While I am no proponent of violent movies (I think the term “torture porn” that was coined not too long ago is an appropriate description of some of the more disgusting Hollywood creations of late) and believe that merely watching such films can take their toll on us spiritually, I also believe that there is an important difference between violent films and violent video games: stepping out of the role of observer and into the role of participant.
And as I have commented before, the advanced interactivity and physical mimicry of the Nintendo Wii makes that thought even more chilling. In my post of last year, “Wii Are Not Amused by Manhunt 2,” I described my opinions about why having the player physically mimic, with his very own hands, the murderous actions (stabbing, strangling, etc.) that he sees “himself” committing on screen against virtual human beings is a horrific concept of mind-numbing proportions. Who thought this was a good idea, again?
That said, earlier I was reading a completely asinine TimesOnline editorial about embryonic stem cell research and wondering how The Times felt about the apparent ignorance of moral depth or complexity among some of their editorial staff when I came across a link to an interesting Manhunt 2-related post.
It was written by David Hutchinson back on April 2, 2008, and is titled, “An emotional response to Manhunt 2.” For those who have never thought about the potential impact of such games on their players, I highly recommend reading his brief post, as it is interesting anecdotal evidence of what I believe are serious problems with such games.
It’s a quick read — check it out.
In Noah’s day, before God decided to flush civilization (literally) and start over, the scriptures say that the world had become full of violence. Given the programming of our children that is going on these days, I would say that Jesus’ warning in Matthew 24:37 probably admits of more depth than it is often given: “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”