris, fully agree with the baseball thing. Tim Robbins was at Brown last week speaking about the war; people said he was pretty good. I would have to say that the fact that the whole thing went down like that lends credence to hypothesis (3) above…