Published Dec 01, 2000There simply is not enough extreme violence in video games. I implore the public, the Canadian government, and the video game industry to work towards a dramatic increase in the proliferation of game violence, particularly where young children are concerned. It is with Canada's future in mind that I propose a legislated program of mandatory violent video game play as part of our national education program.
As concerned adults, we are interested in healthy, robust, and mentally stable children. Through the enchanting medium of video games, we can deliver the badly needed medicine of extreme violence. The benefits of an early game-play program are twofold: desensitisation and basic combat skills.
Violence is blasted at us through every available media outlet, and is more than likely plaguing our kids in their own neighbourhoods and schools. Like the irrational fear of the bogeyman, a child can learn to overcome his or her apprehension towards violence. Through a regimented education program, regular violent game play will quickly acclimate a youngster to the sights and sounds of the "real world." Once deadened to virtual violence, experiences such as schoolyard shootings will be a mere triviality. This will lighten the load on counsellors, educators, and parents who would ordinarily have to spend time discussing the experience with their children. Telling children that their schoolmates have been "fragged," and that the "gibbed" children will surely "respawn" in a better place will undoubtedly save time and money, while simultaneously providing our kids a message they can understand.
Through desensitisation, children will be able to react calmly to a variety of situations that otherwise might have caused confusion and distress. The next time someone goes postal at a school, there would be far fewer casualties. With my proposed education plan, we will also see an increase in the number of succinct distress calls made by children who were previously unable to do so. It is likely that children will be able to convey calm, quick and accurate information to our friends at 911 call centres, thus increasing the efficiency of this important service.
Violent video game play in schools will also see an increase in the reflexes, co-ordination, reaction time, and tactical skills of our youth. Parents can now breathe a sigh of relief now that their children can truly take care of themselves. The scenario of schoolyard shootings would be a thing of the past as children turn their attackers into victims. Using tactics learned through gaming, children would naturally jump, duck, side-step, and run away from their attackers instincts learned through violent game play.
With Canada planning a national broadband internet infrastructure for roll-out in the near future, it's clear that many of our jobs will become computer-based. A country of gamers will have extremely rapid data-processing abilities, as well as the ability to work under stressful and dangerous conditions. We can capitalise on a skilled, efficient work force through my proposed education program. Canadian adults of the future will not only be leaders in information technology, but also in the fields of policing, security and warfare.
Without the burden of fear, panic, or remorse, we will be preparing a martial society unrivalled since the age of the Spartans. We will soon surpass our American neighbours in professional soldiering and policing skills. "Real world" violence in this country will surely decrease, as the reaction to such acts will be swift and deadly. With a downturn in local violent crime, our future labour force would be in a prime hiring position for the comparatively weak American and European military and police forces.
This holiday season, you have the opportunity to effect positive change. Write your provincial and federal MPs. Ask them to consider a program of education in virtual violence for your province, and for Canada. I implore you to seek out and purchase for your child games that feature extreme violence. And don't limit gift-giving simply to Christmas or Hanukkah violent games make great birthday or "rainy day" presents as well. Give the gift that will last a lifetime. Give the gift of violence. Thank you.
-Tony Walsh (www.secretlair.com)