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Monday, September 17, 2007

Children Learn To Aim And Shoot With Wii

Speaking of idiotic sound bites:

Most people think it's a bone-headed idea.

"Great, this is what we need. Children with guns learning how to aim and shoot. Then we can sit back and wonder what is happening to our country with kids killing kids......what's next? Could we make it squirt blood, too" one reader commented

A "very concerned grandparent" wrote:
"....Why don't they enclose an application to the NRA in every box as well....the marketing person who came up with this brain child of an idea should be fired."

Another reader commented, "I think it's irresponsible for Wii to come out with a controller that looks like a gun so kids can play games simulating shooting. What kind of message are we sending as parents when we buy these things for our kids?"
-- What do we think of Wii? [Star-Ledger]

Why is it that some newspapers feel their role is not to inform but simply feed into people's fears? Light gun games have been around for most of modern gaming history - and quite like the Thompsonian suggestion that the PlayStation turns kids into trained homicidal assasins - they number of skilled snipers which were turned out by Duck Hunt remains at the low, low number of zero.

For the love of Jeebus, I'm a veteran of Duck Hunt, Laser Tag and nearly every first person shooter ever created and I stand here before you to say I suck something royal with a real firearm. I've fired bolt-actions, revolvers and semi-autos and I gotta say ... I'm more dangerous with a bow and arrow.

And let's cover this little concept - aiming and shooting isn't really something you need to learn. It's a pretty straightforward idea. Takes about three seconds to pick up. And unless you've kept your kid from watching every western, action and most sci fi shows ever made - they already get it.

Wonder how many of these "concerned parents" have bought their lovely children a water gun.


Mark said...

I remember our neighbor was a pacifist mom and refused to let her boys watch anything violent or give her two boys anything that could be used as a "gun"..know what happened? The kids picked up sticks and used them as guns, shooting each other and having a great time. Kids have been simulating guns since they were invented, and before that I am sure they pretended to be great bowmen or great swordsmen or great clubmen. Its the nature of kids.

There is always a kneejerk reaction by moms that is great for a quote and can be made to blow things out of proportion..just like in the news when they show a "protest" and keep the shot tight so you don't notice there are only 6 people waving signs.

Personally I think the wii is a great party game system and things like this if done right will only help it. I would not hesitate to buy my kids a shooting game unless it depicts realistic killing of innocent people..zombies, ducks, etc. are ok, but I personally don't like the idea of killing innocent people..however I fully support the right of others to play any games they choose and since there has been NO EVIDENCE that such games cause any link to maniacal behaviour I have no problems with it at all.

Josh said...

I do fear that some of that is happening - that not only do some outlets intentionally vilify games for shock effect, but needlessly make the reactions look as knee jerk as possible.

It's canned flamewar. State that games are dangerous, get the parents riled up. Put someone like Thompson in front of the camera and let him say something false and crazy. As long as they leave rational thinking and evidence out - they have a debate.

And yeah, I'm certainly not advocating anyone buying TimeSplitters 3 for their five year old ... but anyone who has grown up watching either television or movies has run around a yard with a play gun.

Heck, when I was a kid we were more dangerous with rocks and firecrackers. Come to think of it - much more dangerous...