I’ve often times said that the Left is simply no fun. They are utterly incapable of taking a joke for what it is, but this goes a step even beyond that. This is flat out dumb, and you’ll see why right here.
Recently, Rolling Stone published an article with one of the most ridiculous headlines I’ve ever seen, and that’s honestly saying something.
The title: “Video Games Are ’90 times’ More Violent Than Actual War, Here’s How To Change That”.
I’m honestly stupefied by that title. And so was this Twitter user: “Actually, Rolling Stone, I crunched the numbers. Turns out video games are 0% as violent as ‘actual war.’”
Couldn’t have said it better myself. How could you possibly think that a VIDEO GAME is more violent than ACTUAL WAR?!
Rolling Stone eventually changed the title to this: “GDC Panel: Video Games Depictions’ ’90 Times’ More Violent Than Actual War.” Which is interesting because it changes literally nothing about how stupid that title is.
The article was about a man named Andrew Barron, who is the director of design for Bohemia Interactive Simulations, and who served in Afghanistan in 2010 for 7 months.
Barron said: “In general, I’d say people have a deep appreciation for the military, but a very shallow understanding of what the military does and war itself.”
According to the Daily Wire, Barron “asserted that video games that focused on combat, excluding the routine jobs the military undertakes, are similar to writing a movie about relationships solely about sex. He said that focusing on ‘hero s**t’ ignores the routine jobs of the military involving ‘hundreds of tasks – not just shooting.’ Thus he posited that games about war need ‘less killing… more war,’ adding, ‘I think in general, video games are much, much more violent than military operations or military simulations. And I mean, orders of magnitudes more violent.’”
Barron also mentioned that a typical scenario in a war video game depicts a lone soldier wiping out entire groups of enemies, and saying that in a real-life scenario, the military uses three times the number of attackers.
Ok, knowing all of this, it’s clear to me that I need to make a distinction on what constitutes violence in this case.
When Barron mentions games like these, I think of games like the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises (of which I’ve played both extensively). And he does make one important point: it’s all “hero s**t”. In the single player mode of the games, you, as the main character, wipe out entire battlefields of enemies, moving from one level to another. In that regard, of course it’s more violent than real life. All you’re doing is wiping out entire battalions of enemies, which is not something that anyone in real life ever does.
But in a more real sense, it’s illogical to say that video games such as that are more violent than real life. Why? Because games are nothing more than a simulation; nothing more than 1’s and 0’s. The enemies we wipe out are nothing more than AI; nothing more than pixels. It’s as violent as reading a book about a fictional war, particularly since most games today focus on entirely fictional wars.
Early Call of Duty games were WWII shooters. Then, they moved on to modern warfare (literally, with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare), which depicted a war more similar to the one in Afghanistan. But even then, the game developers take some serious liberties with what they actually have you doing.
The stories don’t really mimic real life that much. For example, the very game I mentioned in the paragraph above has the players fighting Russian enemies. Its sequels, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Modern Warfare 3, go further with that fictional conflict with the Russians, at one point having Russia invading the U.S. and depicting soldiers fighting in urban and suburban areas to defend the homeland.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (not related to the Modern Warfare series) starts with the U.S. military fighting a North Korean invasion of Seoul.
What I’m trying to say is that these games are nothing more than simulations and “what ifs” that take extreme liberties with their plots. Yes, it’s mostly the fighting aspect of war. Of course it is! It’s the most heart-racing part of being in a war! It’s the most VIOLENT part of being in a war!
But you can’t credibly say that any of the games I’ve mentioned above are more violent than an actual war. Video games like these offer blood and gore that is entirely designed by a developer. I’d be more psychologically wounded by killing a person in real life than killing a person in a video game. As I said, I’ve played Call of Duty and Battlefield a whole lot. I’ve racked up tens of thousands of kills in each, as well as tens of thousands of deaths on each.
I’ve called in airstrikes, attack helicopters, AC130s, attack dogs and tactical nukes on my opponents plenty of times. But none of them could possibly be considered as being more violent than a real war.
Why? Because there’s a clear suspension of reality in a video game. Soldiers aren’t afforded that luxury in a war. Everything is real to them. Some of them suffer from PTSD as a result of traumatic experiences in war. Not a single person that plays Call of Duty claims they got PTSD from anything that happens there.
Yes, there’s more to war than just shooting. But there’s also more to video games than shooting as well. While I can’t say that’s the case for Call of Duty or Battlefield, there are military simulation video games like the Arma series that aren’t about full-on combat 24/7. No, it doesn’t fully simulate what being in war is like in terms of the tasks, but you spend a good amount of the game planning things like raids, assaults and other things and then getting to the actual shooting.
But you can’t credibly say that video games are more violent than real war just because video games focus on the more violent parts of war. Nothing you do in a video game could possibly prepare you for what you would have to do in real life. You can’t get used to the trauma and violence of actual war by constantly playing a video game.
And that’s my biggest argument against that claim. If video games were really more violent than war, soldiers would be far more prepared for war (in the beginning, that is) than they actually are.
Now, that being said, I’ve never been to war myself. I’m speaking strictly with the mindset of “what makes the most sense”. I’m looking at things through logical means and speaking in that manner, having no experience in actual combat.
But I do have experience in video game combat, and let me tell you, I could not possibly do what our brave men and women do every single day. I’ve put up countless numbers of kills in games but I don’t think I have the mettle to actually end the life of another human being. With as much hate as I have for ISIS, Al-Qaeda and terrorists, I don’t think I could possibly bear to actually, physically and through my own means take the life of another person unless it was absolutely necessary to protect me, my friends or my family.
Taking the life of a pixel is easy. Taking the life of another person, despite how evil and repugnant they are, is not.
I’ve read a book by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his life as a SEAL sniper. I mention this because I remember one particular part of the book where he detailed what it felt like when he had to kill a Muslim woman who had a grenade in hand and was going to kill his comrades. About how he felt having to take her out, knowing that she was forced by cowardly terrorists to sacrifice her own life for their horrendous cause.
About how it felt to pull the trigger and see the woman lying dead because of him.
In a video game, such a task is easy. Wait for the cut-scene to end, man the sniper and take the shot, no questions asked. But I can’t imagine exactly how such an act feels, whether it’s doing it with a sniper, an assault rifle, a pistol or what have you.
Real war is far more violent than video games, and there’s no real argument against that. I can’t imagine what it’d be like to go through war. I played a game that was set during the Vietnam War, but I couldn’t possibly imagine what it’d be like to actually be there.
When a soldier dies in real life, we weep. When a soldier dies in a video game, we blame “bad internet connections”.
We salute and offer respect to those who have gone to war. We don’t salute and offer respect to those who reached the max level in a war video game.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
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