Whatever happened to Pong?

My very unpopular opinion of video games was strengthened last night when I watched the news about Black Friday. Hoards of people where shoving each other, pepper spraying, stepping on kids (who should not have been out there) in order to get a discount on some of the new WAR video games that are coming out.

Really?

Grown adults need to stomp, pepper spray, and beat on each other HERE, while our soldiers are defending our country, living the video game in real life? I find these war, street, gang, robbery, car-jacking reality games disgusting. I find it sad that people need to spend their free time shooting & accosting people, living a "fantasy". If you want to play war, enlist. Give our soldiers a break, let them come home to the safety they are sacrificing their families and lives for.

I have this discussion often, and my kids are not in contact with these games. Having a boy who loves to "shoot" at things with his Nerf gun, I know it will be harder to keep him from the allure of the realistic video game as he gets older. Yes, there is a difference for me between him playing "cops" in the park with a Nerf gun, and shooting people on a screen that is so realistic that it scares me. And they just keep playing....

I grew up with a loaded gun in the house. My dad, when he was there, kept it under his pillow or next to it at all times. I was taught what a gun could do if it is fired, it could hurt or kill something. Very simple. I did not touch it. It was not because I was a girl either; I was just a curious and crazy as the rest of the kids....I was just taught the seriousness of a gun.

Then again, when I was a kid we kids played Atari...Pong...the game where you bounce the ball back and forth. Donkey Kong and Caterpillar, later Star Wars.

My opinion is often challenged, as many of my friends let their kids play very violent video games, or they play them themselves. I believe there is a fine line that we cross when we let our kids get conditioned to hurt, run over, shoot, etc other humans on a screen. Yes, it is JUST a video game, but is it really? What happens to the spirit when our kids experience this on a constant basis, as the video games, sensors, and realistic game consoles make you feel like it is the "real thing" and your are right in there?

I am not against the video game culture. I love the fitness games, the adventure games, etc. It is amazing what they bring onto my TV screen. We have an XBoX, and my kids play CARS and Harry Potter :).

I am sending this out as a thought. Let us as least try to keep kids from the violent reality games. This year, think about what you are plopping down $60 for, and what you are bringing into your homes. Go find a good family board game, or take your kids outside and shoot Nerf guns.......

With love,
Heike

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