When I was your age I had to walk to school while carrying my younger brother and do my paper route at the same time. I used to go outside and play in something called sunshine and fresh air. The TV only had four channels, two of which went off at midnight. YUP! I’m old ... I guess.
Not to get mired in things and how they used to be, and I don’t want to suggest that everything kids are doing today is wrong, but I, like my parents, don’t agree with everything that’s out there. My parents didn’t like Led Zeppelin, but that didn’t prevent me from turning my room into a Zeppelin shrine where people from far and wide would come to worship at the altar of Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones. So it’s not that I don’t understand that things progress in a way that makes older people (like myself) really scratch their heads and say, "Is that really necessary?"
So I was perusing the Internet the other day when I stumbled across a video of video games. Out of curiosity I clicked on it and it was an instructional video on how to play a game I never heard of. But once you’ve shown interest in that, it gives you other suggestions, one of which was entitled "Sucker Punch." If you don’t know, a sucker punch is hitting someone who doesn’t expect it and may not even deserve it; if you sucker punch someone you are likely the most cowardly low life form of human trash walking the planet ... but that’s just my opinion.
But out of some sort of can’t-take-my-eyes-off-the-train-wreck moment, I clicked on the video which was a compilation of sucker punches from the video game Grand Theft Auto 5. I’ve written about this game before and here I go again. But before I get too deep into it I want to say that everything I’m about to lay out here is really targeted towards young influential minds and all of it can be handled through a little something called parenting.
That being said ...
In the latest version of Grand Theft Auto, apparently you can sucker punch people! It doesn’t matter who -- old ladies, working men, women and people walking down the street or standing at a bus stop minding their own business. Now, call me old-fashioned if you must, perhaps from a generation that would rather get the bad guy than be the bad guy, but I truly fail to see the point of incorporating this kind of violence into a form of entertainment. What’s the point?
Again, if we’re dealing with just kids playing this game then it should fall on the parents to govern what their kids are doing and what games they are playing. But it’s not just kids that are playing these games, and here’s the part where I start to sound really old -- young adults are playing it too. Now, maybe they can separate video from reality, but I still don’t think playing the part of a video character that runs around punching women is a good thing. It crosses a line that was drawn a long time ago that said under no circumstances should a man strike a woman. I liked that line; I never saw a problem with it, and I was raised to toe that line. Now that line has been bent and you can actually get points for a violent takedown of a lady standing at a bus stop reading her newspaper.
As of now, I don’t see a whole lot left in the moral fiber container when it comes to wide-reaching platforms like videos games and television. So were I to appreciate your ability to entertain yourself with a game, I find it disturbing that we have evolved into a violent culture that has to beat up innocent bystanders in order to be entertained.
But, at the end of the day, the responsibility falls on us; we can make the decision to play or not to play. It’s pretty simple and it should always start with the question: What the hell is up with that?