Christians and Christianity never fair well on videogame related sites. Theological and spiritual discussions always seem to devolve into name calling/ hateful discussions. Take for instance a recent post on Joystiq.com. The post speaks of a recent opinion piece posted to the Christian Civic League of Maine’s website, The Record, entitled Ban this Video Game. Instead of analyzing The Record’s opinion piece, Joystiq.com is content to make fun of punctuation and generally mock the Christian group. This is a shame. What Joystiq.com should have done is note the following:
- The opinion piece is heavily slanted from the opening paragraph.
…participate vicariously in the destruction of their fellow man.
Anyone who has played videogames since their inception knows that not all games lead players down dark paths of violence. Mario, Pacman, and Sonic are great examples of non-destructive games.
- The Christian Civic League of Maine’s article continues by essentially saying that violence is violence whether virtual or not (real life prize-fighting versus videogames is given as an example).
What do you think of this? Is violence in a videogame like real life violence?
- The article continues by talking about Modern Warefare 2’s controversial “No Russian” mission.
In the game, the player becomes a member of a terrorist gang which guns down helpless men, women, and children waiting at an airport.
While I have not played through Modern Warefare 2, comments on various forums and sites seem to indicate that the scene was placed in the game for shock value. Below is a quote from an article Tom Chick, from over at Fidgit.com, wrote on the controversial scene which seems to pretty much sum everything I’ve read.
It is unnecessary, cheap, and disgusting… (for full article click here)
- Logic is thrown out the window as the Civic League’s article draws to a close.
There is a well-established cause and effect relationship between video games and school shootings…
Really? While I have read that the shooters in the Columbine incident played videogames, I am also sure that they watched R rated movies.
- Finally, the article summarizes that Modern Warfare 2 and videogames in general need to be banned.
Moreover, it may be time for Maine to begin a debate over the advisability of banning these games completely, giving due consideration to both the First Amendment, and the danger these violent games pose to the public.
Following their logic, anything that runs in conflict to their beliefs should be outright banned from existence. This makes me wonder how this group separates books that conflict with their beliefs. Why aren’t they calling for a ban on books?
In the end, I wish that more civilized debates were waged on the Internet. Flame wars, articles/ posts written to drive up web traffic, and opinions not thought through help no one. Please post responsibly.