In this day and age, it is not uncommon to see religious groups cry out against violence in the media; however, a lot of these claims come off as being too preachy or even unrealistic. The Christian Civic League of Maine is pleading that Modern Warfare 2 needs to be banned. Let’s break this down.
The report starts off by talking about how Christmas is a time of peace, and how it is, “doubly unfortunate that at this time of year, one of the best-selling products is a video game which calls on young people to participate vicariously in the destruction of their fellow man.” I guess the League doesn’t read the news of people getting trampled trying to buy gifts on Black Friday. Background is also given about how the League opposed prize fighting, which was illegal in Maine. If you check www.maine.gov, you can clearly see that prize fighting is legal now, so I guess that shows the power of the League.
The League goes as far as saying that, “All decent people should denounce the game.” The evidence is a news report from 1999 as well as general claims that, as a society, we have been desensitized to violence. I feel that the League needs to come up with better evidence in order to even begin spouting talk of banning. In the report, the writer claims that the name of the stage “No Russian” is “Massace Level”. Also, the League attacks Americans on a moral level by saying, “The game has already been banned overseas, or modified to remove the offending scene, but unfortunately, the change has not been made where it is most needed, the United States.”
They end strong by stating, “The ready availability of drugs, violent video games, and outrageous rock music is a witch’s brew which will eventually lead to tragedy here in Maine.” I play a fair amount of violent video games and listen to a lot of metal, but I have never once thought about shooting up my work or school.
In literature, the term suspension of disbelief refers to lift your preconceived notions about a literary work in order to allow for immersion and enjoyment. That works for passive forms of entertainment. However, since video games are an active means of entertainment, one has to make sure they know that the game is fictitious. It is the role of parents to make sure their kids know this prior to purchasing a game. As more of us that grew up gaming have children, I can hope that we can make the important decisions and inform our own children.
I think that a lot of these religious groups need to rethink the way that they conduct business. Last time I looked, Jesus died on the cross to save EVERYONE, so maybe they should try and mirror the selflessness of Christ, instead of denouncing everyone else.