Interesting and varied viewpoints!
To me, it comes down to shades of grey. Both ends of the social spectrum are getting pushed to the middle and therein lies the problem. Is parenting
a problem; yes. Is personal responsibility a problem; yes. Is social conditioning of certain behaviors a problem; yes.
Back during the days of Fred Flintstone did murder exist? Well, of course it did. If you didn’t like someone you picked up a rock and caved in the
side of their skull with it. Back during the Revolutionary war you loaded a ball in your musket, patched it and fired it at someone. But times have
changed. So, what’s different?
The lines between reality and fantasy have become blurred. As a kid you fantasized about being a pilot or an astronaut, and you picked up your model
airplane, made motor sounds with your mouth and made a strafing run on your green plastic play army men on the living room floor. It was a long way
from Billy’s living room to the cockpit of that P-51 or F-4 Phantom jet.
Today, Billy sits in his living room and launches his own strike mission from the couch on his X-Box. Depending on Billy’s age, today, Billy can
walk right out of his living room and over to the mission trailer across the parking lot and remotely pilot a UAV mission, using almost identical
technology, and put a Hellfire missile through someone’s kitchen window for real tens of thousands of miles away. And that’s just the technology
side of it, but it carries through to the weaponry side of things also.
Seventy five years ago the best thing Billy could muster for a gun was likely some kind of a crude approximation in the form of a Red Ryder or silly
looking plastic gun when he wanted to play army. Today, Billy can get his hands on an airsoft M-16 or M249 SAW that’s so realistic that it’s
virtually unrecognizable from the real thing.
40 years ago Billy might have been able to sit in his living room with his antiquated Atari system and play pong, but he was unlikely to go “pong”
someone to death after playing. Today, Billy sits in his living room and plays Call of Duty 67 Red Team Alpha where he murders people by the thousands
for points. One day Billy gets an “F” in social studies because he didn’t take his Ritalin and he’s too busy texting his buddy’s about
tonight’s mission profile on COD. Irate over the bad grade, he decides the game isn’t really all that different than grabbing his Dad’s AR-15
from the closet and scoring some extra credit points on the teacher who failed him…and anyone else that gets in the way.
Further, during WWII a battle rifle was a 9-10 pound fire breathing, heavy recoiling, monster that made you remember every step you slogged with it,
and every shot you took with it. Plus the ammo was heavy too. Today, the modern battle rifle is light with virtually no recoil and ammunition is
compact and light as well. About the only difference (in Billy’s mind) is it makes just a little more noise than his airsoft gun. The reality
though is; there’s a grand canyon sized chasm of difference; this rifle is real and it kills real people dead. It’s not the rifle’s fault,
it’s Billy’s fault, but what caused it?
The point here is the lines between reality and fantasy have closed to within so close of each other that it’s almost ‘easy’ to step from one
world into the other. When you have video games that are so close to reality that you can practically get a college degree from playing them how is
Billy to know the difference when all he does is play them every waking minute of the day.
edit on 1/4/2013 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)
edit on 1/4/2013 by Flyingclaydisk because: paragraph