One of my co-workers I work with last year showed me some videos of US troops blowing up a jeep full of Afghan soldiers. He said something like, “Mark, you gotta check this out! It’s pretty funny!”
The guy who showed me is one of the people I used to play WW2 Online with every once in a while (it’s a MMOFPS). I can only guess that killing “Frogs” virtually with him makes him think I’m all for war and that killing people in real life is funny.
And this isn’t just limited to my testosterone heavy friends. One of my other co-workers who is a middle-aged woman and into things like “Survivor” and “American Idol” showed me a Flash movie about the war on Afghanistan, a song about how great it was to take down the terrorists and how they caused thousands of Americans to suffer. Is it just ignorance of how much *we* cause other people to suffer that makes us feel like we are in the right so much so that we can laugh at other’s misfortunes? “Sure, we’re killing and displacing some civilians, but they attacked us first!” Uh, first in what sense? Also, is it so hard to separate individuals from a whole group/nation/ethnic race? I find it hard to believe that that little 6 yr old girl blew up the towers…
I get the GameDAILY newsletter right now (it’s mostly crap). In it is a section for classifieds, and recently, one of them has been an ad for the AttackSaddam.com domain name. I find this neither appropriate in this newsletter nor do I find it amusing, and I imagine the people who registered the domain name, and are now selling it, to be very much like my co-workers in mentality.
The argument exists that games don’t cause people to be violent, and I know that this is definitely true for at least some people (I only have to look in a mirror for proof of that), but I wonder how a professional publication with supposedly tons of professionals in the gaming industry can not be hypocritical by allowing stuff like this in their classifieds. Actually, I don’t have so much a problem with their classifieds being non-censored, but I do have a problem with the appearance of complacency–no that is too weak a word–the finding humor in an ad like this.
Am I wrong here? Is this stuff funny?
Anyway, Brandon. The question is very often “Do the ends justify the means?” The problem with this question is that knowing what the “ends” will be isn’t always guaranteed. It puts too much emphasis on pre-cognition. In real life, we can’t always know what the cause-effect will be of a decision and we may not know the effects for years to come. This is why in a democracy, we talk about things and decide on the best course of action together through reasoning. And I think this is why most people who were or are against the war have that opinion, that we did not decide with our UN peers to go to war. In the end, maybe what we’ve done is for the better, but the way we’ve done it exposes our irrational, short-sighted nature.
PS. Is it weird that I don’t find running over civvies in Grand Theft Auto 3 funny, more of an annoyance that the game practically forces you to do so?