I only have to mention the titles and people will see exactly the point that I'm making. Halo, Call of Duty, Hitman: Absolution, Shadows of the Damned…we already know the damaging effects of these ultra-violent and often first person video games have on our kids. They have a reputation that precedes them in terms of the blood, gore and viciousness.
I don't need to tell you that in playing these kinds of games, you or your children will be exposed to extremely graphic violence, sexual content, aberrant behaviors, drug usage and extreme fantasy. I don't need to tell you that if you want your children to make it in the particularly competitive field of headline grabbing psychosis, these games are like the Montessori School for sociopaths. They will get the job done and your child will excel in his or her chosen insanity. That's precisely why the games have earned Mature ratings.
Odd that the term Mature has become synonymous with "suitable for emotionally dead and exceedingly violent people."
As parents, we remember a simpler time where the worst that could happen in a video game was that your Pac Man was swallowed up by Inky, Blinkly, Pinky or Clyde, but there's no point in looking back because those old games are mostly relegated to the pop culture dustbin where they are hanging with their good buddy Pong. We have to be realistic and recognize that CGI is here to stay.
And before we get too deeply into the discussion, let me take the opportunity to emphasize that I'm a free speech kind of gal. I'm not for banning particular video games just because they don't meet my specific standards. Today's message is about active parenting, political messaging and refusing to hand children over to pop culture inevitability.
We can help our children navigate through the muddle of gaming options and make sure that they don't get exposed to such depravity as we see in M rated games, but we also want to be able to allow our kids to unwind and enjoy video gaming within reason.
Here's a question though. Just because a game is not overly violent or graphic in language or sexual content – just because it is rate Teen or 10+, does that mean we can hand it to our kids without understanding the game's social or political perspective?
Anyone who has ever placed his or her child in front of a computer math or phonics game can attest to this. Games teach young, impressionable minds quite effortlessly. Put your kid in front of a computer monitor, throw in the DVD and watch as she clicks her way to a higher math grade. Then turn off the game and for the rest of the day she will be humming the tunes and duplicating the sound effects that are used by characters, because the game has taught her much more than just math. She has been influenced on a holistic level.
It's a little like advertising. Think about a TV commercial for instance. We've all seen commercials that annoy us or make us laugh or even make us cry. One thing that the successful commercials have in common is that they get into your brain and you don't readily forget them. Create a scenario that is memorable – funny, dramatic, what have you – make your point, have the commercial "god" sell the tag line and voila! You have a marketing touchdown.
Go ahead. Say this to your kids…"Guess-what-day-it-is." I bet they can take it from there and they may not even know what car insurance is. I'm telling you. In my house, we rarely watch live TV specifically so we can zip through the commercials, but when my kids see that one, they not only pause the fast forward, they rewind so they can watch it again.
Liberals understand this. They are fully versed in the best ways to influence unsuspecting consumers with powerful imagery to get their points across.
I have long been interested and perplexed by simulation games and their ability to move thinking into progressive directions. I shudder to consider how clueless and poorly versed conservatives are about this form of propaganda. The POV on pop culture is that it's just music, it's just a movie, it's just a cartoon, it's just a book and it's just a video game. It's all silly nonsense.
You know, until you find yourself choking on a bagel at the breakfast table because your seven year old just asked you what twerking is. Beyond that, there's no reason to get involved. Certainly not worth wasting time on.
Trust me, the Left sees opportunity in this medium and has its foot soldiers working busily to create fun new ways to embrace socialism.
We know, for instance, that Barack Obama has used advertising in EA Games in order to sell his presidency. Quoting from Joystiq in an article dated September of 2012:
"Madden NFL 13 across various consoles and other undisclosed EA games are on deck to dish out Obama ads, including EA's casual games portal Pogo and EA Mobile games like Tetris, Scrabble and Battleship. These ads will show up for gamers in Ohio, Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire and Virginia."
When you consider that the Obama administration is openly meeting with members of the entertainment industry to brainstorm ways that writers can work pro-Obamacare messaging into storylines, the Leftist manipulation of children through video games should not be surprising. It is essentially the beginning of a brave new world where value systems will be changed with the click of a mouse. Why does the Left own the youth vote? Because they find ways to connect with it and mold it.
Think about a really old game like Sim City that introduced children and teens to ideas like green energy some twenty to twenty-five years ago. It completely paved the way for accepting alternative energy as preferable to the actual viable solutions. Particularly anti-coal and anti-nuclear, this game emphasized success through solar, wind and hydroelectric technology. And there's the rub. Young players are rarely able to differentiate between fact and political perspective within a computer game because it's as subtle as it is pervasive.
The game developers command statistical probability, the laws of physics, economy, social unrest, etc. so that success and failure require the player to follow rules and logic that exist only in the game's universe. Even though windmills are exceedingly inexpensive and reliable in the game for instance, we know that they don't work very well in real life, that they will never pay for themselves, that they kill wildlife, that they're tremendous eyesores, that they cause health problems for the people who live by them, that one good tornado will turn them into projectiles of such massive proportion that it will have everyone wondering why they were constructed in the first place.
In short, games are fun and reality bites. Pardon my French.
An advertisement for a video game caught my eye the other day. It's called Democracy 3. It's a simulation game along the lines of Sim City. Democracy 3? What could go wrong with that? Sound intriguing? I thought so too. Here's the trailer for the game:
Now… let's dig, shall we? Let's look at a different video that gets deeper into the details:
I personally haven't played this game. I can't tell you what the developers' political perspectives are, but it's pretty clear that they are selling something. So are they selling a philosophy that you want your kids embracing?
The best I can do is to extrapolate the developer's message based on my own limited experience with this kind of simulation.
Let me gaze into my crystal ball and foretell what the winning behaviors are going to be in order to master this game. If I were to guess, the game will create any number of situations where capitalism is undesirable and at least some level of socialism is necessary in order to win reelection. Yes, yes…extreme forms of Marxism will be undesirable too. That's because they won't be trying to sell your child on that philosophy. They will be selling him or her on compromise, and I promise that the winning level of socialism will be much higher than anything that the United States experiences today. If I were to guess, this game will direct young players – through its simulated probabilities, physics, economy and social unrest that exist only within the universe of Democracy 3 – into embracing a European socialism on steroids.
And we'll all look pretty silly if we voice a complaint because, come on! What are you? A Puritan? It's only a game. There's no violence. No sex. No obscene language. No harm and no foul. It's moderately educational. What more do you want?
That's what American conservatives are up against. And that is why conservatives continue to lose the youth vote. That is why RINOs throw their hands up and just hope our descent into Marxism won't leave them living in the gulag.
Talk about game over. The youth vote is lost to conservatives before they are even legal to register because our side won't put up a fight for them. We offer few alternatives. The alternatives that we do offer are way too often like Mitt Romney trying to rap or something. All children know is collectivism because the Left understands how to sell it and because the last conservative to give a flying fig about reaching the youth vote was Ronald Reagan.
But it's not a situation that I can lay exclusively at the feet of the GOP either. Parents must take a vigorous interest in the activities that occupy our children's minds. When they get a new game, do you talk to your kids about it? Do you learn about the characters, learn the game's language?
Ask them questions. Become an expert on the subject so that when game developers throw kids into difficult ethical or moral dilemmas that teach your children something outside your own system of values, you can help them to reason through the problems. It may not be the whole solution, but it's an excellent first step.
Turn the Left's propaganda into teachable moments whenever possible and rage, rage against the dying of the light.